This plaque, created in the 2nd half of the 19th century, was made by the Staffordshire pottery company, T.C. Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. Formed in 1862, the firm was a reincarnation of Ridgeway, producing wares until 1902. The company became world-famous for its quality and designs, having taken part in many international exhibitions, from Chicago to Paris, where it won an award in 1878.
The company made a variety of pottery, porcelain and majolica items, from “sanitary ware” to the most delicate china. The British and Russian royal families were customers. Today, a number of museums have T.C. Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co. pieces in their collections, including the Victoria & Albert, the British National Trust Collection and the Brooklyn Museum.
The plaque is signed near the bottom by one of the firm’s artists, S. Ellis. I haven’t yet found information on this porcelain artist, but as “The Encyclopaedia of Ceramics” states, the company “(g)athered around them a brilliant array of talent.” It is obvious that S. Ellis was among this group. On the back is an impressed mark for T.C. Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co., but it is a bit too faint to appear in a photo.
Make no mistake, this is a quality piece of hand-painted pottery that deserves all the accolades that this artist is entitled to. Set in a British landscape of mountains and moors, the pointer is brilliantly painted. The expression in his eyes and the intensity of his gaze show that this dog was bred to perform at this precise moment. The defeated and exhausted grouse seems to be acknowledging its fate. The pointer is clearly waiting for his master to arrive on the scene.
It is painted in great detail, not only for the image of the two main characters, but also in the landscape. The background of the blue sky with soft, cream-colored and gray floating clouds lends to the English concept of traditional sporting pursuits.
The condition is excellent for its age and type. There are a few places where the paint has rubbed off; these may have occurred when handling during hanging. It also has one small chip underneath that cannot be seen from the front, as well as a small, old abrasion that also cannot be seen from the front. This abrasion may in fact be original to the piece. There remains a beautiful soft luster from the original glazing.
The diameter is 21-3/8 inches.
Large and Impressive 19th Century Victorian Pottery Wall Plaque Depicting Hunting Dog in Landscape
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