The Doulton & Co, (Ltd), Nile Street, Burslem, Staffordshire Potteries was formed in 1882. This fabulous hand painted, portrait cabinet plate, circa 1890's, was produced by the factory and though unsigned was very likely decorated by one their staff of decorators. The artist and decorators assembled by John Slater at Burslem from the 1880's matched in skill those of Worcester and Derby. The plate could have been executed by Herbert Betteley or Percy Curnock.
The lovely sculptured, embossed scroll designed blank is completely covered in gold gilt which is decorated with hundreds of small beads and some larger jewels in a variegated hue of blue enamel colors. The center of the plate portrays a young French couple, from the mid-1800's, sitting closely together on a period settee with the plain wall, window and velvet drapery in the background. They seem to be engaged in a serious conversation about their romantic future and life together. Surrounding the border of the plate are three cartouches, each with a different theme. One shows a mandolin; the second an envelope pierced by an arrow and the third a french bicorn hat and black face mask. All the items are arranged against a background of delicate rose and other floral blossoms and foliage. The pallet of colors utilized on this piece of art includes shades of blue, pink, tan, purple, black, green, brown, gray, white and others.
The plate measures 9" across and has the brown printed backstamp of Doulton & Co. which was used from 1882 - 1902; 'England' was added in 1891. There are no cracks, chips or repairs; some burst bubbles in the enamel bead and jewel decorations which happened during firing. Fabulous.