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Antique of the month - Elegance and Charm from Worcester c1770
Produced at the Worcester factory, c1770, this most elegant, beautiful and rare teapot has a delightful underglaze blue "three ladies" pattern. The teapot has a globular body with a charming rose finial to the lid. A stunning teapot from the early years of the Worcester factory, mid-eighteenth century, c1770 - rare and stunning.
More details of this item and other tea related antiques can be found by
visiting my web site at www.TeaAntiques.com.
BATH - Victoria Art Gallery
January, I was fortunate (on my birthday) to visit my favourite city, the
splendid city of Bath. During the day I visited the Victoria Art Gallery
where I was absolutely delighted to discover an exhibition relating to tea
drinking in the eighteenth century – and another bonus, an extensive
collection of eighteenth century wine glasses.
view is a wonderful set of displays relating to tea drinking in England and
China; set in the upstairs art gallery in four square glass cabinets
entitled “Time for Tea”. Each cabinet focuses on a particular area of
tea drinking with regard to porcelain and silver from the eighteenth century. It
also reviews items relating to the drinking of coffee and chocolate.
cabinet contains a stunning silver tea urn, which would hold the water for
making tea, this fine example was made by William Townsend of Bath, c1779.
Also displayed are many and varied examples of eighteenth century porcelain tea bowls and saucers from Worcester and Derby factories.
are also examples from the Bristol factory, which was the first factory in
Britain to discover how to make porcelain of the same quality as the Chinese
hard paste porcelain. The company started in Plymouth in 1768 and specialised in
the manufacture of very fine tea services for the rich society. Some of the
Bristol tea bowls and saucers have some very pretty and delicate floral patterns
with extremely fine gilding. A few examples also have delicate moulded handles
to the cups.
second cabinet displays a large part of a beautiful Worcester tea service
decorated with a pattern known as the “fan”.
The fan shapes being fashioned in underglaze cobalt blue with overglaze red and
green enamel with gilt embellishments – a very striking design. Included in
this set are the standard size teapots but also a few very large teapots and
stands. These large teapots were known as punch kettles, used for the pouring of
punch drinks as well as tea. This service was made at its Worcester factory
between 1760 and 1770 and comprised 43 items. A pair of covered tea vases
on display in the cabinet, with the underglaze blue and overglaze pink and
orange pattern. These are Worcester, c1770, and of Queen Charlotte pattern.
There is a delightful Worcester covered round sugar box and cover displayed with flower finial, much in the same style as one featured as antique of the month in December’s Tea Clipper newsletter.
third cabinet relates to items associates with the taking of Coffee and
Chocolate. A profusion of chocolate and coffee cans are displayed with exquisite
and again varied decorations. Here it explains how the porcelain manufacturer
followed the shapes and designs of coffee pots in silver. A fine George III
baluster coffee pot with rococo embossing, London 1757, is set against similar
shaped pots in porcelain from Worcester. (The coffee pot in silver being very
similar in shape and decoration to item
s522 for sale in the silver section of the TeaAntiques website.) There is a
covered chocolate cup from the Worcester “fan” decorated service – the
cover having a flower finial.
This is certainly a very pleasing, well displayed and informative exhibition and one I would strongly recommend for the lover of tea equipage and eighteenth century porcelain.
museum is currently also displaying the most fantastic collection of 18th
century drinking glasses, rather cramped in display cabinets but stunning to
behold, with an amazing variety of styles from heavy baluster stems, drawn
trumpet shaped, air and opaque twisted stems, faceted stems, bowls with engraved
decoration and enamel painted bowls by the famous “Beilby”.
Victoria Art Gallery
Tea and Wine unite! c1820-30
During my travel to Bath, I purchased a most interesting item of Georgian domestic furniture. At first sight, this beautiful mahogany sarcophagus shaped box on a central pedestal stand with shaped quadrafoil base, appeared to be a cellaret or wine cooler, c1820-30. As a wine cooler, one would expect the inside to be lead-lined, designed to hold ice in which wine bottles would be stored to keep them cool in a dining room during dinners. As a cellaret, it would be divided inside to hold 6-8 bottles of red wine stored in the dining room to bring the wine to room temperature for consumption during dinner. The other possibility was that it was a Tea Poy and would open to reveal tea fittings including maybe two or four fitted tea canisters, tea mixing bowl, sugar box, etc.
I was rather surprised and delighted when I opened the box to discover that it had its original tin fittings, which related to both wine and tea – this was, in fact, a combined Tea Poy and Wine Cooler! There are two rectangular lidded tea boxes for containing green and black tea positioned either side of a central wine cooling section. The bottom of the wine cooling section having drain holes and a removable sliding drip tray. In this wine cooling section, ice would be placed to keep wines or glasses cold during a dinner. As the ice melted, the water would drip through and collect in the tray below. This was indeed a most unusual piece of George IV furniture uniting my interest in tea and wine drinking antiques – one that I could not resist buying and sharing with you.
The reason that I was in Bath and came across the delight of the Tea exhibition in the Victoria Art Gallery mentioned above was that I was visiting my favourite city in England on the occasion of my birthday.
The other delight of the day was to visit the Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford on Avon, in my opinion, one of the best tea rooms in the South of England. It has to be my favourite place and I reviewed it in the November 2000 Tea Clipper newsletter, but I feel that it certainly is worth a revisit (in fact, I went there twice over the course of the weekend!).
A very special treat was to be able to enjoy tea from an eighteenth century Worcester shanked tea bowl and saucer with blue and gilt decoration that was a beautiful birthday present. I partook of the full afternoon tea as my birthday treat – it was superb and very filling; in fact I had to take the cake home for later consumption! The tea room staff are always willing to offer boxes to customers in which to take home any food they cannot manage to consume – what considerate service!
The Bridge Tea Rooms, c1675
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