Here is a very nice example of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's china pattern called Derby.
This is a soup plate with characteristic wide, flat rim and sloping sides. On board a train, it would have been used for serving chowders, stews or thick soups. It is a full 9.25 inches across and 1.5 inches tall.
This dish is correctly bottom marked with an impressed MADDOCK'S TRENTON CHINA which dates it to having been made between approximately 1912 and 1924, when that mark was used. Beside the impression is a blue "Made for B&O" H.P. Chandlee & Sons Co., Baltimore mark. Chandlee was the distributor/supplier handling dinnerware orders for the railway.
CONDITION is lovely with only a very few tiny surface marks that cannot be seen unless you tilt it in bright light. The intricate design is beautiful, bright, clear colors in several shades of blue gray, suggesting stylized flowers and leaves. There is no sign of aging. There are NO cracks, chips, flakes or repairs.
This pattern was first made for the B&O by the Maddock Company in England, whose name for the pattern was Derby -- as several very rare English made pieces have documented. This confirms that there is no truth to an old story that it was used on special B&O trains running to the Kentucky Derby horse race.
"Derby" was the standard china used by the B&O in its dining cars before the blue "Centenary" was released in 1927. Finally, in the early 1930s the remaining Derby pieces were sent to the employee cafeteria in the B&O Central Building on Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland.
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