“Famous Places” series
Transferware from a British Perspective
Number Twenty-Seven of an Ongoing Series by Dick Henrywood
Following my excursion into the “Paul and Virginia” series last time, I thought I would stay with children’s wares, but in this case a series which does not feature the very typical moulded borders. ABC plates are fairly common with moulded borders, but one firm used the theme purely in printed form:
“Famous Places” series
A series of views from around the world made by the Brownhills Pottery Co. of Staffordshire. The views are printed on a sheet ground decorated with flowers and the letters of the alphabet. Most examples are plates, of three different sizes, each bearing two views, but mugs with single views are also recorded.
Examples are normally printed in brown and picked out in colours. Wares are simply marked with “Rd.No.26734” (the registration dating from 1885) and the maker’s initials B.P.Co., sometimes with the addition of the country of origin “ENGLAND” which would normally date to 1891 or later. The concept of the series is very similar to “The World” series by Wallis Gimson & Co., which was introduced a year earlier. The Brownhills firm survived only until 1896.
Views recorded to date are:
“Capitol at Washington” / “Washington’s Tomb”
“City of Melbourne” / “Government House”
“Dublin” / “Royal Exchange, London”
“Hamburg” / “Naples”
“London from the Thames” / “Byward Tower, London”
“New York City Hall” / “Mount Vernon”
“Niagara Falls & Suspension Bridge” / “The White House, Washington”
“Parliament House, Ottawa” / “Post Office, Ottawa”
“Quebec” / “The Boston State House”
“Sydney Harbour” / “Town Hall, Sydney”
“Westminster Abbey” / “Albert Memorial, London”
Ten of these views are recorded in the TCC database, the additions are “Hamburg” / “Naples” and “Sydney Harbour” / “Town Hall Sydney”, both illustrated here (courtesy of Nancy Barshter & Bentley Chappell of Childhood Antiques). Illustrations elsewhere are few and far between, but “Westminster Abbey” / “ Albert Memorial, London” can be seen in Noel Riley’s Gifts for Good Children (Part 1, figure 1213). I believe views of Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Lisbon and Paris also exist and there may be others. We would be interested to hear of any scenes not listed here, and particularly any items other than plates. Responses, as usual, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Click on images for a larger view.)
|Figure 1. “Hamburg” / “Naples”, plate 8.4in.||Figure 2. “Sydney Harbour” / “Town Hall, Sydney”. Plate 7.3in.||Figure 3. Typical mark.|