A Bristol delftware Plate, Richard Frank, Redcliff Back, circa 1760

This Bristol delftware plate was made at Redcliff Back, under Richard Frank. The press-moulded fluted border and scalloped rim is decorated with repeated foliate designs in a style known as ‘bianco sopra bianco‘, or ‘white on white’. Although inspired by the incised patterns found on the rims of Chinese export porcelain, the name alludes to the use of this decoration on 16th-century Italian maiolica at Faenza. 

The main pattern, painted in manganese, blue and yellow, is of an oriental river scene, showing two hatted men standing on a small bridge, alongside which is moored a small sailing boat. The bridge links the foreshore with a small island dominated by an enormous rock formation, topped by a willow. Immediately adjoining this rock is a small two-storey dwelling. In the background can be seen the other side of the river with its distant hills. This central scene is framed by a narrow circular border of geometric designs in the Chinese idiom. 

Condition: Typical minor flaking to the rim found on most tin-glazed earthenware items, and very faint crazing to the greenish-blue glaze. Small spur or stilt marks can be seen on the reverse, indicating how such wares were stacked and fired in the kiln. No restoration.

Dimensions: Diameter 22.5 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).