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Botanical Plate: C.9-1992

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Botanical Plate


Factory: Chelsea Porcelain Manufactory




Soft-paste porcelain Botanical Plate, painted in polychrome enamels with flowers, plants and insects

Soft-paste porcelain, moulded, glazed and painted in green, yellow, lavender blue, purple, dark brown and black enamel-colours. Circular with a slightly upturned wavy edge, sloping rim and deep curved well, standing on a footring; three spur marks on base. The front is decorated with a composition of three plants: an anemone flower, amaranthus leaves, a stem of holyhock buds, and two buds above the anemone, a seed cut in half, accompanied by three moths; a dark brown line on the edge of the rim.


History note: Dr and Mrs Hugh Statham; Dr Statham died 1967; Mrs Statham died 1970; their daughter, Miss Beryl Statham by whom lent anonymously in 1988 (Statham Loan 3-1988). Bequeathed by Miss Statham, 1990, accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Miss Statham, accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 23.3 cm
Height: 3.6 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Chelsea ⪼ Middlesex ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Allocated (1992-01-20) by H.M. Government


18th Century, Mid
George II
Red anchor period (1752-1756)
Circa 1755 CE - 1756 CE


Chelsea porcelain tablewares with botanical designs were described as decorated with 'India Plants' referring to the West Indies, rather than to the Oriental Indies as was usually the case when the Indies were referred to in the 18th century. For example, in the Chelsea Sale Catalogue of 1755, lot 36 on the second day comprised 'Twelve very fine desart plates, India plants, all different'. In 'Faulkner’s Dublin Journal' an advertisement on 1st July 1758 for a sale to be held in Dublin on 4th July and following days, described them differently as 'Table Plates, Soup Plates, and Desart Plates, enamelled from Sir Hans Sloane’s Plants'. Sloane (1660-1753), had been born in Ireland, and in 1687 had visited Jamaica. On his return he played an important role in the advancement of botanical studies, and the development of the Chelsea Physic Garden. Older publications often refer to this class of porcelain as being decorated with 'Sir Hans Sloane's Plants', although the designs were derived from works by several botanical artists. The design on this plate featuresa spray of Alcea rosea (hollyhock) buds, a flower which is not the flower of that plant, but probably an anemone, accompanied by leaves probably of the Amaranthus tricolour, as they appear pink and two shades of green on another plate of similar design. The hollyhock buds may have been derived from J.W. Weinmann, 'Phytanthoza iconographia', Regensburg, 1737-45, no. 693, and the other two plants from B. Besler, 'Hortus Eystettensis', Nuremberg, 1613, 1640 and 1713; vol. I, pl. 34 and vol. 3, pl. 339.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( green, yellow, lavender-blue, purple, dark brown and black)

Materials used in production

possibly containing some tin-oxide to render it opaiqe Glaze
Soft-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Glazing (coating) : Soft-paste porcelain, moulded, and painted overglaze in green, yellow, blue, purple, dark brown and black enamels

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.9-1992
Primary reference Number: 131198
Old loan number: Statham Loan 3-1988
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 13 October 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Botanical Plate" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-16 05:19:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Botanical Plate |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-16 05:19:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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