Summary

Eight piece blue and gilt tea and coffee service, manufactured in Continental Europe, probably Czechoslovakia, circa 1850-1880. Though Bohemian in origin it gives the impression of being of French or German manufacture. However close examination of the gilding, glazing and decorative work reveal otherwise. It was purchased by John Twycross at the Melbourne International Exhibition, held at the (Royal) Exhibition Building, Melbourne from 1 October 1880 to 30 April 1881. Following the Exhibition the service was a display piece, and was passed down through the Twycross family to one of the great-grandsons of John Twycross who donated it to the museum.

Physical Description

Black fabric covered case with metal handle on the top, two metal latches at the front and four metal feet on the base. The interior of the case is lined with white/cream coloured fabric. There is a depression on the interior of the lid for the tray of the service which is held in position by a lip and moveable fabric covered arms. There are five fabric lined depressions in the interior of the base in which the remaining seven items of the service (two cups, two saucers, a coffee/tea pot, sugar bowl and milk jug) are housed. There is a thin cushion covered in fabric with a small fabric rosette in the centre, used as packaging. The service porcelain with glaze and overglaze decorations. The decorated surfaces feature a dark blue glaze, gilded edges and borders and an illustrated panels featuring landscapes and cherubic figures.

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