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Staffordshire College China

The following is a synopsis of a wonderful magazine article, published by Keramic Studio Publishing Company, Syracuse, NY, in their magazine OLD CHINA, Vol. 1, No. 8, May, 1902. We have one example of an old romantic Staffordshire plate in our inventory, but those described in this article are very rare, and are specific scenes of various colleges & universities. Be on the lookout for these great old plates!

The article begins with an overview: "Among historical Staffordshire pieces of unusual interest are plates, platters and dishes with views of American colleges. With the exception of one dark blue plate, the Transylvania University, by Wood, it seems that all these views are rare, and some of the plates and platters bring very high prices." [Remember this is 1902 and they were already scarce and expensive.]

Harvard College: Views of Harvard, founded in 1636, have been used more than any other college views by Staffordshire potters. They are found in dark blue and other colors, and by different makers, as follows:

10" dark blue dinner & soup plates, acorn border, by Stevenson. View of Hollis Hall, 1763, Harvard Hall, 1766, Holworthy Hall, 1812 & Stoughton Hall, 1814.

8.25" dark blue plate, acorn border, by Stevenson. View of University Hall, built in 1815, figure on horseback in foreground.

6" dark blue plate, acorn border, by Stevenson; another view of University Hall.

A view in dark blue with floral border, by unknown maker, is listed in Mr. Barber's Anglo American Pottery.

A view of the 4 buildings on plates & platters in various colors, by Wood (E.W. & S.)

Small plate in various colors with floral border, by Jackson, also tea cups with handle.

Harvard Hall, 6" plate in various colors with floral border, by Jackson.

Dish by unknown maker, border roses scattered at 7 equidistant points.

Cambridge College, MA: a view in dark blue on cover of a soup tureen, by Ridway, with usual rose medallion border, in a collection in Easton, PA. View of one building. The sides have views of Boston Almshouse.

Yale College: Yale was founded in 1701 and definitely established at New Haven, CT in 1716. It is strange that no view of this oldest American college after Harvard has so far been found in dark blue. The views found in various colors are of the State House, New Haven, and the college buildings, and all very much alike. They appear on plates, platters and all kinds of dishes, as follows:

State House, New Haven, & Yale College, flower border by Jackson

State House, New Haven, flower & medallion border by unknown maker

Yale College, chickweed border by Charles Meigh

University of Maryland: Dark blue tea cup, unknown maker, from R. T. Haines Halsey's "Early New York on dark blue Staffordshire", by courtesy of Dodd, Mead & Co. Rare dark blue, foliage border and in 1902 the building was still standing.

Columbia College: King's College, founded in New York in 1756, was changed to Columbia College after the Revolution, and in 1814 the Legislature presented to the college a tract of 20 acres lying between 5th & 6th Avenues and 47th and 49th Streets. In 1820 the belfry and 2 wings were added to the original building. Three views of the college as it was after 1820 are found in dark blue, all by Stevenson, with slight variations and different borders.

8" plate, vine leaves border, marked R. S. 7.5" plate, acorn border, marked RSW (the mark of Ralph Stevenson who made the famous acorn border) 7.5" plate, flower & scrolls border, marked A. Stevenson

West Point Military Academy: This famous military school, which was started in 1802 by Colonel Jonathan Williams, has been used on the following pieces: 13" dark blue platter, shell border, by Wood 18" platter, color usually pink, by Adams Vegetable dish in various colors by Wood (E.W. & S.)

Transylvania University, Lexington, KY: This was the first educational institution incorporated west of the Alleghenies, and dates from 1783. The building shown in the Wood views, the only ones known so far, was erected in 1817 8.5" dark blue plate, shell border by Wood Plate in various colors by Wood.

The article goes on to describe several college views of British schools. Needless to say, these antique Staffordshire plates are quite valuable today and difficult to find. Finding some of the older American college plates could be a career in and of itself. We hope you'll let us know if you find some interesting examples!


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