Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Thomas Toft (working before 1663, died 1689)
ca. 1680
British, Staffordshire
Overall: 3 1/2 × 19 3/4 in. (8.9 × 50.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1924
Accession Number:
Not on view
There are numerous large dishes from the late seventeenth century inscribed with the name Thomas Toft. This North Staffordshire potter, possibly of Scandinavian origin, used traditional pottery techniques but more ambitiously than any potter up to that time. Here, a white clay slip was applied over the upper surface of the charger; the design was then drawn and filled in with dark brown and orange red clay slips. The honey-colored lead glaze was applied to only this decorated surface, not to the underside, turning the stark white ground a pale yellow and harmonizing with the earth colors of the design. A lion and a unicorn, supporters of the royal coat of arms of England and Scotland, are rampant to each side of a spreading oak tree enclosing a young face by its spreading branches, with the letters "CR," for Charles Rex, below. This reference is to a popular true story that Charles II related to Samuel Pepys in 1680. After his defeat at the battle of Worcester in 1651, the young king climbed into an oak in Boscobel Wood to escape OIiver Cromwell's soldiers, and one of the men passed directly beneath the tree in which he was hiding.
Inscription: In center: C R

In reserve at lower edge: THOMAS TOFT
Cyril Andrade , London (by 1918) ; [ Partridge Fine Arts , London, until 1924; sold to MMA ]
Related Objects

Charger with cavalier and portrait medallions

Artist: Ralph Toft (British, 1600–1700) Date: 1677 Medium: Slip-decorated earthenware Accession: 2014.712.5 On view in:Not on view

Vase with cover

Artist: John Flaxman (British, York 1755–1826 London) Date: ca. 1782–90 Medium: Jasperware Accession: 10.101.1a, b On view in:Not on view


Artist: Wedgwood and Co. Date: 1877 Medium: Transfer-printed earthenware Accession: 1991.298.1 On view in:Gallery 556


Artist: Date: ca. 1760
Accession Number: 18.13.18
Date: ca. 1760 Medium: Salt-glazed stoneware Accession: 18.13.18 On view in:Gallery 774


Artist: Date: ca. 1750–60
Accession Number: 44.39.63
Date: ca. 1750–60 Medium: Salt-glazed stoneware Accession: 44.39.63 On view in:Gallery 774