A Staffordshire slipware dish by Ralph Simpson, circa 1689-90
Lot 14
A Staffordshire slipware dish by Ralph Simpson, circa 1689-90
Sold for £80,500 (US$ 131,543) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Staffordshire slipware dish by Ralph Simpson, circa 1689-90
Decorated with light and dark brown slip on a ground of honey-coloured glaze with a full length portrait of William III in his coronation robes, crowned and flanked by the initials WR within a band of chain and leaf ornament, the trellis border including a panel inscribed with the name of the potter RALPH SIMPSON, 44.5cm diam (very minor chips and wear only)

Footnotes

  • Provenance: The Frank Falkner Collection, and thence by descent to the present owner

    Exhibited: Lent by Frank Falkner for the exhibition Early English Earthenware, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London in 1913, no.56, p.55

    More than one slipware potter named Ralph Simpson appears to have been active in Staffordshire, although the name Ralph Simpson is not referred to in any of the records of the Staffordshire potters. 'Raphe Simson' occurs in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Tunstall in 1671, transcribed by Right Hon. J.C. Wedgwood, see J Wedgwood, Staffordshire Pottery (1947), p.10. It is likely that more than one potter with the same name produced slipware in the late 17th century. The name Ralph Simpson, with a raised central dot or colon, is found below similar trellis-bordered portrait dishes with the initials WR (for William III), GR (probably for George I) and CR (for Charles II). The re-use of similar portraits to represent successive kings is also characteristic of delftware.

    An example of a dish of this form with the initials WR is in the Victoria & Albert Museum, bequeathed by Wallace Elliot in 1938, accession number C.116-1938. This was previously in the Charles Lomax collection sold at Sotheby's, 7 April 1937. A further example is in the collection of the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh. Both are illustrated by Ronald Cooper (1968) figs.105 and 106. A dish of this form with the initials CR was formerly in the Longridge Collection, illustrated by Leslie Grigsby, The Longridge Collection of English Slipware and Delftware, Vol. I (2000), pp.56-57, cat. S5 and sold by Christie's London, The Longridge Collection, 25 May 2011, lot 119. Another similar dish with the initials GR is illustrated by Leslie Grigsby, English Slip-Decorated Earthenware at Williamsburg (1993), p.48, pl.55.
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