G049 An 18th Century English Chinoiserie Pearlware Printed Accent Lamp - Circa 1790

"Collect things you love, that are authentic to you and your house becomes your story."  Erin Flett.

A very rare, 18th century, English Chinoiserie, blue and white, transfer printed, pearlware, accent lamp, or task light of slender baluster form.  The lamp with an early, mid blue print known as “The Nankin” (sic) pattern, the design based on an original Chinese source and one of the earliest English copies of a Chinese landscape to be transfer printed in blue.

The lamp printed in full with Chinese pagodas, houses, trees and small boats in a watery landscape.  The print includes two little Chinese figures in relief.  This same print repeated on the reverse side of the lamp.  The shoulder of the lamp with an elaborately printed border of lozenge, butterflies and Chinese ruyi sceptre shapes. 

The border print known as the Fitzhugh pattern, originally found on Chinese blue and white porcelain of the last quarter of the 18th century.  The origin of the pattern is unknown, but it is generally accepted that it was designed for a Chinese export service, ordered by an English family of this name.

C1780 - C1800 The Chinoiserie Period

Printed pottery was invented in England during the last quarter of the 18th century at a period when the Staffordshire potters could see see their market share was being lost to imported Chinese blue and white porcelain.  It was these conditions that provided the stimulus and drive for competition from the ever resourceful Staffordshire potters.

It was a resurgent time of development and design which required the skill of copper plate engravers, printers and those with the skill of handling the transfers, specialist skills required for the production of blue and white printed pottery.  The market was familiar with the Chinese style of decoration and it is therefore not surprising that Chinese wares were used for inspiration with original Chinese designs being either copied or adapted by the copper plate engravers.

These English prints in Chinese style are referred to as Chinoiserie and this early lamp base is a product of this c1780 - c1800 Chinoiserie period.  These new printed shapes gained immediate acceptance from both the British and American markets.  By example, Thomas Jefferson’s dining room at Monticello is known to have used table services of English pearlware.

The lamp seated in an antique Chinese, openwork, black lacquered stand.  The custom made, bronze lamp cap, matte gold plated.  This is a very charming 18th century, blue and white accent lamp that would work particularly well placed near other blue and white.  18th century English blue and white, transfer printed lamps are difficult to acquire.

Pearlware:- Pearlware was introduced by Josiah Wedgwood in 1779 as an improvement to his Queen’s ware, a creamware named in honour of Queen Charlotte.  The glaze contained a small percentage of cobalt oxide which gave the glazed shape a bluish white cast, reminiscent of the surface of a natural pearl.

Accent Lamps -: Accent lamps are designed to produce a mood, a look or feel in a room, rather than providing a major source of light in a space.  In general, an accent lamp is a relatively small lamp, with usually no more than a maximum height of about 20"/50cm including the lamp shade.  Accent lamps also serve as decorative accents within a room. 

The name “accent lamp” is derived from the word “accentuate”, meaning to emphasize something, or to make something more noticeable.  Accent lamps, by example, can be used on a writing desk, a mantle piece, or side table.  The lamp shown with an ivory silk shade suggestion.

As a detail, please see the late 18th century engraving of the English potter's work shop.

George III - Circa 1790 

Overall height (including shade) 18"/46cm approx

The lamp wired with a 25w lamp holder.

Lamps shipped to the US and UK are wired to US and UK specifications

The lamp shade shown is for photography purposes only.


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Category: 18th century accent lamp antique english lamp antique lamp baluster shaped lamp blue and white English English table lamp Fitzhugh border lamps pearlware rare Staffordshire printed ware table lamps


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