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“Scripture Illustrations” series

Henrywood's Highlights
Transferware from a British Perspective

Number Thirty-One of an Ongoing Series by Dick Henrywood


Dick Henrywood
Antiques with a religious theme are not generally very popular here in England today, but religion was much more dominant in the 19th century. Transferware was not immune, and I have covered the Mayer “Illustrations of the Bible” series back in the very first Highlights column, and also the “Palestine” series a bit later in Highlights 15. However, both of those series are printed with views, likely to be popular in their own right, rather than religious symbolism, and the only time I have ventured into such a subject was the “Sun of Righteousness” series back in Highlights 18. So here is another series, albeit relatively little known, to make amends.

“Scripture Illustrations” series

A series of biblical scenes produced by Knight, Elkin & Bridgwood of the Foley Pottery, Fenton, Staffordshire. The scenes are circular, surrounded by stringing, and printed within a flower and scroll border. The printed mark is of oval form with the individual title in the centre, the series title around the top, and the maker’s initials at the base together with the source book of the bible for the individual scene. Some examples also bear the factory’s impressed eagle device. The series has only been recorded on plates, printed in brown, purple and red (or pink).

Recorded scenes are:

“Moses on Mount Sinai”

Plate 20cm
Toddy plate 12.5cm

Illustrations: Williams 3/295 (toddy plate, mark); Williams 5/79 (toddy plate, mark)
The printed mark gives the source for the story as “Exodus, Chap. 20.”

“The Call of Samuel”

Plate 23cm
Plate 15cm *

Illustrations: Barber 151 (plate)
The printed mark gives the source for the story as “1 Samuel, Chap.III”.

“The Faith of Abraham”

Plate 26.5cm

Illustrations: Williams 3/295 (plate, mark)
The printed mark gives the source for the story as “Genesis, Chap. 22.” Note the figure titled “FAITH” which appears at the top of the scene.

These are the only known scenes, all three of which were recorded by Edwin Atlee Barber in his Anglo-American Pottery, published as early as 1901. Examples appear to be very uncommon, illustrations are few, and it would appear that only plates were made. Two feature in the TCC database, both in red or pink, so I am pleased to be able to illustrate all three here, including examples in the other two colours of brown and purple.

The questions are, of course, were any other scenes made and was the series produced on any items other than plates? What about a platter or two, or a tureen? And possibly a slightly more hopeful question, can anyone produce an example in another colour – blue, green or black for example? I promise not to expect anything, but a surprise for 2017 would be most welcome, sent to

(Click on images for a larger view.)

maker's mark eagle Moses on Mount Sinia The Call of Samuel The Faith of Abraham

Typical printed mark together with maker’s impressed eagle mark.

“Moses on Mount Sinai”, plate 20cm in brown.

“The Call of Samuel”, plate 23cm in red.

“The Faith of Abraham”, plate 26.5cm in purple.


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