As you can see from our photos, the condition on this large Tea Leaf Ironstone pitcher is gorgeous, with gleaming glaze and shiny, unmarred copper lustre tea leaves and bands. But…before we extol the virtues of this piece any further, we want to point out photo # 5, where you can see a chip off the glaze under the rim that’s approximately 1 inch by 1 inch, a faint hairline inside it which does not go through to the interior and a crack in the glaze going down from the chip to meet the raised edging. We bought this pitcher in this condition because with its back to the wall, or in our china cupboard, it is a spectacular display piece. (Without the chip, it would be priced considerably higher.)
The pitcher was made by Anthony Shaw and Son in Staffordshire; Shaw is the maker who is universally acknowledged to have introduced the tea leaf motif on ironstone in the 1850’s.This china was the tableware of the “common man” and after years of plain white, the decorations were a welcome change. The printed black mark on the bottom includes a crown and the words “Opaque Stone China.” We know that this piece was made between 1882, when the word “SON” was added to their mark and 1898, when “& CO” was added. Because the word “England” is included in the mark, it was probably made between 1891 and 1898. The shape is known as Fishhook, which was very popular in the 1880’s, and the decorations were originally known as “Lustre Band and Sprig.”
There is no crazing in the glaze, some expected rubbing on the four feet, almost no discoloration inside or out and no other cracks or chips. It’s an extremely large pitcher, standing 12 inches tall to the top of the spout, about 7 ½ inches at the widest point across the front, 6 inches front to back and having a 4 ½ inch by 3 ½ inch base. It’s heavy too, weighing 3 ½ pounds. This pitcher is an absolutely terrific display piece, whether you collect Tea Leaf Ironstone or just love old china and pottery.
Photos by Wayne Henrich
Blog Information by Linda Henrich
This Pitcher is no longer for sale.