Early 19th Century Spode Blue and White Transferware Cup and Saucer Greek Mythology Love Chase Pattern Circa 1810
This is a wonderful example of an early 19th century pearlware Spode cup and saucer in a rare and decorative transfer printed pattern. The cup is of Bute shape and features a square or French handle; the matching saucer is deep with a flat base. Both pieces were produced in England by Spode circa 1810. The cup and saucer feature a blue transfer printed Greek scene with floral border and dark mustard/ ochre rim.
The uncommon but highly collectible pattern is known as “Love Chase” or pattern 717 and is based up on the story of Atalanta and Hippomenes (also known as Melanion) in Greek mythology. Atalanta was born unwanted, as her father wanted a son not a daughter. Her father took her to the woods and abandoned her. A bear found Atalanta and adopted her; she spent most of her time around hunters and was soon the best among them. She was an became a excellent hunter and the fastest runner.
Due to her achievements at The Funeral Games her father decided to forgive her for not being a son and allowed her to return home. Her father wanted to find her a husband. Atalanta devised a foot race where the winner would marry her and the loser would be beheaded by her. Our cup and saucer shows the race between Atlanta and Melanion (Hippomenes). Melanion fell in love with Atalanta and prayed to Aphrodite for help as he knew he was not faster than her. Aphrodite presented Melanion with three irresistible gold apples to cast before her. When Atalanta stopped to retrieve them she was slowed enough for Melanion to emerge victorious in the race and allowed him to marry Atalanta. Please see Museum Number 581 – 1905 in the Victoria and Albert Museum online collection for an example of a Spode tea bowl in this pattern.
Measuring: Cup diameter without handle 3 2/8” (8.5 cm). Cup diameter with handle 4 1/8” (10.5 cm). Cup height 2 2/8” (5.5 cm). Saucer diameter 5 3/8” (13.5 cm). Saucer height 1.5” (4 cm).
Condition: The cup is in good condition but not quite perfect. The pattern is bright and crisp with no wear. There is a thin 1” (2.5 cm) vertical hairline from the rim down which is visible to the exterior and interior. The saucer is in good condition but sadly is not pristine. The pattern is bright and crisp with no wear. There is a very old but thin crack in the saucer which is clearly visible on our image. The crack runs approximately half the width of the saucer and is visible on the face and base of the saucer. There are a few minor factory firing faults to the face of the saucer which is to be expected on a Spode piece of this age and type. The base of the saucer has an old sticker from “The Goatham Collection”; we believe this to be Edward Goatham who is a member of a Blue and White collectors club.
Both pieces would make excellent display items for anyone who collects Spode or early English pottery and porcelain.
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