The decorative term 'Hans Sloane' derives from an advertisement in Faulkner's Dublin Journal of July 1-4, 1758, announcing '... table plates, soup plates and desart plates enamelled from Sir Hans Sloan's plants' - apparently one of the first identifiable references to the Chelsea factory's popular botanical wares.
Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1713), was Physician to Queen Anne, created Baronet from 1716, a great botanist and collector of rare plants. Most botanical renderings on these Chelsea pieces were taken from illustrations in Philip Miller's Gardener's Dictionary of 1754 and Figures of... Plants depicting specimens from the Chelsea Physic Garden, published in 1760, and from Plantae Selectae Quarum Imagines, after Georg Dionysius Ehret, published in 1750-1753. Usually the engraved design on the Chelsea porcelain plates is faithfully copied, including cross-sections of flowers or fruit as well as the particular insect instrumental in fertilizing the plant.
Miller was Curator of the Chelsea Physic Garden, and Ehret, who married Miller's sister-in-law, was an internationally celebrated botanical artist. He produced a large number of exquisite paintings and drawings, encouraged particularly by Dr Mead, the English Royal Physician, and had also been employed by Hans Sloane to copy his collection of 800 species of plants (now dried and preserved in 333 volumes in the Botanical department of the Natural History Museum, South Kensington).
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