CLASSIC BLOCK OPTIC Antique Ironstone Square Covered Dish with Underplate Circa 1890
Classic Block Optic design antique white IRONSTONE SQUARE COVERED DISH with UNDERPLATE by J & G Meakin of Staffordshire, England, circa 1890. The design features a squared-off look that it sometimes referred to as Mitered Block. The lid features a ring finial decorated on both sides with a small starburst motif as do the handles of the dish.
The square covered dish is more difficult to find as normally you see the rectangle dish--even more unusual is to also find it with the underplate. A real showpiece that would make a great addition to someone's collection of antique ironstone or farmhouse decorating.
The measurements of the set below are approximate.
- Dish: 5 ½” high with the lid; 3 ⅛ high without the lid; 9" across handle to handle; and 7 ⅛" by 7 ⅛" without handles
- Lid: 7" x 7" wide
- Underplate: 10 ½” handle to handle by 8 ¾” wide.
Both the dish and underplate are stamped with an early J & G Meakin trademark, featuring the Royal Arms with a lion rampant. Above the Royal Arms are the words, Ironstone China and below is the location of the factory, Hanley, England. The plate is also incised with the number 3.
The set is in very good condition. The lid is in perfect condition and the dish is nearly perfect other than a few spots inside on the bottom and a chip about ⅛" by ¼” inside the rim. The underplate has a few spots of discoloration and some light crazing. I have not attempted to clean the discoloration but it should clean up well.
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About J & G Meakin Pottery
James and George Meakin, sons of James Meakin of Hanley were master potters who opened a pottery firm in 1851 to produce a "uniform hard white earthenware," called granite. The pottery was made to be serviceable, plain and inexpensive. With the close of the American Civil War, James, a keen businessman saw opportunities as an importer to the Americas. Within a decade, J & G Meakin nearly monopolized the ironstone china trade of the United States.
The senior James Meakin passed on the trade of master potter not only to his sons James and George, but to his son Alfred Meakin of Albert Works in Tunstall, his son Charles Meakin of Joiners Square, and his son William Meakin who worked with his brothers, James and George at Eagle Works. James' son-in-law, Robert Johnson, was also a master potter and it was his sons Henry, Robert and Fred who founded Johnson Brothers.
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