Although the debonair and dashing young men on this plate look like the Three Musketeers, they are actually generic characters designed by Charles Noke for the Royal Doulton series called New Cavaliers.
Charles Noke, as Art Director of Royal Doulton, introduced Series ware in 1900. Many of the scenes presented in the various series were nostalgic, as the English people of the time found earlier period images and styles to be very appealing. The New Cavaliers fit right into this interest, in particular because of its masculine yet also romantic possibilities. This plate presents three of the ten cavaliers that were designed by Noke for this series.
The plate is a nice display size at 10 1/2" in diameter. It features the three cavaliers and a colorful lion and shield border. The pattern number (D3051) tells us that this particular combination of designs was introduced in 1908. There is an impression on the back which is very difficult to read. In the right light, the last two digits appear to be 09; we believe the month may be the first part of the impression, but it is impossible to tell. This would indicate that this particular plate was made in 1909. The signature `Noke' is printed on the base as well.
The background color is cream, while the cavaliers and border feature blue, two different greens and brown. Condition is very good for a 100 year old ceramic plate. The glaze is heavily crazed, as is pretty typical for these early Series Ware pieces. There are no cracks or chips, or damage to the cavaliers or border. It is a fun and colorful plate, depicting a romantic day long gone.
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Early Royal Doulton Series Ware Plate – New Cavaliers
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