|Davenport (1794-1887) George III (1738-1820) Commemorative pattern known as Farmer George, ca 1815|
The purchase of a battered platter with an interesting pattern necessitated some research. I actually knew George III was at the center. Yes, he was the last king of the colonies, so he looked familiar. He is surrounded by the floral symbols of Great Britain: the rose, the shamrock and the thistle.
|Center of the pattern/Notice that King George is wearing a laurel wreath/Looks like the center pattern is wearing a laurel wreath also|
The best information I found was in the book True Blue, edited by Gaye Blake Roberts. It is the catalog of the Exhibition of British transfer printed earthenware, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Friends of Blue. It was held at the Wedgwood Museum in Barleston, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire in 1998. I had the pleasure of seeing this extraordinary exhibit. I own the book, which has more than 1000 illustrations as well as descriptions of the illustrations. Here is what is said about this pattern: The cornucopia and agricultural implements comprising the border of this design are probably an allusion to King George III's nickname of 'Farmer George', earned by his keen and often comical love of country pursuits. It is difficult to date the introduction of this pattern as George III ascended the throne in 1760 so that 1810 was his Golden Jubilee year, but it is equally possible that the piece commemorated the Peace of 1815 (end of the Napoleonic Wars), as the King is depicted wearing a wreath of laurels (for Victory) and the border of farming implements could be interpreted as denoting peace. (I think the farming implements or tools may also refer to George's love of agriculture.)
On another note, some of my blog posts show broken and disfigured pottery. The Farmer George pattern is uncommon and was reasonably priced, so it is in my collection. I display it on a wall. Some people are surprised that I would hang such a broken platter. Others don't even notice the cracks because they are so excited by the pattern.