1855 Flow Blue Shusan Prattware Meat Drainer for Platter by F.R. Pratt
Drainer for Large Flow Blue Platter Meat Dish, Platter, Ashet, Game Plates
A beautiful and rare flow blue piece. This is a beautifully made meat drainer with an interesting early Staffordshire mock oriental mark that resembles a Miles Mason mark, although it is rectangular and not square. Many early pottery factories used mock Chinese marks on their pottery, and Mason was not the first. This piece has a large Pratt mock oriental mark that we have not seen before, nor could find in any research.
We were lucky enough to have friends in the Flow Blue Club help us to identify this early and beautiful oriental Chinoiserie pattern as "Shusan." It was made by the Pratt pottery family, specifically F & R Pratt in Fenton, circa 1855, in the early Victorian era. In fact, they sent us a photo of a similar Pratt piece with the mark "Kaolin Ware, Shusan, F & R P & Co." in flow blue.
Pratt history: Early potter William Pratt 1753–1799 and his wife Ellen Edwards Pratt 1753–1815 began pottery work in Lane Delph, Fenton in 1753, continuing until his 1799 death. His wife Ellen and her sons continued on, eventually with the sons branching out to each start their own Staffordshire pottery businesses as well. Brothers Felix Edward Pratt 1780–1859 and Richard Pratt 1786–1866 worked as F & R Pratt in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England from 1818-1920's, they are the makers of this piece. They made made earthenware, terracotta, and Rockingham, but are most famous for their amazing production of intricate colour transferware pot lids. Their two other brothers, John Pratt, born 1782 and William Pratt Jr. also formed a company called J & W Pratt.
In 1916, Frederick and Richard's F & R Pratt company was bought out by the Robinson firm. F & R Pratt had a run of about 100 years. In the English pottery collector world, Prattware can refer to a late 18th and early 19th century form of brightly colored and often commemorative pearlware made by any potter, or it can directly refer to the work made by Felix & Richard Pratt, especially their printed colour pot lids. These are 2 differing Prattware terms used in the antique English pottery world.
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 is a mid 19th c. century piece and shows utter skill and beauty. It measures 12.5 inches. We have taken many photos. It you run your hand along the almost rimless edge, you will find 2 tiny rough nibbles, which must be scrutinized closely to be seen. The reverse shows some light yellowing from use, which we think adds to the charm. It was made to sit on top of a platter or meat plate.
This beautiful old piece was found in Buckfastleigh, Devon, England and we were thrilled to find it. The glaze and overall feel of the piece is exceptionally smooth, glossy and beautiful in your hand. Click images to see condition in close up views. A scarce and lovely piece.
Size: 12.5 x 9.75 inches
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