Antique cranberry red willow feather printed 9 1/4 inch stone china plate with overglaze hand coloring from the late 1830s to early 1840s, hence the c1840 mid-date. This plate is impressed on its back with a mark that includes the initials W.R. & Co. and which were used by William Ridgway & Company from 1834 to 1854. This particular Ridgway mark is a variant of the British royals arms that predates 1837 since the lion and unicorn are not rampant (see photo of mark). Ridgway, however would have used his pottery mark for some years after the change as noted by the 1845 end date before updating it.
This Ridgway plate is in superb condition even though it is more than 170 years old. Also, it displays a perfect balance of crisply printed dark red willow branches with limited color highlighting during the same period when dense flow blue and flow mulberry were just beginning to gain popularity among Staffordshire potteries and consumers. In contrast to those often muddy and very dense flown patterns of the 1840s, this plate would have stood out as a refreshing alternative. And while the main color on this plate draws back upon the first crisp deep red patterns introduced in about 1829 when new chromium-based underglaze colors were first used, the dense opaque ironstone plate blank with thick rounded foot ring is a product of the mid 1830s and 1840s.
The overall style of this printed pattern mimics another very popular printed pattern often called peacock feather and flowers. I have included a photo of this other pattern to help illustrate how very similar the two patterns are with a single main floral spray in the center and three large feathered sprigs around the marly or rim separated by three small sprigs (see last photo, you are only purchasing the red printed plate shown in the first eight photos, the green feather plate is not available). When the plate listed for sale here was produced, the Ridgway factory probably also offered this same pattern in green, light blue, brown and possibly black so that the consumer had a choice from which to select.
The Ridgway plate offered here is in superb condition (see condition notes below) and is also a nice departure from the more busy and overly decorated romantic printed wares of the same period. Its dense ironstone body is heavier and the center of the plate is thicker than the older pearlware plates of the 1820s and early 1830s. But because this plate is transitional between the older and thinner pearlware and the newer thicker and denser common ironstone, the thickness along its outer rim edge still falls within the range of the older plates. In another 20 years, some common ironstone plates would have outer rim edges two to three times as thick as the plate listed here. And while some might label this plate pearlware since the glaze exhibits a slight purplish-blue puddling in areas along its backside, it is actually an early forerunner of the bluish-gray tinted common ironstone of the late 1840s and 1850s. The shift to producing thicker tableware after 1840 seems to also parallel the shift to more efficient modes of transportation in the second quarter of the 1800s apparently where heavier loads could be shipped at little extra cost (i.e., via steamships and then railroads rather than wagon or cart).
Finally, it is interesting to mention that the hand painted colors of soft green, egg yolk yellow and watery light blue found on this plate parallel the color palette used on spatterware and spongeware in the 1840s. This would be expected since the potteries would have drawn on the same high temperature colors available to do the various spatterwares of the period as they did to hand embellish transfer printed wares. And the need to produce cheaper and less expensive wares eventually led to the use of cut sponges to stamp floral and geometric designs. The cut-sponge technique was added by Staffordshire decorators and other British potteries in the early 1840s and then quickly spread as a way to produce cheaper wares for the lower and middle classes. The plate listed here was not produced for the lower classes and its printed motifs are carefully hand painted and embellished. So if you are looking for an antique Willow Feather plate in near-mint condition, then this may be just the plate for you. And as always, this 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 plate measures 9 1/4 inches across and stands slightly over 1 inch tall right along its rim edge. It weighs about 1 1/4 lbs and sits on a thick rounded foot ring that has a diameter of 5 1/4 inches. The plate is a perfect size for displaying along a shelf or mantle, or on a table, counter or in a china cabinet and its crisp, clean design will certainly draw attention in most any setting.
CONDITION: This plate is in excellent with no major defects and no chips, no hairlines, no stains, no repairs and no restorations. The glaze is shiny and clean, the colors bright and wear and heavy utensil marks essentially absent. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return this plate for a refund (see our complete refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $8.90 for well packed and insured USPS Priority Mail (this is an estimated savings of about $2 to $3 since insurance & tracking are also INCLUDED in this amount for all mainland US addresses). No handling or packing fees are ever charged and 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.