Friday, 1 February 2013

Chelsea Sprig Pattern 1860- 1900s.

With many mudlarking months under my belt, I now realise that the Thames chooses to give up shards from the same object over time, sometimes several months apart. 

When I  fancy unearthing the story behind a fragment I rifle through my trove, pulling out all examples of type. Often it’s only then I realise two shards slot together or are so close in design or form I conclude they must originate from the same thing. 

These first two were found six weeks apart. Whilst worn differently, I suspect they’re from the same cup.
Mudlarking Finds: Chelsea Sprig Pattern
They aren’t the most refined pieces but are full of aspiration with their relief blue posey sprigs, echoing Wedgewoods Jasperware.

Two of the next lot I suspect are from the same shiny plate. This time the sprigs, still with the flowery theme, bleeding slightly under the glaze. The companion piece feathery and herbaceous.
Mudlarking Finds: Chelsea Sprig plate shards
Several different names are attached to this genre, ‘Chelsea Sprig’, ‘Granmother’s ware’, Chelsea pattern’, ‘Aynsley’. The sprigs tend to be flowers, thistles or vines and grapes. 
Mudlarking Find: Chelsea thistle sprig. 
This stuff was churned out by many different potteries in the Victorian era between 1860- 1900s, perhaps even later. Almost exclusively sold by ebay and seemingly shunned by the antiques sites suggesting they were cheap and mass produced wares for the middle and working classes, unsought after and not collected – still it must have been quite tricky getting those clay relief bits to stick. 
Chelsea Grape Sprig 1900 (Postrex) 
Chelsea Pattern (Betty Ann Antiques).

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