A large pearlware platter (21¾ x 16-3/8 x 1-5/8 inches) made ca 1825 by an unknown maker, decorated with the "Bee Master" pattern in blue transfer.
According to most references, the pattern was inspired by a print titled "A Swarm of Bees." In the main image on the platter, the title character apparently is the man carrying the bee skep (a straw beehive) at the left. In the center of the image are two men, a young boy and two dogs. At right is a young couple. All these are in a country setting with a farm cottage, other bee skeps, trees, a river and a village in the background.
The rim design is made up of white flowers separated by oval reserves in which are pictured pairs of animals – horses, deer, cattle and sheep.
Author A.W. Coysh has theorized that this pattern may have been made by the Adams factory in Staffordshire, England, although the piece bears no impressed or transfer marks on the back.
The piece has some of the manufacturing flaws typical of pieces of this type, including stilt marks, and areas of bubbles and unevenness in the glaze. The glaze is very slightly blue, and is very shiny -- so shiny we have been unable to avoid all instances of glare in our photos.
Condition: Quite good for its age, with mostly clean crazing in the glaze on the front and some knife scratches in the well. The back has friction marks where the platter sat on or was slid across tables. There is one hairline crack (approximately 1 inch long) at the edge, and two spots of what appear to be professional restoration on the front side. Both of these are circled in photos accompanying this listing. The first of these is about 5/8 x ½ inch and is found in the shrub to the left of the bee master; the other is approximately ¾ x ¼ and is along the lower edge of the piece. The latter has a very slightly buff color cast to it. In the past there was information written on the back in felt tip marker; we have done our best to remove it, but traces remain.
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