In 1864 Galloway & Atkinson succeeded Isaac Bell, Galloway & Atkinson in running the Albion Pottery (previously owned by Robert and C T Maling as the Ouseburn Bridge Pottery). The 'G&A' partnership only ran for 1 year, but made some very distinctive plaques with wide borders (below left), more often than not with an impressed mark (below right). The mark is circular, and has the words 'ALBION POTTERY' around the initials 'G&A'.
There were two similar plaques in the collection of 'Thou gods' that recently came up at auction. However, only the left plaque (240 mm x 215 mm) is marked. The right plaque is of a smaller size (219 mm x 198 mm), and lacks the leaf decoration to each corner of the mould.
The photos below show the relative sizes of the plaques. N.B. I've shown the small plaque against a typical Albion 'May Peace and Plenty' plaque from my own collection (238 mm x 213 mm).
The small unmarked plaque (219 mm x 198 mm) is in fact similar in size to a plaque form I've attributed to Scott (see it relative to the 'Victoria and Albert Yacht' below). Note that the Scott plaque (215 mm x 195 mm) also has no leaf decoration in the corner.
My first thought was that perhaps the 'Thou God' transfer plate had passed to Scott c1865, when Galloway & Atkinson disbanded. However, there is enough variation between the dimensions of the two plaques above for them to have come from different moulds. Note also that the lustre effect on the 'Thou God' is in fact much more similar to the Albion 'May Peace and Plenty' above.
My guess is that the 'Thou God' was made at the Albion Pottery, but perhaps after 1864, which would explain why it doesn't carry the G&A impress. I have still no reason to doubt the Scott attribution for the 'Victoria and Albert Yacht'. One last note of interest is that in taking the 'May Peace and Plenty' plaque off the wall again to measure it, I noticed that the Albion impress on the reverse doesn't have the G&A initials in the centre. So perhaps it too was made after, or slightly before, 1864.
I can't imagine I will squeeze in another blog post this week, so Merry Christmas, and thanks again to everyone who has contributed to MSTP in 2011.
Stephen Smith lives in London, and is always happy to hear from other collectors. If you have an interesting collection of plaques, and are based in the UK, he will photograph them for you. Free advice given regarding selling and dispersal of a collection, or to those wishing to start one. Just get in touch...
This website is indebted to collectors, dealers and enthusiasts who have shared their knowledge or photos. In particular: Ian Holmes, Stephen Duckworth, Dick Henrywood, Norman Lowe, Keith Lovell, Donald H Ryan, Harold Crowder, Jack and Joyce Cockerill, Myrna Schkolne, Elinor Penna, Ian Sharp, Shauna Gregg at the Sunderland Museum, Keith Bell, Martyn Edgell, and Liz Denton.