Jenkins encounters Lord Huntercombe at Mrs. Foxe’s reception. They are in the libary where Jenkins had first seen the Romney years before. Now the copy of Truth Unveiled by Time is on display. After Lord Huntercombe examines it, he “smiles wryly” at Jenkins and shakes his head “as if to imply that such worthless bric-à-brac should not be allowed to detain great connoissuers like ourselves.” [CCR164/168 ] Lord Huntercombe proceeds to inspect the china: “What nice china there is in this house. It looks as if there were some Vienna porcelain mixed up with the Meissen in this cabinet.” [CCR 165/ 169] The cabinet contains both some Marcolini period and some Indianische Blumen pieces.
The Meissen factory became the first European manufacturer of hard paste porcelain in 1710. The Indianische Blumen or ‘Flowers of the Indies” were designs introduced in the early eighteenth century, adapted from the Kaikemon style of ceramics produced in Arita, Japan. From 1774 until1814 Count Camillo Marcolini, Prime Minister of Saxony, directed the Meissen works as it perfected Neo-Classical forms. The Vienna Porcelain Manufactory, founded in 1718, was the second oldest in Europe. The company was started by Du Paquier, who ran it until 1744.
The manufacturers of the porcelain can be determined by examining the trademarks on the bottoms of the pieces, like the crossed swords of Meisen, which is still in use today. The marks for Vienna, introduced in 1744 and in use until the company closed in 1864, were variations on a shield, details of which allow dating the era of the manufacture. Distingushing real from forged marks is a task for experts. Undoubtedly, Lord Huntercombe was confident that he was up to the task.