Delftware Plate, Liverpool or Dublin, c.1760


This tin-glazed plate is painted in blue with a Chinese garden scene, consisting of a peony, prunus branch and vase, the latter containing a peacock feather and flowering branch of ruyi form. The vase rests on a table resembling the sacred fungus or lingzhi mushroom, symbolising immortality. The outer edge is decorated with trailing flowers and winged insects. The underside rim is painted with two trailing 'seaweed' motifs, with a small stylized leaf mark to the centre.

The plate bears several of the characteristics shared by Liverpool and Irish (Dublin) delftware: 'sunken blue' painting, where the blue seems to be partially submerged by the thick tin glaze; and sgrafitto decoration.

A guglet painted in the same pattern and assigned to Liverpool or Dublin, is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (CIRC.416-1950).

Three spur or stilt marks can be seen on the reverse, indicating how such wares were stacked and fired in the kiln.

Condition: No cracks or restoration, just typical wear to the rim.

Dimensions: Diameter 23.6 cm

Delftware: The Tin-glazed Earthenware of the British Isles, Michael Archer (V&A/HMSO, 1997).

English Delftware, F.H. Garner and Michael Archer (Faber & Faber, 1972).


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