Staffordshire Historical Plate
The least I would really know about it, that my mother had received it from her father. It was handed down from my grandfather, who was at the time of his death about 90 years old. And that's basically all I really know about it.
This is an example of English transfer ware. Originally when they started making pottery and porcelain in a large scale in the 18th century, everything had to be hand-decorated. But they invented transfer decoration, which was an inexpensive way that you could mass-produce things for the public. So the Staffordshire Pottery starting around the 1800s started making millions and millions of pieces of china and pottery, basically, for markets all over the world that people could use. They made patterns with animals, with plants, showing different countries, showing famous people, lovers in the garden-- the designs were just endless. But what's special about this plate is that this was specifically made for the American market. A number of different companies made patterns which showed various scenes of places and buildings and people in the United States which was made specifically to ship here, and those, then, are more interesting to us today because they show part of our heritage-- a part of the history of the United States. This particular plate here has four medallions at the top: we've got "Jefferson," "President Washington" "Welcome Lafayette" and "Governor Clinton." And then we've got two scenes here. Here at the bottom, we have a scene and it's labeled. It says, "View of the Aqueduct Bridge at Little Falls," which relates to the Erie Canal. Also at the top here, we have an additional scene. It's another scene relating to the Erie Canal, which was, of course, a very important structure at that point in history. This particular plate we know is made after 1825 because that's when the Erie Canal opened. A normal plate like this, which just has a normal scene which is very decorative, would be worth around $100, $150, and collectors like them. And American scenes are much more valuable. Usually, they would start at around $200 depending on the scene and the rarity, and they would go up to about $500, $600. However, this particular plate is kind of the holy grail of American historical Staffordshire plates. This particular plate conservatively would sell for about $2,000 or $3,000 for a single plate.
So you're very lucky to have inherited a really rare one.
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