A framed earthenware Plaque, probably Staffordshire, last quarter of the 19th century
This delightful plaque is finely painted with a still life of delicious ripe fruit, including red grapes, apples, whitecurrants and hazelnuts, all resting on a grassy ground and surrounded by a trailing vine.
The subject matter and treatment is similar in style to the canvases of the Birmingham artist George Clare (1835-1900) and his sons Oliver (1853-1927) and Vincent (1855-1930), still life painters primarily of fruit during the latter half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century.
The unmarked earthenware plaque was probably produced by a Staffordshire manufacturer, perhaps a firm that would also have produced decorative tiles, such as Minton. The body is rather white and appears to have a chalky composition, something which may help to identify the maker. The decorative gilt frame with velvet inset is later. Evidence of a label and earlier framing can be seen on the reverse of the plaque.
Condition: The glazed surface is crazed on both sides and the plaque has been reduced slightly on two edges, with minor losses to the corners, visible only on the reverse.
Dimensions of plaque (unframed): Length 32.5 cm; Height 28 cm; Thickness 0.5 cm; Length 48 cm; Height 43 cm; Depth 5 cm (when framed)
A Collector’s History of English Pottery, Griselda Lewis (Antique Collectors’ Club, 1987).