Ceramic Patterns

A couple of years ago, a reader enquired about the origins of the porcelain teawares I pictured in When Life Gives You Lemons…. It’s the Malay House pattern produced by the New Hall factory in Staffordshire in the late eighteenth-century (fig. 1).

14NH-MV-790-01_silver_shape_teapot_c1790_01cFig. 1. New Hall ‘silver shape’ teapot in the Malay House pattern, circa 1790.

Before any scholarly works were written on the enigmatic New Hall factory, identifying its hundreds of patterns; many of the patterns were known to antiques dealers and collectors by more familiar names.

When I began collecting New Hall wares, the Malay House pattern was  referred to as the Trench Mortar pattern due to what looks like a row of trench mortars alongside the house (fig. 2).

14NH-MV-795-01_teapot_c1795_01hFig. 2. New Hall ogee, spiral fluted teapot in the Malay House pattern, circa 1795.

The skies above eighteenth-century Staffordshire must have hung heavy with smoke from the thousands of pottery kilns: There were numerous potteries producing wares in imitation of the fashionable imports from the Far East. Factories such as Caughley, Coalport, Derby, Spode, Wedgwood and Worcester quickly became household names – some due to royal patronage.

Most factories developed a numerical system of cataloguing their patterns, though original records are frequently patchy or nonexistent. Despite manufacturers numbering their patterns, many of the common names endure (usually reflecting a principal feature) and are frequently comical or irreverent.

Worcester_milkmaid_at_the_gate_saucer_c1760_01aFig. 3. Worcester Milkmaid At The Gate pattern , circa 1760. (Juno Antiques)

Worcester_cannonball_saucer_c1762_01aFig. 4. Worcester Cannonball pattern saucer, circa 1762.

Chamberlain_Worcester_stag_hunt_plate_c1790_01aFig. 5. Worcester Stag Hunt plate, circa 1780.

New_Hall_knitting_wool_saucer_pat_195_c1790_01aFig. 6. New Hall Knitting Wool pattern (195) saucer, circa 1790.

Keeling_picture_postcard_saucer_c1790_01aFig. 7. Keeling Picture Postcard pattern (X131) saucer, circa 1790.

New_Hall_dolls_house_saucer_c1815_01aFig. 8. New Hall Doll’s House pattern (1084) saucer, circa 1815.

And then there’s a recurring one that I like to call the I Can See My House From Here pattern.

mid_18C_delf_plate_01aFig. 9. Mid-eighteenth-century tin-glazed dish.

Jack plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Antiques, Distractions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Ceramic Patterns

  1. hughjengine says:

    I’ve always thought of the milkmaid one as, ‘Emily at the gates’.


  2. Shirley Vaudrey says:

    Isn’t photo 9 Christ on the Cross?


  3. I know this is an old post but that New Hall Knitting Wool is number 195, not 425. Just thought you might like to now. Nice article!


  4. Pingback: Exhibition | Pots with Attitude: Political and Satirical Prints on Ceramics | Pegs and 'Tails

  5. peter constable says:

    I think I recognise 9 as Dutch


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