An 18th Century Chinese Export Porcelain Spoon Tray, Probably Decorated at the Workshop of James Giles.
An 18th century Chinese export porcelain spoon tray enamelled in London c.1755-1765, probably by James Giles or his workshop. The enamel decoration of garden flowers is over the moulded Chinese design.
In very good condition, a small shallow chip/glaze chip to the edge. Some light staining.
Length : 12.8 (5 inches).
The Geoffrey Godden Collection of English Decorated Chinese Export Porcelain.
Exhibited and published : The Early James Giles and his Contemporary London Decorators (Stephen Hanscombe, Stockspring Antiques, 2008. ISBN 095501592-8) page 68 plate 48.
This type of English enamel decoration on Chinese export porcelain should be seen in a different way to what is referred to as `over-decorated` or `clobbered` porcelain. Those terms refer to Chinese porcelain that was imported into Europe as finished articles, but were either too plain for merchants to sell or their profits could be enhanced by adding enamels over the existing Chinese decoration. The present example was plain white when it arrived in England, it would not have been salable and so no merchant would have ordered it to retail. However, James Giles must have ordered allot of white porcelain specifically for decoration at his workshop in London. The shapes ordered were the lasted fashion in Europe as was the decoration he added. To my mind this makes these objects separate and distinct from other Chinese porcelain, China only provided the blank `canvas` and even that was of a form dictated to by Europe. For this reason these objects could primarily be see as English, they would have been totally alien to the Chinese.