Item/Auction Attributes

red, white, and blue,
Probably British or American, possibly Philadelphia area.
Circa 1840.
Undamaged except for a minute flake to rim.
1" H, 8" D.
Provenance: From a Mid-Western private collection.
Purchased from Rex Stark - Americana.
Catalogue Note: A number of handless cups and saucers are known with this identical decoration including one in the collection of the Winterthur Museum. However, this is only the second plate to surface. There is much speculation as to where this tableware was made. While it is easy to attribute these pieces to Staffordshire, England, the naive hand-painted decoration is very atypical for products imported from that area during this period of the 19th century. A much easier comparison can be made between these flags and the cobalt decoration seen on American stoneware of the period.
Several cups have been discovered archeologically, all excavated in Philadelphia, which raises the possibility that they are products of a tableware manufacturer in that city. See Philadelphia Archeological Forum website for an example of a cup discovered in the historic Fishtown neighborhood of the city.