CHOURA JANTELY BERKHAM PORE
From Michael Sack
The lovely dessert dish in the Parrot Border series (below) bears the pattern Choura Jantely Berkham Pore, albeit this piece is unmarked. It belongs to the President of the San Francisco Ceramic Circle, Colin Knight, and his wife, Patricia. The scene first appeared in these pages in Bulletin 51 where it was shown by the late Ron Govier on a square vegetable tureen base. He had been able to take some photographs and record the marks on a number of pieces in a very large part dinner service that had been sold in London at the end of 1985. The titles are normally found printed in cursive script as part of a rock cartouche (similar to but not the same as the Elkin Knight cartouche). The sources for the prints are aquatints in Charles Ramus Forrest’s A Picturesque Tour along the Rivers Ganges and Jumna in India, published in 1824 by Rudolf Ackermann, London, and in Thomas and William Daniell’s Oriental Scenery, published in London 1795-1808. However, the source for the scene shown here is not among the prints in these two works. Pat Latham, who wrote about Indian scenes in Bulletin 47, found two other sources, one of which, William Hodges: Travels in India, 1786, provided the source for the print used on the toilet box and cover in the Dictionary Vol. 1 page 276, which is in the same Parrot Border series. It is known on blue and white as Cuttera at Muxadabad.
No pieces marked with a maker’s name have been found but, in Bulletin 35, Dick Henrywood had put forward the theory that this might be a Ridgway service. This had been prompted by his coming across a reproduction dinner plate with all the signs of having been printed from the original copper plate. The interest lay in the addition of a printed maker’s mark for CAULDON LTD. ENGLAND, a style that had been used at Cauldon Place in Shelton, Hanley after 1905, and it was possible that they had had access to the original copper plate via their predecessors at the same works. Working backwards:
c1905+ Cauldon Ltd. c1856-1858 John Ridgway, Bates & Co
c1862-1904 Brown-Westhead Moore & Co. c1841-1855 John Ridgway & Co.
c1859-1861 Bates, Brown-Westhead & Moore. c1830-1841 John Ridgway
c1814-1830 John & William Ridgway.
Since the Parrot Border series had probably originally been produced in the 1820s, it might not be unreasonable to suggest that it might have been made by John & William Ridgway. Although many of their wares were clearly marked, several earlier Ridgway designs are known which rarely bear a maker’s mark.
With this in mind Ron Govier also looked for possible pointers to Ridgway in the pieces of the dinner service he discussed in Bulletin 51 but, although one could point to numerous features in the Ridgway style, it was only in the outline shapes of plates and platters that there was any real match - a dangerous feature on which to base an attribution. These did, however, also match with pieces in another series thought to be by Ridgway - the Ottoman Empire series.
[I noted at the end of Ron’s article that I had recently seen a shaped dish bearing the pattern illustrated above, unmarked, with handles similar to those on the bottom dish of plate 83 of Godden’s Ridgway Porcelains, the central “fingers” and supporting loops being simply outlined in blue. I think it must have been the same shape as that shown here. Ed]