Display dish with a cavalier and portrait medallions

Ralph Toft British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 509

The circular dish, painted on a pale ochre ground in light and dark brown slip, is decorated with a central male figure who holds a sword in each of his upraised arms. His head is flanked by two stylized foliate designs; on either side of his body is an oval enclosing a crowned female head. The charger is signed Ralph Toft 1677 in a rectangular cartouche along the bottom rim, while the remainder of the rim is decorated with a trellis pattern executed in light and dark brown slip.

This creamware dish speaks to the changing ceramic technologies of eighteenth-century England. Both the form and decoration of the dish are highly typical of salt-glaze stoneware production of the 1760s, but this example is made of creamware, a type of refined white earthenware that gained enormous popularity in the second half of the eighteenth century. Thus, the dish represents an instance of a new ceramic body being used to replicate a model commonly associated with a different ceramic type. The dish complements other salt-glazed stoneware dishes of related design (such as 34.165.186) in the Museum’s collection.

#404. Ceramics and Craftsmanship

Display dish with a cavalier and portrait medallions, Ralph Toft (British, active ca. 17th century), Slip-decorated earthenware, British, Staffordshire

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