Rare Aesthetic Transferware Plate
DIGNITY & IMPUDENCE
William Brownfield Cobridge Staffordshire England c. 1880
This is a gorgeous transfer printed plate measuring 9 1/2 inches wide.
It is decorated with a fantasy image of four fairies elves and gnomes watching a magnificent heron or stork. The plucky little fairies are swimming among the lotus blossoms cat tails and reeds, looking playful and ready for an adventure. 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 porcelain plate is in great condition, with no chips, cracks, stains, or repairs.
Staffordshire Water Babies Plate ~ Dignity & Impudence Fairy Elf c1880