The sharp eyed amongst you will already have spotted the hand-painted plaque below on the Rare ships page. It's from the same private collection I blogged about last week.
The plaque, which appears to be made by Dixon, was fired blank for later decoration. It's unclear whether the pottery painted the ship, which looks naively rendered, or whether that was done somewhere else after sale. Anyhow, time hasn't been kind to the over-glaze enamels, and only a palimpsest of sails and masts remains.
The ship appears to be called 'Earl Leicester', which might relate to the Elizabethan nobleman, Robert Dudley, who had a ship called the 'Galleon Leicester'. The plaque came up on eBay five or six years ago, with another titled 'Laura Ann'. After a bidding war, the two plaques were separated. All I have is a dog-eared computer print-out of the other one, which has more sails intact.
If you are the owner of this plaque, you're a lucky person. I'd love a better photo. Then at least on the internet, Laura Ann and Earl Leicester could hang side by side once more.
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.