A large proportion of the thirty-eight pieces currently attributed to the 'A'-marked class of porcelains are slip-cast fluted cups that may be separated into eight distinct stock patterns. Five examples are recorded with this style of flower and insect decoration, three in the collection of the Duke of Northumberland at Alnwick and illustrated by R.J. Charleston & J.V.G. Mallet, 'A Problematical Group of Eighteenth-century Porcelains', E.C.C. Transactions, Vol. 8, Pt.1 (1971), p. 90 and Pl. 84 (c), one apparently with an incised 'A' mark, each however has a plain loop handle and the addition of a band of watery gilding above the footrim. The present example, although with similar painting, has a more sophisticated loop handle with a cusp and a kick to the lower terminal and no gilding about the foot. The fifth example of this type, formerly in the possession of Dr. Geoffrey Godden is illustrated by him in Eighteenth Century English Porcelain (1985), pp. 369-70, Pls. 316 & 317. It has been suggested that these were originally part of sets although no saucers have been recorded.
The problem of attribution of this class of porcelains has been the subject of debate since they were first identified as a separate class in 1937. Recent scholarship suggests that they may belong to the earliest wares produced by Heylyn & Frye at or near Bow in about 1744; see W.H.R. Ramsay, A. Gabszewicz & E.G. Ramsay, ''Unaker' or Cherokee Clay and its relationship to the 'Bow' Porcelain Manufactory, E.C.C. Transactions, Vol. 17, Pt. 3 (2001), pp. 474-499, where the authors conclude that whoever was making the 'A' marked wares were closely replicating Heylyn & Frye's 1744 patent. A further paper by the same authors 'The Chemistry of the 'A'-Marked Porcelain and its relation to the Heylyn and Frye Patent of 1744' to be published in the E.C.C. Transactions, Vol. 18, Pt. 2 (2003) discusses the marked similarity in stylistic features, mineralogy and chemistry between the 'A' marked wares and those known to have been manufactured at Bow; they conclude that the 'A' marked class most probably represent the earliest porcelains made in England, circa 1744-45.
Cf. Two further fluted cups of this class, one from the W.W. Winkworth collection, were sold in these Rooms on 25 November 1991, lots 86 & 87.