Dating minton plates

As late as 1840, Kentish Town was a half-rural village with a thriving community of artists and engravers.As the road network improved, the ‘Boulogne Gate’ coaching Inn - so-called to commemorate Henry VIII’s victory in France in 1544 - was a practical drop-off point for those visiting London from the north.Just as this fine grained clay body came into use, so too did plaster molds. And if memorizing them made you sleep through every history class from then on? By 1740 press molded salt white stoneware was all the rage. The uses to which we put history determines it’s shelf life. The irony is that Monroe’s Democratic-Republican party had wiped out the opposition Federalists. Their quest for easily reproducible porcelain (or white clay, anyway) eventually led to Wedgwood’s “Creamware.” Then to whiter “Pearlware.” Then to even whiter “Ironstone.” (An abridged history, but there it is.) Blue was the spice that fed this circular feeding frenzy. George Washington’s original ideal of a ‘party-less’ government was within reach. What emerged was the ultimate in English blue and white transfer printed ironstone. Cobalt easily “bleeds” in the glaze melt if you’re not careful.


Buyers needed plenty of ‘spare parts.’ Salt white’s history is interesting, but that last comment gives pause for thought. Even if many of his likenesses were really just “clip art” portraits with his name pasted under them. James Madison (1809-1817) held his own, though he declared a fairly pointless war against England in 1812. But presidential portrait pottery had begun it’s decline. Arab attempts to duplicate Chinese porcelain resulted in tin glazed enamel earthenware. The Concise Encyclopedia of Continental Pottery and Porcelain.

Now suppose that “neighborhood” covers only 2 or 3 city blocks. With such high demand, and in such tight quarters – 2 or 3 city blocks! Their dominance in Europe, begun during a vacuum left by a prolonged civil war in China with its curtailing of export porcelain production, was being challenged. Also, other European potteries were getting serious about their own faience, porcelain, and creamware.

And suppose that “reputation” means an entire continent eagerly standing in line to buy your neighborhood’s handiwork. And that “reputation” ruled Europe for almost a hundred years. – why did they opt for anonymous group identity over individual recognition? This competition threatened delftware’s very existence. It was sink or swim, so they signed – and most ultimately sank.

It was cheaper than porcelain and sturdier than delft. This adage is blatantly visible in English transfer print export pottery to America (ie; show me the money).


Salt white soon toppled delftware’s predominance – and was just as quickly supplanted by creamware. Take the first five presidents: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe (of course). Everybody loved George Washington (president from 1789-1797). Of course you can’t really talk about The Bull & Gate’s history without mentioning live music.


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