English tin-glazed earthenware trays are extremely rare owing to their fragility.

These large trays are the only examples of English tin-glazed earthenware with moulded feet. This tray has an exceptional amount of fine detail and provides an example of the technical skill required to paint on the powdery surface presented by the unfired tin-glaze. The urns of flowers flanking the main subject closely resemble those on London tin-glazed tiles, and suggest that the tray was made and decorated at a pottery which also produced tiles, c.1720. All of the motifs used on this tray are well known from English tiles and tableware made at Lambeth, and were possibly painted by one of the Dutchmen who were employed there in the early eighteenth century. The decorative loop of ribbon at the top of the central panel is intended to suggest that the central motif is a decorative plaque for hanging on the wall.


Sotheby's, sold 1989.

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