Plate

1800-1820 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Willow-pattern plates like this example could, at first glance, have been made yesterday. However, when this plate is handled, the thinness of the potting and the intense inky blue of the print reveal an early date, probably the first decade of the 19th century. Blue and white earthenware plates of this sort could be found throughout Britain at that time. Soon they would be flooding the markets of Europe.

Time
Improvements in fashionable table manners at the end of the 18th century, including the development of British dinner services, soon filtered down to the middle classes and below. To satisfy this new demand, cheap printed earthenware was invented. This new product made the fortune of pioneer manufacturers like the Spode family, who were able completely to sever their association with the pottery industry in 1833.

Trading
Blue and white printed pottery rapidly became the major export of the potteries in Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Scotland and elsewhere. Of all the thousands of patterns, it was one of the earliest, the Willow Pattern, which came to symbolise the whole class of pottery. Later, an elaborate romantic story was invented to explain the figures and birds in the pattern. Potters emigrated to other countries, taking with them moulds and engraved copper plates, to make British-style pottery in competition with British manufacturers.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Earthenware, transfer-printed in underglaze blue
Brief Description
Plate, transfer-printed in blue, Willow pattern, Spode, Stoke-on-Trent, 1800-20
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 22.86cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Impressed mark 'SPODE'
Gallery Label
  • British Galleries: This was the most common version of the Willow pattern, the most famous of the British printed designs for earthenware. It was invented by British manufacturers, but inspired by the designs found on blue and white Chinese ceramics .(27/03/2003)
  • Plate Made at the factory of Josiah Spode, Stoke-on-Trent, about 1820 Mark: 'SPODE', impressed, and a cross in blue Lead-glazed earthenware C.847-1925 Given by Miss E.J. Hipkins(23/05/2008)
Credit line
Given by Miss E. J. Hipkins
Object history
Made at the Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Summary
Object Type
Willow-pattern plates like this example could, at first glance, have been made yesterday. However, when this plate is handled, the thinness of the potting and the intense inky blue of the print reveal an early date, probably the first decade of the 19th century. Blue and white earthenware plates of this sort could be found throughout Britain at that time. Soon they would be flooding the markets of Europe.

Time
Improvements in fashionable table manners at the end of the 18th century, including the development of British dinner services, soon filtered down to the middle classes and below. To satisfy this new demand, cheap printed earthenware was invented. This new product made the fortune of pioneer manufacturers like the Spode family, who were able completely to sever their association with the pottery industry in 1833.

Trading
Blue and white printed pottery rapidly became the major export of the potteries in Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Scotland and elsewhere. Of all the thousands of patterns, it was one of the earliest, the Willow Pattern, which came to symbolise the whole class of pottery. Later, an elaborate romantic story was invented to explain the figures and birds in the pattern. Potters emigrated to other countries, taking with them moulds and engraved copper plates, to make British-style pottery in competition with British manufacturers.
Collection
Accession Number
C.847-1925

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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