The Wesleys and Clarkes below, all from the same mystery pottery, are very similar to the 'Maling' Wesley and 'Maling' Clarke (click on the highlighted words to read about the subtle differences between the transfers). The plaque form is very distinctive. They are larger than average – the top two shown are 190mm in diameter compared with 185mm for the 'Maling' leaf-bordered plaques. They are also very thin (5mm). As mentioned before, the clay body is a creamy off-white with a speckled appearance.
It's harder to tell whether the transfers below come from the same copper plate. My guess is, like the Wesleys and Clarkes, the below left transfer is a copy of its 'Maling' counterpart (below right). It has the same creamy speckled body as the plaques above, but is slightly smaller – 187mm.
This pottery's plagiarism extends beyond transfers attributed to Maling. The 'Thou God...' on the left is from our mystery pottery (190mm diameter), and its transfer imitates that on a 'Sheriff Hill''-attributed form (below right). NB sometimes the word 'ME' is spelt 'MEE' (see the black and yellow plaques page). The transfers below have obvious differences. Click on the images to enlarge, and to move between them.
Copying rivals' transfers was common practice – think about the number of Prepare to Meet Thy Gods with minute variations. The Sheriff Hill Pottery was in Gateshead. So as both Sheriff Hill and Maling are Tyneside potteries, it seems likely that's where our plagiarist pottery was located.
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.