A beautiful and uncommon Derby basket-molded stand, or undertray, with a scalloped rim and a basket-weave border, The center is painted with fruit in shades of yellow, iron-red, puce, green, and brown. Surrounding the center, and on the border, are insects painted in a variety of colors. The underside of the stand has 5 patch marks.
Frequently, when referring to Derby, the literature, or catalogs, have references to "the moth painter," or the "principal fruit painter," or the like. In reality, there were several painters who did insects, and at least two who did fruit. Further, many of the larger pieces, such as this one, which combine motifs, were no doubt done as a collaboration between painters, each working in their own specialty on the piece.
This fine example is in excellent condition, with no chips, cracks, or restoration. On the reverse side there are two in-the-making glaze separations at the low point of two scallops. This, of course, does not show on the front, and is totally of no consequence. Colors are bright and deep, and, aside from some minor scratches on one of the plums, there is little or no loss. The overall length is 9 1/2", and the width is 8 1/4".
This form and decoration is pictured on page 149, and discussed on pages 56, 67, and 201, of "Derby Porcelain, The Golden Years 1750 - 1770" by Dennis G. Rice. An identical stand, with tiny rim chips, sold for $1,980 at Sotheby's NY on 4/6/1988, lot 67.