A rare Derby porcelain botanical dessert plate decorated by William Billingsley c.1793. Finely painted with a ''Tradescantia Virginica, Virginian Tradescantia or Spiderwort''
The flower specimens are taken from William Curtis' The Botanical Magazine. The border finely decorated with a continuous band of roses and wreath between two gilt bands.
William Curtis was an 18th century Englishman who devoted his life to the study of botanicals. The arrival of exotic botanical specimens to Europe prompted a demand for detailed and accurate information concerning the new plants. The Botanical Magazine or Flower-Garden Display'd, later known as Curtis' Botanical Magazine, was issued in a small format, in monthly installments. Each installment arrived wrapped in blue papers and contained three hand-colored botanical illustrations with text describing each plant and its attributes. The first issue of the Botanical Magazine was published February 1787 and was an immediate success. It is considered to be the first horticultural magazine
For a similar botanical plate, see Franklin Barrett and Arthur Thorpe's book on Derby porcelain, plate 139 where they comment that the flower border can confidently be attributed to Billingsley but the centre is painted in a completely different style.
The factory mark, pattern number '142' and the plant name is painted in blue enamel to the reverse. Gilders mark 19.
Condition: Some surface wear to the painting and gilding as shown but no other damage or restoration. This makes a superb study example and reference piece.
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