The Adams family of potters combines the appeal of an undersea subject with the market's d...
The Adams family of potters combines the appeal of an undersea subject with the market's demand for rich cobalt blue transfer in this footed sugar bowl and lid.
The pattern features clusters of seashells centered on each side of the body, the sloping shoulder and lid, each with a murky feel that suggests the ocean's depth. Bits of a cobalt floral pattern draw back, almost like curtains, both revealing and framing the glimpse of the ocean floor. A series of graceful curlicues creates a border separating the florals and the seashell studies.
Little tab handles on each end of the bowl -- which seem to have been derived from earlier, more detailed acanthus fittings -- are daubed in cobalt, while the lid is finished with a stylized floral knop -- also daubed in cobalt.
|Date:||First Quarter, Nineteenth Century|
|Dimensions:||Length 7 3/4 in.; height 6 3/4 in.; width 4 3/4 in.|
This is the second piece of the Adams "Shell" pattern we have owned. In both cases...
This is the second piece of the Adams "Shell" pattern we have owned. In both cases, one has the impression that the rich cobalt pigments are just barely held in control underneath the smooth surface glaze. The result is a shimmering effect -- which only adds to the illusion of an underwater study.
While lacking in specific scientific detail, these shells remind us that the British naturalist tradition extended to conchology as well as flora and the creatures of land and air -- a popular interest that resulted in a number of great transferware patterns.