April 19, 2011

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.