1820 Large Thomas Fell "Antiquarian" Deer Brown Transferware Platter
#AD096: Fell & Co. Platter, Meat Dish, Ashet or Game Plate
We were thrilled to come upon this huge 200 year old antique English pottery sepia brown toned historic transferware serving platter recently. It measures a 17.75 x 14.25 inches and features a wonderful transfer ware pastoral scene of 4 deer with one large charging hart buck in forefront as centerpiece. It depicts a river with boats, an abbey in ruins, an estate in the distance, a medieval church, and a strolling couple with their child and dog, the father bearing a cane. The scene is iconic England at its best in the late the Georgian, Regency period.
In English and Celtic lore, the Hart, or male stag deer represents faithfulness, hunger for God, and/or the slaying of Satan by Christ. The Celtic people had many stories and myths of a spiritual nature involving deer. In medieval times, a deer park was an enclosed area containing captured deer, where the affluent and royals would hunt. "The White Hart" was the personal badge of Richard II, and there are many pubs today still bearing that name.
Thomas Fell, Potter: Thomas Fell & Co. was in the pottery business in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland from about 1817-1890. His company was named St. Peter's Pottery. The "Antiquarian" pattern and mark is documented as that of Thomas Fell in "The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery 1780-1880", an 1982 book by A.W. Coysh and R.K. Henrywood (William Coysh & Richard Henrywood), Volume 1. The lovely "Antiquarian" script mark is beautifully rendered, as seen in photos. It also has the small number "4" over painted on bottom, as seen in scans.
It is believed a 19th c. tinker made a wire hanging bracket for this piece early on, and for years it has hung decorating the wall of a home in Devon, thus the wonderful condition. We do not believe it was in actual use. You can see light iron staining on reverse in eight places where the early twisted wire "hanger" was intact for probably most of its life. It was not intact when found. The very last photo shows a close up of some knife marks on the platter in the center, at top of mountain. These are very hard to see straight on, as in, hanging on a wall, but can be seen as light marks in the glaze when you tip the platter and view from the side. The platter displays beautifully.
We love the character of this piece, as well as the thought of its once twisted make-do wire bracket that we still see intact on some early antique pieces here today. The platter has no cracking, chipping or restoration, it's a beauty. It and came right out of a Devonshire house and is just as is. Click images to see condition in close up and movable views.
Size: 17.75 x 14.25 inches
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Book: Anthology of British Cups, Michael Berthoud 1982 (Coffee Cans too)