Large antique Minton English porcelain Elements centrepiece vase

By Minton (British, founded 1793)


Of exceptional quality depicting the finest of details, the centrepiece is an important early 19th century artefact made by the Minton manufactory.


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This superb centrepiece is made by Minton, a celebrated British ceramics manufactory founded in 1793. Made in around 1835, the antique is an example of some of Minton’s early works.

The centre of the piece is occupied by three richly gilt putti emblematic of the three elements: earth, water, and air. The figures are standing with their backs against a tree trunk applied with fruiting vines, acorns and bulrushes. The tree trunk supports a gadrooned bowl masterfully painted with alternating panels of birds and flowers. These are separated by bands of gilt caillouté. Above is the rim finely moulded and gilt to depict scrolling motifs.

The domed cover features similar ornamentation as the bowl with a band of hand-painted flowers topped by a band of gilt caillouté on a navy ground. Moulded and gilt acanthus leaf detailing adorns the circumference of the lid. The ornate top supports a shining, gilt flame-shaped finial.

The three putti stand on a square pedestal base, each side painted with landscape vignettes of Watteau figures framed with gilt, scrolled frames. The polychrome paintings are surrounded by gilt caillouté ground. Four gilt dolphin figures, especially popular within the Rococo style, support the base. A shaped square base with ornate gilt foliate decoration supports the whole centrepiece.

This attention-grabbing centrepiece is recorded in the Minton factory shape book under design 159. It is described as a ‘Large Table Ornament’ and cost £14 6s 6d. Together with another Minton piece, an ornate candelabra (design 160), it was the most expensive piece recorded by the manufactory in the 1831-1842 estimate book.

With important historical meaning, in addition to the magnificent decoration and exceptional quality, this centrepiece would be a showstopping addition to one’s display.  

Provenance: The Godden Reference Collection, Christie's London, sale 12 October 1987, Lot 252.


The Godden Reference Collection, Christie's London, sale 12 October 1987, Lot 252


Illustrated in:
- Geoffrey A Godden, Minton Pottery and Porcelain (1965), col. pl.VII and pl.105, by Paul Atterbury and Maureen Batkin
- The Dictionary of Minton (1990), p.53
- By Joan Jones, Minton (1993), p.81


Artist / Maker
By Minton (British, founded 1793)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1835
Early 19th Century
Figurative Art, Mythological, Rococo


65 cm / 25.6 inches
22 cm / 8.7 inches
22 cm / 8.7 inches


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