German porcelain souvenir china 5 inch dish with pastel green luster glaze rim. Central hand colored view of a Denver & Rio Grande passenger train with steam locomotive traversing the Royal Gorge rail line alongside the Arkansas River. Light wear to the green glaze, particularly at the edge of the plate, as shown, otherwise in wonderful condition. No chips or cracks. Great coloration of the view.
Souvenir china views were created from original photographs supplied to the manufacturer by the local group or company commissioning them. A transfer was made from their (black and white) photo and then applied to the article being made. Often the image was then hand colored, as in this example. German-made scenic 'china' articles typically were made in hard paste porcelain, which has helped many to survive through the years. They were popular souvenirs between 1890 and the mid-1930's. Today they offer us tiny windows on the past.
There are two back stamps on this dish. Black print in an oblong box gives the name of the local retail establishment who commissioned the plate: "Painted and Imported For The Wood-Well Worth Stores Co., Canon City, Colo" and an artist's palette mark in gold (the angle at which I took the picture makes it look black) that reads, "Hand Painted The Jonroth Studios, Germany". The palette is the mark of the company from whom the plate was ordered, who had it made in Germany. The John H. Roth (Jonroth) Company used this mark between 1909 and 1939.
The Denver & Rio Grande owned the rail line through the Royal Gorge. It is still possible to ride through the Royal Gorge by train as shown on this plate, next to the Arkansas River. See my Favorite Links for a link to more information on the history of the making of this incredible rail passage.
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