This is a most striking late 19th C English ironstone soup dish or plate, beautifully decorated in the 'Imari' style. Wonderful hand painted details and florals including peonies, morning glory and marguerites in rust, green, pale blue, pinks and a deep cobalt blue contrast with a pure white ground. Generous gild detail and accents throughout. The edges of the dish are lightly scalloped with a raised gadroon border. The whole effect is still crisp and fresh.
The overall antique condition is excellent with no chips, cracks or repairs and no loss to the gilding or paint. There is an original firing flaw consisting of a 1/4" split in the clay (into which a bit of glaze has run) on the under outside edge which cannot be seen on the top of the plate (please see photo 5). There is a slight area of discoloration to the center base of this plate.
This measures 10 1/4" across x 1 1/2" high.
The mark on the back of this dish consists of a blue underglaze of the 'Prince of Wales Plumes' supported by a crown which sits over a Staffordshire knot, along which can just be seen the letters 'CELT' and V.N.III. There is also a very small impressed Staffordshire knot in the middle of the mark.
After hours of research, I am finally able to attribute this mark to a small firm in Tunstall known as Smith & Binnall who, as a partnership, were only in operation between 1897 and 1900. So to me, this is not only a beautiful, highly decorative piece but also represents a quite unique bit of history of all the small but talented and dedicated 'potters' who attempted to survive in business in Staffordshire during the late 19th C.
A most attractive, decorative and special collector's piece in fine condition!
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