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  • Place of origin:

    Shropshire (made)
    London (painted)

  • Date:

    1806 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Baxter, Thomas, born 1782 - died 1821 (painter (artist))
    Coalport Porcelain Factory (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamel colours

  • Credit Line:

    Acquired with funds from the bequest of Capt. Murray

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 11

Object Type
This typical porcelain dinner plate is of the standard shape made at the Coalport factory, but here used purely as a medium on which to display the all-over enamel decoration.

Thomas Baxter Junior received his artistic training in London, to where his family had moved in 1797, setting up a decorating studio near Fleet Street where blanks of Chinese, French and Coalport porcelain were painted and re-sold. Influenced by Henry Fuseli at the Royal Academy school, Baxter specialised in figures but could turn his talents to any subject.

Unlike most ceramic decorators who attempted portraits of famous people, Baxter had first-hand knowledge of his subject through Admiral Lord Nelson's personal patronage and through visits to the home of Nelson and Lady Hamilton at Merton in Surrey. Recent research has identified one of Baxter's drawings of Lady Hamilton as the model for 'Britannia' unveiling the bust of Nelson on this Coalport plate.

The Baxter enamelling studio was undoubtedly the leading establishment of its day, the quality of painting coming close to that achieved by Continental factories during the early 19th century. It also played an important part in training the next generation of decorators.

Place of Origin

Shropshire (made)
London (painted)


1806 (made)


Baxter, Thomas, born 1782 - died 1821 (painter (artist))
Coalport Porcelain Factory (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Hard-paste porcelain, painted in enamel colours


Height: 2.6 cm, Diameter: 24 cm

Object history note

Painted and signed by Thomas Baxter Junior (born in Worcester, 1782, died in London, 1821)
Made at the Coalport factory, Shropshire; painted in the London workshop of Thomas Baxter Senior

Descriptive line

plate - Britannia / Emma Hamilton unveiling bust of Nelson

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

John Sandon, The Regency Decorators of Worcester, International Ceramic Fair and Seminar Handbook, London, 1991, pp. 34-35 discusses the plate and illustrates Baxter's original drawings.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The scene shows Britannia mourning Nelson and celebrating his victories. This plate was shown in Thomas Baxter Junior's watercolour of his father's workshop, dated 1810. The watercolour was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1811. [27/03/2003]

Production Note

Dated 1806


Ceramics; British Galleries; A Year of Objects: October, Trafalgar Day


Ceramics Collection

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