This example is a fantasy oyster plate created for the decorator market. There are four "wells" with Swans floating in them, surrounded by water lilies. Each swan is slightly different, as if painted by an artist. There is a decorative flower-shaped well in the center and flowers around the rim. The piece is completely unmarked because it was originally imported bearing only a paper label to indicate its country of manufacture. That if course was quickly removed in order that immediately after import it could be sold into the secondary market as an 'old' collectible.
The foot rim on back has two wire hooks embedded in it so the plate can be hung on the wall. This is the biggest and most useful immediate clue that the item is an 'oyster plate' in name only, and not authentic. Antique or vintage oyster plates were never given such features, as they were never originally made to be decorations. Prior to modern times, oyster plates were only ever meant to be used at the table, for serving oysters.
Since there is some question as to whether or not the glaze on this item would be entirely lead-free, being a mass market 'decorative' fake recently imported from China, it might be a good idea to never actually employ this 'oyster plate' at the table, for food service. Hanging it on the wall for decoration should be its only use.
Measures 9 inches in diameter.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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