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c1774 Wedgwood Creamware Shell-edge Plate with Botanical-style painting (early impressed mark)
Antique Josiah Wedgwood creamware plate from about 1774 with hand painted purplish-red overglaze Hydrangea and an early Wedgwood impressed mark with uneven lettering (see all Photos). This plate is a rare specimen because it exhibits several special attributes that are not commonly recognized. For example, the vertical rim edge still retains a rounded rim lip identical to the Royal rim edge with but one important difference. Some of the rounded rim lip has been removed by cutting into the rounded edge to create the appearance of an asymmetrical Rococo edge (see Photos and particularly Photo #7). The phrase 'create the appearance' is exactly what has happened. That is, the Rococo rim edge on this plate is a visual illusion created by paring and cutting down into the rounded rim lip on the master mold to produce plates with this rim edge. Once a blank is produced from the mold, glazed and fired in a kiln, then a factory decorator would paint the horizontal rim segments while leaving the unpared rounded vertical edge parts unpainted and plain. More importantly, the original plate blank (undecorated plate before painting) used to create the appearance of a Rococo edge is actually a Royal plate blank with radial rays added as illustrate in Photo #6 (close up view) that divide the marly into six broad brackets. The six brackets create the same hexafoil plate shape when viewed from the backside that had been used by Staffordshire potters on fine white salt glazed stoneware plates since the mid 1750s (see Geoffrey Godden's 'British Pottery' published by Clarkson N. Potter in 1975, pps. 86 bottom left, also top pf pp. 87), and on the clouded and mottled glazed plates from about the period (see ibid. pp. 102 bottom) some 20 years before Josiah Wedgwood perfected the Royal plate rim shape in the early 1770s.
Photo #8 illustrates three other shell edge plates (these are not for sale at this time) besides the Hydrangea example listed for sale here for comparison only. Photo #9 also displays three more Wedgwood shell edge plates that are also not for sale here but displayed for informational purposes only. The one plate listed here and for sale at this time is the plate shown in the first seven photos and has the Hydrangea flower. It is an example of a less common variant of the Rococo plate rim form than typically seen among pre-1790 creamware shell edge plates. The six radial rays that divide the marly also extend down the drop that forms the well but do not continue out into the bottom of the well (see all Photos). Radial rays seem to have been popularized by Wedgwood in the late 1760s on true feather edge creamware plates, often decorated over the glaze with transfer printed fantastic birds (aka Liver birds). The rays on this plate indicate that Wedgwood was continuing to experiment with plate rim forms and shapes as he developed his earliest shell edge shapes. Wedgwood's next innovation would be the perfection of a white looking earthenware body and glaze that he would call 'Pearl' or 'Pearl White' and it would be offered commercially soon after 1779. Soon after in the 1780s, shell edge pearlware would grow in popularity along with blue transferred printed pearlware to become one of the most widely produced and fashionable wares offered by Staffordshire potters by the late 1790s. Creamware, however did not go extinct and was still be produced although in lighter hues than the plate listed here and by 1800 was surpassed in popularity by Pearlware.
This is a wonderful Wedgwood creamware plate hand painted over the glaze with a Hydrangea as noted above. The three other smaller sprigs depict other flowering plants following a botanical theme but rendered in a more commercial style. The impressed mark is irregular and Wedgwood would soon make sure that his name was perfectly applied in addition to demanding perfection in all other aspects from the clay body to the glaze. Crazing is not present on most Wedgwood creamwares and this plate is a wonderful example of his quality products. Currently, an antique vendor along 5th Avenue in New York City is offering two Wedgwood creamware plates like this one for over $1,000 each (and one of the plates has a repair . . .).
And as always, this Hydrangea Wedgwood plate also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy (see complete Return Policy details farther below). You also have the option to design a customized lay-away plan for purchasing this plate by simply requesting the terms you wish to use and then letting me take care of setting it up using an installment schedule that is best for your budget and that still can be modified at any time should the unexpected ever arise. If this may work for you, then simply let me know by email and then we can work out what terms may work best for you and can take it from there.
SIZE & CONDITION: This plate has a maximum diameter of 9 1/16 inches across and stands about 7/8 inches tall along its outer rim. This plate weighs about 3/4 lbs empty and sits on a flat base that is about 5 ½ inches across that has no foot ring (see all Photos; final shipping weight is estimated about 2 to 2.5 lbs). This plate is in excellent condition with no chips, hairlines, major stains, deep scratches, repairs or restoration. Wear is restricted to the tiny tops of a few of the tallest Rococo rim lip edges and a half dozen scratches in the well that are not readily noticeable unless viewed up close in strong reflected light (see all Photos). A better example would be hard to find today without paying another $350 to $650 above the price asked here as noted by the NY offering. Of course, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return this plate for a refund within 14 days of receipt at your address (see our complete return policy for all details as noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $13.70 for well packed USPS Priority Mail and this is an estimated savings of $4 to $9 since insurance and tracking are also INCLUDED in this amount. Also, the insured postage you pay is less than our actual costs or we refund the difference back to you, and there are never any handling or packing fees charged for any Docs Antiques purchases. All international buyers will also pay less than the actual shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the Continental US mainland since we strive to help reduce insured postage costs for everyone no matter where they live. Additionally, we only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and certain Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old and your Country allows a waiver (International waivers cannot be included for certain less expensive international shipping methods). And so we ask our International customers to send us their confirmed address so that we can email you quotes covering several International shipping options to your location. Please note that International import duties, taxes and other special charges are not included in the item price or our shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition waiver for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes when your country allows such petitions for items over 100 years old and the shipping option selected allows a waiver request to be included. 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 listings here on Ruby Lane -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And our pledge means that if the buyer is unhappy with their purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of the original receipt of the item at your address for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable, please insure the item upon return and add tracking). 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. 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 if you have any questions and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: 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, then that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order. 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 by way of a credit card. Or see our Terms of Sale for additional information should you wish to request a customized layaway plan customized to your own needs and situation (email me a request for a customized layaway). Thanks for looking and we invite you back again when you have more time.
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