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English Creamware Giles Decorated Creamware Pottery Basket, Attributed to Melbourne, Circa 1775.

English Creamware Pottery Basket,

Attributed to Melbourne, South Derbyshire,

James Giles Decoration,

Circa 1775.

The fine Melbourne creamware oval basket has a scalloped rim with alternating panels of pierced and mosaic gilt decoration, the well with a gilded fancy bird between trees, decorated in the atelier of James Giles.

Dimensions: 3 inches high x 9 3/4 inches wide x 6 3/4 inches deep (7.52 cm high x 24.77 cm wide x 7.15cm)

Reference: Creamware, Donald Towner, page 111, pl. 508 for a similar plate wth similar decoration.

James Giles: China and glass Painter (1718-80), Stephen Hanscombe,  Page 99 for a colour plate of a plate from this service and pages 128-129, #129 for a different creamware plate from the same service with the attribution made on basis of the mosaic panels and the shape of the leaves in the groundwork.  The plate now in The Museum of Worcester Porcelain

Melbourne is a former market town and civil parish in South DerbyshireEngland.

 It is about 8 miles (13 km) south of Derby, 8 miles (13 km) north of Swadlincote and 2 miles (3 km) from the River Trent . In 1837 a then tiny settlement in Australiawas named after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount MelbourneQueen Victoria's first Prime Minister, and thus indirectly takes its name from the village.


James Giles (1718–1780) was a decorator of WorcesterDerbyBow and Chelsea porcelain and also glass, who created gilt and enamelled objects such as decanters, drinking-glasses, perfume bottles and rosewater sprinklers, for a rococo and neoclassical market.

Producing work similar to the enameling done by the later Ralph and William Beilby of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he maintained a showroom in fashionable Cockspur Street in London, enjoying the patronage of royalty and affluent clients including Clive of India, the Duke of NorthumberlandPrincess Amelia (the second daughter of George II), Thomas Pitt, the Duke of Marlborough, the painter George Stubbs and Horace Walpole

His father, also James Giles, was of a Huguenot family named 'Gilles', from Nîmes. James senior was recorded in 1729 as being a 'China Painter' and living in London. His son, Abraham, was recorded in the same year as being apprenticed to Philip Margas, of the Glass Sellers' Company, whereas James junior was indentured in 1733 to John Arthur, a jeweller at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

About 1756 he rented a workshop with a kiln in Kentish Town and by 1763 had moved on to Berwick Street. A few years later he started a showroom in the Arts Museum in Cockspur Street, opposite the Haymarket, seemingly with the support of the Worcester porcelain factory. When his collaboration with Worcester ended in 1771, he moved to an address in the same street at the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square.

Giles bought his undecorated porcelain and glass from a large number of sources, resulting in glassware of great variety in shape, size and colour, in turn leading to an enormous diversity of bijouterie for the luxury trade. He advertised widely, strangely failing to mention his glassware in the many notices that were placed in "The Public Advertiser" between 1767 and 1776. His first advertisement, in "Mortimer's Universal Director" of 1763, stated that 'This ingenious Artist copies the Pattern of any China with the utmost exactness, both with respect to the Design and the Colours, either in the European or Chinese taste ... [and that] ... He has also brought the Enamel Colours to great perfection'.

The business ledgers for 1771–76 still exist. They record orders for some 50 000 Worcester pieces between 1771 and 1774, and glass bought for ?234 from William Parker's Glass Warehouse in Fleet Street - a figure amounting to fifteen per cent of Giles's annual budget. William Parker was a leading glass merchant as was another of Giles's suppliers, the Falcon glasshouse, near Southwark Bridge. The business was covered by Sun Insurance policies that valued his stock at £2 000 in November 1771, substantially more than the stock valuation of £680 for the Worcester factory at that time.

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