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Platter, "Niagara from the American Side"

Decorative Arts

Even an object as mundane as a platter for serving food can be infused with a sense of place. Transfer-printed earthenware was made in England specifically for sale to American consumers. Here, Niagara Falls, an image of the grandeur and power of the continent, transforms a practical object into an evocative statement of pride in place. The blue-and-white palette makes reference to Asian ceramics, such as the example shown nearby, which had been imported for centuries but had not been successfully imitated until the decades immediately before the English piece was made.
MEDIUM Earthenware
DATES ca. 1829-1846
DIMENSIONS 14 3/4 x 11 1/2 in. (37.5 x 29.2 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS On underside: printed in blue underglaze, eagle and shield with "E Pluribus Unum" in banner above and "Niagara From the American Side" on band below; impressed circular mark with eagle and "E. Wood & Sons Burslem Warranted Semichina".
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 63.186.17
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. William C. Esty
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Enoch Wood & Sons (active 1818-1846). Platter, "Niagara from the American Side," ca. 1829-1846. Earthenware, 14 3/4 x 11 1/2 in. (37.5 x 29.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. William C. Esty, 63.186.17. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 63.186.17_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 63.186.17_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Platter, dark blue transfer-printed earthenware, oval with chamfered corners. Border: Shells. View in center: Niagara Falls from the American side with bank of trees in foreground, man and woman in center, and Niagara Falls and surrounding landscape in middle distance and background. Source of view: possibly an engraving published by H. Gaugain in "Itinéraire Pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson" (1828-29) from a sketch by J. Milbert. Condition: very good to excellent
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