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Maker(s):Lakin, Thomas
Culture:British (1769-1821)
Title:dessert plate
Date Made:circa 1810
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: lead-glazed earthenware, pink luster
Place Made:Great Britain: Staffordshire
Measurements:Overall: 3/4 in x 8 1/2 in; 1.9 cm x 21.6 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2020.18.1
Credit Line:Museum Collections Fund
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Dark cream-colored, lead-glazed earthenware circular plate; edge decorated with pink luster resist border of scrolls interrupted by alternating fig leaves and flower-filled trumpet vase shapes within teardrop-shaped cartouches, a dotted diamond between each. The cavetto with a central circular band of pink luster decoration. The underside of the dish with impressed mark "Drab Porcelain" within the footring. Evidence of three triangular (three-point) stilt marks on the underside of the rim. The Historic Deerfield Library owns a copy of Thomas Lakin's Potting, enamelling, and glass-staining ...Receipts (1824).

Label Text:
Thomas Lakin lived most of his life in Staffordshire, working independently, within several pottery partnerships, and for some of the largest potteries at the time including that of John Davenport. Near the end of his life, he became a principal manager at the Leeds Pottery and was valued there for his great improvements in pottery decoration. At the time of his death in 1821, Lakin was in the midst of preparing a manuscript of receipts for publication. His widow Catherine followed through with his wishes and enlisted the help of a printer to gather subscribers and raise the funds necessary to publish her late-husband's treatise posthumously. Entitled “The Valuable Receipts of the Late Mr. Thomas Lakin with Proper and Necessary Directions for Their Preparation and Use in the Manufacture of Porcelain Earthenware, and Iron Stone China Together with the Most Recent and Valuable Improvements in the Admired Art of Glass Staining and Painting,” Lakin's receipt book was published in 1824 as a serviceable guide for potters and decorators. Among the numerous recipes included are those for drab bodied earthenware and glazes for the material, both used in the manufacturing of Lakin's "Drab Porcelain" marked wares. While research continues to uncover numerous 18th and early 19th century potters, the vast majority of the surviving British ceramics from that period remain unattributed, as most were unmarked and molds were frequently used by more than one potter or pottery. Lakin's descriptions of the ceramic body, glaze, and decoration survive for this plate, however. Thomas Lakin's story is even more compelling because account books and shipping records reveal his wares made their way to Federal America, and Lakin -- like many British potters -- supported the American cause during the War of 1812.

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