English Pearlware Childs Miniature Dinner Service
BIRDS WITH FRUIT & BUTTERFLY
Staffordshire England c. 1840
This is a very scarce transferware child's miniature dinner service, full service for 8, made for childs play or to accessorize an elegant pre-Victorian dollhouse. Exquisite earthy and winsome, a beautiful example of early 19th century miniature transferware. The set has an auction sticker indicating it was sold by Sothebys in New York.
Finely molded with gently scalloped rims and elegant forms. Rich cobalt blue decoration finished with pearlware glaze, to the standards usually only seen in full-size Staffordshire table wares. Decorated with exotic eastern pheasants or oriental birds and a butterfly on tree branches hovering over an abundant bowl of fruit, bordered with contrasting dotted chain border trim.
The pieces in the set are unmarked. There seems to be some uncertainty about the origin of this pattern. According to Doris Lechler's book English Toy China the pattern name is "Asiatic Birds" the pattern is attributed to the maker is Charles Meigh, a well known pottery maker in the Staffordshire region of England from 1835-1849. We have also seen the pattern attributed to Davenport during the same period. The pattern is documented by Lechler as pattern #223. The pattern is also discussed on page 113 in Milbourn's Understanding Miniature British Pottery & Porcelain.
The set consists of 50 pieces. The set is in overall good condition with just the few chips crack and repairs as described below. The set is comprised of: • 8 dinner plates, 3-1/4” in diameter, 2 with tight hairline, 1 broken and reglued; • 8 soup plates, 3-1/4” in diameter, one broken and reglued; • 8 luncheon plates, 2-7/8” in diameter; • 8 bread plates, 2-3/4” in diameter; • 5 graduated platters, 5-1/2” long, 2x5” long, and 2x4-1/2” long; • 2 gravy pitchers or sauce boats, 3-1/2” long ; • 1 oval open vege dish, 3-1/4” long with flared rim; • 2 covered serving tureens with lids and underplates, 2-1/2”, nick on foot of one base, faint interior line on 1 lid; and • 2 covered vegetable dishes with lid, 5” long, 2-1/2” tall.
As described above, the set is in overall very good condition with only the mentioned exceptions. Transfer wrinkles and other minor firing imperfections original to the making. Some wear and age patina on only a few pieces. An extremely hard to find set, a true doll size set to finish a Victorian Christmas display and a perfect addition to an advanced collection of miniature transferware. A superb example and rare example.