c. 1900 Floreat Etona 1441 Eton College Faience Armorial Plate, Scarce
#AD237 circa 1900 Eaton College Antique Faience 1441 Tin Glaze Plate
A beautiful old original late 19th to early 20th century French tin glaze armorial plate to commemorate Eaton College in Eton, Berkshire. It sits in the Buckinghamshire area, in South East England, and lies across from Windsor on the River Thames. It is a famous public school for boys founded by King Henry VI originally for 70 Eaton boys, who were then groomed to attend his newly opened King's College in Cambridge after. That he founded in 1441.
"Floreat Etona" is the Latin motto of Eton College, meaning "May Eton Flourish." In 1449, King Henry VI assigned an armorial crest to Eaton with a lion, fleur de lis and lily flowers, which can be seen at plate center.
We believe this to be made in France in the late 19th and into the 20th century. It is in the same vein as the many old hand painted tin glaze French Revolution faience plates that are seen and considered very collectible today. They were done to commemorate the hundred year anniversary of the 1789-99 French Revolution. These plates were made at the large pottery centres in Rouen, Beauvais, Paris, and Nevers, France, which seems to have produced them the most, and into the 20th century.
Faience is a rather irregular tin glaze pottery, rustic and folky with overall glaze cracking and firing imperfections accepted as a given. The famous Quimper pottery is made of faience or tin glaze. This plate is hand painted with deep and rich polychrome decoration on a creamy off white ground. It has the Eton arms at center, and the Latin words "Floreat Etona 1441." There are 6 gold fleur-de-lis heraldry lily flowers around the rim. It is simple and clean and measures 10 inches in diameter. There are firing imperfections on the back, and the dark earthenware clay shows through. The back rim is not uniformly glazed, as seen in photos, and there are glaze bubbles, all adding to the character. There are no chips, cracks or repairs and we consider this piece in beautiful condition.
It was found in Kingsbridge, Devon, England. Click images to see condition in close up views. Our feeling is it was a pottery commission by a French firm for Eaton college either by a single person, or a graduating class. Any help on this is appreciated, email Debra here. A beautiful, scarce and classic old piece.
Size: 10 inches diameter
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