The struggle for womens' health: Leadless Glaze
Happy International Women's Day! This beautiful Coalport serving dish from about 1900 brought me to investigate a moving story. How come?
On the reverse of this plate, the mark states: "Leadless Glaze". This peaked my interest; I had heard about a campaign against lead and I wanted to know more. The story it uncovered fits well with International Women's Day!
It took about 100 years of struggle to outlaw the use of lead in the beautiful white glaze that covers British porcelain, and the battle was eventually won by some clever women from across the social divide, resulting in the pottery factories scrambling to be seen as good and stating that their lead was leadless. So for about a decade or so, they would state it on their beautiful teaware, so that the wealthy ladies wouldn't boycott them in solidarity with the pottery workers, many of whom were women and children suffering from lead poisoning.
Watch my video for the whole story!
And if you're tempted, you can buy the plate in my shop!
this week's new treasures: