Rare Miniature Spatterware Sponge Transfer Printed Cup Plate
School Boys Gymnastics Pommel Horse
Staffordshire England 1810
This is a rare miniature transferware and sponge decorated cup plate or child’s toy plate. It was part of a series of miniature plates that depicted childrens games and garden amusements. The little plate measures 3-1/2 inches in diameter with a gently scalloped rim. A rare combination of transfer printing and stick sponge or spatterware, the border of the plate is sponge decorated in red and the center is transfer printed in cobalt blue. The plate is finished with pearlware glaze.
The central image shows a school boy climbing on a pommel horse, a competitive gymnastic sport. An amusing decoration, naive and folky charm and hard to come by in this miniature size.
As would be expected, the plate is unmarked except for an impressed * tally mark. It was probably made in the Staffordshire region of England though it may hail from Leeds or another northern potting region in the early part of the 19th century.
The plate is in great condition, with no chips cracks or repairs. The workmanship is haphazard, which is one of the reasons many people collect it...not fine china, and not meant to be; it was made for children and probably considered disposable. The spongework was hastily applied, stilt marks on the foot rim, runny glaze and little bumps and kiln kisses and glazed over edge frits original to the making. The naïve and hasty style adds to the folksy charm. Offered as is, this rare plate in a beautiful color combination makes an exceptional addition to any folk art or early ceramics collection. A pocket size work of art, desirable for spongeware and spatterware collectors.