This gorgeous late nineteenth century cake plate or platter was hand painted in 1882 and signed on the front Marty Mitchell and again on the back, Marty ’82. The painting of an apple tree branch with five apples and lots of leaves is very detailed, natural and quite well done. There are no manufacturer’s marks on the reverse.
In the late 1870's, a passion for hand painting china gripped American women. China painting clubs were formed, classes were taught and women enjoyed displaying their efforts in their homes. Numerous china companies sold blanks that were then used by these amateur artists, many of whom were able to sell their work, at a time when jobs for women were very limited.
This oval platter measures 12 inches by 11 inches and stands 1 inch high on its footed base. It weighs one pound, eleven ounces. The outer rim is embossed with raised swirls and is pierced on each end to form convenient handles to use for serving. Other than a little rubbing on the unglazed foot rim, the plate is in absolutely pristine condition; it probably never saw service but was a cabinet piece. It is a lovely plate to use and display.