Sunday, July 20, 2014

DOCTOR SYNTAX ON TRANSFERWARE

Ralph & James Clews (1814-1834) The Advertisement for a Wife 15.25" by 11.5" platter, ca. 1825
The Advertisement for a Wife by Thomas Rowlandson 1821

The Third Tour of Dr. Syntax in search of a Wife, p. 210  (See the link to the entire book below.)
 A lot has been written about Doctor Syntax, possibly the first cartoon.  Or, perhaps, the first time the word cartoon was used to describe two-dimensional caricatures rather than the preparatory drawings for a formal work.  Doctor Syntax was created by the artist Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) and put to verse by William Combe (1742-1823).  He first appeared in The Poetical Magazine in 1809 (published by Rudolph Ackermann).  The caricature was so popular that it was published in book form as The Tour of Dr. Syntax in search of the Picturesque in 1812, and was followed by The Second Tour of Dr. Syntax in search of Consolation in 1820 and The Third Tour of Dr. Syntax in search of a Wife in 1821.  The books were the best sellers of their day, and continued to be published throughout the 19th century and into the 20th century.  The Staffordshire potters, always looking for what seized the imagination of the public, copied Rowlandson's prints onto pottery.  Ralph & James Clews created a dinner service in dark blue (more than 30 different patterns) for the American Market in the 1820s, and the Adams factory sold Doctor Syntax patterned plates from 1900 through the 1970s.  I love the Clews' patterns, but I especially enjoy the Doctor Syntax patterns printed on pottery for children.  Although Doctor Syntax was intended for adults, he clearly was found amusing by children.  I think of him as Bugs Bunny without the ears.

Dr. Syntax Pursued By A Bull on a 5.5 inch plate with a molded dog, fox and monkey border, ca. 1830
Dr. Syntax Pursued By A Bull from the First Tour of Doctor Syntax by Thomas Rowlandson
Dr. Syntax Bound to a Tree by Highwaymen on a 7.5 inch plate with a molded dog, fox and monkey border, ca. 1830
Dr. Syntax Bound to a Tree by Highwaymen from the First Tour of Doctor Syntax by Thomas Rowlandson
Dr. Syntax Sells Grizzle on a 7 inch plate with a molded animal border, ca. 1830
Dr. Syntax Sells Grizzle
from the First Tour of Doctor Syntax by Thomas Rowlandson
Baker, Bevans & Irwin (1814-1838) 6.75 inch Dr. Syntax plate with a molded Rose and Honeysuckle border, ca. 1830
Doctor Syntax Setting Out For London by Thomas Rowlandson/I am not sure which book this print is from.
Doctor Syntax was so popular that he appeared in many incarnations.  I found a Pinterest page titled Dr. Syntax by Rod Wilson that shows some interesting Doctor Syntax pictures.  Take a look.  There is even a quilt!

If you have made it this far in my blog post, you deserve to see a charming use of a Doctor Syntax cheese cradle.  Its original purpose was to hold a stilton cheese wheel, but it has been repurposed here as a fruit stand.  The view is Dr. Syntax Bound to a Tree by Highwaymen by Ralph & James Clews.

Ralph & James Clews Dr. Syntax Bound to a Tree by Highwaymen Cheese Cradle














2 comments:

  1. I love the animal borders of the plates and the wonderful cheese cradle!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the children's plates with the molded animal borders. I actually like most of the plates and mugs made for children. I owned a Clews Doctor Syntax cheese cradle in 2002. I sold it immediately. Luckily, I know where to visit it.

    ReplyDelete