Beginning in the 1840's, English potters began to ship white ironstone ceramic ware to the U.S., decorated with copper lustre bands and/or simple motifs, made exclusively for the American market. Anthony Shaw is considered to have produced the original tea leaf motif, registered in 1856. The tea leaf motif was made by dozens of English and American potters until the beginning of the 20th century.
This ironstone tea leaf covered butter dish w/drainer was made by the Alfred Meakin Company, England, circa 1875-1897. In 1897 'Ltd' was added to the company name. It measures 4 1/2" square, 6" across the handles and 4 1/2" in height. There are no cracks, chips or repairs; some minor staining, mostly on the rim and interior of the bowl.