Friday, June 24, 2011

Saucer of the Week: English Orientalism

This post marks the return of Saucer of the Week, a series interrupted by my musings and remembrances of college reunions past.  How nice, and what a relief it is, to once again focus one's attention on the pretty and the lighthearted.


This week's saucer is, again, an early nineteenth century English one done in the Oriental taste that was then much in vogue.  It is more vigorous and vibrant than the ones in such taste I've posted previously, and is a great favorite of mine.  I like the refined crudeness of its design.  It is decorated with an underglaze application of dark blue, and then subsequent overglaze decorations in orange and green, and a final application of gilding—captured brilliantly in the photograph, above.

The saucer measures a generous 5 ½ inches across, and the china it is made of is thicker than on the more rarified saucers I've posted to date.  It is unmarked.  I suspect that it was made by one of the lesser English potteries of the day, long since vanished, in imitation of what was being produced in the more noteworthy potteries of the time.  It is one of a pair that we supposedly bought at Bardith, Ltd., on Madison Avenue years ago.

Not everything need always be of only the finest calibre to excite Reggie's fancy, Dear Reader . . .

Photograph by Boy Fenwick

11 comments:

  1. Hello Reggie:
    No, we agree that everything need not necessarily be of the finest to have an appeal, but it is always, where this blog is concerned, viewed with a discerning and critical eye and that, in our opinion, is what makes all of the difference. Too often in life people look but, alas, they do not see.

    This week's saucer we are well able to understand why it is a favourite. We admire its bold, pronounced design and, as you comment, the gilding adds a lustre which 'lifts' the entire pattern.

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  2. Good morning, Reggie. I'd already seen my favorite a couple of weeks ago, or so I thought. I love the liveliness of this one and have already buil, based on it, a softly-white paneled room with gilded moldings catching the light that gleams on orange silk damask, blue velours d'Utrecht and a rug that has all the colors in it (sparsely furnished, of course). Perhaps too much imagination for this early in the day but it is such a beautiful saucer!

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  3. The colors on this one are fantastic!

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  4. In addition to being absolutely gorgeous, this dish is a lovely example of how aesthetics can affect one's mental place. There being no left brained concentric, repetitive patterning in this dish, the effect here loosens and frees the mind, encouraging unstructured right brain activity. I love both orientations, but I'd bring this one out and stare into as into a flickering fire, for sorting through various passing conundrums of the day.

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  5. I like that one. Very zippy.

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  6. Each week I think that that one is the best and then you come up with a better one the next week. It's hard for me to pick a favorite -- you have great taste in saucers!

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  7. This saucer is rich in design and colour...I can see it on a plate stand on a dark wood table. Where do you keep this one Reggie?

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  8. I don't know nothing about saucers. But I did want to let you know that I've been stopping by your blog from time to time and this morning, I wanted to say hey.

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  9. Would you say it was too crude for a cat to drink milk from?

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  10. Here's a silly question about using saucers. I should experiment on my own but don't want to risk the possibility of damaging furniture.

    Do you place the saucers on bare wood? If you put a hot cup of coffee, or a glass of iced tea in the saucer, doesn't that hurt the furniture underneath the saucer?

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Please do comment! I welcome and encourage them, and enjoy the dialogue.

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