Today for your viewing pleasure, we present a selection of interesting, unusual and aesthetically pleasing ceramics from Christchurch sites. Enjoy!
First up! This lovely plate was made by Thomas Dimmock & Co, who operated from 1828 to 1859 in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The impressed maker’s mark features the Dimmock & Co monogram and the label ‘pearl ware’. Although the pearl ware designation references a type of white bodied earthenware pottery popular in the first half of the 19th century, it has been suggested that its use as a label is not always accurate and may indicate a later, post c. 1845 date of manufacture (Brooks 2005: 31). The pattern itself, with its Classical themes, is fairly typical of that mid-century period. Image: J. Garland.
This plate fragment, decorated with the Vignette pattern, was also made by Thomas Dimmock & Sons (evident from the D in the maker’s mark and the impressed monogram), dating its manufacture to the same 1828-1859 period. The same pattern has been found in other New Zealand archaeological sites, including green examples found during the Street family homestead excavations in Taranaki (Adamson & Bader 2008: 82) Image: J. Garland.
A side plate transfer printed with the ‘Lucerne’ pattern. This plate was made by J W. Pankhurst & Co, Staffordshire potters who were in business from 1850 until 1882. The pattern has been described as a ‘typical romantic scene’, of the type popular during the 19th century (Coysh & Henrywood 1982: 232). Image: J. Garland.
A small cup (probably for a child), printed with the words ‘A PRESENT FOR MY DEAR GIRL’ and a rabbit motif. Children’s cups like this one were common in the 19th century and featured all kinds of designs and statements (some more appropriate than others). Image: J. Garland
A side plate, decorated with the Cable pattern and made by Pinder, Bourne & Co (1862-1882; Godden 1964: 495). Interestingly, this is the second variation of the ‘Cable’ pattern we’ve come across. Image: J. Garland.
This chamber pot fragment is decorated with the ‘May Morn’ pattern, and was likely made by J & M. P. Bell & Co, a Glasgow pottery firm in operation from 1848-1928. The interior rim of the chamber pot is also decorated, with a wide border of hawthorn (Coysh & Henrywood 1982: 241). Image: J. Garland.
This piece is particularly interesting, marked as it is with ‘Sydenham House, Christchurch’ on the base, along with the name of the manufacturer (Copeland) and pattern registration diamond. The registration diamond indicates that this pattern was registered in 1861 (R in the top corner), on the 17th or 27th (number in right corner) of September (D in the left corner). Most interestingly of all, though, Sydenham House refers to a shop operated by Charles Prince in the 1860s that sold, among other things, crockery and fine china. And, according to this 1864 advertisement, that china included pieces made by the Copeland pottery. Sydenham House also provided the inspiration for the naming of the Sydenham Borough (now the suburb of Sydenham) in the 1870s . Image: J. Garland.
A plate decorated with the ‘Eton College’ pattern, depicting a man, woman and child in front of a lake or river, with a building in the distance. It’s not clear if the building was actually intended to be Eton College or not. Known manufacturers of this pattern include Edward & George Phillips (1822-34), George Phillips (1834-48), Nicholson & Wood (pre-1854) and George F. Smith (1855-60), although it is likely to have been made by many other potters (Coysh & Henrywood Vol 1: 130; Godden 1964). Image: J. Garland.
A bowl decorated with an unidentified classical pattern, featuring a classically decorated urn within a mountainous (and non-British) landscape in the background. Unfortunately, no maker’s mark was found on this vessel, leaving both the maker and pattern unknown. Image: J. Garland.
This J. J. & Co plate is decorated with the delightfully named ‘Spangle’ pattern. The plate dates from c. 1870-1887 and was made by the firm of J. Jackson & Co, potters at the Holmes Pottery in Yorkshire (Godden 1964: 349). Image: J. Garland.
More classical motifs! These three saucers and tea cup all feature the same, unknown pattern and, again, had no maker’s marks with which we could identify the manufacturer. Image: J. Garland.
This saucer, decorated with the Foliage pattern, was made by Pinder, Bourne & Co (1862-1882; Godden 1964: 495). Image: J. Garland.
We found the same pattern (made by the same potters) on another vessel from the same feature, only in green. Image: J. Garland.
Moving away from the elaborate scenic and floral central motifs, this side plate is decorated very simply with the ‘Doric’ pattern. The plate was made by the Davenport Pottery of Staffordshire and seems to date to c. 1830-1860 (Coysh & Henrywood 1982: 102; Godden 1964: 190). Image: J. Garland.
And last, but not least, another delightfully named pattern. This ‘Chantilly’ (which makes me think of this) decorated soup plate was made by Francis Morely & Co, Staffordshire potters in business from 1845-1858 (Godden 1964: 449). Image: J. Garland.
Adamson, J. & Bader, H-D. 2008. Archaeological Excavation Report on the Street Homestead, Penrod Drive, Bell Block, Taranaki. Unpublished Report prepared by Geometria Ltd.
Brooks, A., 2005. An Archaeological Guide to British Ceramics in Australia 1788-1901. Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and the La Trobe University Archaeology Program, Sydney & Melbourne.
Coysh, A. W. & Henrywood, R. K., 1982. The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery, 1780-1880, Vol 1. Antique Collectors Club, Suffolk.
Coysh, A. W. & Henrywood, R. K., 1989. The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery, 1780-1880, Vol. 2. Antique Collectors Club, Suffolk.
Godden, G., 1964. Encyclopaedia of British Pottery & Porcelain Marks. Herbert Jenkins, London.
The Potteries, 2014. [online] Available at www.thepotteries.org