This is an early 19th century child's nursery plate, made by Thomas Fell & Co of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, of lead glazed earthenware (pearlware), decorated with a black and white transfer print showing Joseph asleep under a tree and dreaming of the twelve sheaves of corn which represent the twelve years of plenty, surrounded by a molded, fluted border and finished with a single black line around the bowl and the rim. The print bears the legend "Sacred History of Joseph and his Brethren" and "Joseph's First Dream".
This is the first in a series of 12 plates telling the biblical story of Joseph. Such exemplary 'morality tales' were highly popular with 19th century parents, and considerable quantities of nursery tableware was produced to educate children in the importance of obedience and the 'Christian' virtues.
This particular series was used by several pottery factories both in Staffordshire and, as in this example, the North East of England. However, unusually for this type of ware, this piece is marked to the back with the impressed mark "Fell & Co" above a fouled anchor, for Thomas Fell and Company.
Thomas Fell opened his famous St Peter's Pottery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1817, producing dinner and tea wares, both for the domestic market and for export through the Baltic trade. The factory also produced inexpensive decorative figures and the widely collected so-called 'Sunderland Plaques'.
A rare marked piece, in very good original condition, from a renowned factory.
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