The other day, one of our visitors told me we had a piece of Blind Earl porcelain in our museum and also politely pointed out it didn’t have a label. We asked the experts at the Ashmolean to delve into its past.
It’s a dessert plate made by Worcester Porcelain. The pattern was introduced in 1760 and plates like these were included in the 1769 catalogue. Technically, it’s made from a material called steatite, which is similar to porcelain but has a lower working temperature and is therefore easier to form.
Much later, the style became known as Blind Earl, a reference to the sixth Earl of Coventry who was blinded in a hunting accident. A service from 1815 in this pattern still survives at Croome Court, the home of the Earls of Coventry.
Our plate features a relief pattern of rose leaves and is in superb condition. It’s in the exhibition of 18th Century ceramics, displayed on the first floor of the museum. A label is being prepared.
See you soon.