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Last Updated on: 12th March 2024, 07:53 pm

Antique W&R Stoke-on-Trent ENGLAND Chrysanthemum Ironstone Victorian Cheese Dish

Measurements: 9 3/4 inches x 8 inches x 6 inches
Weight: 1626 g
Brand/ Maker’s marks: W&R Stoke-on-Trent (England). W&R possibly stands for Wiltshaw & Robinson
Notes / other details: A heavyduty Victorian cheese saver dish with platter and cover, featuring a vibrant Chrysanthemum in full bloom design with gilt scroll details. Possibly ironstone material. Very sturdy and quality item from the Victorian era. 

An embodiment of Victorian grandeur and a revered piece of culinary history, this W&R Stoke-on-Trent Chrysanthemum Ironstone Cheese Dish is a coveted artifact for enthusiasts of the era’s opulence. Wiltshaw & Robinson, esteemed for their contribution to the Stoke-on-Trent legacy of pottery, presented fine craftsmanship that transcended mere dining to become an art of living. This cheese dish, with its heavy-duty ironstone material, not only reflects the aesthetic sensibilities of the time but also the Victorian penchant for lavish yet practical tableware.

Ironstone china, developed in the early 19th century, was favoured for its remarkable durability and its ability to mimic the fineness of porcelain. This piece, substantial in weight and masterfully decorated, is illustrative of ironstone’s lasting appeal. It is a material revered for its endurance, promising to grace the collections of connoisseurs for generations to come.

In Victorian society, dining was not just about sustenance but a sophisticated ritual, an expression of culture and status. A cheese dish of such elegance would have held a place of honour at the table, underscoring the importance of cheese courses in upper-class Victorian dining. Today, this dish extends beyond its original purpose, versatile in function, befitting modern use as a unique container for special delicacies or as an ornamental heirloom displayed in a place of prestige.

As a piece of Victoriana, it invites not only admiration but also contemplation of the era’s social customs, the fusion of functionality and embellishment, and the celebrated British ceramic heritage. This cheese dish is more than a collectible; it’s a tangible narrative of Victorian lifestyle, an enduring symbol of a bygone era’s craftsmanship, and a treasured relic that enriches the tapestry of historical collections.


Chrysanthemum for the Victorians

Chrysanthemum, the central motif adorning this W&R Stoke-on-Trent Ironstone Cheese Dish, was more than just a floral decoration in the Victorian era; it was a bloom rich with symbolism. In the language of flowers, a Victorian-era means of covert communication, the chrysanthemum held various meanings often associated with abundance, beauty, and longevity.

The Victorians were fascinated by the language and symbolism of flowers, and chrysanthemums were especially significant, often representing an air of joviality and festivity. The inclusion of such a motif on tableware would have been a deliberate choice, conveying a message of wealth and opulence and perhaps even the desire for a long and happy life for its owners and users.

The craftsmanship of this piece, featuring the chrysanthemum, echoes the period’s reverence for nature’s beauty, meticulously hand-painted and gilded to enhance the sumptuous dining experiences of the time. The use of this flower in a piece destined to be part of the social ritual of dining subtly communicated the host’s wishes of prosperity and joy to their guests, adding an undercurrent of well-meaning to the ambiance of the gathering.

This Ironstone cheese dish from W&R Stoke-on-Trent is thus a profound connection to the Victorian era, a time when even the daily act of dining could be imbued with layers of meaning. Today, it remains a significant collectible, its chrysanthemum motif a reminder of the Victorian fascination with the hidden language of flowers and the deep-rooted cultural heritage that informed every aspect of their daily lives. As such, it’s a prized possession for collectors and connoisseurs, offering not just a piece of history but a story of tradition, artistry, and the enduring quality of ironstone material that has withstood the test of time.

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