Rare American Historical Staffordshire Childs Plate
UNCLE TOM’S CABIN ~ TRUE DEMOCRAT
Staffordshire England c. 1855
This scarce transferware childs plate, circa 1855, measures 6-3/4 inches in diameter with a painted press moulded daisy floral border and scalloped rim. The sturdy ironstone plate is transfer printed in brown and hand colored under the glaze. Decorated in a scene from the rare UNCLE TOME’S CABIN series, depicting Tom and Eva.
The plate would have been made for the American market shortly after Harriet Beecher Stowe's book 'UNCLE TOM'S CABIN' was published in 1852. Stowe was an abolitionist during the 1830s when she lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, along the the Ohio River, just north of Kentucky, a slave state. Thousands of runaway slaves passed through Cincinnati as they traveled to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
The young girl in the image is the virtuous character 'Eva', the daughter of Augustine St. Clare, who met Uncle Tom while traveling via steamship to New Orleans where Tom was to be sold. En route, Tom rescued Eva from drowning and her father eventually ‘bought’ Tom as a slave to the family. He became the head coachman and spent most of his time with the angelic Eva, whose character personifies the virtues of selfless love and forgiveness. The scene on the plate is encircled with the line from the book ‘Your little child is your only true democrat.’
The plate is unmarked and the maker is unknown. Most certainly made by a pottery manufactory in the Staffordshire region of England c1855.
The plate is in overall good condition with no chips cracks or repairs. Utensil wear and surface scratching consistent with age and prior use. Manufacturing and transfer imperfections, typical of these early wares. These child size dishes from literary history are especially attractive. Collectors of anti slavery Americana and historical Staffordshire will love this pattern! Sold as is, as shown and described.