This magnificent garniture was painted by John Donaldson c.1769. It is exceptionally rare to find a signature on any piece of 18th century porcelain. Donaldson included his initials JD in the foreground on each vase. Fretted square marks. Three large baluster shaped two handled vases, the largest with a cover. All decorated with an underglaze blue ground and heart shaped panels framed with intricate Rococo gilding. Each vase is painted with a figure subject after Boucher on one side and a floral subject on the reverse. Subjects after Boucher include The Birth of Bacchus, Europa and the Bull and Leda and the Swan. John Donaldson was a well known Scottish miniature painter. He was working in London until about 1768. he probably worked for Worcester on a freelance basis and was therefore permitted to sign his work. Born in Edinburgh, he worked there painting flowers, fruit, figures and landscapes before coming to London in 1760. In London he executed portraits and miniatures, and was evidently in society as he was mentioned in the London Journal of his fellow Scot James Boswell in March 1763. In 1764 and 1768 he was awarded a premium by the Society of Arts for the best picture in enamels. Worked at Chelsea, employed for painting on enamel or ivory. The decoration of many Worcester productions shows the influence of Sèvres in a generalized way, not least in the production over a long period of a series of coloured grounds in imitation of the French royal factory. The scenes chosen by Donaldson perhaps reflect his detailed knowledge of Sèvres painted vases or, at the very least, the spread of French taste across the Channel in the 1760s.When finished the large panels were framed in intricate gold scrollwork in a style typical of the factory’s own decoration – evidence that Donaldson worked at Worcester rather than in London.
|Soft paste porcelain
|Fretted square (Painted underglaze blue)
|From the collection of C.W.Dyson Perrins