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Origin: England, Middlesex, Chelsea
D; 8 1/4"; H: 1 3/16"
Porcelain, Soft-paste
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1960-510
Soft-paste porcelain plate with scalloped rim. There is a line of gilding on the rim. The plate is decorated with three exotic birds in bright overglaze enamels. The central and largest bird is standing on a rock amongst leaves. The head and neck are painted orange, the body is violet, and the wings are painted orange, white, and deep purple. The long tail feathers are violet and white. The bird on the left is perched on a tree with orange leaves. It has a yellow hood and back with purples tips on the winds and purple tail feathers. The bird on the right is perched in a tree with green leaves and orange berries. It has a blue hood and back and red-violet tips on its wings and tail feathers.

Label:The exotic bird decoration on this set of plates may have been executed in the workshop of James Giles, an independent ceramic decorator who worked in London and who was responsible for the decoration of many pieces of Chelsea, Bow, and Worcester porcelain as well as wares from other English and Chinese factories. Giles must have had painters of varying abilities working for him, for several hands are detectable in at least one of the large Chelsea services painted at his workshop. The birds painted on the cover of one of the soup tureens of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz service, ordered by King George III and Queen Charlotte for her brother, the duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, are not the same quality as those on the bowl. The service, which includes several hundred pieces, required the efforts of many artisans.

Although the "disheveled birds" are the designs most readily attributed to the Giles studio, other types of decoration--including sliced fruit, landscapes, and "Teniers figures"--have also been credited to his artists.
Provenance:Purchased from: Rober Warner Antiques, Burford, England
Mark(s):Brown anchor painted in center of reverse.