Some of the most delightful English porcelain ever made was manufactured in the middle of the eighteenth century at a factory in Chelsea set up by two Frenchmen, the jeweller Charles Gouyn and the silversmith Nicholas Sprimont.
Sprimont’s enterprise – and the skill of the craftsmen he employed – helped to establish English soft paste alongside the great European porcelain manufactures of Meissen and Sevres; and the figures and wares he produced now fetch thousands of pounds at auction.
Elizabeth Adams charts the progress of Sprimont’s venture and describes in detail the wares now known as Chelsea. Meticulous research into contemporary manuscripts and catalogues has enabled her to reconstruct the history of the Chelsea porcelain factory, from its setting up in c. 1744 to its final destruction in 1784, some fifteen years after Sprimont himself ceased to be associated with it.
The combination of history and catalogue detail, together with over 200 illustrations, enables the reader to appreciate fully Sprimont’s achievement and identify individual pieces. Chelsea collectors, English porcelain enthusiasts and lovers of beautiful objects will all appreciate this well-documented record of an art form that fascinates by its fragility, scarcity and brilliance.