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Date Made:1760-1770
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: tin-glazed earthenware decorated in cobalt blue
Place Made:Europe; Ireland; Dublin
Measurements:overall: 1 3/4 x 16 in.; 40.64 cm
Accession Number:  HD 1379
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Irish delft dish decorated in blue with a chinoiserie aquatic landscape scene and a painted, underlined "9" on the reverse. This large dish copies a Chinese porcelain original (see HD 2001.33): The border exhibits an intricately patterned design of fish roe, cloud decoration, flowers, and diamond diapering. A dish and a tureen stand thought to be made in Dublin in the National Museum, Dublin share the same decoration, with a '7' on the reverse side; however, a similarly decorated plate in the Victoria and Albert Museum is attributed to London. A higher proportion of Dublin delftwares bear painter's numbers than do English wares; and Dublin delftware often shows evidence of a number of glazing and firing defects, such as exposed biscuit, creeping glaze, and pinhole scars in the glaze as seen on this dish. Painted designs on most Dublin delftware were pounced first, rather than painted free hand. Pouncing employed a perforated stencil through which a design in carbon or cobalt powder was applied, and painters then followed the outlines of the design. Perhaps the most distinctive Dublin characteristic is "sunken blue," a term that describes the slight depressions that occur in the glaze surface where cobalt blue has been applied. The "sunken blue" effect was caused by the difference in viscosity of the cobalt blue enamel and the white tin glaze. "Sunken blue" is not, however, exclusive to Irish delftware as it also appears on Liverpool tin-glazed earthenwares. The well scene includes a small pagoda, running fence, tree branches, and a tall, scrolling flowering shrub, surrounded by a band of double-curls.


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