Staffordshire Allegorical Cabinet Plate
THE CAPTIVATED ELF
William Brownfield Cobridge Staffordshire England c 1880
This is a gorgeous transferware porcelain plate, printed in blue and measures 9 1/2” in diameter. Artistically hand painted under the glaze.
It is decorated with a fantasy image of an elf admiring a fairy princess who carries a wand and rides a huge white swan in a pond surrounded by cat tails.
This stunning Aesthetic movement image is part of an early series of fantasy illustrations 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 and elves, each teaching him a moral or spiritual lesson.
Great condition. Transfer printed earthenware plates of this quality in this pattern are especially unique. Fantasy wares!