Staffordshire Allegorical Cabinet Plate
SAUVE QUI PEUT ~ EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF
William Brownfield Cobridge Staffordshire England c 1880
This is a gorgeous transferware cabinet plate, decorated in a spectactular and rare burnt orange transfer printing. The creamy earthenware plate measures 9 inches in diameter.
It is decorated with a fantasy image of a three fairy elves who are running for cover after being attacked by bees, running or swimming every which way to avoid the sting. The plate is titled Sauve Qui Peut, a French expression meaning “Save Yourself If You Can” A stunning Aesthetic movement image, part of an early series of fantasy imagery with elves, fairies and gnomes.
The person from whom we purchased the plate said that the design is based on ‘The Water-Babies’, a Victorian children's novel by the Charles Kingsley, written in 1862, a mainstay of children's literature, written as an educational fable. The protagonist of the book is Tom, an inquisitive young boy who falls into a river where he is transformed into a "water baby" and begins his moral education, embarking on a series of adventures and lessons in the company of other water babies. The main characters he meets along the way are fairies elves and critters, each teaching him a moral or spiritual lesson.
The plate is in great condition, with no chips, cracks, stains, or repairs. Fine glaze crazing and very minor wear consistent with age and prior use. The plate is marked with the pattern title "Sauve Qui Peut " along with a registration lozenge that dates the plate to 1880. The maker was William Brownfield, a pottery manufacturer in the Staffordshire district of England in the mid-to-late 19th century. The plate also has an impressed BROWNFIELD and impressed letters and unreadable numerals. Transfer printed allegorical plates of this quality with this series pattern are especially unique. This delightful plate is as good as it gets, a perfect gift for collectors of fantasy wares!
Staffordshire Allegorical Cabinet Plate ~ Fairy Elf Bee Attack c1880
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