The Alabama Platter (Limoges)
This may interest you, we shall see.
Not long after the Millenium, I was contacted by a magazine for antiques collectors, in the USA. They had used my site to gain info on an expensive platter that someone had bought.They sent me a copy of the magazine, but sadly I dont have it now, but I do have a cover picture on my site.
Now then, first I need to give you a history lesson, but trust me, all will clarify.
The Alabama, a Confederate cruiser was, as I am sure you know, built at L
airds in Birkenhead. As the CSS Alabama, she captured, or burned a total of 65 US merchant ships, Between Oct 1862 and June 1864.
The US Navy had been searching for her everywhere, without success.
In June 1864, she put into Cherbourg, for repairs, after two years at sea, she was wooden hulled btw.
The US Warship USS Kearsage was in Belgium, and hearing of the ALabama`s presence raced to Cherbourg.
The outcome was that on Sunday 19th June 1864, the Alabama sailed out into the English Channel to fight the Kearsage. This was the last fight ever by a wooden warship incidentally. Thousands lined the cliffs at Cherbourg to watch, including a certain painter called Manet, who painted the battle.
The Alabama was a tired vessel, he rpowder was wet, she put a shell into the Kearsages sternpost, but it did not explode, eventually she succumbed and sank. That sternpost and shell are now in the Smithsonian.
The captain of the Alabama was Raphael Semmes, and in 1897 his daughter Electra purchased the Limoges Platter, and she painted upon it, the scene of this great sea battle.
The current owners of the platter say that it will eventually be returned to the Semmes family, in Alabama.
Here are two photos for you
and the painting close up
The Magazine cover
Last edited by theantiquesman; 21/04/2012 at 02:57 PM.
good quality painting of the ship.
Limoges of France is a bit like saying Stoke on Trent of England. Limoges produced and decorated china in a number of factories from the late 1700s. White ware "blanks" were also exported by a number of these manufacturers. As Wedgwood my be looked on as the best for England. Haviland was the best for France
Dixie the plate or dish may be old and the painting might have been painted much later and re-fired.
Not say that has happened in this case.
Haviland the name on the front of the magazine would indicate the item pictured was a very rare item.
very interesting story that is if the story can be verified.
note this picture is very similar, note the person in the middle of the picture in the water looks very similar.
CSS Alabama and the USS Kearsarge, painted by Édouard Manet.
Thanks for that Dixie.........
Your story I hope will lead the way for many other posters to post a story on the site.
Last edited by theantiquesman; 18/03/2012 at 12:46 AM.
When I am on the laptop later today, I will post a photo of the back of the charger
If I remember correctly, this painting is of Electra's father and others being rescued by the English yacht Deerhound.
Last edited by DixieRoy; 18/03/2012 at 07:57 AM.
The Deerhound was a steam yacht built for Mr John Lancaster who was in command. If my memory serves me correct, he owned Haigh Hall in Wigan.
Thinking on my feet here btw
The platter itself was made in 1880 as I remember
edit to say
just found this on old version of my site
N.B. The photgraphs and text on this page are reproduced by kind permission of Mr Robert Doares.
They are copyright, and may not be reproduced elsewhere without the permission of the aforementioned Mr Doares, and the Dehaviland Foundation.
Taken from the Dehaviland Quarterly, September 2003
*Sometimes you add something to your collection that turns out to be more interesting than you thought.*
Such was the case with this Charles Field Haviland platter with a maritme battle scene, which we shared during Show and Tell at the Williamsburg 2003 conference. The platter, in perfect codition, bear the green factory back mark CFH/GDM from the 1880`s. A painted inscription on the back identifies the subject:"Sinking of father`s ship. The Alabama. June 1864." An artists signature follows: "A.S.Bryan1897."
Just realised I said Electra did painting. Got it wrong, it was Ann Spenser Bryan nee Semmes.
Last edited by DixieRoy; 18/03/2012 at 10:42 AM.