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  • Place of origin:

    Stoke-on-Trent (made)

  • Date:

    1853 (design registered)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Copeland & Co. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, transfer-printed

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 123, case 7

Object Type
Looking to extend markets throughout the British empire and beyond, manufacturers and retailers widened production accordingly. This plate was made specifically for sale in countries with a significant Muslim populace.

The grammar of such inscriptions was sometimes inaccurate and, it has been pointed out, the inscriptions are often in a script similar to forms of Arabic script developed in China. It seems possible that British manufacturers and retailers, long familiar with Chinese ceramics, makers and markets, looked to these rather than to the Middle East for advice on widening their production to attract Muslim customers.

British-made plates with inscriptions in Arabic, taken from the Qur'an, are commonly found in Indonesia and India. George Houghton of 41 Threadneedle Street, London, the retailer who registered this pattern and presumably ordered it from Copeland, had direct connections with outlets in these countries.

Physical description

PLATE made for Muslim markets

Place of Origin

Stoke-on-Trent (made)


1853 (design registered)


Copeland & Co. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, transfer-printed

Marks and inscriptions

The inscription in the centre translates as: 'Allah the One, there is no partner to Him/Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah/Indeed you are the Conquerer' and 'There is no God but Allah'


Height: 3 cm, Diameter: 26.2 cm

Object history note

Made by William Taylor Copeland, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Descriptive line

Plate with arabic inscription

Labels and date

British Galleries:
The design on this plate was registered by the retailer, and not by the manufacturer. Retailers did this so that they could have exclusive patterns to sell. Identical Copeland plates have been recorded in India and Indonesia. [27/03/2003]


Ceramics; Islam


Ceramics Collection

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