Minton Bute cups


"Bute"  cups and teabowls were produced  by Minton during their "first period" from 1797 to 1816 with pattern numbers from 1 to 948   (Godden, 1985). "The earliest porcelain useful wares - teasets, desert sets, etc. - were marked only with pattern numbers, sometimes .....alone, and others prefixed with the letter 'N' or ...'No'.  These numbers were painted in red or in the colour featured in the design." (Godden, 1985, p257).  "The Sevres-type mark was the standard one employed on Minton porcelains from about 1805  to the 1816 period ...."  (Godden, 1985, p258) but only on pieces with gilding and only after about 1805 (Langford, 1997)

Fortunately Minton pattern books survive at The Royal Doulton Museum and the known patterns have  been illustrated (Cumming and Berthoud, 1997), so decoration and pattern numbers can be checked. Minton first period teaware shapes are all illustrated at www.cummingmintoncollection.org.


Identification depends on: (1) Sevres- type mark with an M and a number gives certain identification but is only found on cups after 1805 and with gilt decoration, (2) if no mark, a small painted pattern number in a colour used in the design with or without N or No.  In ungilded later pieces the number may be followed by :x or a single dot.  (3) Characteristic ring handles: type 1 are wide, clearly flattened in section and can be large or small , type 2 are narrower and more rounded in section .  The larger ring handle is mainly found on lower pattern numbers (see patterns 32 and 44 in Cumming and Berthoud, 1997). (4) Rarely, cups have a square "French" style handle (see plate 9 in Godden, 1968) or a loop handle with kinks.

type 1 wide handle large type 2 narrow handle square

Example of Bute shaped teabowl without handle
Teabowl without handle in fine blueish body. Cup sides curve into base inside. No mark. Decoration is similar to pattern number 91 but without the sprigs below the border (Cumming and Berthoud, 1997). Matching can with typical type 1 handle. Matching saucer with straight sides. Probably Minton. (aj369, h58.6, w76.6, b35.9 (39.8) )
Ring handles type 1
Type 1 handles are clearly flattened in section and the leg to the 9 is short and has a rounded end. The smaller size is very distinct and the only similar handle is a rare small ring handle made by Machin. The Minton handle has a shorter leg to the 9 forming the lower attachment. The larger size was probably the first style of handle used on both cups and coffee cans (Langford, 1997). It is quite similar to the Chamberlain ring handle which has a longer leg to the 9 with a pointed end. Cups with type 1 handles are usually 3 inches in diametre (~77mm). Their walls thicken near the base where they curve smoothly to form a curved bottom to the inside of the cup.

Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 1. White body with good white translucency. Pattern number 45 painted small in gray on the base. (aj691, h59, w78.3, b35 (40), handle: v15.1, h14,w8.1, 6.2)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 1. White body with good white translucency. Pattern number 46 painted small in gray on the base. (aj040, h58.8, w80.5, b39.9, handle: v15.8, h14.1,w8.6)
Minton cup with a larger "ring" handle of  type 1. White body and marked with pattern number N46 in black on base. (aj132 ) Millington
Minton  coffee can with a larger "ring" handle of type 1.   Pattern N 51 (1.5mm) painted in red on base. Fine potting in dull buff bone china with very poor orange translucency. Finely crazed glaze. (aj535 h59, w65.3, b53.3, (61.3) handle: v18.7, h18.7, w9, 7.1, t3.7)
Minton cup with a "ring" handle of  type 1. Heavy potting in deep cream bone china body. Glaze finely crazed and poor browny translucency. Saucer with pattern number 58 painted  in red (3.2mm) (see right) has curved sides and Spode-type footrim.  (aj040, h58.3, w78.1, b35.9 (41.6) handle: v15.6, h14.1,w8.6, 6.5, t4.3)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 1. Creamy bone china body with finely crazed glaze and very poor orangy bron translucency. Pattern number N79 (4 mm high) painted in orange on the base. Matching saucer with N79 (5 mm high) painted in mauve on base has straight sides and no footrim. (aj069 h61.6, w78, b39.8, handle: v15.7, h15, w8.8)
Minton coffee can with a "ring" handle of the smaller type 1. The bone china body is still slightly creamy and there is some fine crazingin the glaze but the translucency isfair. It has a Sevres-type mark and pattern number 60 painted in blue on the base. (aj072, h62, w66.5, b58, handle: v15.5, h14.4,w8.5)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 1. Pattern number 62 painted very small in red on the base. (aj022, h59, w80.5, b40, handle:v15.5, h13.9, w8.8)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 1. Pattern number N85 painted in brown on the base.  (aj229 h58.4, w77, b38.3, (42.9) handle: v15.3, h15.1, w8.6, 6.7)
Minton cup with a "ring" handle of  type 1. Pattern number 202 painted very small in gold on the base. (aj074, h60, w77.8, b38, handle: v15.6, h14.4, w8.7)
Minton cup with a "ring" handle of  type 1. No mark but probably pattern 240 . (aj731, h58.8, w82, b41.8 (47), handle: v14.5, h13.9 (20), w8.4, 5.9, t 4)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 1. Pattern number 400 painted in dark grey on the base. Matching saucer with same number has curved sides and no footrim. (aj083, h58.5, w79.8, b34.3, handle: v15.5, h14, w8.4)
Ring handles type 2
Type 2 handles are nearly round in section and the leg to the 9 is a bit longer with a rounded end. This handle shape is very distinctively Minton and is found on higher pattern numbers. Cups with type 2 handles are often 31/4 inches in diametre (~84mm). Their walls thicken near the base where they curve smoothly to form a curved bottom to the inside of the cup.
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of type 2. Slightly faired lip. Sevres mark with M and number 641 painted in blue on the base.  (aj218, h60.2, w83.9, b34.8, (38.8) handle: v15.0, h13.1, w6.5, 4.9) Millers.
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 2. Pattern number745. painted in dark grey on the base. Matching saucer with same number has curved sides with footrim. (aj678, h57.2, w84.4, b36 (41), handle: v15, h13.1, w6.7, 5.1, t 4.9)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of type 2. No mark but this is pattern number 811 (from Cumming and Berthoud, 1997). (aj182, h58.9, w85.7, b37.1, handle: v15.4, h13.1, w6.5) Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of type 2. No mark but this is pattern number 811 (from Cumming and Berthoud, 1997). (aj182, h58.9, w85.7, b37.1, handle: v15.4, h13.1, w6.5)
Minton breakfast cup with a  "ring" handle of type 2. Marked with pattern number 811:x (cf Cumming and Berthoud, 1997). (aj364, h65.3, w101.6, b44.8 (51.1), handle: v18.1, h16.9 (25.3), w6.9, 5.3)
Minton coffee can with a small "ring" handle of  type 2.  Marked with pattern number 811:x   (aj458 h61.3, w67.7, b54.2, (60.2) handle: v15.1, h13.1, w7.1, 5.1 (5.2)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 2. Pattern number 845:x painted in purple on the base. (aj068, h59, w84.3, b35.7, handle: v14.3, h13, w6.8)
Minton cup with a small "ring" handle of  type 2.  Sevres mark with M and pattern number 938 painted in blue on the base. (Rest of set 939 so 938 may be a mistake. Gilt rim rubbed off.) (aj067 h60.1, w84.2, b39.2, (42.6) handle: v14.5, h13.5, w7, 5.6)
Example of possible larger ring handle
Cup with a larger "ring" handle of  type 2.  No mark but pattern similar to pattern 51. Fine potting in very white bone china. (Came with deep, straight-sided saucer.) Possibly Minton but perhaps more likely a later replacement. (aj290 h57.4, w84.3, b40.1, (43.1) handle: v14.9, h19, w7.3, 5.9)
Example of square or French style handle
Minton cup with a square handle with rounded top and pointed bottom attachments.  Marked with handpainted No 62. (a133 length of vertical part of handle 33mm)
Minton cup with a square handle with rounded top and pointed bottom attachments.  Marked with handpainted No 47 and crossed blue swords. (a140 w78.4)
Cup with French handle with short, rounded top and more pointed bottom attachments. Creamy bone-china body. This is not a known pattern but the handle shape, small size, walls that thicken into a rounded botton inside are all typical of Minton. (aj086 h60.7, w76.2, b38.9, handle: v34, h14, w9)

References

Cumming, R. and Berthoud, M. (1997) Minton patterns of the first period. Micawber, Bridgenorth. Godden, G. A. (1968) Minton Pottery and porcelain of the first period 1793 - 1850. Barrie and Jenkins, London.  Godden, G. A. (1985) English China. Barrie and Jenkins, London.  Langford, D. (1997) Regency Minton Porcelain. Langford and Clark, Canterbury.

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