English, Oriental and Continental Porcelain
Woburn Abbey has an outstanding display of English, oriental and continental porcelain, including a Sèvres dinner service.
The Bedford Gift Service
The 4th Duke of Bedford was the British Ambassador to France and in 1763 negotiated the Treaty of Paris which brought an end to the Seven Years' War. Louis XV presented the Bedford Gift Service of Sèvres porcelain to Duchess Gertrude in appreciation of her husband's help during the negotiations. It is the only Sèvres service to be gifted to an English aristocrat.
The Crypt Porcelain Display
The pavilion in the centre of the crypt contains another dinner and dessert service decorated with leaves and pink roses. It is a mixture of original pieces from the Sèvres factory, c.1762-70, and copies from other French and English factories. Other eye-catching porcelain pieces in the Crypt include:
- Meissen dessert service of c. 1850, painted with romantic scenes
- Wedgwood caneware table and breakfast service of 1809, moulded with a basket weave pattern
- Japanese porcelain, including a set of late seventeenth-century Kakiemon octagonal plates decorated with a quail and millet motif
- English porcelain from the Chelsea factory, including a fine pot pourri vase in the shape of a dovecote, c. 1755
- Fruit plates made at Davenport c. 1830; when a guest selected a piece of fruit it was presented on the appropriate plate
- Eighteenth-century Sèvres white 'biscuit' figures, unglazed porcelain fired only once