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Date: 1850 - 1865
This antique pearlware dish was originally designed with a child in mind, considering the alphabet on the rim and colorful illustration at the base. This piece is attributed to a Staffordshire manufacturer by the name of Elsmore and Son as seen from the maker’s mark on pieces using the same transferware illustration. The full illustration depicts a plantation scene with the words “Gathering Cotton” at the bottom, thus suggesting these were primarily manufactured for US audiences. Despite being overtly racist to the modern eye, the image with the associated wording carries a sense of ambiguity in regards to its message, especially considering it was manufactured in a nation that was largely composed of staunch abolitionists.