Porcelain: From Chinoiserie to Brown Betty

The British and European appetite for beautifully designed porcelain had been well and truly whetted, with Chinese artisans enjoying great popularity in the west, first with designs purely of Chinese influence, and then with ‘western’ design competing directly with the burgeoning western manufacturing.

The mid-18th century however saw the re-emergence of European appetite for Chinese designs and, married with western production methods that could now compete with those of China, the Chinoiserie movement was born. In fact, the style extended not just to the decorative arts, but to garden design, architecture and beyond.

European manufacturers imitated and interpreted Chinese designs and traditions. Pieces from this movement are characterised by a quite romanticised ideal of Chinese decoration – the famous Willow being one example of a popular pattern - with subject matter often around leisure and pleasure – the European vision of typical Chinese culture!

Soon the majority of British demand was being met by the new English manufacturers in Staffordshire such as Royal Worcester, and by the mid-1800s as few as 5000 pieces of Chinese porcelain arrived in England each year.

The English pottery business was booming. The ginger jar for storage of the increasingly popular and once-exotic root for cookery became a common item. The ‘Brown Betty’ teapot was also created at this time and became a favourite in every household.

All of this routed in and made possible by the foresight shown by the men of The East India Company in first trading porcelain with the Chinese.


Halcyon Days Antler Trellis Midnight Tea for One

Handmade in England in the heart of the famous Potteries, a beautifully decorated 24-carat gilded fine bone china teapot, cup & saucer set from Halcyon Days. With their iconic antler trellis design, in ivory.

The East India Company - Lifestyle

The Antler Trellis collection takes inspiration from the awe-inspiring domed ceiling lined with antlers found at Scotland's Gordon Castle. Crafted from English fine bone china and gilded with 24 carat gold, it is decorated with stag antlers that emulate and were inspired by the stag antlers that once lined the domed ceiling at Gordon Castle.

This Antler Trellis Tea-for-One is decorated with a gold mica trellis and is a regal and luxurious addition to any afternoon tea set. The perfect partner for our Royal Flush Tea.
Using the right brewing equipment, cups or mugs is a further essential part of the tea equation. We seek out and curate the best examples that create the right experiences for our teas. This classic Tea-for-One from Halcyon Days is a wonderful addition to our small but perfectly formed range of accessories.
Halcyon Days Antler Trellis Midnight Tea for One

Colour: Midnight
Dimensions Cup: 10, 14, 12cm
Dimensions Saucer: Diameter 169mm × Height 22mm
Dimensions Teapot: Length: 126mm × Width: 102mm × Height: 118mm
Materials: Fine Bone China


Made by Halcyon Days in England.
About Halcyon Days

Established in 1950, Halcyon Days began as a small emporium of antique gifts in Avery Row, Mayfair, London. Now with head office in Knightsbridge and manufacturing in the famous Potteries, tradition is at the heart of everything that Halcyon Days does. As the modern specialist guardian of enamelling, highly skilled craftsmen and master artists employ refined techniques that have been handed down for generations.

With a belief in promoting, cherishing, developing and maintaining British craftsmanship and manufacturing, Halcyon Days is now also known for its English fine bone china and fashion accessories, establishing itself as the destination for luxury gifts.


Porcelain: From China to Europe

The Chinese have been crafting porcelain for over 1000 years before The East India Company even arrived in China in 1637, when their east-west trading began. The opportunity was clear and up to the start of the 18th century, traditional shapes were modified for western demand, whilst retaining traditional Chinese decorations and patterns.

This porcelain was brought back to London by The East India Company pioneers and was very popular amongst wealthy customers who had some involvement with the Company, such as London merchants, ship captains, governors, and politicians.

Into the 18th century, now instead of complementing the European market with distinctive Chinese designs, China started to compete directly with European manufacturers, making goods entirely according to western specification, in both shape and now pattern. European families might order entire dinner services emblazoned with their own coat of arms.

Tea exports from China were booming. Porcelain production too.
The two mighty commodities came together in the form of the first porcelain teapots - the East India Company started to commission Chinese designers to create teapots in porcelain, because of the durability compared to what was available in England. A longer spout that better met tea drinking habits of the Europeans changed the design of the small clay teapots that had been created in China 200 years before.

Much is made of the East India Company’s discovery and importation of porcelain from China, yet for most of the eighteenth century it made up no more than 2% of the total annual value of the Company’s China trade.

But it was the catalyst for the British porcelain industry, which was about to take off, with consequent decline in imports from China.

What happened next? See our Story ‘Porcelain: From Chinoiserie to the Brown Betty’.

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  • FAQ

    Is this product dishwasher safe?
    No. Fine bone china items decorated with precious metals should always be hand washed, and never placed in a dishwasher.

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