A Large PRATTWARE CHARGER Bread Plate by JESSE AUSTIN – CHRIST IN THE CORNFIELD
This unusual Prattware bread plate was made for the Great Exhibition of 1851, enabling the firm of F & R Pratt & Co., to show their excellent polychrome printing technique to best advantage.
The scene depicts Christ reprimanding the Pharisees for chastising his disciples for picking and eating ears of corn on the Sabbath. The quote, ” I will have mercy and will not sacrifice…” from the Book of Matthew, in the New Testament, Chapter 9. verse 13. It rims the central image in gilt lettering against a muted, olive background.
The outer edge of the plate has a polychrome transfer band of sheaves of corn. The edge of the plate is finished in gilt.
Jesse Austin (1806-1879) the artist and engraver, worked for Felix Edward Pratt (1813-1894). Together they devised the process of high-quality, underglaze printing on pottery for which Pratt is famous.
One of these plates is held in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, UK.