Having attributed three of the Wesley transfers (to Dixon, Maling and Southwick), it would have been great to mop up the rest. The last big group to be identified closely resemble the 'Southwick' Wesley, but have the words 'FOUNDER OF THE' as an additional line in the title.
I've stared at these plaques until I'm cross eyed, trying to work out if they came from one transfer plate. There are subtle differences, but you have to factor in the wear of the copper plate over time, and tiny flaws created during the application of the transfers. The idiosyncratic spacing of the lettering runs through all of them, but also through the 'Southwick' Wesley, which was clearly traced from the same source. My mind is still not made up. The four I own could possibly be from the same transfer plate, but there may be other variants. I've posted pictures of a fine imprint (left) and a degraded imprint (right), so you can compare. Click on the images to enlarge, and to move between them.
As these plaques are generally black-and-yellow-bordered, and the transfers never appear on the larger pink-bordered forms, I'd previously assumed them to be earlier than the 'Southwick' and 'Dixon' versions.
Thanks again to Keith Lovell for sharing his research into the following plate. The transfer is of Wesley with 'FOUNDER OF THE' in the title.
The plate is special for two reasons. Firstly, it has the impressed mark 'J.&P' over a number '7', which Keith has identified as Jackson and Patterson of the Sheriff Hill Pottery, Gateshead, 1830–45 (R C Bell's 'Tyneside Pottery' book states the firm was run by Jackson & Patterson 1833–8, but records in the Sunderland Museum say 1830–45). Secondly, it has been personalised with the name Susanna Heslop, and was presumably commissioned as a gift to celebrate her birth or baptism. Civil registration of births began in 1837, so assuming the plate was made after then, the most likely candidate on record appears to be Susanna Heslop, born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1841.
So at least some of the plaques with 'FOUNDER OF THE' in the title are likely from the Sheriff Hill Pottery.
Below are three shots of another personalised item with 'FOUNDER OF THE' in Wesley's title. Taking into account the curvature of the mug, it's impossible to say with certainty whether the Wesley comes from the same transfer plate as that on the plate above (click on the images to enlarge). It is, however, marked with a date, 1839, which would put it within the Sheriff Hill Pottery's production period.
The dates on both of the above items are a little later than I would have previously guessed. The verse is the third of 'Sinners Obey The Gospel Word' by Charles Wesley, which appears on circular plaques (see the poetic verses page). I haven't yet seen verses from this particular hymn on the small rectangular plaques I've attributed to 'Southwick'. Wouldn't it be great to find a verse on a plate marked 'J.&P'!
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.