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Plate ("Doctor Syntax taking posession of his living")

Cobridge, Staffordshire, England


c. 1830


James and Ralph Clews (w. c. 1813-1835


7/8 in x 10 in (dia)


Transfer-printed white earthenware

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



“Doctor Syntax / taking possession / of his living” is printed in blue on the outside bottom.  “CLEWS WARRANTED STAFFORDSHIRE” around a crown or coronet is impressed into the outside bottom.

Condition Notes

The plate has a stress crack from the top edge to the center.


Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner


The design of this plate follows closely a hand-colored etching and aquatint of Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) of London that was part of a larger work, The Tour of Doctor Syntax in Search of the Picturesque (London 1812), a popular satirical character created by William Combe (1742-1823).  Many images of Doctor Syntax were translated into ceramic wares by the Clews pottery, who exported great numbers of their wares to the United States.

To achieve the final product, the ceramic plate was first molded, then printed in cobalt blue via paper from engraved plates.  A clear glaze then protected and enhanced the image.