Antique Pearlware Plate Hand Painted Red Cross Bill Bird Georgian Era


Brand Etsy

This is an antique pearlware china plate that is hand painted with a representation of the Red Cross Bill bird. The edge is reticulated and scalloped. It is unmarked but Ive seen similarly shaped examples attributed to either Minton or John Turner, although, being unsigned, it is difficult to ascribe a maker with certainty. One can see the blue pooling on the underside foot edge (see close-up photo), which is typical of pearlware, and caused by the cobalt agent used to whiten the glaze. The use of cobalt to produce pearl white was introduced by Josiah Wedgwood in 1779 and, due to cost, was replaced gradually starting around 1820 by other whitening agents, ceasing to be used by 1840. The back of the plate is hand inscribed with Crop Bill in red. Although it states Crop Bill or maybe an older writing version of Cross Bill, this bird is definitely a Red Cross Bill. Its habitat is in North America and although the plate is of English origin, this may have been painted in North America, or produced in England for the North American market. The underside has three triangular shaped stilt marks, another sign of age. The plate measures 8 1/4 in diameter. Unfortunately, there is a hairline visible on the underside, but not on the top side and a glue repair to the rim (see last two close-up photos) as well as surface scratching. Otherwise, no other noted wear and any damage should be forgiven for a plate that has survived over the last 200+ years. I havent been able to find any other similar hand painted bird plates of this age except for my other example of a Canada goose - both plates are quite special.