Picnic tea set
Designer / Maker / Retailer
Designed by Christopher Dresser (1834-1904)
Manufactured by Hukin & Heath (1855-1953), and Royal Worcester (1862-present)
Retailed by Leuchars & Son (1798-1888, when absorbed by Asprey)
Electroplated nickel silver, wicker and porcelain, and leather-covered wooden box, lined with velvet
17 x 27 x 14 cm (dimensions of box)
English (Birmingham and Worcester), circa 1884
Maker’s mark and pattern number for Hukin & Heath, design registration number, retailer’s mark for Leuchars & Son, and maker’s mark and Worcester date letter ‘V’ for 1884 (see right); retailer’s mark for Leuchars and Son, London & Paris (on the case)
A virtually identical picnic set was in the Andrew Patrick Collection (Lyon & Turnbull, 19 April 2005, lot 21). Another set belongs to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (M.57&A-1979). Others are recorded in various private collections.
According to the V&A online catalogue: ‘The design by Christopher Dresser was made by Hukin & Heath … for the London retailer Leuchars & Son. The design was registered with the Patent Office (Rd. No. 18367), which dates it to late 1884.’ It should be noted that the Worcester cups and saucers are dated 1884, making this a set likely to date from the first year of production.