Saturday, August 16, 2014


My brother-in-law gave me an embroidered animal alphabet that was made in 1944.  I love alphabet animals and I was born in 1944, so I love the gift. Animals have often been used to teach the alphabet, so I thought I would show you how animals and the alphabet were used by 19th century British potters to teach children their ABCs (I doubt I have ever used the words animal and alphabet so often in one paragraph!)

Animal alphabet embroidery 29 inches by 26 inches, 1944/Notice the strange "I" animal/  Is it an ibex?
Apple, Ape, Air, alphabet plate, 6.25 inches. The pattern was intended to teach the alphabet. It would have been part of a series that included all of the letters./Notice that the border is a molded alphabet

E begins Elephant, Eagle, and Eggs alphabet plate, 7 inches. This pattern was used as a teaching tool, and is part of a series that would have included the whole alphabet.

E Was an Eagle, and sat among Rocks alphabet plate, 7.5 inches. Patterns with letters were used as teaching tools for children.
H begins Horse, whose paces are swift alphabet plate, 5.12 inches. This pattern is part of a series that teaches the letters of the alphabet.

Lamb. Lion. Lamp alphabet or ABC plate, size unknown. The pattern would have been part of a series of all the letters of the alphabet.

Wild Animals, The Lion alphabet plate, 7.25 inches.  Made by Brownhills Pottery (1872-1896), the series includes 8 animal patterns

Pig, Pigeon, Pins alphabet plate, size unknown.  The pattern is surrounded by a molded alphabet border

Octagonal alphabet plate, 6.5 inches. Children's patterns with alphabet letters were used as teaching tools. The above pattern may have been part of the entire alphabet. However, it is hard to imagine a child receiving 26 plates or mugs as a gift! Perhaps, a pattern was chosen with the child's initials in mind.
You may already have noticed that A, L and P are part of the same series.  Try not to let the border or color confuse you.

Below is the cover of my alphabet and china book for children and adults.  I wrote about it in my blog post Dishy Animals ABC.  I am really passionate about animals and the alphabet.  Thank you Frank!

Dishy Animals ABC

1 comment:

  1. I think I shall give Mr N a big hint about hunting for a plate with my initial on for Christmas. I'm sure he has time to find one. I wonder what the animal will be - a Nanny goat, perhaps?