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Nascent Art Nouveau Scottish Plate with hand colored Irises by Bayley Murray and Co (1875-84)
Antique plate foreshadowing the Art Nouveau style from a pottery in Glasgow, Scotland that operated for only about nine years (i.e., just from 1875 to 1884). The irises are hand colored and outlined in gold creating a cloisonne effect when light is reflected off the gilding. The asymmetry of the flowers and leaves and the soft organic tones produce an effect similar to the best hand painted porcelain from Worcester and Minton in the 1870s and 1880s. The design owes its roots the Japonisme movement that swept across Europe and the West in the late 1860s that emphasized naturalistic plants, insects and other living creatures on pottery, porcelain and other mediums. In fact, one of the earliest interpretations of the Japonisme movement can be found in the French decorative arts and the plates and table service designed by Felix Bracquemond as the `Rousseau Service' and displayed first at the Paris Exhibition of 1867 and then subsequently at the London Exhibition of 1871, the Vienna Exhibition of 1873 and then again at the Paris Exhibitions of 1878 and 1889. The `Rousseau Service' received great acclaim and was said to have been Inspired by Hokusai's Japanese woodcuts that Felix Bracquemond had encountered' in 1856.
But what also makes the plate shown here so desirable is its provenance from a short run pottery adventure by Bayley Murray & Company that operated at Possil Park in Glasgow for less than 10 years (see Geoffrey Godden's Encyclopedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks: page 62, Entry #304, published in 1964 by Bonanza Books). There are two marks on this plate and the impressed mark has B.M. & CO. set along a banner placed within a larger circle with the word EXTRA above and QUALITY below (see photos). This mark was stamped into the moist clay plate blank before it was decorated and glazed. The second mark is printed in brown over the glaze and has B. &. M. Co which is a typo since the & sign was placed before the M and not after it as the impressed mark correctly illustrates. Those who study pottery marks know that transposed letters occur now and then and it is nice to have the impressed mark to fall back on regarding the correct provenance of this plate.
The decoration on this plate looks like expensive porcelain from a distance until one views it up close under strong light to be able to see that it's clay is not translucent but opaque to strong light and has some fine crazing present. The limited outlines and partial shading of the petals and leaves are transfer printed over the glaze after which various translucent colors were hand painted to produce a very pleasing effect much like watercolors. There is a soft green, blue green, a weak yellow, and a soft purple. The face of the plate is painted a matte cream or light yellowish-white tint and the rim band a weak egg-yoke yellow (see all photos). The various brown tints and darker shading is the result of very fine stippling that varies in density to create the illusion of hand shading and painting rather than auxiliary printing. Finally, thin gold lines were added by hand to outline the flowers and accent one edge of most leaves. The end result is simple but mesmerizing and as noted above produces the appearance of expensive hand painted porcelain. In fact, the artist hand wrote '4006' in yellow on the back of the plate and included his/her tally mark consisting of an one-eyed smiley face also hand painted in yellow (see photos).
The last photo illustrates this point and shows the same style of floral decoration also outlined with gold used by Worcester on its matte finish porcelain flatback pitchers that were initially very popular in the 1870s and 1880s and subsequently reissued into the early 1900s. The Flatback pitcher displayed in the last photo is not for sale here (you are only purchasing the Glasgow pottery plate shown all by itself in the other eight photos). So if you collect Art Nouveau pottery or porcelain, enjoy finely decorated Scottish pottery with marked provenance, or simply appreciate nascent examples that were well ahead of their time, then please do make sure you seriously consider this plate while it is still available since it may be years before another one in great condition is offered publicly. And as always, this Iris Plate by Bayley Murray & Co. 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 plate measures 8 inches across at the rim and stands about 13/16 inches tall along its outer edge. It weighs about 3/4 lbs and rests on a rounded foot ring that has a diameter of 4 1/4 inches. The rim has a multilobed edge that consists of small lobes that create and define four larger rim lobes (see all photos). The plate is a nice size for displaying along a shelf, mantle, counter, table top or in china cabinet or hutch among other decorative antiques and art pottery and is certain to capture attention in most any setting.
CONDITION: This plate is in excellent condition with no chips, no hairlines, no stains, no major scratches, and no repairs or restorations. The overglaze hand coloring and overglaze gold gilding is more than 99.7% intact and a better example would be hard to find today without traveling back in time and removing one out the muffle kiln right after the contents cooled down some 132 to 141 years ago. And as always, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return this plate for a refund (please see our refund policy noted below for all details).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay 11.10 for well packed and insured USPS Priority mail (this is an estimated savings of about $1 to $3 since insurance and tracking are also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). 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. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and some Custom's charges when an item is over 100 years old. We always encourage the International buyer to select an International shipping option that also provides insurance against loss or damage, and ask the International customer to send us their address for an email quote covering all insured International shipping options to your location. To date, we have shipped fragile items to 27 countries around the globe 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 pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (we have not had any claims for damage or loss in over six years). Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.
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Dr. Moir, Frisco, TX
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