Antique Staffordshire child size Gaudy Welsh cup or mug in the Grape Pattern with nice molded leaf-style handle terminals (see Photos 1, 2 and 5) and no chips, hairlines, cracks, or repairs (see complete Conditions notes farther below). This example dates from about 1825 to 1845 period, hence the c1835 mid-date. The hand painted pattern on this cup includes an under glaze component of blackish dark blue (Photo 1) in addition to over glaze enamel decoration that includes three colors (soft green, strong ox-blood red, and a thin weak light orange wash) and also two variants of luster – pink luster and its corollary in copper luster when the pink is placed over the dark blue (copper luster is seen in reflection in Photos 2 and 9). The Grape Pattern is one of the more popular patterns collected today from some 125 named patterns in Gaudy Welsh (see John A. Shuman III’s The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Gaudy Dutch and Welsh published in 1991 by Collector’s Books, KY; Susan Bagdade and Al Bagdade’s English & Continental Pottery & Porcelain published in 1998, page 149 at top).
Gaudy Welsh is the label given to one of several 19th century (i.e., 1800s) Gaudy genres defined by collectors of British Staffordshire lustre ware. Gaudy Welsh was produced for American households of lesser means and was hand painted in stylized patterns that could be duplicated by workers that were not artistically adept. Originally, it was comparatively inexpensive to buy compared to transfer printed English wares or more ornate Continental wares of the same period. It was cheap enough to use daily and as a consequence, it is often found in chipped and damaged condition. Other Gaudy genres produced in the 1800s in addition to Gaudy Welsh include Gaudy Dutch (c1810 to c1830) and Gaudy Ironstone (c1850 to c1865; see Shuman 1991 ibid; also Susan Bagdade and Al Bagdade’s English & Continental Pottery & Porcelain, published in 1998, pages 106 to 108).
The primary underglaze color is restricted to cobalt blue while overglaze enamels include green (several shades), red (several shades from pink to deep ox-blood red) , orange (several shades), yellow and pink luster. One additional luster hue is also present – copper luster. But in this case copper luster is technically an optical illusion since it is merely the visual by-product of placing pink luster over dark cobalt blue. Some collectors have also use the label gold luster instead of copper luster when the luster tint is the same.
British potteries produce Gaudy Welsh wares over a 40 year period starting in about 1820 and dropping out of popularity by about 1860. Over this same time frame, clay bodies changes and Gaudy Welsh patterns are found on earthenware variants best described as late transitional creamware, transitional pearlware, whiteware, ironstone and bone china, a type of soft paste porcelain.
The small cup or can listed here is made with a paste and glaze combination that is best categorized as late transitional creamware of the 1825 to 1845 period, hence the c1835 mid date as noted above. The term transitional refers to the appearance of a slight purplish-blue tint to the glaze caused by a variant of cobalt oxide used to whiten and which is not intense enough to affect the cream-colored clay body (see Photos 4, 5, and 6).
Most Gaudy Welsh wares produced in 1800s have no makers marks or pottery names on their undersides or bottoms and this small mug is no difference. A few of the British factories that did mark some of their Gaudy Welsh wares are as follows: Adams and Sons, Davenport, Rogers, Enoch Wood (& Co.), Dillwyn & Co., Dawson, Fell & Co., Mellor Venables, Phillips, John Meir, Riley, and Swansea to name just a few.
When this small cup was produced, dark historical blue transfer printed patterns, flow dark blue wares, colorful transfer printed whitewares, mocha, engine turned and slip decorated wares were also being produced by hundreds of Staffordshire factories for export to American city dwellers and rural farmers, alike. Gaudy hand painted wares like this small cup that emphasized stylized brush stroke floral designs painted quickly were sold to the middle and lower classes in America. Gaudy Dutch was the first of the gaudy wares to evolve and so it occurs on pearlware and creamware in the 1810s and 1820s. Gaudy Welsh evolved out of Gaudy Dutch styles and both Gaudy genres were created by distorting and modifying the hand painted polychrome patterns seen on Chinese Export and Japanese Imari porcelain of the late 1700s and early 1800s. And as both of these Gaudy adaptations gained popular, the Gaudy style branched out to develop other versions in the 1830s, 40s and 50s. The shape of this small cup along with its simple but deep basal cordon and well defined and molded handle terminals help place it in the 1825 to 1845 period. And so whether you collect flow blue, Gaudy Welsh or one of the other hand painted gaudy wares of the early to mid 1800s, you may certainly want to consider purchasing this late transitional creamware example while it is still available since it may be a while before another one in very good condition comes along at a similar discounted price. And as always, this small cup also comes with a full satisfaction guarantee or return it for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE & CONDITION: This small cup stands about 2 5/8 inches tall and measures 2 1/2 inches across at the rim and base (diameters). It is in very good condition with no major production defects and no chips, hairlines, cracks, deep scratches, repairs or restoration. The only condition issues to disclose are (1) minor and restricted to a couple of small chips to the green enamel on two of the green leaves (see Photo 6), and some slight mellowing or light staining to the upper portion of the mug where the mellowing is partly hidden by the use of a light orange wash (see Photos 1, 4, 6, 7, and 9). Of course, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return this cup for a refund (see our complete return policy for all details as stated below).
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