This large dark blue transferware Clews platter commemorates the much lauded 1824 arrival of Revolutionary War hero French General Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, in New York Harbor. Lafayette visited the United States at the invitation of President James Monroe and left France on the American merchant vessel, the Cadmus. Upon reaching the United States, Lafayette was met by steamers the Chancellor Livingston and the Robert Fulton. The steamers escorted the Cadmus with great fanfare to the Southwest Battery located at Castle Garden at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. Lafayette departed New York to embark on an extensive tour of the United States.
The image found on this platter is after a print by Samuel Maverick and features General Lafayette's approach to the imposing Southwest Battery, here depicted with a large American flag flying in the wind. There is a large assembly of soldiers present along with a series of six cannon which have just fired a salute, all of which line the water's edge. Two riders are seen on horseback galloping towards each other and bracket the words: "LANDING OF GEN. LA FAYETTE At Castle Garden New York, 16th August 1824." The shoulder of the platter is decorated with several floral groupings separated by leafy boughs and foliate details.
This highly collectible early 19th century Staffordshire platter was made in Stoke-on-Trent England at the Cobridge pottery owned by Ralph and James Clews.
The platter is in good antique condition with no cracks or repairs present and has three stilt marks on the shoulder associated with the production process. The color is rich and dark and the lettering fully legible. The piece does show signs of minor wear expected in an item nearly 200 years of age, including one small chip and a small thin area of glaze loss on the platter's rim. The face of the platter also has areas of minor wear and spots of glaze loss which are hard to see unless under close inspection. As seen in the accompanying photos, the platter displays very well and these issues are mentioned for accuracy. The back of the platter has age related crazing and discoloration along with flecks of material caught in the glaze, all of which are commonly found in antique earthenware. It also has three triangular groupings of stilt marks from the kiln. The piece is marked with the impressed circular Clews crown mark used between 1818 and 1834 which reads "CLEWS WARRANTED STAFFORDSHIRE".
The platter measures 15.375" by 11.75" and the top edge of the rim is 1.5" from the tabletop. The piece weighs in at 2lbs 9oz. Please note, the stand captured in the photo 1 is not included with the platter.
This Clews transferware platter would be a great addition to a collection of Historical Staffordshire, or works well as a stand alone decorative accent. A nice antique find for fans of American history or English transferware.
Antique Clews Landing of General LaFayette Dark Blue Historical Staffordshire Platter