I recently entered a small transferware plate with a painted shell edge into the database of the Transferware Collectors Club. I thought the pattern had something to do with the use of a dancing bear as entertainment, but I wasn't sure until I did a bit of research. Dancing bears were a form of street entertainment in Europe and Asia from the Middle Ages and, in some countries, into the 21st century. I'll add that bear dancing was outlawed in Britain in 1911. You can imagine that training a bear had to be horrific, similar to training any wild animal. I won't go into details, but if you want to know more about the history of bears as entertainment, here is an excellent website titled Dancing Bears. Notice that the group of people on the left look more frightened than amused. Also notice that the animal on the bear's head is a monkey. I assume the monkey's whip was more for show that punishment.
I found another small plate that features Bear Dancing. This one is titled. I wonder what the man and the bear are doing with the sticks?
|"Dancing Bear" 2.88 inch plate with a molded daisy border|
I have again learned something new from looking at a transferware pattern.