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1880 (dated) Wedgwood Enameled Creamware Plate (Ovingtons Brooklyn / Chicago, importer)
Hand painted over the glaze Wedgwood (impressed mark with date code) floral printed plate in the botanical genre from 1880 (see all Photos). This plate is pleasing to the eye and has a burnt yellow rim edge mimicking Chinese porcelain plate rims from the mid 1700s and earlier and their Batavia tea leaf brown luster edges. The brown leaves and flowers are printed under the glaze and then semitransparent colors were added over the glaze by hand. There is a soft watery blue, a light purple, a semitransparent egg yolk yellow and a dull green that all belong to the older palette first seen on pearlware and creamware in the late 1700s under the label Prattware (see‘Pratt Ware: English and Scottish relief decorated and underglaze colored earthenware 1780 to 1840' by John and Griselda Lewis and published by the Antique Collectors’ Club, Second Edition, 2006, for many examples). The one color not typically present on early Prattware is the turquoise blue that accents the smaller leaves. Also, mocha brown was commonly used on Prattwares and this plate lacks any hand painted dark mocha brown probably because parts of the transfer printed details includes dark mocha brown that almost looks added by hand (see close-up Photos).
The flowers are many petaled and have yellow centers and may be Zinnias or some similar species. The colors are complementary and pleasing to view. The floral pattern is also a nice change from the many exotic and scenic landscapes and urban views that dominated Staffordshire wares from the 1820s to 1860s. The 1870s and 1800s brought a change to decorative ceramic patterns and the aesthetic movement was fueled by a need to break from the older formulas. This plate, however, did not break from the floral patterns of the early 1800s and the creamware body certainly would appear conservative given the long popularity of pearlware and the more recent advent of the common white ironstone of the 1850s, 1860s and 1870s.
This plate has a number of important marks and provenance associations for the collector and admirer. First, it has the classic impressed WEDGWOOD factory mark as well as a production date code for July, 1880 (the year this plate black was produced). The code is BLI, however the factory inverted the month letter position, L, and set it in the middle as opposed to being the first in the three letter sequence (see Geoffrey A. Godden’s ‘Encyclopedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks’ published in 1964 by Bonanza Books, New York, pg 658, entry mark #4088 for details). The last letter, an ‘I’ indicates that this plate was produced in 1880, and when added to the month code, it was formed, fired and glazed in July, 1880. The lack of a footring or foot rim and the simple rounded trencher base shape is a standard plate form used by the Wedgwood factory since the 1760s. Although the body and glaze appear as creamware, the term often used by Staffordshire potteries to refer to this clay body would have been ‘cc ware’, a shorted version of the term ‘common cream-colored’ earthenware.
The other notable provenance associated with this plate is the merchants or importers name and logo on the back of the plate. It is printed in brown under the glaze and states ‘OVINGTONS’ in capital letters sandwiched between Brooklyn above and Chicago below (chicago is all lower case letters). This logo refers to the Ovington Brothers who were China and Glass merchants that started their venture before 1850 in the Brooklyn Heights region of New York city. Theodore Ovington (1829-1909) and Edward Ovington started in 1843 in Brooklyn on Fulton Street near the ferry. In 1879, the brothers moved to a new location on lower Fulton Street where it crossed Clark Street. They stayed there until 1895 even thought the building had to be rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1884. In 1895, the company moved to 58 Flatbush Avenue next to Nevins Street and soon after opened a branch in Manhattan at 314 Fifth Avenue. The success of this new location eventually lead to the closing of their Brooklyn store.
Theodore Ovington’s daughter, Mary White Ovington (1865-1951) was one of the founders of the NAACP in 1909 and published an important contribution in 1911 to exposing racism and prejudice in the US in her book titled ‘Half a Man.’The plate listed here is one of the patterns offered by the Ovington brothers china and glass stores in Brooklyn and Chicago when Mary was only 15 years old. The pattern number hand painted on the back side of the plate in light green enamel is A1655 / P. This is a wonderful hand painted floral plate that will capture attention and interest in most any setting. So if you are looking for an antique decorative Wedgwood creamware plate that was used by a family in the New York or Chicago some 135 years ago, then make sure you seriously consider this one while it is still available. And as always, this 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).
SIZE & CONDITION: This plate measures about 8 3/16 inches (diameter) across and stands about 13/16 inches tall along its outer most rim edge. The plate sits on a flat base about 5 inches across that has a rounded shoulder and lacks a foot rim (see all Photos). Final shipping weight is estimated between 2 and 3 lbs (plate weighs about 3/4 lbs empty). The plate is in very good condition with no major damage or production defects and no chips, hairlines, major stains, deep scratches, repairs or restoration. There is very modest wear to the overglaze green that is only evident upon close inspection. And as always, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return the plate for a refund (see our complete return policy for all details as noted below, plate must be received back undamaged with all security details intact).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $9.90 for well packed USPS Priority shipping and this is an estimated savings of $1 to $3 since insurance and tracking are INCLUDED in this amount. Also, the insured postage you pay for delivery in the US is always less than our actual costs or we refund the difference back to you, and there are never any handling or packing fees added to any of your Docs Antiques purchases, ever. All international buyers will also pay less than the actual shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the Continental US mainland. Send us your address and we will email you up to four options for sending this item to your country. 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. 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 grants such petitions for items over 100 years old and the shipping option you select 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. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with a 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.
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Dr. Moir, Frisco, TX
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