Rare Polychrome Transfer Printed Maxim Plate
Staffordshire England c.1840
This is rare Staffordshire transferware childs motto plate, circa 1830-1840. The round plate measures 6" in diameter with moulded border and scalloped. Transfer printed in black and embellished with hand applied clobbering of enamel polychrome paints in green blue yellow and wisps of pink lustre, finished with pearlware glaze. It is decorated with the motto or maxim: TO ERR IS HUMAN TO FORGIVE DIVINE
(note: the word Divine is misspelled Devine) Above the motto is the image of a holy bible. Although sometimes attributed as a biblical motto, the quote is that of Alexander Pope, an English poet and satirist (1688-1744). The maxim is as profound and relevant today as it was when it was first penned.
The plate is unmarked and the exact maker is unknown. It most likely hails from the Staffordshire potting region in England, though it may have been made by one of the Welsh or Scottish potteries, c. 1840.
The plate is in very good condition, with a hairline at 3 o'clock, as seen in the detail photo, and no other chips, cracks, or repairs. Stilt marks original to the making, and minor glaze crazing consistent with age. Offered as is, the plate was well potted and the transfer was carefully applied. Plates like these were made as gifts for good children and used at home and at school as an aid to their education and moral learning and rewards of merit for young students in the early to mid 19th century. A fine example of early English toy ceramics and educational pottery, now considered AAFA.
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