This week's saucer post takes the series in a different direction, far from the shores of England . . .
. . . to China, where this pretty saucer was made in (around) 1800 for the American market. It is decorated with an urn, similar to the English saucer I posted several weeks ago, that Parnassas so cleverly photoshopped. The decoration is also related to that found on the Thomas Willing Chinese export porcelain service that I saw in the collection at Bayou Bend, three plates of which I acquired for our collection at Darlington House at the New York Ceramics Fair this past January.
But in this case, the urn is surmounted by a bird. I'm not exactly sure what type of bird it is, but I think it could well be a stylized eagle. I am confident that this saucer was made in China for the American market, given its decoration, the asperity of which the citizenry of the New Republic preferred to the more elaborate decorations favored elsewhere at the time.
I found this saucer in a pile of dusty plates in a junk shop in rural Connecticut thirty or so years ago, along with three other dishes from the same service, identically decorated. I think I paid a dollar a plate for them. After I had completed my purchase, and with the plates safely in hand, I explained to the fellow working behind the counter what he had just sold me, and that they were actually worth far more than what I had paid for them. He didn't seem to care all that much, since he was an hourly employee of the shop, and not one of its owners. He responded, "You're the second person who said that to me. Just yesterday some other guy came in here and bought up the rest of them. Must've been twenty or thirty of 'em he got. He probably didn't see these ones that you found just now."
"Well, well," I thought, "that was some lucky guy." If only I had been there the day before, imagine what a haul I would have found!
As it is, I didn't do all that badly . . .