Antique PRATTWARE Plate Classical Border With Cherubs "Landscape & River Scene" 19th Century

£47.00 GBP

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  • Pottery
3
Antique PRATTWARE Plate Classical Border With Cherubs "Landscape & River Scene" 19th Century

A rare and very fine antique Prattware plate with inset "Landscape & River Scene" { Ball No. 416 }

Plate is 9 inches diameter.

Condition is excellent.

Collectors note affixed to the base - see images.

What is Pratt Ware or Prattware?

The name Pratt is associated with much confusion. Prattware historically is the name associated with relief decorated, underglaze painted creamware and pearlwaremade from about 1780 to 1840.
This light density earthenware was the standard body of the period. The name relates to a family of potters working in Lane Delph in The Potteries in the late eighteenth century and at Fenton after 1807.
The generic link to the type has been made because of the existence of two early jugs, both marked PRATT, but it was made by many other potters in Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Liverpool, Tyneside, Wearside, Devon and on the east and west coasts of Scotland.
Today these fine relief-moulded earthenwares are quite rare and can really only be found through specialist dealers or at ceramics fairs.

F & R Pratt of Fenton, the company responsible for making pot lids wasn’t established until about 1818 and pot lid manufacture at its earliest is c1850 and later.

PRATT (F. & R. PRATT & CO. LTD)

c.1818–1967?

Earthenware manufacturer at the Fenton Potteries, High St, Fenton (to c.1920?) and then at other factories in the Staffordshire Potteries. The business of brothers (?) Felix Edward Pratt (1813-1894) and Richard Pratt was founded in the early 19th century and the company was to become an important manufacturer of domestic earthenware and polychrome transfer printed pot lids. The company was acquired by H. T. Robinson, probably in 1916, and from 1920 it was a subsidiary of Robinson’s Cauldon Potteries Ltd operating from that company’s Cauldon Place Works.

F. & R. Pratt & Co. was one of the subsidiaries acquired by Harrison & Son (Hanley) Ltd when they purchased Cauldon Potteries Ltd from its bankruptcy in 1933. The F. & R. Pratt & Co. business operated from the Harrison’s Crescent Pottery (George Jones & Sons Ltd) from 1936 until 1958 when the Pratt name and intellectual property were acquired by E. Brain & Co. Ltd. In 1967 Wedgwood purchased the E. Brain & Co. Ltd business acquiring, in the process, the right to the Pratt name and patterns.

In the 19th century, the Pratt name was associated with the fine, usually multi-coloured, transfer printed engravings used to decorate the lids of earthenware pots used for food, pharmaceutical products and toiletries. The business also produced domestic earthenware including relief moulded earthenware (especially jugs) and tableware with underglaze, multi-coloured decoration (‘Prattware’). Terracotta and parian ware were other wares, and Godden (1988) notes that there are examples of mid-19th century porcelain printed with Pratt multi-colour underglaze prints, however, these may have been bought-in ware decorated by the company.

Whilst Felix Pratt was the commercial driving force behind the business, the artist was a Jesse Austin who joined Pratt in the early-1840. He was an accomplished watercolour artist and engraver and over nearly 40 years, the business produced over 550 poly chrome prints used to decorate the now well known pot lids. Pratt’s first under-glaze, polychrome pot lid was made in 1847 and was a scene ‘Grace before Meals’. Austin’s subject included royalty, famous people, city scenes – there are eleven views of London – and this portrayal of the life and times of Victorian England is one of the reasons for the lid’s popularity today. Austin also made minature watercolour copies of famous paintings and these too appear on pot lids and Prattware.

Pratt Ware jug, Grecian Key pattern, 1910-1920.Although the pot lids have become well known, the engravings were also used on the containers themselves, on plates and on other domestic earthenware manufactured by the business and it is this good-quality domestic pottery that is termed ‘Prattware’. So good were the engravings that the pot lids and Prattware rapidly became a collectible and the first exhibition was apparently held in 1897 only three years after Felix Pratt’s death. Cauldon Potteries Ltd continued to issue reproduction pot lids under the F. & R. Pratt name using the original Jesse Austin engravings and the practice was continued up to the 1960s by the various owners of the Pratt name. In 1976 Coalport (as part of the Wedgwood Group) reproduced a Pratt engraving as decoration on a limited edition Christmas plate. Similar plates were made each year until at least 1979.

Collecting the Pratt polychrome pot lids became very fashionable in the 1920s and the interest has continued to the present day. Hundreds of thousands were manufactured, but of those that remain the majority are in poor or indifferent condition. Undamaged pot lids with crisp, clear prints are now rarely seen and are expensive – and this has encouraged copyists and repairers into the market. There is a Pot Lid Collectors Society.

Early marks consist of the Pratt name and or initials in various forms including ‘F & R P’, ‘F. & R. Pratt’, and F. & R. P. & Co. (from circa 1840) and F. & R. Pratt & Co. An unusual late-19th or early 20th century mark is the naked figure of a discus thrower, sometimes appearing without reference to the Pratt name. Post-1920, marks may include ‘Royal Cauldon’ as part of the mark.
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