This is a very rare and special set of 8 gorgeous "Aesthetic Movement" breakfast plates made by Jacob Baggaley between 1880 and 1886.


Not much is known about Jacob Baggaley other than that he operated in the Staffordshire area during that period and he produced earthenware products, which would have included a lot of flatware.


These plates might be ironstone - they are not marked as such, but they feel hard and have the wonderful grey-tinted shine of ironstone, which is harder and stronger than normal earthenware.


The decoration is called "Woodland" and consists of a beautifully transferred pattern of two finches perched on a branch with leaves and flowers. The birds have beautiful detail to them and their little faces are full of expression. The foliage is very detailed too, and a butterfly flutters through it - one of the finches is looking at it with apt attention. A third finch can be seen in the distance perched on another branch and singing away. The plates have a simple decoration on the rim and two additional flower motifs to balance the larger picture. The colour of the transfer is anthracite - not quite black, not quite grey, and with a certain warmth and liveliness to it.


What is special about these plates is that they are decorated in the "Aesthetic Movement" style. This movement emerged in the 1880s as a rebellion against the Victorian style of the mid 1800s, which generally was steeped in tradition, overly sweet and often pompous. Some forward thinking artists such as William Morris and Christopher Dresser created a whole new movement that appreciated nature, went back to simplicity, and moved away from the screaming colours that had become popular during the Victorian time, in which cheap pigments were imported from India and other parts of the British Empire.


In this new movement, it was all back to nature and many of the depictions are centered around the every-day business of humble animals, such as these ordinary finches who are sharing a juicy worm with each other - or are they building a nest? Another typical feature on these plates is the very vivid expression of the finches - they are not merely ornaments, but the living subjects of a story told in this picture.


CONDITION REPORT The plates are in excellent antique condition. Some are crazed to some degree and have some discolouration on the underside, but all are still very clear and smooth on the surface. There are some small firing blemishes, as can be expected from items that were produced in coal-fired kilns during this era. There are no chips, crack or repairs.


Please note that all items in my shop are of vintage or antique condition. They have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear. I will reflect any damage, repairs or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks and stains 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 see with the eye; a hairline runs over the surface glazing but not the body of the item and a crack runs through the body of the item, usually weakening its structure. Etcetera - I try to be as accurate as I can and please feel free to ask questions or request more detailed pictures!


DIMENSIONS The plates are 19cm (7.5") in diameter.


SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK, mostly by Royal Mail 2nd Class for the UK and International Tracked and Signed for the rest of the world. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. In some countries shipping will end up significantly more than the expected fees and I will contact you to discuss our options. PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING SHIPPING COSTS AND OPTIONS.

Set of 8 plates, Aesthetic Movement birds, Baggaley 1880s

  • Your item will be shipped after receipt of funds, unless agreed otherwise in writing. 


    We will ship your items within a maximum of 2 working days after payment (usually quicker). We cannot be held responsible for delivery times once the item has been shipped as this is at the shipper's discretion and, in case of international delivery, can be subject to customs delays, weather, holidays and/or political instability.


    If your delivery failed to appear or was damaged in transit, please let us know as soon as possible and, in case of damage, provide us with pictures of the damaged item and/or packaging. Cut off dates for this are 14 days after shipping, or 2 days after a damaged delivery. We will need to comply with shippers' regulations in order to follow up the issue, but it is vital that you let us know what is wrong as soon as possible. We will do anything we can to follow up faulty deliveries but cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified within the required time period. 


    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

  • Cancellations can only be accepted before the item has been shipped. Once an item has been shipped, the transaction cannot be cancelled anymore.

    Returns need to be requested within 2 days of receipt of the item and completed within 14 days from the date they have been agreed in writing.

    If you want to return an item because you changed your mind, you will be responsible for the return shipping. For international deliveries, this will need to be a fully tracked shipping mode. The item is expected to be received back in the same state it was sent - any damage due to insufficient packaging will be your responsibility. We will only pay for return shipping if we have mutually agreed that the item did not satisfy your expectations. A refund will be made immediately after receipt of the item.

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    We always aim to have happy customers so if you have an issue with or questions about your item, please contact us and we will do anything we can to resolve the issue with you! 

© 2020 by Gentle Rattle of China, London UK  

copyright on all images and text

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