Below is a great plaque that got away. New to collecting lustreware, I didn't fully appreciate its rarity when it came up for sale seven or eight years ago. It now resides in Dick Henrywood's plaque collection. Perhaps best known for his work on transferware (particularly blue and white), Dick has also written two excellent articles on lustre plaques for 'Antique Collecting' magazine (see references). My thanks to him for his help and encouragement over the last few years, and for letting me use this photo.
You can read about the plaque on the Portraits sub-page.
A month has passed since I started to post plaques on this website. Google indicates that Mate Sound the Pump has had over a 100 unique visitors, from 10 US states, Canada, 25 UK cities and three European countries, and one hit from Hong Kong.
If anyone out there has photos of plaques or snippets of knowledge to share, please get in touch.
Below is the first plaque I ever bought (back in 2002). I've always been attracted to objects with words on them and liked the clean seriffed script. But most of all I enjoyed the dissonance between the sensuality of the pink lustre and the doom-laden text.
Again with Ian Holmes' help, I've posted more than 50 plaques with this text on the pink religious and other religious sub-pages.
Thanks again to Ian Holmes for allowing me to post his superb collection of Maling plaques. This plaque, is the one in the photo from my first post (the photo by Sothebys in Griselda Lewis' book). The plaque briefly sojourned in the US, in the Mustard collection, before being bought by Ian and returning to Britain. It's amazing to think of two mountains of English pottery, one on either side of the Atlantic, constantly replenishing each other through brown-paper parcels sent by airmail.
I've posted a new sub-page under 'Miscellaneous' titled 'Emblems and armorials'. The 'Landscapes' and 'Portraits' also seemed to justify sub-pages of their own. I've added some 'Mate Sound the Pump' plaques to the 'Other maritime' sub-page.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone with accurate information about what the initials 'A' and 'T' stand for in the above plaque (see the 'Emblems and armorials' sub-page).
On the 'Miscellaneous' page I've added plaques from 'The Bottle' and 'Aesop' series by Moore & Co, and some plaques with hand-painted text. I'd be extremely interested to hear from collectors with other plaques from the Aesop series (see below).
A big thank you to the 80 or so people who have visited this website over the last week. There's still lots to add so I hope you'll revisit.
I've put some content on the maritime page as promised. I've added drop-down sub-pages, so that the page doesn't get too long. Be sure to click on the word 'maritime' at the top, as well as the sub-pages beneath it, as this is where I've put the information on which potteries made which plaques. I've put a selection of landscape plaques on the miscellaneous page, and added some colourful plaques to other religious section.
Ian Sharp has some very rare plaques listed at present. He's one of the few specialist Sunderland lustre dealers.
There is a titled version of this plaque, 'The Volage Frigate', shown amongst the Moore & Co plaques on the maritime page. Someday soon I'll post more detailed information on the rare ships page.
This second photo shows an exceptionally rare blue-transferred plaque, of a sail ship passing through the 'CAST IRON BRIDGE over the River Wear, Sunderland'.
To enquire about either plaque, contact Ian through his website: www.sharpantiques.com
This weekend I'm going to sort out some photos for the Maritime page. To whet your appetite, here are some plaques attributed to Scott's Southwick pottery (circa 1860), which are currently for sale on the internet. I haven't seen the plaques so can't vouch for their condition.
This plaque has unusual red enamels (they appear to be original, see the larger picture in the links below). This transfer is of HMS Euryalus. The pendant, i.e. the long tapering flag, bears the ship's name in tiny lettering.
Enquiries to Gary Raymer: firstname.lastname@example.org
A pair of ship plaques with more usual colouring. The 'DUKE OF WELLINGTON – 131 GUNS' and the Euryalus.
Enquiries to Phil Masters: email@example.com
This photo (from Sotheby's) appears on the inside cover of Griselda Lewis' 'A Collector's History of English Pottery'. It inspired me, as I'm sure it has others, to form a collection of plaques. More recently, it inspired me to take the photos that will form the basis of this website.
Apologies that some pages are still blank. Images will appear over the next few months.
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.