Rare Hand Painted Portrait Plate
Kitten with Ball and Feather
probably France or Germany c 1880
This rare earthenware portrait plate in the form of a handkerchief dates to the late nineteenth century. The 8 inch square dish has folded corners, resembling a handkerchief, with a raised base, a playful example of the Aesthetic Movement and the Victorian love of animals and the exotic. Well potted of earthenware and decorated with hand painted image of a kitten chasing a ball and feather, finely rendered with realistic perspective and graduated shading, bordered with a brilliant turquoise frame with gilding, finished with a blue glaze.
The plate is unmarked except for a painted VB, probably the decorators mark, and an impressed letter U. The exact maker is unknown but would likely hail from France or Germany, possibly associated with Limoges or the Utzschneider factory at Sarreguemines, a reknowned faiencerie pottery maker.
The plate is in great condition, with a small chip on the foot rim and no other chips cracks or repairs. Firing imperfections and stilt marks from the making process, and wear to the foot rim and gilt trim consistent with age. A cat lovers dream and an outstanding example of the Aesthetic Movement design. The paint decoration is beautiful.
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