Monday, 11 June 2012

Herculaneum Ship Plate-Piece Of The Week

Liverpool Pottery at the Herculaneum factory in sight of the Mersey Estuary of course had to produce wares portraying ships. They are now quite rare as most of them are in American collections. They were popular at the time with the people who manned the ships and were made as late as 1830. A range of three masted and on occasions two masted vessels were often portrayed. The last ships plate I had was sold to a client whose girlfriend was doing a trip in a tall masted ship. She took part in the ceremony at the crossing of the equator and during that trip she circumnavigated the Cape off the African coast, a perilous journey still. This was a nice touch. I thought a modern take on the exact sentiment that would have seen the plate originally bought in 1805. They often had flags to suit customer preferences (British, American, Dutch and even Danish Flags).
Peter Hyland in his book Liverpool's Forgotten Glory says (pg 58) "Judging by the frequency in which these plates turn up today, they must have been extremely popular and treasured. It is not unusual to find a 'ship plate' which has been broken many years ago and carefully riveted together"       
This one in fact has some very old restoration to the rim. If an object could tell a story what would this plate say.
Has it been to America? And Back? What is the ship printed in the middle and who bought it, was it a sea captain or a sweetheart to give to her loved one when he risked his life on uncharted waters?
Maybe, I will never know for sure, but it really is a piece that sums up 18th century Liverpool, and not just local history but Maritime art. This is now 200 years old. It is a shame the people now running Liverpool museums don't think the same way about our forgotten glory.

The 'Ship Plates' are a treasure any collection of Liverpool Ceramics without one would be bare.

No comments:

Post a Comment