With many ships sharing the same name, picking the right one is not always as straightforward as it seems. On the rare ships page, I identified 'The Volage Frigate' with the screw-iron corvette launched on 27 February 1869. But solely on the basis of its similarity to the illustration below.
Dick Henrywood, who recently purchased the plaque below, writes:
I've had further thoughts about the Volage and wonder if your website identification of the ship built in 1869 is correct. That does seem rather late for the plaque, and looking at the print it seems to have only twelve guns on each side and doesn't look steel hulled. The previous Volage was built in Portsmouth in 1825 and was a 28-gun ship. This ties up much better with the pictured vessel, allowing for the odd gun or two facing fore and aft. This vessel was involved in a Battle with China (the Battle of Chuanbi) in the first Opium War of 1839-42. I just think this sort of date is much more likely for the plaque.
With his engineering background, Dick is much better qualified than me to identify the ship. What he says makes sense from a pottery point of view. The Volage in my collection has scalloped corners. Plaques of that form appear with other transfers known to be from the 1840s. Whereas the later ship would have placed the plaque towards the end of the period in which plaques were produced. I've adjusted the text in line with the new attribution.
I'm always very happy to hear from anyone who can improve the quality of information on this site: email@example.com
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.