Large Blue and White Greek Platter England circa 1810 Neoclassical Decoration


Spode made this fabulous platter circa 1810. It is decorated in the neoclassical “Greek” pattern with classical figures and mythological scenes based on ancient Greek and Roman art. It is large, measuring 20″ x 15.5″ x 1.75″ deep, and is perfect for hanging. The pattern shows a scene from Olympic history. At the center, we see Cynisca winning the four-horse chariot race at the Greek Olympic Games in 392 BC. She became the first woman to win at the Olympics.* The rectangular platter is printed in blue with leaf and berry ground, radiating medallions, and urns containing classical scenes. This was the first multi-scene pattern introduced at the Spode factory. The central image was taken from a 1791 collection of engravings from ancient vases of Greek workmanship discovered in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies purchased by Sir William Hamilton, a British envoy to Naples court. The platter is marked on the underside with the Spode mark in underglaze blue (see image #11).

Dimensions: 20″ x 15.5″ 1.75″ deep

Condition: Excellent.

In stock

According to the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Neoclassical “Greek Pattern, introduced in 1806, catered to the demand for classical subjects created by the Greek revival. Each shape in the service was decorated with the same four vases between reserves containing different scenes derived from engravings of Greek vases in the collection of Sir William Hamilton.”

*Cynisca was a Spartan princess and athlete. She competed in the Olympiads in the four-horse chariot races—as an owner and breeder of horses and won in 396 and 392 BCE, becoming the first woman to win at the Olympic Games.

Background of Spode

Josiah Spode I was credited with introducing underglaze blue transfer printing into the Staffordshire potteries in 1781–84. In 1797 Josiah Spode II took over the management of the company. He was well prepared for the role, trained as a salesman and a potter. Nine years later, Josiah II was appointed “Potter to the Prince of Wales” when the Prince Regent visited the factory in 1806. By the early 1820s, the Spode factory, managed by Josiah Spode II and his business partner William Copeland, had become the largest pottery in Stoke, England.


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