Large plaques with rounded corners like the one below are usually attributed to John Carr's North Shields pottery near Newcastle. The transfers used on these plaques often appear on smaller-sized rectangular plaques like the second below. See, for instance, the Marco Polo on the Common ships page, or the plaques with the all-seeing eye on the Prepare to meet thy god page.
On the basis of the use of the same transfers, it seemed reasonable to suggest that the smaller plaques were also made in or near Newcastle. However, I recently found the photo below in Battie and Turner's 'The Price Guide to 19th and 20th Century British Pottery' (reprinted 1990 by the Antique Collectors' Club).
It is almost easier not to believe the description above. Could someone have misread the impressed mark? Even so, a plaque like this with any mark would be incredibly rare; I've never heard of another. Might the description have been lifted from an auction catalogue, which are often littered with errors? If the description were correct, then that would place production of these round-cornered plaques in Sunderland rather than (or perhaps as well as) Newcastle. It seems like a slim hope, but if the owner of the plaque above happens to read this post, please get in touch.
For interest, here are two other plaques listed in the same book, with their 1990 prices. You might count yourself lucky to acquire them for five times the price in 2010!
I had previously listed the Moore & Co plaque below as an 'Unidentified ship' on the Rare ships page.
Norman Lowe has provided photos of a plaque with the same transfer but titled 'Shortening Sail Off Helgoland'. Helgoland (or Heligoland) is a small German archipelago in the North Sea, which was ruled by Britain between 1807 and 1890 (see Wikipedia). The plaques were likely made around the 1840s.
There is a signature visible above the word 'Helgoland' in the title. This also appears on the untitled version, but is too small to read.
Thanks very much to Norman Lowe for getting in touch and providing some great photos. In my February 20th posting I said I'd be pleased to hear from anyone with a plaque from Moore & Co.'s Aesop series. Norman's plaque 'The Miser' is shown below with my own.
Also, Norman purchased the orange Moore & Co ship plaque mentioned in my April 21 posting. I wanted to know whether it was heavily potted. Apparently it isn't, weighing only 579g. This compares with 613g for a pink plaque of that form in his collection. And 666g, 692g & 696g for orange plaques of that form with religious verses. All plaques are 24cm across. So there is at least one well-modelled and lightly potted orange plaque out there!
Huge thanks to Shauna Gregg and Viv Anderson at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, for allowing me to use images of some great plaques from their collection. The plaque below of 'The Edystone' is extremely rare, with the Dixon, Phillips & Co impressed mark.
I've added a page of 'Plaques with hand-painted text', with two interesting examples from their collection, and also a circular 'Sailors' Farewell' to the 'Other maritime' page.
Help celebrate the 150th anniversary of South Shields Museum & Art Gallery by making a donation today. Donate to support the inspirational learning and community programmes for children and families. To find out more, please visit http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/southshields/
The plaque below is of a rarer form with, for want of a better description, three plumed feathers in each corner (a bit like the Prince of Wales' crest). I know of a yellow and black 'Prepare to Meet Thy God' plaque in this form, with a 'Dixon, Phillips & Co' impressed mark. I have therefore grouped plaques like this, with orange/yellow and black colouring, on the Garrison plaques page.
It is possible that more than one factory used this mould, and it is rare to find marked examples, so we can't be 100% certain that all plaques like this come from the Garrison Pottery.
The plaque above is currently for sale on eBay (please click here). My thanks to Sheila Wilson for providing this new image.
I posted this unusual plaque from a private collection last month. Ian Holmes has identified the text as the title of Spurgeon sermon delivered on January 17, 1858.
Ian has provided the pictures below of an inkwell with that text. He wonders whether these items were produced (perhaps along with the 'But One Thing is Needful:' plaque mentioned in an earlier posting) to be sold on Spurgeon's tour.
I've mentioned on the orange plaques page reasons why orange plaques are less appealing to collectors. One exception is the smaller-than-usual plaque form below. These plaques, which I've sometimes heard described as having 'gold' or 'peach' borders, are much less prone to rubbing than other orange plaques. The verses also tend to be of the rarer varieties. For those reasons, they command good prices. The fabulous plaque below sold on eBay yesterday. I've included it on the emblems and armorials page.
The photo below is correct (not compressed as I suspected when I first saw it). This is one of two rare portrait-oriented plaques on this site.
And below a rarer biblical verse from my own collection.
As always, if anyone has ideas about which pottery produced them, or their age (are they 19th or 20th century?), please get in touch.
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.