Where do Patterns come from? or Who decided Delaware looked like this?
The plates were presented to the museum in the town of Hanley in1904 by Ralph Hordley. It is admittedly a random assortment of printed pottery but it isn’t what is on the front, but what is on the back of many of them, that provides some insight into the subject. Some of the plates have nothing but the accession number on the reverse, but in a number of cases, there is an additional paper label with more information. It is likely that they all had such a label at one time but it’s not surprising that some of them became detached given the extensive packing, unpacking and movement of the collections during two world wars and their housing in three different museum buildings; perhaps the labels had even disappeared before the 1904 gift.