1818 Bathwell & Goodfellow Horseman Rural Scenery Pearlware Platter
#AD305 English Georgian era Pearlware Platter
A small and beautiful original 10.75 inch pearlware blue & white Georgian era platter, circa 1818-23. It is printed in soft blue with a stunning 19th c. scene from the Staffordshire pottery firm of Bathwell & Goodfellow, and their "Rural Scenery" series.
What is English pearlware pottery? It is an earthenware dating from 1774-1830, the Georgian era in England. A lovely soft glossy pottery with an overall faint blue/grey tint derived from a touch of cobalt blue in the glaze. This cool blue tinge gives a whiter china appearance than the earlier yellow creamware. Historically, Josiah Wedgwood was seen as the inventor of pearlware with his 1779 "Pearl White" line. It is now known that other 18th century firms were producing pearlware in the 4-5 years prior, known as "pearl blue" and "china glaze" in the early pottery trade. Eventually these early terms fell out of use for the word pearlware in the 19th century.
This piece has an interesting provenance label for the "GOODFELLOW COLLECTION", as well as another sticker which has handwritten ""Horseman" Bathwell & Goodfellow." This is from the the late Peter Goodfellow pottery collection. His great research publications can be found on the web and it is assumed he was related genealogy wise to the family. He was very active in the NCS, Northern Ceramic Society. There is also a sticker for the "Gurnett Collection", which designates it once belonged to the late Robin Gurnett, founder and president of the "Friends of Blue", see website here. Lastly, there is a sticker which reads "W/2 MCCC 74" which is for the Morley College Ceramic Circle, now known as the London Ceramic Circle. Presumably this platter was exhibited at one of their shows in 1974. These are all English historical pottery and research organizations, and it appears this little platter had many fans.
This pattern is known as "Horseman Going Fishing" and "Rural Scenery #13", made by the short lived Georgian era pottery firm of Bathwell & Goodfellow in Burslem, Staffordshire, as listed in the Transferware Collectors Club, TCC. The Bathwell & Goodfellow partnership were in business for 5 years from 1818-1823 at the Phoenix Pottery, Tunstall, Staffordshire, England. They were William Bathwell 1753–1824 (brother in law of the late William Rhead, former partner of Thomas Goodfellow I) & Thomas Goodfellow I 1763-1829. Their trade mark was "Bathwell & Goodfellow", although their pieces are rarely signed. If so, they would have had an early impressed mark. They are generally marked with the pattern though, as this piece is, with a beautiful "Rural Scenery" mark. William Bathwell's death in 1824 finished the partnership. Thomas Goodfellow I continued the firm until his death in 1829, and was succeeded by his son Thomas Goodfellow II 1802-1858, until his 1858 death. The pottery works were sold in 1861.
Note: The "Rural Scenery" series was also used by other pottery manufactories such as Ridgway and Heath & Company, but was first introduced by Rhead & Goodfellow prior to the 1818 Bathwell & Goodfellow partnership.
The platter features a centre scene of two ponies walking side by side. A man in an early Georgian era wide brimmed hat rides one with an old fishing pole under his arm. In the distance a thatched cottage can be seen. It has a beautiful floral and Scrolls botanical border edge rim, typical of this blue and white transferware series.
Condition: This is an 1820's original pearlware piece. It is in bright and good condition. It has 3 interesting firing nicks that are under the glaze firing edge nicks, caused during Staffordshire production. Interestingly, the largest one is exactly the size of an early potter's thumb, as in it was picked up by the edge, see photos. Note: The pearlware faint blue glaze pooling in the nicks. Lots of character and pottery history here.
The Georgian era is a period in British history from 1714 to about 1830–37, named after the monarchies of Kings George I, George II, George III and George IV. It predates the reign of Queen Victoria in 1837, which is then called the Victorian era.
This is a beautiful Georgian collection piece we are happy to have found. A small, rare and beautiful piece has been owned and handled by very knowledgeable pottery historians in England, and is a small rarity. Click images to see condition in close up views.
Size: 10.75 x 8 3/8 inches (about the size of a laptop screen)
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Book: Anthology of British Cups, Michael Berthoud 1982 (Coffee Cans too)