Feb 10, 2016
Feb 16, 2016

Plate from Dessert Service: Polyanthus

Plate from Dessert Service: Polyanthus

c. 1800

Part of a set. See all set records


Diameter: 23.6 cm (9 5/16 in.); Overall: 3.4 cm (1 5/16 in.)

Bequest of Mrs. Severance A. Millikin 1989.189.11



Each dish is decorated with recognizable plants, the names of which are inscribed on the base in both Latin and English. Identifying the blossoms only became customary in the late 18th century when a single piece of porcelain was decorated with one species, and flowers were represented along with leaves, stems, seed pods, and roots. All of this reflects Carolus Linnaeus’s recent invention of a scientific method to categorize all known flora. The decorations on the Derby factory’s products derive from contemporary English botanical publications. For instance, illustrations in William Curtis’s The Botanical Magazine served as models for the French marigold and nettle-leaved bell flower on the dessert service.

See also
Decorative Arts
Type of artwork: 

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