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Date Made:1704
Type:Food Service
Materials:ceramic: tin-glazed earthenware (Delftware) decorated in cobalt blue
Place Made:The Netherlands; Holland (probably)
Measurements:overall: 1 1/4 in x 9 1/16 in; 3.175 cm x 23.01875 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2173
Credit Line:Gift of Henry N. Flynt and Helen Geier Flynt
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Dutch delft white plate inscribed "M / I R / 1704" in blue in a cartouche extending from the rim into the well. The cartouche has a crown on the center top flanked by winged griffons, over a cherub's face flanked by scrollwork, over a swag and three pendant tassels. The Victoria and Albert Museum has three similar plates with the same grouping of three initials and dates of 1691, 1695, and 1700, which Michael Archer identified as probably Dutch. Lipski and Archer's "Dated English Delftware" shows the only known English plate (dated 1742) recorded with this type of cartouche placed near the border, which was attributed to England based on the type of plate profile, not on the decoration. Initials in a triangular shape, such as those on this plate, are generally assumed to commemorate a betrothal or marriage, with the top initial for the surname and the lower two, the husband's and wife's first names. This arrangement is found on other non-ceramic examples of the period such as trade tokens. However, these initials could also mark other significant events such as a birth or elevation to an important position. Four delft plates in the HD collection have the same decoration and intiials: HD 2173, HD 54.216, HD 58.165, and HD 64.012.

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