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English Blue and White Floral Pottery Cabinet Plate ~ 253+ YEARS OLD ~ John Turner England ~ Ca 1756-1780
WOW! Can you imagine where this old plate has been? How many hands have held this priceless gem? I almost overlooked it because I wasn’t familiar with the mark but it was to pretty to leave it and it needed a good home. When you hold it you know it is something special, it just feels good. This piece has raised relief of flowers and scrolls along its slightly scalloped edge. There is a light blue glaze that has been applied to the plate except around the rim where it is white with only an occasional blue tint. Raised relief ridges are interspersed around the rim as it ascends to the center adding depth. Small blue floral bouquet transfers have been placed on the rim under the scroll designs. The center of this piece is covered by an assortment of flowers done in the dark and light blues. The blue floral transfers are all under glaze so they have been protected from scratches and flaking. This beauty has no chips; I repeat no chips can you imagine! She does have some discoloration on the rim and the raised portions of the rim but we all get aged spots sooner or later so I think she has held up beautifully.
In about 1780 John Turner took his sons John and William into partnership and on his death they succeeded in the business. John Turner had a few brief associations with other potters but for the main period the basic mark was TURNER. TURNER, John (1738-87), pottery manufacturer, Longton. John Turner, the son of a Staffordshire lawyer, was born in 1738 at Brewood. Where he attended school is not known but he was sufficiently well-educated to be able to write his pottery chemical formulae in French to guard against industrial espionage. He was apprenticed to a Staffordshire potter, Daniel Bird, in 1753, and was established by 1756 in a partnership with R. Banks, making white stoneware, in a factory on the site of what is now Copeland-Spode, in Stoke upon Trent. He moved to Lane End in 1759. (1762 according to Jewitt). He was acknowledged as being 'one of the cleverest and most successful potters Staffordshire ever produced.' The earliest dated piece attributed to him is a 1762 teapot. About 1780 he discovered a vein of fine clay, peacock marl, at Green Dock, Edensor, from which he made a wide variety of ware of a cane color. He also produced a blue glazed pottery similar to Japanese porcelain. He was both a friend and commercial rival of Josiah Wedgwood. John Turner was one of the six founders of the New Hall Works, Shelton. John Turner was a pioneer of the atmospheric Newcomen steam engine in the Potteries, installing one in his pottery in 1775. He was appointed potter to the Prince of Wales in 1784. He married Ann nee Emery on 15 October 1759 and by her had three sons and three daughters. His sons William and John later became his partners, continuing the business after his death on 24 December 1787. The firm was declared bankrupt in 1806. William continued on his own until 1829 when the factory was sold.
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Eileen and Russell Weiss, Grain Valley, MO
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