English, est. c. 1786
Breakfast cup, saucer, c. 1802–1805
hybrid hard-paste porcelain
(a) cup: 7.4 x 13.3 x 10.9 cm; (b) saucer: 4 x 165 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; The Frank Evison Collection; Gift of The City of Winnipeg
This breakfast cup—a wider and more generous vessel than a teacup—and saucer derives from a service made for the British Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758–1805). Serving with the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, he is perhaps best known for leading his troops to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, at which time he was mortally wounded. The insignia on the wares includes the ducal coronet, the viscount coronet, and the crest of the San José, a ship captured by Nelson during the Battle of Cape Saint Vincent on February 14, 1797. Records indicate that Nelson ordered this service on August 26, 1802, while visiting Chamberlain, a factory that began as a decorating establishment and progressed into an extremely successful and well-respected producer of high-quality British porcelain. The rich gilding present is characteristic of the excellence of Chamberlain’s production.