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'Seed Poppy' plate: C.64-2023

Object information

Current Location: In storage


'Seed Poppy' plate


Factory: Wood, H. J.
Designer: Rhead, Charlotte




Earthenware plate, tube-lined and painted with deep blue, purple, red, pink and green glazes.

Octagonal plate, the top covered with a stylised design on a deep blue ground: a central pink and red flower surrounded by green leaves, the flower filled with purple seeds which also proliferate amongst the leaves. The edge of the rim and the underside clear glazed.


History note: Lent by Rita Smythe, 2018

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Ian and Rita Smythe, 2023

Measurements and weight

Height: 2 cm
Width: 21.8 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Burslem ⪼ Staffordshire

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2023) by Smythe, Ian and Rita


1920 CE - Circa 1940 CE


Charlotte Rhead (1885-1947) came from a family of potters who over several generations built a reputation for tube-lined and pâte-sur-pâte decoration. She trained at Fenton School of Art and worked at a succession of potteries as a decorator. She became particularly known for tube-lined designs and, later, innovative glazes. From 1912-1926 she worked for her father, Frederick, who was art director at Wood & Sons, and at their subsidiaries Bursley Ltd and the Ellgreave Pottery Co. Later she joined Burgess & Leigh, and then A.G.Richardson & Co., though may also have continued to designs for Wood/Bursley (see Bumpus, 2014). She returned to H J Wood in 1942, remaining there until she died.

Charlotte Rhead’s designs for H J Wood were marketed under the ‘Bursley Ware’ label. ‘Poppy Seed’ is recorded as pattern no. 28.

School or Style

Art Deco

Components of the work

Decoration composed of glaze

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: in recrangular border

  • Text: BURSLEY/ WARE / [crown] / ENGLAND
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Transfer printed in green
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: very faint

  • Text: WS / 76 [ remainder indecipherable]
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: P.28
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Written in black pen
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: £69 / BW
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Two small blue paper dots
  • Type: Labels

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.64-2023
Primary reference Number: 227173
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 14 May 2019 Updated: Wednesday 30 August 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 13 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "'Seed Poppy' plate" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-18 06:29:52

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{{cite web|url= |title='Seed Poppy' plate |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-18 06:29:52|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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