This is a majolica porcelain oyster plate produced some time between 1875 and 1890 for Wilhelm & Graef, importers based in New York City during that time. The plate could more accurately be called a “seafood” plate as it sports a bright pink central starfish, 5 brown-edged oyster wells, and 4 clam wells. Three of the clam wells are of one variety of clam, and a smaller clam well is of another variety. The wells are all placed against a beige / sand colored ground. The starfish has two of its outstretched arms touching two of the oyster wells, two are resting on a brown ridged clam shell which is upside down on the sand, and the third is just touching one of the larger clam wells. The border of the plate is also decorated with a number of brown ridged clam shells, one large and a number of smaller shells, all set upside down and interspersed between the oyster and clam wells. And there is one small clam well set on the border between the leftmost ribbed clam well and its neighboring oyster well. Each of the oyster wells have been accented with splashes of brown and pale pink reflective of the starfish color. The 3 larger clam wells are bordered with pale pink stripes as well. This plate is almost certainly Limoges in origin as Wilhelm & Graef imported almost all of their wares from Limoges. It is in wonderful “as made” condition. It has a slightly worn overglaze circle mark on its reverse which reads inside the circle: “Wilhelm & Graef / Broadway / and / ?6th St. N?? / CHI?A / & ???S” Though worn, I believe this reads “Wilhelm & Graef / Broadway and 26th St. NYC / CHINA & GLASS.” The plate measures 8 1/2” Diameter.
Majolica Starfish Oyster Plate, Wilhelm & Graef, late 19th C
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