This rare form is large: 12-1/2" long by 8" wide. The "Curling Palm" pattern is carefully printed in dark blue, and very distinct.
It is in excellent condition, with only a few small nicks to the glaze, and one shallow chip on the back, which is not visible from the front. There are no other chips, no cracks, no crazing, and no repairs. It rings when tapped (as well as earthenware ever does).
This pattern is illustrated in Coysh Dictionary I, page 100, where it is Identified as by Job Ridgway and described as very early. They say, "Many examples of this pattern are found unmarked, but a few are known with J. Ridgway impressed in a curve over a beehive." This dish is unmarked.
The shape can be found in several books. It's on page 97 of Gillian Neale's "Encyclopedia of British Transfer-Printed Pottery Patterns", as an "Asparagus Butter Dish". The one shown there has a fixed butter tub and was made by Wedgwood c. 1810-20. Also see Robert Copeland's "Spode's Willow Pattern", page 52.
I have read that Leeds Pottery made this form both with and without the attached butter tub. This dish has a raised platform for a butter tub, and a slight ridge to hold it in place.
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Specializing in Georgian Period Tablewares: Spode, Wedgwood, Coalport, Mason's, Worcester, Derby, Minton, Davenport, etc.