Oh, you pretty things!

Today for your viewing pleasure, we present a selection of interesting, unusual and aesthetically pleasing ceramics from Christchurch sites. Enjoy!

This lovely plate was made by Thomas Dimmock and sons, who operated from 1828 to 1859 in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

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 imprinted initials), dating its manufacture to the same 1828-1859 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 ....

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, printed with the words "A PRESENT FOR MY DEAR GIRL" and a rabbit motif. 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).

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.

Part of a chamberpot decorated with a picnic scene. 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. 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.

Something about pattern..... 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.

Unknown pattern, but pretty.

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 to....

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.

A set of three saucers and at least one teacup, decorated with..... 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). 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 this time. 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.

Side plate decorated with the Doric pattern and made by the Davenport Pottery of Staffordshire. Seems to date to c. 1815-1850. 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.

Decorated with the Chantilly pattern and made by ...

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.

Jessie Garland

References

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

3 thoughts on “Oh, you pretty things!

  1. Nice! There’s so few resources or even references on Australasian potsherds and patterns. I’ve found plenty of children’s tea set parts or even whole, intact pieces, but never parts of an actual cup for a child. C20th dishes and bowls for children yes, but never part of a cup (yet).

    • Hi Darian,

      Have you come across any dishes or bowls with written messages/proverbs/morals? Like this Dr Franklin plate? We’ve come across a handful of similar plates over the last couple of years, and are really interested in hearing about others that have been found.

      Jessie.

      • Of this type of ware, I think I have found fragments in the past of both children’s rhyme and ABC’s. I no longer have these sherds but I believe I found one of them on the site of Trumper Park in Paddington, Sydney when they were landscaping the grounds in the early 1990s. The other from an area in Jagger’s Bush around Westmere/Western Springs in Auckland which was a known haunt of bottle diggers in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Both were used as rubbish dumps during the Victorian era. No much help to you without a visual reference.

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