1890's Masons "American Marine" Transferware Ship Nautical Platter
#AD264 Ashworth Masons Ironstone Blue & White Meat Plate
This is a rare and wonderful 1890's to early 1900's platter in the Staffordshire Ashworth / Mason company's "American Marine" pattern, in blue and white transferware. It measures a large 15 inches x 12 inches and is a desirable and hard to find graphic nautical pattern, and especially scarce in the large platter size. In England, this would also be known as an Ashet, a Game Plate, a Meat plate or Platter. The term "Ashet" is a Scottish and Northern English term for a large serving plate.
It has a light and faint creamy yellow background, which is documented in the Mason's world, but is uncommon, as most were a pure white ironstone. It features tall ships, in what we believe to be the Hudson River and New York City views. It has a border rim of sailing ropes and knots, barges, the skyline, rough seas, a smaller dinghy boat and overall a strong American nautical shipping and working theme. The center scene is a dramatic sea scene of a tall ship leaving the harbour with dinghy nearby.
History: In 1802, exporter Miles Mason 1752–1822 opened his own pottery factory called the Fenton Works in Lane Delph, Staffordshire, England. He was interested in copying the early and popular Chinese Export wares with an emphasis on high quality work, which he achieved. His youngest son Charles James Mason 1791-1856 joined him, and in 1813 and they coined the term "Ironstone:", then taking out a patent. This new durable china was touted as "strong as iron" and was highly popular and extensively copied by other Staffordshire and American makers. After Charles' 1859 death, the moulds passed through other Staffordshire firms, until the business was bought by George Leach Ashworth 1823-73 for his sons, trading under the name Geo. L. Ashworth & Brothers. His 2 sons, brothers James Ashworth, born 1825 and Taylor Ashworth, born 1839, then took control from 1861 well into the 1880's, before it was bought out by other firms. In total the Ashworth firm was in business from 1861 until 1968.
Condition: This platter is well over 100 years old. The condition is beautiful with no hairlines or cracks. There is browning edge wear, as most platters have, firing imperfections and tiny marks from use, please look for flakes and discoloration in our photos of the edges, although minimal. There is a tiny edge flake at the 5 O'clock position. We were thrilled to get it into our hands in this condition, as any marks have to be scrutinized to see. The blue transfer colour is rich and deep. See edge photos in close up views.
It has a beautiful and old graphic mark on the back for Masons and another with a ship for the "American Marine pattern", as seen in photos. There are also incised marks tally or potter with the number "14", "HST" and "00". This piece was made soon after the McKinley Tariff Act of 1891, which stated all wares into the USA must be marked with the country of Export. It is marked England. After 1911, wares were generally marked "Made in England", thus we would date it roughly from 1891 until 1911.
This old platter was found in Glossop, Derbyshire, England, near Manchester. Click images to see condition in close up views. A wonderful late Victorian, early Edwardian and pre WWI era transferware antique in a historical and desirable pattern.
Size: 15 x 12 inches, large
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