A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What the Heck is That 2?

It's been quite a while since we've done a "What the Heck is That?" post. Most likely it's because majolica is generally pretty obvious in its iconography. Lately however we've come across another majolica pattern that seems to perplex people. Like the first "What the Heck is That?" post, this one comes courtesy of the Holdcroft factory. We are talking of the Holdcroft tobacco pattern.

On the one hand this pattern would obviously relate to the tobacco plant. After all, everyone knows that tobacco plants have long wide leaves. What throws most people is the peculiar background with the rose colored flowers, but, take a look at a tobacco plant. A flowering tobacco plant has small rosy pink flowers. While the shape and color of the flowers on the pattern are stylized, the placement is correct . The color of the flower varies by variety with flowers ranging from white to purple to red.

Holdcroft's tobacco pattern is a limited one used only on a small line of hollow ware pitchers, jardinieres and bowls. Aside from a butter pat we have not seen plates, cheese bells or tea sets in this pattern though we have seen an umbrella stand. Like most of Holdcroft's pieces, marking is erratic and color will vary with background seen in white and turquoise.

So the next time someone questions what pattern it is you can flash your botanical knowledge and say with confidence that it is a flowering tobacco pattern.

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