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c1895 English Ironstone Stick Spatter Cut Sponge Red Bulls-eye Plate by Pitcairns, Tunstall
Antique cut sponge plate decorated with deep red bull's-eye like flowers between blue bands along the rim. The deep red stamped motifs help make sure that this plate stands out in most any display setting. The mark on the back of this plate has finally been identified thanks to Clint M. (in San Antonio), a fellow researcher in historic material culture. Clint recognized that the mark on this plate is a version of the Pitcairns Ltd. mark. The Pitcairns' factory also operated under the name Pinnox Pottery and was located in Tunstall, England. Whether Pitcairns or Pinnox, this pottery operated for a very short period between 1895 and 1901. For a full version of one of Pitcairns' marks, see mark #3052 on page 497 in Geoffrey Godden's 1964 publication 'Encyclopedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks.' This example is a close variant of the same mark seen on this plate.
Some Staffordshire collectors also refer to this type of primitive decoration as stick spatter or design spatter because of the primitive style of the stamped motifs and their spatter-like qualities. And this particular plate is rather scarce today since it falls at the tail end of the cut sponge tradition and also because it has a pottery's makers mark. Only about one out of every 500 to 1,500 antique stick spatter plates will have a pottery mark or maker's name. In fact, not one of the other examples of pottery shown in the group photo along with this plate has a makers name or mark on it. These other cut sponge and gaudy hand painted British and Dutch wares show the range of common pottery produced between 1830 to 1930. These other items as shown in Photo 8 are for comparison only and are not for sale at this time. Only the red bull's eye plate shown all by itself in the first seven Photos is for sale here.
The reason so few stick spatter examples have manufacturers back stamps or marks is because these wares were typically made for common people and lower classes and so they did not command a high price or much respect. They were for daily use and not special occasions. And so cut sponge decorated pottery was brightly colored utilitarian wares not intended to last beyond five or ten years of use. Many chipped, stained and damaged examples abound while perfect ones do command much higher prices.
The plate offered here is a true grayish tint semi-vitrified ironstone that exhibits no crazing and so is a notch above the cheapest of these wares. Maybe this plate was originally part of a table set specially ordered by a wealthier family for use in a summer home or vacation cottage. The form and blank shape of this plate also matches perfectly the fancier and more expensive decalcomania decorated ironstone dinner plates from 1885 to 1905. Whereas the first Staffordshire cut sponge (aka stick spatter) plates emerged in the early 1840s and were made on much thicker ironstone blanks with panels and weighed about 50 percent more than the plate shown here. But as the end of the 19th century progressed, fashions shifted again and table plates were made on much thinner bodied wares.
The makers mark on this plate has been identified as noted above. It has ENGLAND and the caption `ROYAL IRONSTONE CHINA' over top of a shield and the Prince of Wales feathered plumes similar to the mark given in Godden on page 497 as cited above. Finally, the color red is hard to control in the kiln since it can blister when slightly over heated. Consequently, it is less often used on cut sponge decoration or even feather edge wares since it tended to clump and blister more than other colors. So if you collect these simple but decorative sponge stamped wares, then you may want to buy this plate while it is available, and especially since it also comes with my full satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy as noted below.
SIZE: This plate measures 9 inches across and stands 7/8 inches tall at its rim. It has a 4 3/4 inch diameter simple rounded foot ring and two fine inner jigger mold controls lines (thin ridges made during production for quality control).
CONDITION: This plate is in excellent condition with absolutely NO chips, NO hairlines, NO cracks, NO stains, NO repairs and NO restorations. The plate has a few fine utensil scratches that are not visible unless viewed up close under strong light. And like so many stick spatterwares from the 19th century, this plate was both well used and also highly cherished and carefully handled to make it down to today with no chips or other damaged. Thanks for looking and we wish you good luck on all your Ruby Lane searches.
SHIPPING: Any mainland US buyer pays $8.80 for well packed and insured USPS Priority mail (insurance and tracking are INCLUDED in this amount for all mainland US addresses only). All international buyers will also pay only actual shipping/insurance costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland (international shipping costs will be determined upon receipt of your full address details).
PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks draw on Mainland US Banks (checks must have US 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal or contact us with your verified address for other options, if available. Also, see our TERMS OF SALE for more details. Thanks for stopping by and do visit again when you have the time.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed by Docs Antiques for this item. If you are not happy with it for any reason other than damage that occurred during shipping, then you have the option to send the item back in a timely manner so long as it is in the same condition as listed. All items to US addresses are fully insured and so if the item was damaged in the mail, then file an insurance claim and do not ship it back since that would voids the insurance. Please refer to my return policy for full details or contact me for help -- thanks.
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