The Shrewsbury Service

 

H & R Daniel

 

Makers of the finest late Regency Porcelain

 

THE SHREWSBURY SERVICE

 

When is a total of 48 on a snooker table better than a 147?

Answer: when the 48 are pieces of the original H&R Daniel service made for the Earl of Shrewsbury.

 

Recently this website’s editors, David & Tony Shaw, and accompanied by that well known Daniel aficionado Reg Turner, were invited to visit the home of a Yorkshire collector of porcelain who also had (to quote) ‘some items of ceramics that had been made by Henry & Richard Daniel that we may like to see’.

After our arrival at an ‘off the beaten track’ farm we were then cordially invited into an adjoining farm building, and on entering the door we were, for several minutes, rendered completely speechless.

What lay before us on a full size snooker table were rows of Second Gadroon tableware that were part of the original service produced by Henry and Richard Daniel for the Earl of Shrewsbury. Words cannot describe our shock and astonishment.

Slowly, our amazement of what lay before us was replaced by excitement at the prospect of being allowed, not only to inspect this magnificent collection, but also permitted to handle, photograph and record these unique items; a privilege that any collector of fine Daniel porcelain would surely envy.

The images that we recorded, and only a few of which are shown below, hardly do justice to the perfection of the workmanship and enormity of the display, but hopefully may provide just a hint at how the entire service must have appeared when displayed on the Earl’s dining table.

 

The following illustrations are from, and with the very kind permission of, The Samco Collection of Yorkshire.

 

David and Reg; after the initial shock and awe of the spectacle came the privilege of handling these superb pieces.

Additional pictures for this update

Left, one of two plates in the collection, together with the basket shown below, were of the 'Shrewsbury, shape, all other pieces were 'Second Gadroon'

This well known, but nevertheless rare, H&R Daniel backstamp was found on all the pieces in the collection.

Something for the academics

Prior to the Daniel Factory getting the contract for the superb Shrewsbury Service, it fell to Bloor Derby. Below are two plates which are both backstamped with the Bloor Derby mark. You will note from the second picture that the Earls Coronet has been painted out. A book published in 1876 makes reference to these pieces.

The image on the right shows the crest having been over-painted to now show a cherry and leaves. This change in decoration is only evident when the plate is subjected to a very strong back-light.

 

In his book published in 1829 Simeon Shaw wrote:

 

Early in 1827, Messrs. Daniel completed for the Earl of Shrewsbury, different services of porcelain of the most, brilliant and costly kind ever manufactured in the district, and probably more than twice the value of any private order ever received here. The extent of the order convincing the manufacturers, that it was his Lordship's noble and patriotic purpose to stimulate their ingenuity, in making the several articles as specimens of the perfection to which the porcelain manufacture is arrived; they acted under this excitement, and the result was, that the productions would well compare with the choicest specimens of European Porcelain.

The Table Services embraced every species of article to which modern luxury has assigned a purpose and a name: and on their several grounds of Pink and of Green, the highest style of embellishment which ingenuity could devise and art execute was employed to produce a splendid yet tasteful tout ensemble.

The centres of the plateaus have three large Vases, modelled with a degree of excellence in execution, and of justness in design, that are alike creditable to the ability of the workman and the principals, and well adapted to secure the need of praise from all persons capable of judging of the intrinsic merits of these splendid specimens; and in the elegance of their ornaments in the several departments of chasing, gilding, flower, landscape, and figure enamellings, we are not aware that they have ever been even equalled, not to say excelled, on British Porcelain.

Images of Alton Towers that are contemporary with the Tableware.

 

Left: View of Alton Towers and the Picture Gallery.

Below: View of the Terrrace

Right: The first public luncheon held by the Earl of Shrewsbury at Alton Towers.

Copyright © 2013 Tony and David Shaw. All rights reserved.

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