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c1845 Pink Luster Hand Painted English Porcelain Dessert Plate or Tray
Antique hand painted English bone china octagonal dessert tray or underplate with trees, picket fence and building in pinkish-purple luster. This is a large plate that is about 10 1/4 inches across. Pink luster is produced by a formula that uses "Purple of Cassius" and it was not perfected by British potters until after 1805. The hue of the luster on this plate is more purplish than pinkish and this may be a result of the translucent paste of the porcelain (see last photo which has two opaque earthenware dishes that appear more pinkish than this tray). This tray dates from the 1835 to 1855 period, hence the assigned c1845 date. It is probably from a dinner service or dessert service and may have been used as an underplate for a large tureen or compote. The tray has two residual handles with open work created by piercing, as well as floral decoration molded in relief along each handle (see photos). The pink accented octagonal rim has small lobes that correspond to the ribbed panels defined by indents along the marly (outer brim). These added features help make this tray more appealing than a vessel that has no molded details or decorative accents in relief.
The painting on this plate required the use of at least four types of brushes from pencil thin brushes necessary for making very thin lines (see thin slashes on building) to very broad headed brushes able to make 1/4 inch wide strokes. In all there are probably more than 250 brush strokes expended to decorate this tray (an estimate). The hand painted pattern on this dish is one of countless variations that often include a picket fence, a structure or house, several trees and a sky filled with birds. As noted in a discussion of another pink luster plate also recently listed in my Ruby Lane shop (see RL528.a1401nye), this kind of fence with building motif descends from an 18th century English adaptation of an even older Chinese blue and white pattern hand painted on export porcelain that typically included a house or Pagoda-like structure set between stylized trees with a fence running from the sides of the structure and toward the tree (see Noel Hume 1970: pages 127 to 129, Figs 45 & 46). Frequently in the sky above the structure are many small dots, V-swags and circles representing flying birds and the sun, moon or far less often clouds.
The earliest Staffordshire version of these fence-house-fence patterns were hand painted on tin glazed wares (delft ware) in the 1750s and then subsequently on creamware in the 1760s, 1770s and 1780s and finally on pearlware in the 1780s and 1790s. The patterns were well painted at first with some realism and the over setting often situated along a riverbank or bay shoreline. By the 1770s, the fence-house-fence motif had declined to become more symbolic with fantasy-like plants rather than trees and a lack of realism. Sometime after 1805, a version of this devolved trees-fence-house motif appears in pink luster. The pink luster versions, however also quickly degenerated over time and by 1820, they were often rendered with many of their elements symbolic rather than realistic. Still, a few dish decorators would at different dates unpredictably diverge from the mainstream and paint the trees-fence-house scene with greater realism and perspective rather than mere representations and squiggles.
The tray listed here has a mixture of stylized as well as realistic elements. The trees are more realistic whereas the structure is merely symbolic with a flat roof and simple facade. The picket fence is rudimentary and the bushes or hedge has devolved into a snake like ribbon. The two pliers-like or ice-tong like elements in the foreground are mere squiggles and the birds look acceptable until viewed up close where they transform into flying worms. As such, the pink luster motif on this tray is a mixture of elements that when combined still fully meet the prerequisites needed to satisfy the buying public some 170 years ago for a pink luster pattern. The other special molded features and openwork along the handles help take ones eye away from the central painted pattern and produce a pleasing dish overall. Many other potteries across Great Britain produced similar pink luster tree-fence-building patterns resulting in nearly endless variations. Some were produced on whiteware or ironstone while others would produced on late pearlware, soft paste porcelain or bone china. The oldest pink luster patterns date from the 1805 to 1815 period and the tray offered here falls some 25 to 40 years later.
The second to the last photo illustrates how translucent this porcelain tray is when viewed with light coming through the dish. The light illuminates the pink luster pattern as well as the ribs that form panels in the marly (see photo of tray illuminated from the back). The last photo shows this fence pattern porcelain tray along with two other pink luster plates for comparison that (these two other plates are not for sale at this time, see last photo). There is a whiteware fence pattern plate (bottom right in last photo, whiteware plate not for sale at this time) and an older pearlware plate (not for sale at this time) that help illustrate the range of fence-tree patterns available today. You are only purchasing the pink luster porcelain tray with the pierced handles that is also shown all by itself in the other eight photos. The tray is unmarked and so we do not know what British porcelain works produced it. It could have been produced by any of a number of British factories located in the Staffordshire, Leeds, Yorkshire, Sunderland or Swansea pottery districts. The glaze and porcelain paste project a warm off-white appearance that is more pleasant than many hard paste dishes. The tray is in good condition with no chips or other damage and only minor loss of less than 5% of the pink luster decoration after years of use, wear and cleaning. This occurs because the luster is painted over-the-glaze and that is one reason why many examples of pink luster have suffered some loss of luster over time. The luster decoration on this plate, however is more than 95% intact (see Condition notes below; also see all photos). And as always, this purplish-pink luster plate also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This purplish-pink luster tray is moderately large and measures about 10 1/4 inches across from side to side (slightly more at its handles) and stands about 1 inch tall right along its outer lobed rim. The tray has a well defined foot ring that has a diameter of 5 1/8 inches and is a perfect size for displaying on a shelf, mantle, table top, counter or in a china cabinet or display case. It will certainly capture attention in most any setting.
CONDITION: This pink luster tray is in good condition with no chips, no hairlines, no stains, no repairs and no restorations. The pink luster decoration is more than 95% intact with only some very small scratches and small spots of loss of luster occurring mainly along the rim or in the central motif. The tray has no production flaws and the pierced handles are not chips or damaged. The tray is sturdy and could be used for entertaining today so long as it was cleaned gentling after use and no scouring cleaners were applied. And as always, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return this bone china tray for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $9.80 for well packed and insured USPS standard post (this is an estimated savings of about $1 to $3 since insurance is also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). A faster shipping option is also available, too (see shipping section below for a Priority mail option). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and fragile items will be double packed for maximum protection. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. Insurance against loss or damage is not available on International First Class Parcels (limited to 4 lbs maximum weight), or most International Priority Shipping choices. The International buyer will be asked to acknowledge this fact or upgrade to an International shipping option with insurance against loss or damage (email us for an insured International shipping quote). We have shipped fragile items to 23 countries around the globe to date and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within ten days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double box, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (to date, we have had only two claims for damage from shipping in over eight years). Of course, never send an item back that was damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
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Dr. Moir, Frisco, TX
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