The fluidity of form and decoration of this coffee-pot encapsulates Nicholas Spirmont's skill as a silversmith and designer. The lobed shape and applied flowers may derive from a silver or metalware prototype, perhaps echoing similar silver repoussé designs. Severne Mackenna suggested that the form may be derived from a silver design published in Plukenet's Phytographia in 1691.1 The baluster shape and domed cover also echo porcelain and metalware forms made for the Turkish market, while the scrolling handle and shaped spout are more typical of the European rococo style. This fusion of Eastern and Western elements is particularly striking when viewed in white undecorated porcelain although Chelsea also produced an enamelled version of this design.2 Interestingly this design was used on a variety of coffee (or chocolate) wares including beakers, saucers, sugar-bowls and cream-jugs but it does not appear to have been used for teabowls. For a sugar-bowl and cover of this type see World's End Exhibition, Chelsea, Old Chelsea, 25 - 29 May 1948, no. 10 (Mackenna Collection). A coffee-pot and cover of the same type is illustration by Simon Spero, The Bowles Collection of 18th Century English and French Porcelain, San Francisco, 1996, cat. no. 1. Spero also illustrates a coffee-pot of the same form with a replacement ivory handle from the Lady Reigate Collection, see Simon Spero Exhibition 2002, English and French Porcelain 1740-1780, October 2002, London, Kensington Church Street, cat. no. 1. See also the example illustrated by John C. Austin, Chelsea Porcelain at Williamsburg, Williamsburg V.A., 1978, pl. 15. A small number of coffee-pots have appeared at auction including: an example sold in these Rooms on 2 November 1998, lot 76; another sold in these Rooms on 28 June 1993, lot 245; an example from the Rous Lench Collection, sold in these Rooms on 30 May 1990, lot 319 and another formerly in the Parkinson Collection sold twice in these Rooms on 6 June 1988, lot 204 and 5 June 1978, lot 135.
1. F. Severne Mackenna, Chelsea Porcelain and the Raised Anchor Wares, London, 1948, p. 26, and see also pl. 4, fig. 9 for a coffee-pot formerly in M.G. Kaufman's collection.
2. See William King, Chelsea Porcelain of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1922, pl. 7, for an enamelled coffee-pot also bearing the triangle mark.