Important antique Wedgwood creamware plate from about 1774 and decorated with hand painted purplish-red or puce overglaze floral sprigs and rim accenting, strongly molded Rococo shell edge rim motif (some prefer feather edge label but this is a misnomer and not accurate), six raised radial cavetto to marly ridges, and a comparatively early Josiah Wedgwood impressed mark (see all Photos). As such, this plate is a significant type-specimen from about 245 years ago that exhibits special attributes not typically recognized by collectors and ceramic historians. For example, the overall rim shape on this plate is defined by six raised radial marly ridges which form a standard hexafoil outline, a rim edge shape that extends back to at least the 1740s and can be found in silver, brass and pewter as well as lead glazed and tin glazed pottery. These special attributes are discussed below.
A hexafoil plate rim outline has six repeating rim segments or brackets that most often contain three interconnected rim lobes per bracket wherein the center-most lobe in each bracket is larger than its immediately flanking lobes. A hexafoil rim shape is present in creamware plates belonging to the Royal rim pattern, the Queen’s rim pattern, and even some Shell-Edged plate rims when one looks critically at the overall outline defined by the outer-most edge of the plate. Photo 9 illustrated here shows the breadth of a single hexafoil rim bracket as found on four different plates spanning from about 1770 (the plate in the foreground) to about 1820 (the green shell-edged plate in the back). And as these four plates help visually illustrate, not every hexafoil plate possesses (1) rim edge coloring, (2) an easily definable trilobed bracket outline, or (3) raised radial marly divide ridges. The most readily recognizable trilobed hexafoil rim bracket visible among the four plate rims illustrated in Photo 9 is the plate that has no edge coloring (see third plate rim up from the bottom in Photo 9). In this particular case, the name of the rim edge pattern happens to be Wedgwood’s ‘New Feather Edge’ pattern (again, see the plate rim segment that has no enamel coloring in Photo 9). None of the plates shown in Photo 9 are for sale here. The only plate offered for sale in this listing is the crimson red Wedgwood shell-edge creamware plate shown in the first eight photos all by itself.
Regarding the four plates shown in Photo 9, the first two plates in the foreground are hexafoil shaped plates that also possess radial marly divides despite the fact that marly divides occur on only a small percentage of British ceramic plates overall. Raised ridges forming radial marly divides that also extend down into the cavetto occur on some hexafoil British plates that also have molded feather-edge rims, molded shell edge rims, or very rarely molded Royal pattern rims (see Noel Hume’s ‘A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America’ published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1970 under Figure 35 on page 116 for examples 5, 6, and 8 in order to recognize these three rim patterns shapes). But in comparison to other British ceramic plate rim shapes of the mid to late 1700s, hexafoil pottery plates with radial marly divides are a rare and distinctive morphological subtype that have not been adequately understood to date. And such discussions, however are well beyond the scope of this listing.
Raised radial marly ridges can be seen most clearly in Photo 9 on the two red shell edged plates in the foreground where pairs of marly ridges define a single hexafoil bracket (as noted already, none of the plates in Photo 9 are for sale here in this listing). The estimated mid-dates for each plate in Photo 9 starting with the plate in the immediate foreground are as follows: an early creamware burgundy-red shell edge plate from ca. 1770 (no factory marks, hence maker unknown, no floral painted motifs), an early Wedgwood creamware crimson red shell edge plate from ca. 1774 (impressed WEDGWOOD mark on back, similar plate and mate to the one listed here), a Wedgwood creamware plate with the ‘new feather edge’ design from ca. 1780 (impressed WEDGWOOD mark on back), and a Davenport green shell edge pearlware plate from ca. 1820 (small cockled edge, impressed early Davenport anchor mark).
Returning to the Wedgwood creamware plate listed for sale here, some additional and notable attributes include how this plate was hand finished. For example, the lower or undermost part of the vertical rim on this plate displays paring done by a factory worker who trimmed the lowermost edge to create a minutely bevel or angled facet. The bevel was cut using a knife or special tool while the clay was still malleable soon after press-forming the plate in a mold. Other production details include tiny glaze contact scars from small four pronged kiln stilts of differing sizes that were used to seat the plate in a muffle kiln during firing in order to permanently set the crimson red enamel, as well as the placement of tiny floral sprigs painted on the sloping surface of the cavetto following the custom of some Continental faience enamelers.
Other early English shell-edge attributes also observable on the plate for sale here include asymmetrical and irregular rim edge crenulations along with deeply incised and curving shell edge sculpted furrows of variable lengths and widths. In fact, some of the incised furrows extend from the outer edge of the rim to beyond the mid-point of the marly. That is, a few deeply sculpted furrows run from the rim edge inward and across more than 1/2 of the total width of the marly (i.e., greater than 50% of the width, see Photos 1 and 4). And finally, much of the crimson purplish-red painted edge decoration on this plate was applied with a brush consisting of a single hair or two to paint very thin lines (see Photo 4). And so to paint the outer edge of the plate listed for sale here, a decorated had to apply some 750 individual brush strokes to complete. This was figured by estimating the number of individual brush strokes in a single bracket and then multiplying it by a factor of six for the six brackets total. As an aside, there are about 45 individual brush strokes used to draw the tiny lines painted along the small section of rim edge shown in close-up in Photo 4.
In summary, this is a wonderful antique Wedgwood creamware plate with early molded 'Rococo-style' shell edging, six radial marly divides and four small floral sprigs surrounding a large centrally positioned petalled flower painted in a botanical style. The four smaller sprigs painted along the sloping cavetto seem to point to Continental influences rather than a separate English tradition. The impressed Wedgwood mark on the back of this plate (see Photo 5) is comparatively early and contains slightly irregular lettering with two widely spaced ‘OO’ (as part of the WOOD) that do not seem to occur after about 1780. Crazing of the glaze is absent as expected for early Wedgwood creamware. In the past couple of years, an antique vendor in New York City was offering two Wedgwood creamware plates for $1,100 each that were, in my opinion, much the same as the one listed here even though one of their plates had a substantial repaired. And unlike most formal auction houses, the Wedgwood plate listed here also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy as long as it was not damaged in shipping and is returned within the time period specified (items damaged in transit are covered by insurance, see my complete Return Policy details as given farther below). The prospective buyer also has the option to request a customized lay-away plan for purchasing this plate by simply requesting the terms he/she wishes to use and then letting me take care of setting it up using an installment schedule that is best suited for your budget and that can be modified at any time should the unexpected arise. If this may work for you, then simply let me know by email the kinds of terms you would like and we can go from there.
SIZE: This plate has a maximum diameter of 9 1/8 inches across and stands about 3/4 inches tall along its outer rim edge. It weighs just over 1/2 lbs empty, sits on a flat base that measures about 5 11/16 inches across, and lacks a foot ring or foot rim which is a common feature among Wedgwood creamware plates dating from the late 1700s and after (see Photo 6; final boxed and double packed shipping weight is estimated at about 2 to 2.5 lbs).
CONDITION: This Wedgwood plate is in good condition with just a couple of minor disclosures. There is one short 3/4 inch long tight hairline located on the front of the plate at about the 10 o’clock position (see Photo 7 where a pen points to the hairline) or alternatively on the back of the plate at about the 2 o’clock position (see Photo 6 where a pencil points to it). Also, this plate has two small 1/4 inch glaze chips on its front or face that are situated along its outermost rim edge. Edge glaze chip has been cosmetically colored over and thus is not readily visually apparent (see Photos 3 and 7). Lastly, there are also a couple of very tiny glaze nibbles on the backside of the rim that do not breach the rim edge and are hard to capture in Photo 6 (see Photos 6 at 12:30 o’clock and 6 o’clock for two tiny glaze edge chips that are barely visible). Beyond these minor declarations, this plate has no other condition issues and no stains, major utensil cuts or deep scratches, and no other repairs beyond the two small rim chips on the face as noted above. Glaze wear is restricted to some tiny worn spots on top of some of the tallest Rococo edge molded elements. Importantly, the overglaze red floral decoration is more than 98% intact and displays well (see all Photos). Consequently, a better example of a botanical style hand painted creamware Rococo shell-edge plate with radial marly divides and an impressed early Josiah Wedgwood factory mark would, in my opinion be hard to find today without paying another $125 up to $450 over the price listed here based on the New York dealer's prices. 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 $10.90 for well packed USPS Priority Mail and this is an estimated savings of $5 to $9 since insurance and tracking are also INCLUDED in this amount. Consequently, the buyer of this plate will pay 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. And if you might not be home at time of delivery, then we recommend that you request signature confirmation especially if you have had packages stolen off your porch – just let us add the option for an extra $2 charge. 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 possibly some Customs charges when an item is over 100 years old and your Country allows it. 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 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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