April 24, 2011

Italian Invasion.....

In our 2011 Catalogue, we have a number of eighteenth century Italian pieces of porcelain from the Doccia factory.   
    Established by the Marchese Ginori in 1737 with help from German workmen with experience in porcelain making (ie originating in Meissen, the first true porcelain maker in Europe), this factory near Florence made unique forms in a distinct grey paste, often disguised under a thick white glazed achieved by using tin oxide. Their wares are rare and keenly sought after.

    The coffee pot is a particularly interesting piece, having the flamboyant birds-head spout.
Circa 1765, more photos and description here.
The plate has a version of the 'Tulip' pattern, based loosely on  a Chinese Export pattern of the early 18th century. Circa 1790, more info & pictures here.

There are a couple of interesting cup s & saucers also - this Imari style one with a fenced garden, Circa 1760 - more photos & info -
...and another with a very unusual pattern which is loosely Neo-Classical - Circa 1760 - more photos & info here -
And finally, a snuff box, left undecorated, with a whimsical depiction of an embracing old (?) couple - Circa 1780 - more photos & info here.

Remember, these items are all available on our website, and are part of our 2011 Exhibition.

April 21, 2011

A Pinxton discovery, c.1798

Here's an exciting discovery for all Pinxton fans.
 It's a rare Pinxton coffee can, painted with pattern 221, with an oval scene of figures by a house on a trackway, within a wide gild line and flowerhead border, with gold to the rim and band to the base.   
Marked to the base with a red inscription 'In Derbyshr', also 221, and dating to circa 1798. 

This small firm has a fascinating story. 
From the 2011 Moorabool Catalogue: "Pinxton existed for a few glorious years, 1796-1813.  John Coke, a local gent, sent clays to William Duesbury of the Derby factory to test. William Billingsley, an artist at Derby at the time, came to correspond with Coke, and the first trial firing of the resulting factory was in 1796. Billingsley remained until 1799, when he left to establish his own concern at Mansfield, and the Pinxton works limped along with various partners, including the Derby artist John Cutts, until it ceased production in 1813 -although they were probably not making porcelain for the last years."

 What makes this coffee can so exciting is the pattern, which is an important documentary pattern, being known as the 'Brookhill Hall Service' type. This service showed views around the estate of John Coke, co-founder of the Pinxton factory alongside William Billingsly. Sheppard states -'A saucer and a coffee can of this pattern have been seen with the number 221 in red together with the named view that appears in the decoration.....' . The red 221 pattern number is what appears on this coffee can, making it an extremely rare documentary piece. The paste is the early glassy version with great translucency.
The style of painting is close to work by J.Cutts.
The pattern is also extremely close to Minton's pattern N58 of the same period, but most of their pieces will be marked, and the paste is very different.

The mark on the base
This rarity will be available in our 2011 Exhibition
has been SOLD

April 19, 2011


A few views of our 2011 Exhibition

Full stock list of fresh Exhibition stock available here.

A Virtuous Derby Vase

This is a rarity from our 2011 Exhibition, and appears on the cover of our 2011 catalogue.
It's a Chelsea-Derby vase, of classical shape with wonderful gold stripe ground, and dating to around 1775. This was the period (1770-84) where Derby also owned Chelsea, hence the hyphenated name.
On the front is a depiction of Virtue, shown holding a torch up and with a rather large club - the Club of Hercules -  in her other hand, titled to the lower VIRTUE.
This is the work of a well known Chelsea artist, Richard Askew.  Askew was a Londoner, who came to work at Chelsea in the late 1750’s and was there for the transition to Derby, 1770-84. This vase bears the transitional mark, with both the Gold Anchor of Chelsea, and the D for Derby.

The other side (not really a 'reverse' - more of another option for when you didn't want to stare at VIRTUE on your mantel!) is by Zachariah Boreman. He was a Chelsea artist, working at the Chelsea porcelain works from the 1750's, and specializing in landscapes. He loved depicting sweeping vistas with towers by rivers, with small figures scattered here & there. In this example, a lady strolls by a river bank as a man struggles to haul a rope - or is he a successful fisherman with a rather large catch! and also stayed at the Chelsea works to the end. After this he spends ten years at Derby, but returns to London and is said to have painted for one of the decorating studios there.

For more details & photos, have a look at it here on our website.

April 18, 2011

Exhibition 11

Our 2011 Exhibition is underway. Over 300 fresh items were released for sale on Saturday 16th in our Geelong premises. Over the next while, I will be blogging about the key pieces.

You can view our full Exhibition stock lists here.

Not everything is ceramic: there is a wonderful group of mellow oak from a local collection, and an interesting collection of mortar & pestles from a New York collection, along with all sorts of early apothecary items.

Saucy sauce boats

We are getting closer to our exhibition, and seem to have a serious outbreak of Sauceboats!

They are a varied group, but all 18th century porcelain & pottery. As a group they trace the evolution of the form, and illustrate the change in style over the course of the century.

The earliest we have is the following, from France, and attributed to Marsaille, c.1725. Note the very small handles.

This example is also French, from Marseille, and dates to the mid 18th century. The handles have become quite substantial.

This is a Worcester example, with well painted Chinoiserie scenes, c.1756. It is a curious piece due to a negligent painter, who has only painted three of the four cell-pattern rim sections, the other being absolutely blank!

Over to the continent, and this Marcolini example is much more flamboyant, reflecting the sophistication of the later 18th century.

Here's an interesting one, from China- an order was sent to China for a service with the family crest- in this case, the McKee family. Their motto MANU FORTI - with a strong hand- sits beneath the complex crest, which shares another family's coat if arms - a marriage piece. This dates to the 1750's.

A stylish edition comes from the Comte d'Artois factory in Paris , and dates to the 1780's. It is notable for it's use of colour at a time when only the Royal factory of Sevres was entitled to be colorful- but by obtaining the patronage of the Comte d'Artois, the factory managed to get away with it!

This vibrant example is not porcelain like the preceding few, but tin glaze pottery. With an opaque white glaze to hide the crude body, it is vibrant in it's colorful flowers, and certainly trying to be porcelain!
It dates to the 1780's and is attributed to Strasbourg.

Another Chinese example, this one with an interesting use of brown enamels and gold which almost give the illusion of bronze. It dates to the 1760's.

And finally, this splendid English creamware example, maker unknown.... a fascinating mix of the cos- lettuce form seen in Worcester 1752-3, with a fascinating Baroque shell & scroll foot that hearkens back to the earlier 18th century silver forms, we date it to around 1760.

Come along & see the whole show, opening April 16th- or see it online on our website.

April 06, 2011

Catalogue (almost) catastrophe...

After months of work, our catalogue is finally complete. It nearly didn't make it, with a series of mistakes involving lost data and incorrect file types.... But finally it is running off the printing press this very moment.

Touch wood, it should be ready just in time for the exhibition, on Saturday 16th April, 2011.

44 pages long, it contains over 500 items, all illustrated and extensively cataloged. A large percentage is completely fresh stock, and this will be released in our upcoming exhibition.
English ceramics 

Continental Ceramics

Oriental ceramics, and a selection of Sauceboats
A collection of Mortars & Pestles, and some Pottery rarities
Yet more porcelain.... plus some artworks, enamels, and the cover vase, a Derby vase with 'Vertue' by Richard Askew, and a landscape by Zachariah Boreman.
Antiquities & Curios, including some interesting Egyptian discoveries, from old Australian & English collections.
The Centerfold is dedicated to that fascinating product of the Age of Enlightenment, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The portrait miniature is a youthful Frederick, c.1760.
And last but not least, some Furniture - to remind you that Moorabool Antiques is not just all about Ceramics - we need somewhere to sit while we study them!

The above mock-up is a quick look- if you would like a physical copy of the catalogue, get in touch.

Alternately, if you can read a PDF (anyone have an iPad?) on your computer, the entire catalogue will be posted online very soon......
Drop us an email if you would like us to let you know when this happens.

Otherwise, our Exhibition 2011 begins in a few weeks, opening on Saturday 16th April, at 11am.

Sorry, no pre-sales!