Beautiful Rare Shelley Vase
Apart form being a beautiful example of a Shelley vase, the history behind this rare piece is worthy of note. The Shelley name is known for beautiful, quality China pottery. The company operated from the early 1820's until 1966.
The company used several backstamps over the years, as this excerpt from Collectors Weekly explains:
'Shelley china has been marked with multiple different backstamps over the years, including (but not limited to) a "W" wearing a crown placed over a "C" with an ampersand in the middle (Wileman & Co.); the same image (only more detailed) with "The Foley China" above and "England" below; plain, simple text; and "Shelley" inside a shield, either in capital block letters or in an elaborate script.'
The company enjoyed great success, and as such became a target for cheap imitations. In particular Japanese imitators produced exact replicas of their Queen Anne range. These poorer quality china products were mainly destined for the Australian market.
That said, Shelley themselves were not above copying other designers. One such designer was William Moorcroft. Shelley produced a version of his deep coloured fruit range, in bass relief. Within a week Moorcroft was threatening dire consequences if they continued to production.
Shelley had no wish for conflict with another manufacturer. They were also aware that the Manufacturer's Federation took a dim view of copying. So, they ceased production.
And that's were this vase comes in. An example of this limited range, this vase is one of only several hundred produced.