Plate thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 123

Plate

1853 (design registered)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.

Design
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.

Trading
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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Earthenware, transfer-printed
Brief Description
Plate with arabic inscription
Physical Description
PLATE made for Muslim markets
Dimensions
  • Height: 3cm
  • Diameter: 26.2cm
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'
Gallery Label
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)
Object history
Made by William Taylor Copeland, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Summary
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.

Design
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.

Trading
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.
Collection
Accession Number
C.50-1982

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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