This is an 18th century English Worcester large box with a lid. The original function was most likely to hold tea. The age is circa 1792.
The box is not hinged. It is two pieces, a bottom with a fitted lid. The box is 8 3/8” wide and long, and 3 5/8” high, so about the size of a luncheon plate and the height of a covered bowl.
The faience of this box is a soft paste porcelain, verging toward an earthenware pottery, which is a type of porcelain Worcester produced during this time period.
The outside is glazed a deep, rich cobalt blue. The inside of the box and the underside of the lid is glazed a cream-yellow color.
The top of the box is decorated in raised gold, in two different colors, of gold and silver. Silver wasn’t actually used for decoration on faience, so it is probably white gold. The stems of the plant go up the right side of the lid. The leaves are jagged. There are thistle blossoms. There is a detailed bird perched on a stem to the left of the plant, somewhat centered in the middle of the lid. There is a butterfly or winged insect on the upper right corner. Two sides of the bottom of the box are decorated with two butterflies in raised gold. The art work is extremely good. You can feel the decoration with your fingers.
There are no chips or cracks. There is crazing on the inside of the box and under the lid. There are some scratches visible on the cobalt glaze, mostly on the lid. There is wear to the gold trim around the rim of the bottom, where the lid rubs against it.
The bottom of the box is unglazed.
The bottom of the box has two incised marks. The first mark is a capital B, and the mark is partially colored in blue. This is a mark Worcester used on their tea wares from around 1792 to circa 1803. The second mark is a blue painted crescent mark, with wear to some of the blue color. This mark is most likely from Worcester’s Flight Period, and dates circa 1783 to 1792.
There are light glares reflecting off of the deep rich cobalt glaze. The color is a deep blue, not black. The box was very difficult to photograph because of the deep blue color reflecting back images of the room in which I photographed the box.
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