This English porcelain ice pail, also known as an iced cream-fruit cooler, was made in England by William Billingsly circa 1810. The white porcelain has a beautiful, slightly creamy color. This was typical of pieces made in Billingsly’s factories. The elegant gilded handles and the gilded finial are bamboo-shaped. The gilding is exquisite. The combination of the white porcelain with the golden handles and finial is classic.
This ice pail would look lovely on a dining room sideboard. It can be used to serve a dessert of iced cream with cut fruit.
H 9 in. x Dm 8 in.
Background of William Billingsly
William Billingsley was an influential painter of porcelain in several English porcelain factories. Once he was successful, he developed a recipe for soft-paste porcelain and produced beautiful porcelains.
Background of Ice Pails
Ice pails were also called iced cream and fruit coolers. They were the 18th and 19th century equivalent of today’s ice cream maker. Traditionally placed on the sideboard in the dining room, the bottom of the pail was filled with ice. The inside liner would have been filled with cream and occasionally cut fruit. Additional ice was placed on the high walled cover. At the end of the meal, the Hostess would serve the frozen iced cream to her delighted guests.
For more on the history of ice pails, visit our blog.