A Staffordshire slipware dish by Thomas Toft, circa 1670-85
Lot 14
A Staffordshire slipware dish by Thomas Toft, circa 1670-85
Sold for £46,850 (US$ 78,894) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Staffordshire slipware dish by Thomas Toft, circa 1670-85
The pale-ochre ground boldly decorated in light-brown slip, outlined in dark-brown with cream dot-ornament, with a fleur-de-lis within an arcaded border around the cavetto, the trellis border in light and dark brown slip inscribed with the potter's name THOMAS.TOFT, 43.5cm diam (broken and repaired)


  • Provenance: William George Rawlinson
    Frank Falkner Collection and by descent to the present owner

    Exhibited: Loaned by W.G. Rawlinson for the exhibition Early English Earthenware, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London in 1913 and illustrated in the catalogue, number 6, plate XVI, p.20

    Literature: Illustrated by Ronald Cooper, English Slipware Dishes 1650-1850 (1968), number 208. Cooper illustrates another dish of this type by Thomas Toft, number 209, previously in the Miss J. M. Evans collection and donated to The Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent in 2008.

    William George Rawlinson (1840-1928), a partner in the London silk firm James Pearsall and Co. was a collector of Turner drawings and engravings and is known for his catalogue of Turner's Liber Studiorum in 1878. Rawlinson became a member of the Burlington Arts Club in 1872 and also collected blue and white Chinese porcelain.

    Very little is known about the life of Thomas Toft. He married Ellena Bucknall on 21 April 1663 and they had five children: Matthias (b.1663), John (b.1664), Thomas (1670–1703), James (b.1673) and Cornelius (1677–1727). Information about his location in the late 17th century is quite vague, although Hearth Tax records mention his name at Stanley in Staffordshire both in 1663 and 1666. He was buried on 3 December 1689 in Stoke, closely followed by his wife Ellena who died in 1691. Currently only two dated examples of dishes signed 'THOMAS TOFT' are known. One in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester is dated 1671 and decorated with the Royal Arms. The other at Temple Newsam depicts Adam and Eve and is dated 1674
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