In the history of style in England and America, one of the biggest trends of the late 19th century was the rage for all things Japanese that followed the opening of trade between Japan and the west in 1858. First in vogue among the artistic elite and the upper classes, "Japonisme" gradually spread through all the decorative arts until it was incorporated into everyday articles produced for the middle classes.
This majolica plate, probably from the 1880's, is a nice example of such an article. Although stylistically it doesn't look particularly Japanese to our modern eyes, it would have been recognized as such by the Victorian consumer. Unmarked, but of English or American make, it features a central design of cherry blossoms and leaves rendered in shades of pink, brown, green and yellow. The floral spray superimposes a basketwork background in ivory, which is in turn surrounded by a fluted border in umber brown. The reverse is nicely mottled in brown on an ivory ground.
Dimensions: 8" diameter.
Condition: Excellent. Overall crazing consistent with age but no cracks, chips, flakes or repairs. The footrim has been ground in two places to level the dish, probably at the time of its making (see photos 5, 6 & 7)