A large American Historical Staffordshire Platter in the "Boston Mails" Pattern by James & Thomas Edwards, c. 1840. The platter has a large central image of the "Saloon" and no border. It is marked with a black Boston Mails Cartouche on the back, as well as with an impressed "Edwards Ironstone" mark. The octagonal-shaped platter measures 17 ½" x 13 ¾". It is in very fine condition: there is an invisibly restored, approximately 1 ¾" hairline in the border at the upper left (the line did not reach the well of the platter), and no other chips, cracks, lines, etc. Clean and fresh, the image of the "Saloon" is crisp.
This variety of the Boston Mails pattern has the plain white border (some have elaborate borders with medallions of ships), and was used aboard the packet ships that brought mail and goods (and a few passengers) between Boston and London in the early 1840s. The pattern has 3 different transfer views: the Gentleman's Cabin, a Ladies Cabin and, as seen here, "Saloon," which is the rarest of the 3. "Boston Mails" Ironstone can be considered among the earliest of the ocean liner or steamship china.