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Brief description

Spoon tray made from porcelain, transfer-printed in underglaze blue with a pattern of a Chinese pagoda and other buildings in a landscape, on a white ground with gilded decoration, thought to have been made in Europe c.1750-1800.

Object name

spoon tray

Object number



Temp Exhib Space

Production date

c.1750-1800 (manufactured)

Production place

Europe (manufactured)


Georgian (1714-1837)


soft paste porcelain


transfer printed

Physical description

Spoon tray made from porcelain, probably soft-paste, with a transfer-printed blue design and gilded decoration. The spoon tray is oval with a ridge on the rim. The rim has a band of gilding. The central reserve includes a landscape scene with a large pagoda to the right of the composition, and trees by some water, with rocks and an island with a small building on the right-hand side. On the rim, there is a running border in blue and white with foliate patterns, framed by lines of gilding. There is a gilded running foliate design around the edge of the central reserve, which overlaps the transfer-printed design.


Height: 2.2cm
Width: 14.4cm
Depth: 11.3cm

Website keywords

serving drink
tea, coffee and chocolate drinking

Object history note

The spoon tray was acquired with a tea service manufactured by Caughley, or the Salopian works, c.1780 (108/2005-1 to -37), as a 'similar Chinese blue and white spoon tray'. The other items in the service have painted marks, and more consistent decoration with the 'Temple' pattern. The spoon tray has looser underglaze decoration, with a broader band of gilding over the blue and white pattern than the other pieces in the Caughley set. Following its examination in 2009 by Stacey Pierson, Lecturer in Chinese Ceramics at SOAS, University of London, description has been amended as it was suggested that this item is made from soft-paste rather than hard-paste porcelain, making it more likely to be of European manufacture; however, it is very unlikely to be a Caughley piece.


Stacey Pierson, Lecturer in Chinese Ceramics at SOAS, University of London, examined this object on 29 September 2010 as part of the Stories of the World project. She noted that this spoon tray was definitely not produced in China, as records previously suggested. The tray appears to be soft-paste rather than hard-paste porcelain, which would indicate that it is of European manufacture. For a full transcript of the notes from this examination, see the object's history file.
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