These vegetable tureens are from the earliest Royal service made at Worcester c.1770, for William Henry, Duke of Gloucester, brother of George III. On the base is a gold crescent mark which denoted only very special services. The bounty of ripe fruit depicted on the tureens and the rich gilding gives a sense of luxury in keeping with the status of the person they were made for.
This pair were purchased by Charles Dyson Perrins, the founder of the Museum, at the 1904 sale of the Duke of Cambridge collection at Christies which listed seventy pieces from the service. The Duke of Cambridge inherited the service as a descendant of the Duke of Gloucester.
Each piece in the service is painted with different groups of fruit and small insects by an artist known as the Spotted Fruit Painter. Most 18th century artists at the Worcester factory are unknown but where some have been given nicknames like this based on a recognisable style. The Spotted Fruit Painter used bright colours and dark spots of colour to represent blemishes and shading on the fruit. The detail and variety of the fruit and insects painted on these items are designed to show off the skill of the artist.
Artist: Spotted Fruit Painter
Material: Soft paste porcelain
Factory: Dr Wall