James Callowhill was a highly skilled china decorator at the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company in England before he immigrated to the United States. Here he worked both independently and as a freelance decorator for several of the most important potteries, helping to raise the standard of craftsmanship in the ceramics industry in this country.
The plaque is one of a set of three that he made independently and exhibited to great acclaim in 1888. The vase was designed by Edward Lycett, a fellow English china painter also of great renown. Callowhill decorated and signed it as a free-lance artist at the Faience Manufacturing Company here in Brooklyn.
On reverse: Impressed at center: "OPAQUE/(Willets company logo)/PORCELAIN"
On reverse: Old, yellowed rectangular paper label with red border, inscribed in blue pen: "#24AA"
On reverse: on inside of footring painted in gold, "J. C-."
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James Callowhill (English, 1838-1913, active United States, ca. 1885-1913). Plaque, ca. 1887-1888. Porcelain, H: 1 in.; Diam: 10 5/8 in. (27 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 2006.6.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006.6.1_PS1.jpg)
overall, 2006.6.1_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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Large white bodied plaque with up-flared rim edged in gold raised on pronounced foot rim pierced with three holes for hanging. Overall asymmetrical elaborate design in the Japanese taste in raised gold and polychrome painted decoration of flowers and architectural elements. Large light and dark gold urn to proper right on two upright supports filled with purple, pink, and blue flowers and leaves all outlined with thin gold slip. Above, light and dark gold twin arched architectural elements resting on dark gold vertical support. At top, background of raised gold slip open fretwork. At bottom and proper left, more gold slip outlined polychrome flowers. Irregular overall patches of small raised gold dots suggesting shadows and shading.
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