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Davenport Longport : Staffordshire (c. 1793-1887)

Pieces from the Coronation dessert service 1830-31

Stone china | RCIN 5000062

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  • William IV commissioned three services for his coronation in 1830; from Flight, Barr and Barr of Worcester, the Bramelds' Rockingham Works and Henry and William Davenport's factory at Longport, Staffordshire. There was some competition between the factories to be first to complete their services and the Davenport dessert service, despite some anxious moments expressed by the owners, seems to be the first to have been delivered.

    The design and decoration of all the coronation services made use of national emblems or royal coats of arms but Davenport's was the most subtle with a bouquet consisting of a red and a white rose, a shamrock, thistle and leek, tied with a 'Union Riband' at the centre of each plate, dish and comport. According to a letter from John Davenport to his son of November 1830, the King 'wished the flowers as he had got Arms and Crowns enough on his other Setts - and that he wanted something more like the old Seve as ours was'.

    In 1830 designs were submitted to the King's secretary Sir Herbert Taylor. John Davenport took great pains to ensure the highest standards, examining each trial piece before writing at length of its imperfections to his sons. The flower painting in the reserves (including roses, tulips, paeonies and auriculas), as well as the emblematic bouquets in the centres, was carried out by one Gould, probably the factory's chief flower painter.

    Now comprising 104 dessert plates, 6 round, 7 rectangular, 4 oval and 8 shell-shaped comports, 3 covered comports, 5 fruit baskets, 3 ice pails and a 3-tier centrepiece.

    Measurements: Dessert plates 2.3 x 25.5, circular comports 11.8 x 33.0 x 27.8 and 29.0 x 29.5, rectangular comports 12.0 x 34.0 x 23.2, oval comports 36.0 x 31.8 x 25.5, shell shape comports 11.8 x 29.8 x 29.9, circular comport and covers 29.3 x 21.0, flower baskets 26.0 x 31.5 x 31.5, ice pails and covers 40 x 32 x 28.5, centrepiece 67.3 x 36.3 x 36.8 cm 
    Provenance

    Commissioned by William IV in 1830 for his coronation and delivered the following year. Four further plates acquired by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991 and 1996.

  • Medium and techniques

    Stone china

  • Category