The firm of William Adams in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England introduced this china pattern in 1780, a British interpretation of an original Chinese design. Adams reintroduced the pattern in the early twentieth century, registering it with the British Patent Office in 1913, and it remained popular for decades. A Chinese Bird cake stand is one of the more difficult pieces to find; serving pieces in any pattern are scarcer than plates or bowls, but this one seems particularly elusive and is an unusual find in this pattern.
The decorations on the top of the stand consist of two scenic panels set against a mosaic tile background. One of the panels shows three Chinese men in front of a pagoda, surrounded by scrolls and feathers. The other panel shows a Chinese pheasant (from which the pattern got its name, of course) perched on a basket of flowers; this panel is encircled with a Greek key meander. The rim is trimmed with a white chain design on a solid blue background, which also adorns the foot of the otherwise all-white pedestal.
This pretty stand measures 9 inches across; since it's dished, not flat, the actual area for a cake to sit flat (or cookies or pastries) is about 6 1/2 to 7 inches. It's about 3 1/2 inches tall, standing on a round base 4 1/2 inches in diameter and weighing in at 1 1/2 pounds. The blue printed marks on the bottom of the base are: Rd. No. 623294 (the pattern patent number); a cartouche with the words "This Pattern was introduced by William Adams in 1780 being a copy of a Chinese pattern & one of the first of its style produced in English Pottery" and beneath that a facsimile of Wm Adams' signature. All of this is a bit hard to read, since it was stamped on the curved edge.
The stand has typical transferware minor flaws: some of the blue ink is on the underside; there are tiny glaze pops in the clear top glaze, also on the underside and there are pattern skips along the rim. It's in excellent condition, with no crazing, chips or cracks. Made in the 1930's, it appears almost unused, ready to decorate your home and serve your sweets.