An Impressive Pair of Monumental Chamberlain’s Worcester Semi-Matte Vermillion Ground Covered Vases
Height: 33" Width: 15" Depth: 13.5"
Inventory Number 8461-186
Each lid with urn form reeded knobs above bands of gilt floral guilloche and acanthus leaved, above a raised Greek key border; the vases finely painted, en grisaille, with oval three quarter length portraits of Milton and Shakespeare enclosed in gilt laurel leaf swags, among finely executed grape vines and bunches of blackberries; the reverse with polychrome painting of a medieval castle on a hill and a Tudor home, all set on white ground; the lower portion of the vases with deeply molded gadrooning over a spiral fluted foot, raised on concave-sided square plinth bases and having partial gilt bearded mask loop handles. Bearing factory inscriptions, in brown ink, to both lids.
EXHIBITED: The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, London, 1851.
ILLUSTRATED: Hall of Industry of all Nations Catalogue, Crystal Palace Exhibition, 1851. Godden, Geoffrey; Chamberlain’s Worcester Porcelain 1788-1852, page 306.
The Great Exhibition of 1851 is often cited as being the first true international exhibition of manufactured goods. Organized by multiple committees and spearheaded by Prince Albert, it was held in a purpose built structure, The Crystal Palace, which was erected in Hyde Park and attracted visitors from around the world. It has been speculated that the unique ground color, seen in the present pair of covered vases, was developed by Chamberlain’s factory in honor of a fellow Worcester based company, The Lea and Perrins Worchestershire Sauce Company. While Chamberlain’s factory probably did not have its own stand at the Great Exhibition, they did provide multiple items for various stands and it is believed that these vases were used to decorate the Lea and Perrins Sauce Company’s display in The Crystal Palace.