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22nd November – Fresh @ Moorabool.com

Rosewood Chairs


November 22nd, 2021.

Welcome to our ‘Fresh Stock’ update – these items are fresh to our stock , and fresh to this website.

Today it’s a great selection of Rosewood items from the 19th century – featured in their own blog page here>>
– plus some other interesting pieces including a variety of pottery & porcelain, from ancient times to more recent – and all very tempting price-wise for Christmas…. just a few weeks away!

Remember, we post world-wide at the most reasonable rates.

LAST POSTAGE FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY:
Victoria – 10th December
NSW / QLD / SA – 3rd December
International – ASAP – overseas postage at normal rates is particularly unpredictable at the moment. We can use a superior service, such as UPS, which can have a UK/US shipment delivered within a few days – but the cost is considerably more, please ask for a quote if interested.
Australian deliveries can also be sent express, for slightly more, please ask.

Fresh Stock

Here’s the latest for you!
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21st November Fresh @ Moorabool.com – Gearing up to Christmas!


November 21st, 2021.

Welcome to our ‘Fresh Stock’ update – these items are fresh to our stock , and fresh to this website.

Today it’s a great selection of Boxes, and some lovely ceramics with flower decoration…… perfect for Christmas Presents!

Note: our website is about to be completely refreshed, but is working as usual for the meantime.

Remember, we post world-wide at the most reasonable rates.

LAST POSTAGE FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY:
Victoria – 10th December
NSW / QLD / SA – 3rd December
International – ASAP – overseas postage at normal rates is particularly unpredictable at the moment. We can use a superior service, such as UPS, which can have a UK/US shipment delivered within a few days – but the cost is considerably more, please ask for a quote if interested.
Australian deliveries can also be sent express, for slightly more, please ask.

Fresh Stock

Here’s the latest for you!
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16th November Fresh @ Moorabool.com


November 16th, 2021.

Welcome to our ‘Fresh Stock’ update – these items are fresh to our stock , and fresh to this website.

Today it’s a scattering of interesting Asian items, some smart cups & saucers, and a selection of Ancient Artifacts.
All perfect Christmas Presents!

Remember, we post world-wide at the most reasonable rates.

LAST POSTAGE FOR CHRISTMAS DELIVERY:
Victoria – 10th December
NSW / QLD / SA – 3rd December
International – ASAP – overseas postage at normal rates is particularly unpredictable at the moment. We can use a superior service, such as UPS, which can have a UK/US shipment delivered within a few days – but the cost is considerably more, please ask for a quote if interested.
Australian deliveries can also be sent express, for slightly more, please ask.

Fresh Stock

Here’s the latest for you!
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The Hope Service Plate, Flight Worcester c. 1790-2

Lavish is the word that best describes this Flight Worcester plate. It’s from the ‘Hope’ service, ordered in 1789 by William Henry, the Duke of Clarence, who was the third son of King George III and eventual inheritor of the British throne at the age of 64 after both brothers died without heirs.

William IV
William IV

The subject was chosen by him, and reflects his military career. Each piece has a different rendition of ‘Hope’ with her anchor, with a ship in the background. He had joined the Royal Navy in his youth, serving in North America and the Caribbean under Nelson. Nicknamed the ‘Sailor King’ when he came to the throne, it is little wonder he chose this nautical theme for his service.

The Hope Service, Flight Worcester, 1790
The Hope Service, Flight Worcester, 1790

Securing the service commission was a major event for the ailing Worcester factory, which had been purchased by John Flight in 1783. It was William’s second commission from the factory, the first being the ‘St Andrew’ service, celebrating his achievement of the Order of St Andrew, earlier in 1789.

John Flight recorded in his diary in January 1790:

‘We used our two best painters last week to make some very fine designs for the Duke of Clarence, we have already completed 3 plates and I have sent them to London. One is a gold arabesque design, another the figure of Hope, the other of Patience.’

A few days later on 24th January John Flight added:

‘Apart from the two plates mentioned… we have made two others with figures, Peace and Plenty. H.R.H. Duke of Clarence has decided on the Hope design with the decoration that we put on the Peace plate, he has ordered a table service that will amount to more than £700 sterling. He has given us a year in which to complete it…’

 

The Hope Service Plate
A plate from ‘The Hope Service’, Flight Worcester 1790, made for the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV.

It is interesting to track down some original tabloid gossip from the period:

'Hope Service' described in the Claredon Post, 1791
‘Hope Service’ described in a 1791 Clarendon Post

This news article intended to impress, inflating the price and the number of pieces. The comment about it being ‘particularly appropriate to the nautical profession of the royal proprietor …’ is interesting, as William was indeed a Navy officer. His father George III had determined he should join the Royal Navy, and so he entered the navy at 13 as a midshipman. He saw active service in the War of American Independence (targeted in a kidnap plot by an agent of George Washington in New York, 1782!), and became a friend of Nelson. He was placed on the Warwick under Captain George Keith Elphinstone, and spent time in the Caribbean. In 1789 he returned to England, where his father the King’s health was failing, but although he received promotions to rear-admiral, vice-admiral, and in 1799 admiral, the navy refused his pleas for a return to active service. When he gained the throne in 1830, he was affectionately known as ‘The Sailor King’.

'Hope Service' described in the Derby Mercury, 1791
‘Hope Service’ described in the Derby Mercury, 1791

Another news article, in the ‘Derby Mercury’ in 1791, quotes the same inflated price – 800 Guineas (more than the £700 Flight recorded in his journal) – but gets the number of pieces right at 296. The story related of his ‘Blue-blooded Britishness’ is fantastic – if it happened. He was offered a set of  ‘Avignon China’ (French porcelain of some type) he refused, saying while OTHERS may be happy with foreign products, he wouldn’t even accept a piece of furniture that wasn’t British!

 

The back of this plate has a large pasted label, which declares the following:

Hope Service Label
Hope Service Label

Specimen of the Celebrated Service of Old Worcester
Porcelain, made and presented to Lord Nelson by the
Nation, bequeathed by him to King William the Fourth
who gave it to his son Lord Frederick Fitzclarence
and in whose Will the full particulars are given –

It passed by marriage to the Earl of Erol and was
his up to May 1893 when it was dispersed at Christies
and realised nearly the sum of £2000.

This is of course different to what has been described at the top of this page, and is a fascinating example of mis-information. This old label provides us with the source of this mis-information, the Christies auction which dispersed the service in 1893. They of course got their information from the Earl of Erol, who had inherited it from his father, the illegitimate son of William IV,  Fitzclarence. It was in this will that ‘the particulars’  were given, and so the confusion appears to have arisen right back then, just the next generation from when it was a wonderful new service that impressed the nation.

These days, there are pieces in major collections all over the world;   the V&A has a fine example comparable with this one , as is another in the British Museum. We also have no less than a trio of them ‘across the road’ in Geelong, in the Geelong Art Gallery collection.

 

Hope Service - Geelong Art Gallery
Hope Service – Geelong Art Gallery

 

Hope Service - Geelong Art Gallery
Hope Service – Geelong Art Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are pleased to have a magnificent example as part of our 2016 Catalogue, and as a key piece in our Exhibition which opens on June 18th.

It’s a particularly nice example, being the one John Sandon illustrated in his 1993 book ” The Dictionary of Worcester Porcelain: 1751-1851

detail-anchor

detail-legs

detail-Ship

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Stunning Sèvres discovery, by Antoine-Joseph Chappuis (l’âiné), 1765

Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765-15584

A SÈVRES CUP AND SOCKETED SAUCER

(GOBELET ET SOUCOUPE ‘ENFONCE,’ 1ERE GRANDEUR)

The Royal French porcelain manufactory at Sèvres was well patronized by the French court, and the pieces they created were meant to be the most flamboyant and impressive luxuries imaginable. This pink ground cup & saucer certainly qualifies.


Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765-0
Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765
Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765-15598
Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765

Important Sèvres cup and saucer, goblet et soucoup enfoncé, premiere grandeur , superbly painted by Antoine-Joseph Chappuis (aîné), with four panels of birds in landscapes, framed within rich tooled gold borders against a ground of blue and gold oeil-de-perdrix on a pink ground.

Crossed ‘L’s’ mark,

also date letter ‘M’ for 1765,

‘cp’ for artist Antoine-Joseph Chappuis (aîné),

incised cup repairer’s mark ‘00’ & ‘ae’


Madame de Pompadour was probably responsible for the inception of this unusual form of saucer, with its deep well ensuring the cup cannot be easily upset. The form appears in 1753, and as she was failing in health with tuberculosis, a socketed saucer negated the risk of spilling her drink due to a shaking hand or coughing fit. Factory records show that all examples of this type made were purchased by her until her death in 1764. The next recorded sale was in October 1765 to Princess Louise-Marie of France, youngest daughter of Louis XV. Its present whereabouts are unrecorded, and this example has a high possibility of being the goblet et soucoup enfoncé, premiere grandeur in question.

 

Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765
Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765

They were one-off products, and examples vary wildly in decoration. An example in the Getty Museum is thought to have belonged to Madame de Pompadour. It has a saucer with an unknown repairer’s mark (00), the same as on this cup. The gilding appears on numerous examples from this period, often with small inconsistencies such as can be seen in the above detail, where the gold doesn’t quite cover the ground.

The artist Chappuis ‘l’aîne’ was a long-term employee at Sèvres, being apprenticed as a répareur (maker) in 1756, became a painter in 1761, became the deputy ‘head of kilns’ in 1782 , and  in charge of the kilns for the final year of his life in 1787.

His wonderfully vivid birds are distinct amongst the Sèvres artists repertoire, and a piece such as this important  goblet et soucoup enfoncé, premiere grandeur show Sèvres at its best.

 


Provenance: The Antique Porcelain Company, NY

References:

Similar gilding can  seen on a can & saucer in the British Museum, #110 in Dawson’s book ‘French Porcelain in the British Museum’, also #112.

An écoulle, cover & stand with the same decoration was sold as part of the Giuseppe Rossi collection, Sothebys London 1999 lot 518

A coffee can & saucer with similar ground, also with birds by  Antoine-Joseph Chappuis (l’âiné), 1766,   at the Victorian & Albert Museum, South Kensington

Similar items at auction:

A cup & saucer with the same ground, very similar birds by another artist, Aloncle, 1765, at Christies London 2015.

A wonderful teapot with the same unknown repairer’s mark (00), also painted by the same artist, Antoine-Joseph Chappuis (l’âiné), 1765, sold by Bonhams London in 2014.

A cup & saucer of the same form, birds by Aloncle, 1763, sold at Christies NY 

Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765-15579
Sevres socketed cup & saucer with birds by Chappuis, 1765
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A First-Fleet connected Worcester Porcelain Discovery

For Australians, the First Fleet is the beginning of western culture and the foundation of our present society. Items connected with this remarkable period in Australia’s history are understandably scarce. Moorabool is very excited to have a fresh discovery with direct connections to Australia’s founding.

One of the most fascinating tales that can be told about  Australia is that of the founding of the British colony in 1788. Items connected to this event are extremely scarce. From a ceramic historian’s perspective, there is the remarkable Sydney Cove medallion, made by Josiah Wedgwood from clay sent back from Australia by Governor Phillip in November 1788. Phillip wrote back in July 1790, noting ‘ I return thanks for the Cup & Medallions ‘ – indicating he had already received back what could be classed as the first Australian Pottery to be made….  although the kiln & sculptors were in England! 

Sydney Cove medallion
A ‘Sydney Cove’ medallion, 1789, in the National Museum of Australia

A recent discovery from the same period shares close ties with the first years of British settlement. It’s a coffee cup & saucer, well known as a distinct product of the Chamberlains Worcester factory from the mid 1790’s. It is painted in a fresh looking pattern with ears of barley bound by a gilt bow, and with an interesting central crest featuring a seahorse.

Chamberlains Worcester coffee cup & saucer, c.1795 bearing the SHORTLAND crest for Commander John Shortland of the Alexander, one of the First Fleet ships.
Chamberlains Worcester coffee cup & saucer, c.1795 bearing the SHORTLAND crest for Commander John Shortland of the Alexander, one of the First Fleet ships.

The Seahorse crest of John Shortland
The Seahorse crest of John Shortland

This is the important part; the crest will be familiar to anyone with a knowledge of the Newcastle University, as it shares a common origin, the armorial of the Shortland family. It was chosen as the symbol for the Newcastle University in the 1950’s due to an important connection: the site of Newcastle had been explored by a certain John Shortland in 1797, while in pursuit of runaway convicts from the fledgling colony of Sydney.

This revelation led to some fascinating research. The  first thing to note is there is more than one ‘John Shortland’ to investigate, and they have been hopelessly confused with each other in the past due to their similar  stories. The Newcastle University’s adoption of the Shortland crest because of its association with the John who explored the area is one such mistake: the actual bearer of the crest was back in England at that time!

Fairbairn's Crests
from ‘Fairbairn’s Crests’ – Shortland is upper right

John Shortland Snr
John Shortland Snr

John Shortland (senior), right, was born in 1739, and died in 1803. He served in the Royal Navy  1755-90, and having proved himself a capable logistics man, in 1786 was appointed naval agent to the transports of the planned First Fleet. He was in fact the ‘man on the scene’ at Portsmouth, responsible for preparing and distributing the stores and convicts aboard the 11 vessels that made up the enterprise: Governor Phillip only arrived two days before departure! John  Shortland Snr was a senior officer on board the Alexander, a convict ship with 210 men on board.

As a part of this preparation for the adventure of a lifetime, he was able to secure appointments for his two sons, John and Thomas George Shortland. 

John Shortland jnr
John Shortland jnr

His son, John Shortland (Junior), left, was born in 1769 and also entered the Royal Navy, ending his life in a blaze of glory fighting off four French gunships in the West Indies in 1810. The post his father secured for him was that of  Master’s Mate on the HMS Sirius, which was captained by John Hunter and carried Governor Phillip.

The departing fleet in 1787 therefore included both John Shortlands. After calling in at Tenerife and Rio de Janeiro, the fleet stocked up on provisions in Cape Town, departing for the last, long leg through the inhospitable cold Southern Ocean. This was an immensely brave undertaking. A modern equivalent would be sending a colony to Mars through the vast coldness of space, into an inhospitable and little understood landscape, carrying everything that would be needed for survival for the next few years – and discovering the land was already populated by a well-established culture that would very soon prove hostile. What a remarkable adventure the Shortland’s had….

The colony of Sydney began to take shape, and a pre-planned re-supply from England was expected any moment: however, it never came. The colony was critically short of food: some of the convict transports had been contracted out by the East India Company to collect tea in China bound for England, and had already left. On 14 July 1788, the Alexander under the command of Lieutenant John Shortland Snr,  and three other ships left Sydney to make their way back to England and ensure supplies were sent back to the struggling colony. Things were so bad there was little food spare for the crew on the voyage. Two days out they parted ways, with two ships heading across the South Pacific to Rio de Janeiro, and the Alexander and the  Friendship deciding to head to the north and reach the Dutch colony of Batavia. The other two ships limped into Rio several months later, having lost many crew and with those remaining so ill they couldn’t anchor their own ships.

Track-of-the-AlexanderSM The Alexander and the Friendship made their way up the eastern Australian coastline, around the east of New Guinea, and across present day Indonesia to Batavia. This was an epic journey through unexplored waters, which Shortland was able to document in great detail in his chart, published soon after his return to England in 1789. The work is a detailed map, suitable for use by any ships that might follow that route afterwards, and the acknowledging inscription bears the name of both the father, Lieutenant John Shortland, and the compiler of the map, Thomas George Shortland. Once again, the father had obtained a position for his son on board his ship, this time his second son as second mate.   AlexanderTrackInscription

Their adventures were intense, as wracked by scurvy and illness they made their way through uncharted waters. Things came to a head when the Friendship ran aground: there simply were not enough men to maintain both ships, and so the decision was made to abandon the Friendship and consolidate the crew on the Alexander. Things got even worse, and by the time they reached the coast of Borneo, only a single crew member was fit for duty aloft other than the officers. It was at this moment they found themselves the prey of pirates, who suddenly appeared in four large row-boats and attempted to intercept the ship. A shot fired from a cannon persuaded them to give up the chase. A few days later, they found themselves just a short distance from Batavia- but with only a single man fit for work, the decision was made to drop anchor, although the crew was unable to furl their own sails. A boat with a few barely capable men set out, and were able to bring the much needed assistance of able bodied men back, and finally the Alexander limped into Batavia on 19 November 1788. By late May 1789, she was back in England, and John Shortland Snr was able to deliver the official dispatches Governor Phillip had entrusted to him, revealing the sad state of the colony. He spent his remaining time in the Royal Navy agitating within the Admiralty to ensure the colony was provided for, before retiring in 1790. He was also very interested in further exploration in Australian waters, and we can credit him for urging the Admiralty to dispatch Mathew Flinders in HMS Investigator which resulted in the first circumnavigation of Australia.    

Meanwhile, back in Sydney, John Shortland Jnr also had an exciting time. He was involved with the supply runs to Norfolk Island in the effort to keep the colony fed. In 1792, he returned to England, returning the following year to Sydney. Three  years later, he was sent in pursuit of the audacious convicts who had stolen the  Cumberland, a locally built ship described as ‘the largest and best in the colony’. John Shortland Jnr was sent in pursuit, setting out in two whaleboats. One turned back, but Shortland spent several days exploring the area around Port Stevens, returning with a rough map of the area Newcastle now stands on, and bringing a sample of coal. In a letter to his father back in England he described the Hunter (or ‘Coal’) River he had found, and stated “In a little while this river will be a great acquisition to the settlement”.

He was a member of the criminal court in Sydney, but returned to England in 1800 just in time to be a part of the Napoleonic Wars, heading to Egypt in 1800 as agent of the English troops. After various other postings, he found himself fighting the French in the West Indies, and finally in December 1809 went ‘out with a bang’ fighting as Captain of the 38-gun HMS Junon, taking on overwhelming odds of two 48-gun and two 20-gun French ships. He died of his wounds in January 1810, less than 7 years after his father, and probably before he had a chance to inherit and enjoy the family china……

It is very rarely we get to discover a piece of ceramic as infused with history as this cup & saucer.

Pieces such as this with family crests were commissioned from the factory, and used in polite society while entertaining. When coming to a conclusion about who owned this set, the most likely candidate is John Shortland Snr.

The earliest date possible for Chamberlains Worcester porcelain of this type would be 1793, more probably 1795-1800.  As John Snr had returned to England in 1790 and retired to be with his wife Elizabeth, he would have been at the right place, at the right time – with the right motive, to entertain his visitors with tales from his colourful adventures in New South Wales, all over a freshly brewed coffee…..

His son John Jnr however would have been heading back to the Colony in 1794, where he remained for several years. He had a spell in Egypt, then found himself in the West Indies fighting the French, where he met his heroic death in 1810. He never married, and ordering a fine china service was probably not on his agenda in the short spells that he was back in England. 

We conclude that this fascinating piece of ceramic history belonged to John Shortland Snr, perhaps a well-deserved retirement present for himself and his wife. It is a wonderful link to the earliest  history of our country, a prime piece to apply the maxim of ‘if only it could talk’…… Just imagine the tales it could have heard, of shipwreck, pirate attacks, strange new lands, the tropical paradises, and of the colony at Sydney Cove which John Shortland Snr could quite proudly say he was essential in creating.

The Shortland Cup & Saucer sold at the 2015 AAADA  Antiques Fair, Sydney.