"Polish Views" series (Edward & George Phillips)
Transferware from a British Perspective
Number Two of an Ongoing Series by Dick Henrywood
My first outing for this regular feature concentrated on Thomas Mayer’s “Illustrations of the Bible” series and elicited several responses which will be reported in the next TCC Bulletin. This time I have selected another series of named scenes from the 1830s which receives few mentions in existing reference books.
“Polish Views” series
A series of romantic-style scenes produced by Edward & George Phillips of Longport, continued after 1834 by George Phillips alone following his brother’s death. The central scenes appear within an attractive floral border and examples have a printed mark in the form of a scenic vignette featuring the individual title on a rectangular panel, with the series title above and the maker’s name E. & G. Phillips beneath. Later examples have the potters’ full name replaced by initials GP.
Back in September 1988, In the Northern Ceramics Society’s Newsletter number 71, Louise Richardson, suggested that the series depicts incidents in the insurrection which began in Warsaw on 29 January 1830. It escalated into a large scale revolt but was eventually defeated by Russian forces in September 1831 although some 10,000 political leaders and soldiers were forced to emigrate.
No source for the scenes has yet been identified and surviving examples appear quite scarce. They are all dinner wares, predominantly plates and platters, printed in blue, brown, purple, various shades of pink or red, and possibly also green.
The following scenes have been recorded:
“A Tear for Poland”
Dinner plate 10.7in
Illustrations: Williams 1/377 (plate)
D1168, D1169 (mark)
“Patriot’s Departure” *
“Polish Prisoner” *
Illustrations: FOB108 (blue platter 48.2cm)
“The Enquiry” *
Illustrations: NCS71 (pink plate 9in and mark)
“Wearied Poles” *
“Wounded Pole” *
Unidentified Scene A
Vegetable dish and cover
Again it can be seen that our knowledge is nowhere near complete with known titles appearing on only plates and platters. I have been unable to confirm the titles marked with an asterisk, so confirmation of these would be welcome. I have recorded the existence of a vegetable dish, sadly without any title, so it must have been a complete dinner service. In this case I can offer illustrations of the dinner plate and its mark printed in brown. Can anyone out there provide any other images or information about the tureens, the missing platters and plates, and even the soup plate?
Any photos or additional information would be gratefully received and will be reported in future Bulletins. Contributions should be sent to Dick Henrywood by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.