Soup Plate, "Pine Orchard House, Catskill Mountains"
These ceramics are decorated with American landscape scenes and were made in England for the American market. Before the 1840s, only the elite could afford dinnerware, then made of expensive porcelain. One of the early fruits of the Industrial Revolution was the production of inexpensive machine-molded and mechanically decorated earthenware for the middle class. These objects were decorated by the transfer technique, in which the scene is engraved on a metal plate, inked, printed on paper, and then pressed, or transferred, onto the ceramic body.
Earthenware, blue underglaze
On bottom of plate: impressed "E. Wood and Son Burslem, Warranted" around an eagle with "Semi-China" above. Also, blue-printed eagle with scroll in mouth reading "E Pluribus Unum"; shield at eagle's feet with clouds and "Pine Orchard House, Catskill Mountains"
Gift of Mrs. William C. Esty
Earthenware soup plate, round with slightly scalloped rim and blue under glaze transfer-printed decoration. Border: six groups of shells with seaweed foliage. View in center: landscape scene with Pine Orchard House in the Catskill Mountains up on a hill, man walking and another man on horseback on road, thicket of trees, large building on hillside, mountain behind, sky..
Source of view: painting by Thomas Cole (1801-1848).
This item is not on view
Enoch Wood & Sons (active 1818-1846). Soup Plate, "Pine Orchard House, Catskill Mountains," ca. 1835. Earthenware, blue underglaze, 10 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (26 x 26 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. William C. Esty, 60.213.186. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 60.213.186_bw.jpg)
overall, 60.213.186_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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What is the technique used to make these?
These are what is called transferware. Rather than being hand painted, which was traditionally very expensive and labor-intensive work, these designs were transferred from metal plates, a process derived from printed book illustrations. In fact, many of the decorations would be copied from images in published books.