“Arabian Sketches” series
Transferware from a British Perspective
Number Twenty-Nine of an Ongoing Series by Dick Henrywood
It is rather inevitable that early Henrywood’s Highlights articles will have become out of date, so I thought it might be time to revisit one of the earlier series. I should perhaps use the term incomplete rather than out of date, since the information contained should hopefully still be accurate even if more details have emerged over time. Back in 2008 I listed the seven known views in William Hackwood’s “Arabian Sketches” series, but since then the database records have expanded to nine views and my own records now extend to twelve, so here’s an updated list.
“Arabian Sketches” series
A series of romantic-style scenes introduced by William Hackwood in the 1830s. The series remained in production after 1843, initially by William & Thomas Hackwood and later still by Cockson & Harding. The central scenes appear within a border which features scenic vignettes separated by linked foliate-scroll floral cartouches, with an inner band of radiating leafy fronds. The printed mark has the individual pattern title on a leafy panel with the series title above (surmounted by a small flower spray) and the maker’s initials WH beneath. Impressed initials C&H for the later partnership are also known.
No source for the patterns has yet been identified although they may have been copied from prints. Surviving examples turn up in blue, blue-green, brown, green, red or pink, and various shades of lavender or purple.
Twelve scenes have been recorded to date:
Illustrations: Henrywood Staffordshire Potters p.138 (mark only)
Pierced basket 10.5in
Dinner plate 10.4in
Soup plate 10.2in
Soup tureen 13in
Dessert plate 9in
Illustrations: Snyder 104 (plate, mark); Williams 2/71 (plate, mark)
Tea plate 7.9in
The new scenes not listed in the database are “Foraging Party”, “The Alarm” and “The Repast” (all illustrated here). In addition, the pattern recorded in the database under the title “Reconnoitring” appears to be incorrect, with an “Arabian Sketches” mark applied in error to another pattern, and I am able to illustrate the correct pattern here on a soup ladle.
Despite these addition some items are still missing. I have no record of the sauce tureen or the vegetable dish, nor stands for either size of tureen. There could be other missing pieces too. Can anyone help? Contributions should be sent to Dick Henrywood by e-mail: email@example.com.
(Click on images for a larger view.)