Soon after the War of 1812, a
determined attempt to capture the U. S. market resulted in the export by
British potters of a sturdy blue and white tableware decorated with
historical and patriotic scenes.
One of the earliest English potters to
engage in the manufacture of blue under-glazed, printed earthenware was
Enoch Wood (1759-1840) of Burslem, Staffordshire. Enoch Wood and Sons
produced tea sets and dinner plates at reasonable prices, affordable by
people of modest means. For the first time, common folk could eat from
decorative plates and drink tea from pretty cups.
“Commodore Macdonough’s Victory” was a
typical and popular scene, bordered by seashells and seaweed. The
design was taken from a painting of the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814 by
J. Reinagle, engraved by B. Tamer.
Staffordshire printing was a transfer
process. Engraved copperplates, inked in blue, were pressed against
white tissue paper that absorbed color and pattern. The paper was
applied to the ware and allowed to dry until the pattern was impressed.
The ware was then dipped in a clear glaze and fired. Rapid cooling
after firing produced the brilliance of the blue color. The Clinton
County Historical Association has several of these beautiful pieces in