UNUSUAL MInton dessert plate with handpainted pineapple centre and pierced acid etched gold border c1869. The octagonal shape of this plate is eye-catching and makes it ideal for display. The pineapple centre is realistically hand painted with a great eye for detail and a pleasing sense of depth. Pineapple would have been an exotic commodity in mid-19C England and this decoration spoke of luxury. Even though bat printing was routinely used by Minton as an underlay for hand painting throughout the 19C I can see no hint of it here; the fruit painter worked free-hand, probably from a botanical drawing. The gold border is acid etched in fine detail and retains its lustre. The edge, moulded trim ring and eight pierced florets on the border are all hand gilt.
This plate is well marked but only the pattern number can be photographed. Minton pattern G120 was introduced in 1868. The letter 'G' stood for 'richly decorated china tableware'. The impressed diamond mark shows a faint letter 'C' for a design registered in 1870. Impressed factory date mark (dot in square) is 1869 with impressed 'MINTON' (spelt without 'S') in use from 1847-1873. Plate measures 9.5"D x 0.75"H. Condition is good for 140 years of wear. This would have been dessert tableware and there are surface and utensil marks. Gilding on the eight corners is rubbed. No issues or restoration. Pierced border is fine and strong. This plate displays beautifully, the perfect gift for a botanist or social historian.
PINEAPPLE (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with 104 edible berries that coalesce into a large, compact fruit. This fruit is arranged in two interlocking helices, eight in one direction, thirteen in the other, each being a Fibonacci number. The plant itself has a short, stocky stem with tough, waxy leaves. Columbus encountered the pineapple in 1493 on the island of Guadeloupe. He called it piña de Indes, meaning 'pine of the Indians', and brought it back to Europe thus making the pineapple the first bromeliad to leave the New World. The pineapple became associated with the return of ships from extended voyages and an emblem of welcome and hospitality. This symbol made its way into the art of the time. Today, popular culture celebrates the pineapple by making it the home of cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. (Wiki)
REFERENCE: Joan Jones MINTON - The First Two Hundred Years Of Design & Production' Swan Hill Press 1993.
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