England’s Coalport Porcelain Factory made these elaborate ice pails around 1815. Founded in 1795 by John Rose, Coalport is now owned by Wedgwood. Coalport bone china was famous for the bold “British Imari” pattern, which was inspired by Japanese design and became popular during the early 19th century. While these pails feature the dark red and dark blue colors typical of the Imari style, yellow dragons can also be seen meandering along the bottoms.
Ice pails were used at the dining table to keep items stored inside—such as frozen fruit or ice cream, a rarity in the days before electric refrigeration—cold. Crushed ice was placed in the recessed area of the lid.
The ice pails came from the estate of Lady Mary Coventry, daughter of the 10th Earl of Coventry, whose family seat, Croome Court, is located in Worcestershire, England. Rolfe Towle Teague gave them to the DAR Museum.
Volume 145, Number 4, July/August 2011 Page 7
Photography by Mark Gulezian