05 April 2011
maker: JOHN MADDOCK & SONS -- Burslem, Staffordshire, England
manufacture: "Royal Vitreous" high-fired ironstone; light brown transfer with hand-applied colors (vermillion, light green, light blue, cobalt); gilt swashes, edges, and handle details; scalloped cup bottom matches scalloped indentation on saucer well.
an Imari-style pattern
John Maddock & Sons registered the GEM pattern in 1897 (Rd No. 308976), and judging from the condition of it our set was made pretty close to that time. Trix covers my eyes so that I can better imagine what such ironstone pottery looked like when it was newly-minted... perhaps your powers of imagination surpass mine, for I cannot fathom shiny, uncrazed ironstone at the moment, loving as I do the warm, worn character of the aged stuff.
the usual collectors' places -- if you like white ironstone platters and tureens, look for Maddock... cups and saucers like this are not as common, but they will certainly appear to the searching eye.
Tea of choice for this set: New Vithanakande Estate FBOPF-Extra Special, Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, with a side order of biscuits, please.