Regarded as one of the earliest pieces of Worcester porcelain in existence, this cream boat is renowned for the unique mark WIGORNIA embossed on its base. Wigornia is a Latin name for Worcester and is used here to mark the item as produced at the newly founded Worcester Porcelain Manufactory. This venture was established in 1751 by medical man Dr John Wall with apothecary William Davis and 13 investors.
During the 1750s everything Chinese was at the height of fashion. This was part of the new frivolous and eccentric style known as the Rococo, which combined orientalist designs with French opulence. Oriental-style designs were used to decorate finely moulded shapes, which were copied from English and French silver. Wealthy homes used costly silver sauceboats and silver cream jugs. The Wigornia Cream Boat would have been used during a dessert course to serve cream sweetened with sugar over fruit – both sugar and fruit were costly luxuries that few could afford.
This cream boat was probably made at Worcester after the purchase of the Bristol factory and its moulds in 1752. The factory distinguised between milk jugs and cream ewers in the price list of the London Warehouse c. 1755-6. Milk jugs were ’round and press’d’ while cream ewers were ‘ribb’d and panel’d’. The two principal shapes of creamboats were hexagonal like this one (‘panel’d’) or oval with vertical fluting (‘ribb’d’).
Inside the Cream Boat the inspiration from China continues as there a number of Buddhist precious objects painted, tied with red ribbons to signify good luck and importance.
Material: Soft paste porcelain
Factory: Dr Wall