Thomas Dinnerware in Etabletop

By: Sanjeevkumar

Thomas is a collection of porcelain & glass factories owned by Rosenthal. The superior quality and innovative designs are well known to chefs and connoisseurs worldwide. An early Thomas collection, Trend, famous for its concentric white rings within the porcelain, has now been updated in the loft collection for a new generation of Thomas customers.

After the last spoonful of potage had been consumed, imagine the delight of a nineteenth-century dinner guest finding a landscape scene by Cole at the bottom of his or her soup plate, revealed under layers of broth, vegetables, and bits of meat. What better complement to such a satisfying meal than reminding the diner of America's bounty, scenic wonders, and the success of democracy in the New World.

But how could such overarching sentiments be gleaned from staring at the bottom of dinnerware, and why were American landscapes gracing the bottom of soup plates. The answer has less to do with culinary matters and more to do with the rise in interest in American landscape imagery, a market driven economy, and the value of ornamented utilitarian objects in America between 1830 and 1860.

During a short span of time, between 1819 and 1823, Thomas Cole traveled along the Juniata River and across the Allegheny Mountains. He later captured his memories of those days in a drawing, Scene in the Alleghany Mountains (1827), that formed the basis for a painting (now lost), which in turn provided the imagery for a widely disseminated engraving (1831) in John Howard Hinton's book The History and Topography of the United States (1830-1832), and ultimately became the pattern for transfer ware soup plates (c1831-186l) by the pottery firm of William Adams & Sons in Staffordshire, England. This book addresses the popular demand for American landscape imagery in the mid-nineteenth century and the dissemination of such imagery in the art market through engraved and ceramic variations and copies. Please purchase on online

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