c1780 English Pearlware Plate with hand painted Chinese House Pattern and featheredge rim

Antique hand painted transitional pearlware plate with a Chinese house pattern and a royal rim with a blue painted featheredge motif. The Royal rim pattern is a plate rim shape that consists of six broad three-part brackets and a raised rim edge that was popular from the mid-1770s to the early 1800s. It was almost always found on creamware, but as this examples reveals can also appear on transitional pearlware. The royal rim edge on this plate is finely feathered with over 250 individual brush strokes in cobalt blue to create a popular rim style. If the rim decoration also included molded and incised lines with crenelation, the rim pattern would be called shell edge. Many Staffordshire plate collectors also refer to shell edge as feather edge, but this is confusing to the research historian since there was an older true fronded feather-edge plate rim style that was popular on creamware and some tortoise-shell and mottled whieldon wares in the 1762 to 1785 period. The plate offered here has a Chinese house or pagoda motif hand painted in blue. The house stands on a rocky shoreline and there are three little clumps of vegetation in the foreground that have devolved from older Chinese motifs of small boats and islands painted in the foreground of more intricate blue & white export porcelain riverscapes. Some porcelain collectors have referred to the three clumps in the foreground as `cannon balls', and the central island on this plate has a picket fence running across it.

This plate has a number of other unusual features worth noting. First, the glaze-clay combination represents the transitional shift from creamware to pearlware that occurred in England in the late 18th century (c1770-1800). The heavy use of cobalt blue to decorate creamware helped shift ceramic tastes toward a bluish-white tinted glaze even before Wedgwood perfected his first `Pearl White' pearlware. Transitional pearlwares are a class of earthenwares that are basically creamware bodied but also have yellow lead glaze tinged by the combined affects of underglaze blue decoration and cobalt vapors created during firing. The end result is a transitional ware with a distinctive greenish tinged glaze that is midway between a true pearlware (with a bluish- or grayish-white tinged glaze) and a true yellow tinged creamware that may look cream-colored, yellow, beige, cream or even greenish-yellow. The back of a transitional pearlware plate often may reveal just a couple of small spots where there is no blue-green tint to the glaze and so the yellow lead glaze produces a small spot of true creamware. The plate offered for sale here has a small 3/8 inch diameter spot on the back of the plate located about 1 inch from its absolute center at the 2 o'clock position where the glaze has a nice cream color and no blue or greenish tinges. Finally, I have placed this Chinese house motif plate (the one for sale here) next to a blue printed true pearlware from about 1785 (Hollins marked `Two Figures' pattern c1785-90; the printed Hollins plate is not for sale here, you are only purchasing the hand painted royal rim Chinese house plate shown all by itself in the first seven photos). Hopefully, and only when computer monitor colors are properly calibrated, one may also see the difference between transitional early pearlware and true pearlware where cobalt is added to lighten both body and glaze.

The Chinese house pattern painted on this plate can be attributed to Leeds in Yorkshire based on the excellent research and monograph by Lois Roberts published by the Northern Ceramic Society in 2006 under the title `Painted in Blue. . . ' (see Figures 94 A, D, and text pages 64 to 65 for more information). Many potteries in Staffordshire also produced blue painted Chinese House motifs and Robert's monograph offers a details look at examples from specific potteries and decorators. A review of all the photographed examples in the monograph reveals that there is no feather-painted rim motif on a simple royal rim pattern among the hundreds of photographs published in Ms Robert's book (one must use a large loop or magnifying glass to examine the photos). Instead, all of the blue painted examples are on either incised and molded shell edge rims or some other non-hexafoil rim edge (octagonal rims, true rococo shell edge rims, etc.). This point is further emphasized by the fact that the blue painted feathering along the rim edge on the plate offered here is carried beyond the mid point of the marly (the painted feathering extends 1/2 to 5/8 inches in from the raised rim edge of the plate). This produces a strong feathered framing around the central design with a simple band placed along the sloping shoulder of the plate and no painted Nankin motif. The single band without geometric motifs makes the plate cleaner and less busy while allowing the strong feathered rim motif to be more balanced. And so if you collect early underglaze blue painted creamware/pearlware or specialize in variants of the Chinese house motifs or simply enjoy plates with Leeds characteristics, then you may want to purchase this plate now while it is still available. And as always, this 225+ year old plate also comes with my Docs Antiques `no fault' satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund as explained below.

SIZE: This plate measures 8 3/16 inches across (maximum diameter) and is slightly smaller in size than the standard British creamware/pearlware table plate of the late 1700s. Most British pearlware table plates typically had diameters of 9 1/8 to 9 5/8 inches in 1780 and smaller size plates are less commonly found today (and often more avidly sought by certain Staffordshire and Leeds collectors). This plate has a simple low rounded footring with a diameter 4 5/8 inches (a string-style foot ring that protrudes less than 1/16 inches tall). This is a nice Leeds plate that is the perfect size for displaying on a shelf or mantle, hanging on a wall (please only use safe plate hangers) or placing out in the open.

CONDITION: This plate is in above average condition with no utensil ware or rim edge chips. The only declarations to note is a very faint hairline at the 11:30 o'clock position or just about 3/4 inches left of the 12 o'clock position (top left center of the plate). The short hairline is shown in a photo with a pencil pointing to its location. It is only visible on the back side of the plate and is just 1 3/8 inches long, very hard to see and runs through a small glob of glaze left behind where a piece of kiln furniture had stuck to the plate before it was removed after firing by a factory worker (removing the stuck furniture likely cause the hairline). There is also a small patch of underglaze discoloration on the back of the plate that measure 1/2 by 1/4 inches and is located about 2 1/4 inches to the right of center top of the plate (see photo showing the back of two plates, the plate listed here is no the viewer's left side and the small spot appears at about the 2:30 o'clock position). Beyond these two minor declarations, the plate is in excellent condition and has no chips, cracks, star cracks, major stains or major scratches and no repairs or restorations. The glaze is shiny, bright with no wear and minor fine crazing. A better example would be hard to find today without paying a lot more than the asking price offered here.

SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $11.80 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $2 to $4 since insurance is also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland and so please email us your address for a quote on all insured International shipping options. We have shipped fragile items to 26 countries around the globe to date and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.

RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (we have not had any claims for damage or loss in over six years). Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.

PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of Paypal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via Paypal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.

Item ID: RL144.a930

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