Sunday, January 31, 2016


Neptune pattern drainer.  The pattern is also known as "The Apotheosis of Nelson." 

Holes in pottery?  Not usually a good thing.  But, in this case, the holes allow for the juice or gravy from a piece of meat or fish to drain into a platter.   As you continue, you'll see I blah blah a lot about patterns, borders, holes, feet, lips, and stringing.  If it gets boring,  just look at the pictures!

John Ridgway (1830-1841) "Pomerania" Platter

John Ridgway "Pomerania" Drainer

Back of the Pomerania Drainer/Notice the four feet.  Some drainers have a raised lip instead of feet (see below).

Sometimes the drainer is on four feet like the one above, and sometimes it has a raised lip like the one below.  Notice the pattern of the holes can be quite different on each drainer.  It is thought that a maker can be deduced from the pattern of the holes, but like everything else about transferware,  this is not always true.

Minton (1793-1872) Castle Grantully Drainer from the "English Scenery" series.  Can you see a diamond pattern?  Any other shapes?

Front of the Minton  "English Scenery" Castle Grantully Drainer

John & William Ridgway (1813-1830) "Rural Scenery" drainer.  Can you see a triangle pattern?  Anything else?

Back of "Rural Scenery" Drainer/Notice the lovely pattern made by the drainer holes.  Any triangles?  Fleurs-de-Lis?

Here is a plate from John & William Ridgway's "Rural Scenery" series.  Notice that the border of the drainer is the same as the inner border of the plate.  Remember this!

Drainers may be printed with the same center pattern as their platters, but sometimes they have a different pattern.  An example of this is the brown printed "Pomerania" pattern above and the patterns below.

Thomas Dimmock & Co. (1828-1859) Conchology Drainer/Notice that the drainer pattern features different shells than the platter. You can click on the photo to make it bigger.

Conchology Platter

Herculaneum (1796-1840) floral pattern drainer/Notice that the pattern is slightly different than the platter below.  Where is the border?

Herculaneum floral pattern platter

You may have noticed that the Herculaneum and Ridgway drainers don't have borders.  Perhaps this is because they sit in the middle of the platters,  and thus take advantage of the border of the platter.  It may be more pleasing to see one border rather than two.  I am just guessing. Of course, the drainers are smaller, so maybe that is why the borders aren't used. 

Thomas Godwin (1834-1854) "Penn's Treaty" drainer/Notice that there is no border.

Thomas Godwin "Penn's Treaty" platter

F. & R. Pratt (& Co.) 1818-1920 "Asiatic Marine" pattern drainer, ca. 1835.  Notice that there is no border.

"Asiatic Marine" platter with its drainer inserted. See how the drainer takes advantage of the platter's border.

However, the Conchology  drainer above has a border, as does the Neptune drainer at the top of the page.  Here are a few drainers that have borders.  So much for transferware theory!

Unknown maker Apothecary pattern platter

Apothecary pattern drainer/Notice that the drainer includes the border
Maker unknown "Domestic Cattle" pattern drainer includes the border/too bad about the placement of the large center hole.

"Domestic Cattle" platter.  This is not necessarily the right platter for the drainer, but I wanted you to see the large border. Perhaps the smaller border on the drainer was made to fit its size. 

John Denton Bagster (1823-1827) "Vignette" pattern drainer includes the border.  The hole in the center has taken the place of the horse's head!

"Vignette" platter.  This may not be the platter that goes with the drainer, but you can see that although the drainer has a border, it is smaller to fit the drainer size.

Here is some more information about drainer borders.  Some drainers don't use the complete border.  They only have the stringing.  Stringing is the decorative, narrow pattern found at the edge of the border of the whole pattern or around the center of the pattern.

John Ridgway (1830-1841) "Shiraz" drainer/stringing only

I only have a "Shiraz" soup plate to show you, but look carefully at the pattern on the edge (you can make the photo larger by tapping on it). This is an example of stringing.  Does the drainer have an addition to the stringing found on the soup plate?

"Shiraz" soup plate

Maker unknown Deer and Folly drainer/not the complete border/stringing only.

Deer and folly pattern plate with full border.  Notice that only the stringing was used on the edge of the drainer.  The stringing looks like tiny waves.

One last thing.  This drainer is back lit by a winter sun. The holes make a lovely heart-shaped design.  I was told this pattern may have been made in Swansea because of the heart-shaped holes.

Can you see the pattern made by the drainer holes? I was told that the drainer may have been made in Swansea.  Perhaps the Swansea factories made heart-shaped drainer holes. 

Another last thing.  Drainers make a lovely display.   I hope you'll look at them differently now.  They are beautiful with or without a platter.

Drainer display.  Right, John & William Ridgway Osterley Park; Bottom, John & Richard Riley (1802-1828) Large Scroll Border Series.  I am not sure about the names of the other patterns.  Perhaps someone will tell me.

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