Rare Miniature American Presidential Historical Staffordshire Teapot
William Henry Harrison ~ Columbian Star
John W Ridgway Staffordshire England 1840
This is a scarce early American historical Staffordshire blue transferware teapot, originally part of a complete childs tea set. he six-sided hexagonal ironstone lidded pitcher stands 4-1/2 inches tall and measures 6 inches across, decorated with the Columbian Star pattern in miniature child size, made for playtime tea parties with dolls and friends and to support the political campaigns of their parents’ candidate. The central image shows a log cabin with a man outside and smoke billowing out of the chimney, finished with a star-spangled border with a wreath of laurel leaves. The image repeats on both sides of the teapot.
The piece was made by John W Ridgway in Staffordshire England for export to the United States, to celebrate the successful 1840 presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison. Harrison’s compaign was the first modern political campaign. He lived for a while in Ohio, which was frontier territory at that time. The Whig party used the log cabin as the symbol of his campaign to sell him to the voters as a rugged frontier hero and a man of the people.
The teapot is unmarked. The pattern is identified on page 37 of PRESIDENTIAL AND CAMPAIGN MEMORABILIA, by Stan Gores, published in 1982 (now out of print). Some pieces found in the childs size and adult size bear maker’s mark with the Columbian Star pattern name, and the date October 28, 1840, the date of the election or a plain impressed “John Ridgway” mark on the base. By far the most widely distributed political china made in the nineteenth century.
The teapot is in great condition with a tight stable hairline through the top of the handle, and no other chips, cracks or repairs. Minor typical firing imperfections, original to the making. Slight patina inside consistent with prior use. Sold as is, a prize for any collector of presidential commemoratives or for a collector of American historical transfer printed ceramics.
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