This is a very charming drabware shell dish made by Ridgway in about 1808. The dish has a beautiful beige ground and is painted with a bird in iron red.

 

Ridgway was one of the pioneers of English china production alongside other great potters such as Spode, Davenport, Minton, Coalport and others and they created very high quality tea and dinnerware. Ridgway had a tradition of a very wide-ranging offer of china products, anything from the most sublime dinnerware to humble toilet pots. It is notoriously difficult to identify their wares and this is one reason their beautiful tea and dinner wares are often underestimated.

 

This dish was potted in drabware, which is a drab-coloured earthenware. On the beige/ochre ground is a beautiful painting of a bird (a pied fly catcher) catching a fly. The painting is after an illustration in Thomas Bewick's famous and at the time hugely popular book "A History of British Birds" that appeared in 1797. The image is applied in monochrome in iron red; a striking combination with the ochre ground. 

 

On the underside of the dish the name of the bird is written in long hand: the Pied Flycatcher and the pattern number No 235, dating it to shortly before 1810. The dish is not marked, which was not unusual for that period.

 

The dish has an old collectors' label on the underside identifying it as made by Davenport, however on closer inspection it turns out to be made by Ridgway. 

 

CONDITION REPORT The dish is in very good condition without any damage or repairs. As can be expected from pearlware it is crazed, as visible in the pictures.

 

Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.

 

There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!

 

DIMENSIONS 20.5cm (8.15") X 20cm (8"). 

Ridgway drabware shell dish with bird after Bewick, Regency ca 1808

SKU: A-RID82
£195Price
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