This week's saucer is one of my favorites. It is most likely English, I believe, but it could possibly be French. I am almost certain that it is English, but I would welcome learning otherwise if you know so, Dear Reader.
The saucer is made of very white porcelain and measures 5 3/8 inches in diameter. It is simply decorated with a classical urn done in grisaille and festooned with gilt garlands. The urn is, in turn, surrounded by three plain gold bands. It is unmarked. I date it to 1800-1815.
I bought it half a dozen years or so ago from an antiques dealer in Hudson, New York. I can't remember which one anymore, but I suspect it was from one of the dealers that is no longer in business there. I don't think I paid very much money for it, at least as these things go.
We keep this saucer for much of the year on one of the side tables in our drawing room at Darlington House, where it complements the room's gray walls, white trim, and gilt-framed pictures and looking glasses. I showed an image of it in situ, in the original post that introduced this series, holding a flute of champagne.
So, why is it that this saucer is one of my favorites? As many of my readers know, I have a weakness for classically inspired objects, and I find the severity and elegance of this saucer's spare decoration to be most pleasing. There is nothing extraneous about its carefully chosen and edited design. Each element, be it urn, garland, or gold band, is integral to the whole; the absence of even one of these elements would render a less successful composition. I ask you, Dear Reader, to imagine how the saucer would look with one less band, or if the garlands had not been applied—it would not look as exquisite as it does, now would it?
Photograph by Boy Fenwick