Pratt Footed Dish, ca. 1860
My parents were transferred over to England when I was a teenager, and we used to go to Portobello Road all the time, every Saturday, but they got this, actually, from an antique dealer. And when my father retired and came back to Oklahoma, we came back to Tulsa.
Well, Portobello Road is still there, of course, and a great place to go antiquing, as it was back then. I like this piece because it tells something of a story. It was made in Staffordshire, in a town called Fenton, which is one of six towns in north Staffordshire that together make up what we call the Staffordshire Potteries. And it was made by a company called Pratt, and Pratt had been there since the early 19th century. They made colorful figures and pottery, and when we think of Staffordshire pottery, most of it is blue, transfer-printed onto white, but Pratt really revolutionized that. They made it possible, and inexpensively possible, to make four-color- or multicolor-printed. So after the 1850s, we see a lot more colorful printing on Staffordshire pottery, and not just blue and white. The company's probably best known for making pot lids, earthenware pottery lids, and they also made these things, which were table items. They used scenes mostly that were sort of genre scenes, if you like, scenes of ordinary people. This is taken from a famous painting by Sir David Wilke, and you can just see his signature in the plate of the printing center there. It's called The Blind Fiddler. And it's got the very typical Pratt border of oak leaf and acorn.
Are there very many of them?
No, there's a lot of Pratt around, but there aren't that many piece of this scale and with this kind of image inside. It's a great example of Pratt, I think. I would think today the value, no more than about $400 or $500...
is about where it is, which is high for Pratt, but still a great piece of... of Pratt pottery.
Well, that's a nice surprise.
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