Established circa 1748 in the town of Derby, County Derbyshire, England, this manufactory of bone china became Royal Crown Derby in 1890 when the company was appointed 'Manufacturers of porcelain to Her Majesty' by Queen Victoria. This beautiful blue and white service plate was made in 1948 at their Osmaston Road location, which was newly opened in 1875 and is shown in one of the photographs.
The pattern, Blue Mikado, was designed by then Art Director Thomas Amos Reed in 1894 and retired in 1997. Pieces in the series have illustrations with popular Asian motifs such as pagodas, people, birds and exotic foliage in a deep blue on pure white bone china. The rim of the sloping scalloped lip is trimmed in gold and has molded side handles with an embossed pattern.
The blue printed backstamp is one the company used from circa 1921 to 1964, with "Made in England" horizontally beneath the mark. There is also a date mark in Roman numerals that identifies the year the piece was manufactured; it's printed below the backstamp, though difficult to photograph, as "XI.", which is the cypher for 1948, and it's also impressed near the foot rim.
This plate is usually identified as a bread and butter plate, but is also called a cake plate. (One of our favorites, petits fours, would be lovely on it.) It measures 9 inches by 9 3/4 inches across the handles and about 1 inch high. It is dished, not flat, with the well measuring 5 3/4 inches in diameter.
This plate--or platter--is in pristine condition, with a pinpoint prick in the glaze, done during production, the only flaw. (You must tilt the plate just right to be able to see it--it's on the blue part of the design). The color is bright and fresh, the china very white and there is no wear to the gold trim. It's a beautiful piece of English bone china already 70 years old.