Scarce Purple Transfer Printed Maxim Plate
Staffordshire England c.1830
This is rare Staffordshire transferware childs biblical motto or maxim plate, circa 1820-1840. The small round plate measures 4 1/2 inches in diameter with a scroll moulded border and scalloped rim. Transfer printed in purple or mulberry (sometimes called lavender or violet) and embellished with hand painted blue rim, finished with pearlware glaze. It is decorated with the biblical maxim or motto: PROSPERITY GAINS FRIEND ADVERSITY TRIES THEM
Above the motto is the image of a holy bible. Although sometimes attributed as a biblical motto, it was in fact penned by Syrus Publilius, a Latin writer who wrote commentary in single sentence format ("sententiae"). The maxim is as profound and relevant today as it was when it was first penned.
The plate is unmarked except for an impressed tally mark. The exact maker is unknown. It more than likely hails from the Staffordshire potting region in England, though it may have been made by one of the Welsh or Scottish potteries, c. 1830. The plate is in very good condition, with a hairline at 3 o'clock, as seen in the detail photo, and no other chips, cracks, or repairs. Two tiny glaze flakes on the edge. Stilt marks original to the making. Sold as is. Plates like these were made as gifts for good children and used at home and at school as an aid to their education and moral learning and rewards of merit for young students in the early to mid 19th century. A fine example of early English toy ceramics and educational pottery, now considered AAFA.