Plate

DATE:
1770–1820
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Pearlware
CLASSIFICATION:
Containers
DIMENSIONS:
3/4 × 10 1/8 × 10 1/8 in. (1.91 × 25.72 × 25.72 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Decorative Arts and Design Study Gallery, Level 4
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Collection, gift of Faith P. Bybee
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1992.B.211

General Description

Staffordshire, in central England, became a center of ceramic production beginning in the mid-17th century due to the thick layers of clay that lay only a few feet below its surface, and the abundance of available coal to fuel kiln fires. The 100 square mile industrial area known as 'Staffordshire' encompasses the towns of Burslem, Fenton, Hanley, Longton, Stoke, and Tunstall, and is collectively known as the Stafford Potteries. This district has been home to some of the most prolific and innovative English ceramic production of the 18th and 19th centuries, including wares by Thomas Whieldon, Josiah Spode, Ralph Wood, and Josiah Wedgwood.

The mid-18th century saw the emergence of a printing process used on popular ceramics such as creamware, eathernware, and pearlware. Separately contracted engravers were employed to produce printing plates with images to adorn the pottery. Subjects varied, from rural lovers to Kings and Queens to exotic birds and sailing ships. Most of the prints were not original, but were copied or adapted from the many published etchings and engravings of the period. Early pearlware prints are typically more freely conceived and not confined within a panel or cartouche, as seen in this late 18th/early 19th century plate featuring a bird in profile perched on a tree branch.

Heather Bowling, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2017.

Drawn from

Pat Halfpenny, ed., Penny Plain Twopence Coloured: Transfer Printing on English Ceramics 1750-1850, (Stafford: George Street Press Ltd, 1994), 33-43.