Spectacular Victorian Polychrome Aesthetic Transferware Platter ~ Charger
FW Grove Staffordshire England c.1885
This spectacular charger or round platter is circa 1885. It measures a generous 12 inches in diameter, was impeccably potted and with an elaborate transfer printed brown decoration which has been hand embellished with a "Pratt" palette of subdued blue, green, gold, maroon and brown, with a gilt rim against a creamy earthenware background.
It is plentifully decorated with an extravagantly asymmetrical layering of cartouches, with a fan containing Japanese Koi fish, overlapping with picture book or story book of children playing at the beach, and further overlapping with an enchanting scene in the forest. There is also a stack of trade cards topped with two children, and another cartouche of a sailing ship. All of the cartouches and vignettes are brought together with a gorgeous branch of pomegranates (incorrectly spelled Pomegranite on the backstamp) in full fruit. The decoration resembles the Christopher Dresser-style of Old Hall, like the fruit encrusted Mother Hubbard pattern, and also is similar to the Rosebud pattern by Grove and Stark, the successor to the company that made this plate.
The plate bears a registration mark that dates it to the year 1885. It is marked with the pattern name "Pomegranite" and the maker's initials "FWG", signifying F.W. Grove, a pottery maker in Staffordshire England during the 1860-1880s. They later combined efforts with Stark and became "Grove & Stark". The quality of the decoration and detailing of the Pomegranite motif is outstanding, and the coloring and decoration is particularly desirable.
Condition is excellent, with no chips, cracks or repairs. Minor age toning on the back side, consistent with prior use. The plate is a superb example of the finest in European folk art, reflecting the "Art for Art's Sake" attitude of the Aesthetic Movement, the love of nature and the exotic. This is an extremely rare example, ideal for an advanced collection of Aesthetic transferware with a whimsical and winsome theme.