1820's Clews "Castle" Pattern Pearlware Staffordshire 6" Cake Plate
A lovely little blue & white Clews "Castle" pearlware cake plate made in the Georgian or pre Victorian era of English history. It was made by the Clews brothers, James Clews & Ralph Clews at Cobridge in Staffordshire, England. Their firm was in existence from 1818-1834. This early castle pattern was also made by the Spode firm, who made it exceedingly popular for a very long run. The plate scene is from "The Gate of Sebastian at Capena", an aquatint "Views of Rome and it's Vicinity", a book by J. Merigot and R. Edwards of London published in 1796-1798. Often popular culture was the impetus for early Staffordshire pottery design.
We have done some extensive genealogy work on the Clews brothers, which can be found at our listing for another similar plate on our site, found here. The original mark reads "Clews Stone China" and features Chinoiserie oriental elements in design.
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.
The condition of this early pearl plate is wonderful, with no chips, cracks or repairs. It has a lovely detailed border rim of flowers and graphic embellished 19th century design. It was found in Totnes, Devon, England with another Clews plate found here. Click to see the condition in very close up views. A beautiful little 200 year old transfer plate in excellent condition.
Size: 6.25 inches in diameter
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Book: Anthology of British Cups, Michael Berthoud 1982 (Coffee Cans too)