Sunday, December 3, 2017

WEDGWOOD MONTHS OF THE YEAR



All twelve Wedgwood Month tiles.  Click on the photo to make it larger.

I always plan to write something about Wedgwood's Month tiles and plates around the New Year, but I get too busy.  So, I decided to start early.

Helen J.A. Miles (fl. 1860-1893) designed several series of tiles for Wedgwood, one of which was "Months."  The tiles were so popular that Wedgwood eventually used the tile patterns on plates, along with borders from some of their well-known dinner services.  I have many variations of the 12 patterns to show you.  I am sure there are more, so please let me know if there is something I am missing.  (There are a lot of photos, so if you don't have time to see them all, please don't miss the beautiful fireplace surround at the bottom of this post.)  *Also, see a link to more photos and information.

JANUARY

"January" 6 inch tile


"January" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Mekado border


FEBRUARY

"February" 6 inch tile printed in red. The name of the month is missing.


"February" 6 inch tile. It is printed in brown and painted.

"February" 8 inch tile is a six inch pattern with the addition of an aesthetic border.


"February" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Mekado border


"February" 10 inch plate.  Notice that the tile shape is gone.  The pattern fits the plate and uses Wedgwood's Ferrara border.


MARCH

"March" 6 inch tile.

"March" 10 inch plate printed in brown with Wedgwood's Florentine border.


"March" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Florentine border.


APRIL

"April" 6 inch tile printed in blue.


"April" six inch tile.  Notice that the word "April" is in a different place than on the tile above.


"April" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Ivanhoe border.  Notice that the word "April" has moved again!


MAY

"May" 6 inch tile.

"May" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Florentine border

"May" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Mekado border.

JUNE

"June" 6 inch tile.

"June" 8 inch tile with the addition of an Aesthetic border.

"June" 10 inc plate with Wedgwood's Florentine border.

"June" octagonal plate with a floral border that is unknown to me.


JULY

"July" 6 inch tile.


"July" 6 inch tile printed in black.


"July" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Mekado border.  It looks as if the painting wasn't finished!



"July" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Mekado border.  Better painting than the last plate.


"July" 10 inch plate with a border that is unknown to me.  Notice that the name of the month is missing.


AUGUST

"August" 6 inch tile.


"August" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Mekado border.


"August" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Florentine border.


"August" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Ivanhoe border.


SEPTEMBER

"September" 6 inch tile.
"September" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Florentine border.

"September" 10 inch plate,  printed in green, with Wedgwood's Mekado border.


"September" 10 inch octagonal plate with a floral border.


"September" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Mekado border.  The colors are my personal favorite.  The marks on the back of this plate are seen below.


Marks that are found on the back of the "September" plate seen above.  Notice the unusual spelling of "Mekado". 



OCTOBER


"October" 6 inch tile


"October" 6 inch tile printed in red.



"October" 8 inch tile with an Aesthetic border.


"October" octagonal plate with a floral border.


"October" 10 inch plate without the tile shape. The border is Wedgwood's Ferrara border.


NOVEMBER

"November" 6 inch tile.


"November" 8 inch tile with the addition of an Aesthetic border.


DECEMBER

"December" 6 inch tile


"December" 8 inch tile.  It is a 6 inch pattern with the addition of an Aesthetic border.

"December" 10 inch plate with Wedgwood's Ferrara border. The word December is on the left by the girl's feet.


One more thing.  Below is a fireplace surrounded by Wedgwood Month tiles.  It is in the home of Dora Landey's daughter.  Dora is an antiques dealer who sells mainly transferware.  The tiles were a gift for her daughter's new house.


Fireplace with Wedgwood 6 inch Month tile surround (mainly).

I'll add that Wedgwood Month tiles and plates make excellent birthday gifts. Here are two for friends with February and July birthdays.


"February" and "July" 8 inch tiles.

*For more Months information and photos, see Gordon Hepworth's Old English (The Months). Tiles






Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ISAAC VAN AMBURGH, THE LION KING, AND TRANSFERWARE

I enjoy learning new things from transferware patterns, so my curiosity was piqued by a child's mug posted on the Transferware Collectors Club Facebook page. It showed the inscription "Mr. Van Amburgh/The Night Of The Queens (sic) Visit to Drury" under the pattern of a man dressed in  Roman garb and surrounded by large wild cats.  I learned that Isaac Van Amburgh (1811-1865) was an American animal trainer and menagerie owner who conquered Europe with his daring animal acts. (He is said to be the first man to put his head in the mouth of a lion.) The young Queen Victoria was so taken with Van Amburgh that she visited his show at the Drury Lane Theater seven times in eight weeks (this number varies).  She also commissioned Sir Edwin Landseer (1803-1873) to paint his portrait in 1839.  The painting of Van Amburgh and his menagerie is still part of the Royal Collection Trust.

John & Robert Godwin (1834-1865) child's mug "Mr. Van Amburgh/As He Appeared On The Night Of The Queens (sic) Visit To Drury Lane Theatre."  An amusing discussion of the Van Amburgh pattern is found on p. 35 in the book "Victoria Remembered" by John May; "Here, as the Brute Tamer of Pompeii, in a sort of very early Victorian Cecil B. de Mille version of a gladiator's kit, he put himself and his lions and tigers and his leopards through their paces." Thank you to Potter & Potter Auctions, Inc. for permission to use the photo.

Edwin Landseer "Isaac Van Amburgh and his Animals" 1839.  Notice there is a small lamb in the cage of wild beasts. Van Amburgh created a live show out of the words of Isaiah 11:6: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."  No wolves, fatlings or kids, but the lions, leopards, and lamb are in the same cage!  Along with Van Amburgh.  Such showmanship!

Van Amburgh was so popular that other kinds of inexpensive ceramics, along with transferware, were made as souvenirs.  It is possible that the ceramics were sold at the theaters where Van Amburgh performed.

Mr. Van Amburgh Staffordshire figure

The back of the Staffordshire figure seen above.  I like the leopard clinging to Van Amburgh's shoulders.

A 6.75 inch relief-molded jug with Van Amburgh and his lions and other large cats. Notice the lion handle.

Van Amburgh was known as "The Lion King," but it appears he was king through extreme animal cruelty.  There were complaints about Van Amburgh's training methods at a time when slavery was still legal in much of the world, including the United States.  That said, Van Amburgh died in bed of a coronary in 1865.  No revenge of the beasts for him.

One more photo.  Here is Van Amburgh in his youth.  The lithograph is from The National Portrait Gallery in London.