This beautiful antique Argenta Ware wicker and grape leaf motif majolica bread platter was produced by renowned English pottery Wedgwood. Wedgwood was founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood, and the company began producing majolica in 1861. The pottery's early majolica was brightly colored in vivid shades which included emerald green, cobalt blue, turquoise, lemon yellow, cranberry red and orange as well as brown. This early majolica had a distinctive appearance and was initially quite popular, but by the 1870's tastes had shifted leading Wedgwood to introduce a softer color palette of pastel shades on an ivory ground which the company termed Argenta Ware.
This English majolica bread platter has an oval shape with scalloped edges. The platter's canted walls are decorated with a basket weave pattern and finished in an ivory color tinged with blue-green. The basket weave is overlaid with a series of large khaki green wicker arches. The piece also features groupings of khaki green grape leaves at either end which are accented with cranberry and golden hues, and has incorporated khaki handles in the form of thick grape vines. The face of the platter is smooth other than where the grape leaves and associated vines lay across it, and is finished in a subtle mottled light blue and dusky pink edged by a yellow rope detail.
The platter is in excellent antique condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. There is some very minor age-related surface wear to the tops of the handles which is difficult to see unless under very close inspection and is mentioned for accuracy. There are also some anomalous areas of color related to the production process along with very fine age-related crazing to the glaze. The back of the platter also has some crazing and anomalous spots of glaze as well as areas of discoloration which are related to age.
The foot of the platter is impressed with the manufacturer name "WEDGWOOD" along with the letters "DEK" dating the piece to 1882 and what appears to be the letter "M". The piece is hand lettered in dark red with the number "2671" and letter "D". The platter measures 11.625" long and 8.875" wide and the tallest part of the rim is 2.375" from the tabletop. The oval foot rim is 6" by 4.25". The platter weighs in at 1lb 9oz.
This charming Wedgwood Argenta bread platter displays beautifully and would be a wonderful addition to an existing collection of majolica, or works equally well on its own. When not on display it's a versatile piece nicely sized for serving bread, fruit or vegetables. A charming and useful antique find!
Antique Wedgwood Argenta Ware Wicker and Grape Leaf Majolica Bread Platter 1882