An 8¾" Staffordshire soup plate in blue transfer, "The Meeting of Sancho and Dapple," one of the patterns in the J & R Clews "Don Quixote" series.
Coysh & Henrywood's Dictionary of Blue & White Printed Pottery 1780-1880 Vol. I (p 112) identifies the pattern as having been based on illustrations by Robert Smirke and Charles Westall, and made primarily for the North American market. The illustrations had appeared in an English version of Cervantes' novel.
The title of the scene printed in the center of the plate is itself printed on the back of the plate. However, there is no mark specifically naming the manufacturer (according to reference sources, this is common in pieces in the series).
James & Ralph Clews operated a pottery in Cobridge, Staffordshire (England), between 1815 and 1834. Among other patterns, the company produced tablewares in three series -- Doctor Syntax, Don Quixote and Zoological Gardens -- all of which were exported to America.
The plate is in good condition for its age and for having been used at least for a time in the past. There do not appear to be any repairs. The only significant cracks are a pair of hairlines in the center of the back, near the title mark. These appear to be tight and stable. A few surface scratches can be found within the well, and there is some friction wear along the edge. There are a couple of areas of localized discoloration of the pottery. Although there is crazing present, the glaze is shiny and the transfer clear. As is common with pieces of this vintage and origin, there are some burst bubbles and stilt marks in the glaze. We have opted to leave the previous owners' label attached to the back.
An attractive example of 19th century transfer ware.
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