Dr Wall Worcester Spoon tray C.1775
Dr Wall Worcester Spoon tray, decorated with imari pattern in underglaze blue & onglaze red & gold.
16x 9 cm
Possible later decoration, good condition
Provenance: The Weisz Collection
Reference: Spero, S. and Sandon, J. “Worcester Porcelain 1751-1790, The Zorensky Collection” p. 238, no. 280
Sandon, I. “The Dictionary of Worcester Porcelain Vol. I 1751-1851” p. 315 (spoon tray) and p. 276 (redecoration)
After stirring tea in a tea bowl, the spoon would be placed in a spoon tray, not the saucer. Porcelain spoon trays date from about the early 1750s to 1785 when they lost popularity.
This spoon tray is decorated in Imari style, classically incorporating an under-glaze blue pattern with over glaze red enamel and gilt. The export of Japanese porcelain from the port of Imari ceased in the 1740s, however Chinese copies of the Arita porcelain were
produced for export to Europe and England from the 1720s. Worcester probably based their designs on these Chinese copies. This piece could be one of these. Alternatively, particularly as there has been some blurring of the under-glaze blue when fired, it could be a factory second, sold off, perhaps decades later, and redecorated outside. There is more “spit-out” than normal, which could suggest a significant time elapse occurred allowing for the absorption of moisture and dirt by un-glazed areas, which then shows as black spots on refiring. The base of the tray also shows signs of having been ground down to reduce this effect. Additionally, unlike normal factory designs, the enamelling tends to overfill the reserves. The gilding, however, appears to be of high standard.