Episcopal Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky

Maker: An Unidentified Staffordshire Pottery in England

Glazed Earthenware Plate with Transfer Printed Image

10½" in diameter

Ref. No. 100512_060

The Episcopal Theological Seminary’s tenure at the Thomas January house on Second Street lasted from 1834 until 1838. The now much-altered house built in 1818 still stands. This plate is the fourth example we have handled which depicts the January home as it may have looked in the mid 1830s. One should consider that artistic license was an option during the first third of the 19th century in landscape art. We purchased our first example circa 1990 and believe there to be perhaps as many as a dozen known. All found outside the state and likely not to have made it to Lexington until late in the 20th century. All the plates seen have been in unused condition with no knife marks, chips, hairlines, or damage of any nature, suggesting a cache was found. There is crazing to the glaze on all observed examples. Transfer printed under glaze below the scene is the identification legend Episcopal Theological Seminary, Lexington Kentucky. The short life of the seminary would suggest that this production run was to be marketed to what became a defunct institution, thus never making it to Kentucky for distribution at the seminary. This view is one of two Lexington sites presently known to have been depicted in the 1830s for the Kentucky market by the Staffordshire potteries. The other better-known view, Transylvania College, had several runs of plates and bowls in at least four known colors applied for the monochromatic transfer design.