Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saucer of the Week: English Roses

In February, when I posted my essay Consider the Saucer, I promised that I would publish photographs from time to time of some of the prettier antique saucers we have collected.  Today is the first of such posts.  I plan on making this a once-a-week series until I either run out of saucers to feature or I run out of patience.

This week's saucer is an early English pearlware one, circa 1790-1800.  It is finely painted in a Famille Rose style decoration reminiscent of Chinese export porcelain.  It measures 5 ½ inches in diameter and came with a matching tea bowl.  It is unmarked.  Boy found the cup and saucer at Todd Alexander Romano's shop, when it was still at Lexington Avenue and 73rd Street.

I like this saucer because it is pretty and floral and summery, and I enjoy seeing it when we place it on one of the tables in our drawing room at Darlington House, where it has recently returned now that spring has arrived in the Hudson River Valley.

Photograph by Boy Fenwick


  1. Hello:
    The saucer is absolutely charming and how wonderful, since it is eighteenth century, that it is complete with its bowl. It is, as you say, so very summery and must look very decorative in the drawing room.

    We are now off to read your previous post, 'Consider the Saucer'.

  2. Lovely. I, too, advocate switching some of the accessories with the change in seasons.

  3. I love the subtle shift in point of view. Once you decide to appreciate and focus attention on the saucer, the cup/bowl itself becomes virtually an afterthought.

  4. A very pretty saucer, Reggie. I'm looking forward to the series - as you say, until you run out of saucers or patience!

  5. Will take this one in on Friday.....

  6. I think that it could be from the New Hall factory, but then again, I could easily be wrong!



  7. Reggie - what is a tea bowl? A teacup with no handle? Do you drink from it?

  8. Yes, spring has arrived! That saucer is perfect or warm-weather entertaining! Hope to see you soon!

    E + J

  9. Anon 1:19: Thank you for the suggestion, I shall pursue it.

    Patsy: You are correct, a tea bowl is a tea cup without a handle. Favored in Asia to this day, they were quickly obsoleted in the West when cups with handles were introduced.

  10. I like the idea of Saucer of the Week, and this particular one is a great way to start. Perhaps at some point you'll consider a separate page for all the previous weeks' saucers. Then we'll have a Darlington Saucer Gallery.

  11. Dear Mr. Darling,

    I was wondering when you were going to resume your saucer essays and was pleased to find this one - and such a pretty little thing it is too. I adore that you've taken an item as humble as a saucer and elevated it to be the star of your weekly blog series. You have demonstrated that the most delightful details are sometimes found in the smallest of things in our surroundings. I own one particular saucer with so much detail that could be missed if one did not pick it up to inspect it. It is like a miniature work of art
    in and of itself. I only wish I knew more about the artist and where it was made. I look forward to seeing more of your collection over the coming weeks.

  12. Reggie,
    What I wouldn't give to see inside your cupboards or butler's pantry. The subject of a really fabulous post don't you think?

  13. It's beautiful!! Very spring-like and very happy looking, so pretty!
    xo J~


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