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Dessert plate

Dessert plate

  • Place of origin:

    Derby (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1773 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Derby Porcelain factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 5

Object Type
The plate would have been used for eating stewed or fresh fruit, or other sweet foodstuffs, during the dessert course of a grand meal. The waved edge, elaborate enamelled decoration and lavish use of gilding are all characteristic of dessert wares of this date. This service comprised 44 pieces, and was supplied to Philip Egerton, a Cheshire landowner, in 1773.

The bill for the dessert service indicates that Egerton bought it direct from the Derby porcelain factory site for £33 8s and that the dessert plates cost 13s each. (In the mid-18th century shopkeepers and skilled craftsmen might earn around £1 a week.) Egerton paid his bill seven months after the last item was delivered. This was not unusual, and manufacturers often had to extend credit to private customers for longer periods than this. The Derby factory aimed at the top end of the market and sold most of its wares from factory showrooms in Covent Garden, London. These were handsomely fitted out, and sales were not confined to dealers, but were directed to private customers as well. The term 'warehouse' was used for both exclusive showrooms and warehouses of the modern sort, which stocked large quantities of goods and sold wholesale.

Place of Origin

Derby (made)


ca. 1773 (made)


Derby Porcelain factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilt

Marks and inscriptions

An anchor intersecting the letter D
Painted in gold


Diameter: 23.3 cm

Object history note

Made at the Derby porcelain factory

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This dessert plate is from a service bought directly from the Derby factory in 1773 by Philip Egerton of Oulton in Cheshire. The service included 24 plates, each one costing the enormous sum of 13 shillings (65p) [27/03/2003]

Production Note

A service of this pattern was bought from the Derby factory by Sir Philip Egerton in 1773


Ceramics; Porcelain


Ceramics Collection

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