A 15” Red Staffordshire Platter from the Hannibal Passing the Alps Series by Knight, Elkin & Co. c. 1840. This is Scene or Pattern #02 from that Series, according to the Transferware Collectors Club Pattern & Source Print Database, and it shows a battle scene in the Alps with one of Hannibal’s elephants and several swordsmen on horseback. The wonderful border has cartouches which include the elephants, separated by sprays of flowers, and there is a lattice-work border. The platter measures 15” x 12 ½” and the edge is about 1 ¾” off the table. It has a printed mark and also an impressed mark that is difficult to read but probably has the maker’s name or initials.
This platter shows magnificently: the red or pink color is wonderful, the transfer crisp and clear and there is no visible evidence of damage. However, I believe this piece to have been restored. The glaze is very thick and shiny, what I call the “Subaru Finish for Transferware.” That usually indicates an overspray that covers restoration, but I cannot tell what has been restored: possibly a line or a crack, possibly an edge chip. In any event, whoever did the restoration was good and the platter looks like it just came out of the shipping barrel. Hanging on the wall, or in a cupboard, no one would know the difference.
Hannibal is known for his bold attempt, c. 210 B.C., to invade Rome by crossing both the Pyrenees and the Alps with his army and a herd of about 30 elephants – think about that: elephants in the winter and the snow climbing mountains where roads were, at best, cow paths! Although he managed to scale the mountains and invade Northern Italy, he was never able to subdue Roman and his army, and the elephants, were eventually beaten. These were the “Punic Wars,” a staple of any high school Latin Class.
This platter is identical to one that I recently sold on Ruby Lane. Postage to US locations will be a fixed rate $30; if the actual total is less, I will issue an immediate refund for the difference. International Postage will be on an actual cost basis.