Children's plates featuring the alphabet as part of the design were popular from as early as 1820 until after the turn of the century. The earliest English cream-ware plates were decorated with embossed letters and prim moralistic verses, but the later Staffordshire products were conductive to a more relaxed mealtime atmosphere, often depicting playful animals and riddles or scenes or pleasant leisure-time activities.
This wonderful Staffordshire plate, circa 1880, has the alphabet letters embossed around the outer rim of the plate. The central brown transfer design depicts a pastoral scene with two little girls playing and the letters "M N O". This indicates that this plate was part of a series of A B C plates that portrayed different scenes and grouping of alphabet letters within the design. By collecting all the plates it would spell the complete alphabet. The plate measures 5 5/8" across and is unmarked as for manufacturer. There are no cracks, chips or repairs; age related darkening that adds to it's character.