This circa 1880 Victorian pearlware child's ABC plate was made in England by Brownhills Pottery and features an Aesop's Fables motif. The highly collectible 8" plate has been transfer printed in brown and carries the letters of the alphabet around the shoulder. The rim itself has a decorative border typical of that found on Brownhills pieces. The face of the plate is printed with the words "AESOP'S FABLES" along with the theme "THE DOG AND THE SHADOW" while the center depicts an outdoor scene with a dog crossing a brook. The image has three color polychrome hand painting with clobbering in shades of green, blue and ochre.
This Victorian teaching plate was intended to help children learn the alphabet as well as imparting a moral lesson taken from Aesops Fables. The lesson involves the story of a dog crossing a stream with piece of meat in its mouth. He looks down and sees his reflection in the water and mistakes it for another dog who also happens to be carrying food in his mouth. In his greed to steal the meat from the other dog, he opens his mouth and drops his food into the water, leaving him with nothing. The moral is summed up as "Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow".
The plate is in very good condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. As an antique item, the plate shows signs of age consisting of fine crazing and minor discoloration to the glaze. It should also be mentioned that there are production related irregularities present in the transfer decoration as well as flecks of material caught in the glaze and stilt marks from the kiln on the front and back, all of which are mentioned for accuracy. The plate measures 8" in diameter and weighs in at 8.5 oz.
This Brownhills Pottery Co Aesop's Fables "Dog and Shadow" plate displays beautifully and would be a wonderful addition to a collection of ABC child's plates and/or Aesop's Fables plates, or works equally well showcased on its own. A lovely antique find!
Antique Victorian Child's Pearlware Polychrome Alphabet Aesop's Fables 8" Plate The Dog and the Shadow