Very Scarce Staffordshire Brown Transferware Platter
John Ridgway Potteries
Staffordshire England ~ c.1836
This is a spectacular transferware platter, c. 1836. It measures a whopping 20 inches long x 16 7/8 inches wide with a scalloped rim, impeccably potted and finely transfer printed in chocolate brown.
The platter depicts three African Giraffes with their handlers. The image was taken from a lithograph by George Scharf (1788-1860), whose artwork documented events of everyday life in London. The first giraffe ever to reside in England arrived in 1827, a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt Mehemit Ali to King George IV who had a collection of wild animals. King George was so obsessed with his new pet that when the giraffe died in 1829, the King commissioned a taxidermist to stuff his beloved creature.
In 1831, London's Zoological Gardens were created and when George IV died he willed to the Zoo his entire menagerie, including the stuffed giraffe. Since the Zoo didn't have a living specimen, the new King (William IV) commissioned a French trader, Monsieur Thibaut, to search Sudan for giraffes for England. On May 25, 1836, three males and a female giraffe, accompanied by their native handlers and Thibaut arrived at the London Zoo. Scharf’s engraving of the giraffes was immediately followed by the production of Ridgway’s Giraffe patterned transferwares.
The platter is in great condition. A fine rare example of the best in wild animal transferware.
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