1830s William Smith & Co Transferware Pearlware Badminton Childs Plate

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#AD116 Antique William Smith & Co. Transferware Pastimes Plate:


This is a wonderful antique 1830's-1840's English pearlware pottery plate. It measures 8 inches in diameter. It depicts a sports theme,, featuring a young Victorian (or pre Victorian Georgian era) girl holding a battledore racquet in one hand and a large early shuttlecock in the other. It is in superb condition, with a beautiful thickly embossed and moulded daisy flower relief border. 

This unmarked plate was made by the famous William Smith & Co, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England. He was in business circa 1825-1855. This pattern was known as his "Pastimes" and No. 96. William Smith had many numbered patterns, and the Pastimes series consisted of images of children involved in several different activities.

The history of this early Battledore game is age old. It is the precursor to our current Badminton, which appears to have taken hold in Victorian times. The early battledore rackets were made of parchment or gut stretched across a wooden frame. The early lightweight shuttlecocks would have been made of early cork and bird feathers. The Greeks were known to play a similar game. The game of Battledore or Shuttlecock is also known as Jeu de Volant, or the "flying game" in Europe, and was played extensively in British India.

In the 1860's, Isaac Spratt 1799-1876, a West End London toy dealer wrote and published pamphlets describing the "new" games of badminton and croquet and their rules. He was a significant force in the 19th century development of these games as we know them today. Shuttlecock was known to have been played as sport at Badminton House, the estate home of the Duke of Beaufort of Gloucestershire, England. It appears the name Badminton sprung from that association.

A wonderful and historical women's sporting antique. The scene depicts this young girl or teen woman, also with a ball at her feet, standing in her English garden. Her fancy riding hat with feather and her cloak lay on her an garden bench. Her impressive English estate can be seen behind in the distance. Her 1830's fashion and vintage clothing in outdoor sporting attire should be noted, as well as her pantalettes. These were long linen underpants with a frill at leg bottom worn by women and girls in the early to mid 19th century. They originated in France and were the precursor to bloomers.

It is rare to find a nearly 200 year old piece in this condition. There are no chips, cracks or repairs. The transferware scene is beautifully executed. Click images to see condition in very close up and movable views. Click again to see full images on your screen to scroll through. It was found in Lancashire, England.

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Size: 8 inches in diameter

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