Friday, June 21, 2013

MILLENIUM OR MILLENNIUM

Ralph Stevenson & Son (1810-1835) "Millenium" 10 inch soup plate

"Millenium" close-up

The first thing I noticed when I looked at the mark (I always look for a mark on the back) was that it was misspelled!   I always find misspellings amusing unless I happen to be the culprit.  The wonderful symbolism of the pattern more than makes up for a missing "n."  The pattern was so popular in the United States (I hear it is rare to find in Britain) that it was printed in every color except yellow.


"Millenium" pattern mark

The word "Millennium" comes from the Latin "mille" meaning thousand and "annus" meaning year. It refers to the second coming of Christ who would rule for a thousand years before the Last Judgment. At the top of the plate is the all-seeing eye of God. Below is the Bible opened to Isaiah's prophecy, Ch.XI:6: "The wolf also shall dwell with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." This describes the scene in the center of the plate. The dove and the olive branch are symbolic of "Peace on Earth" which is written below them. The man beneath the center scene is a follower of Christ reciting the "Lord's Prayer," which includes "Give us this day our daily bread." The lush fruit, flowers, and sheaves of grain in the border symbolize the fertility of nature that will abound during the Millennium.  It is understandable that the meaning of the symbolism as well as the charm of the pattern made for a best seller in 19th century America.

I have added a photo of a 6 inch plate to show you how the pattern was made to fit the smaller size.  It's up to you to figure out what is missing!

"Millenium" 6 inch plate



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