Skip to main content

Pugin bread plate: C.52-1972

An image of Bread plate

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Pugin bread plate


Production: Minton & Co.
Mintons Ltd ((from 1873))
Designer: Pugin, Augustus Welby Northmore




Earthenware, moulded in relief, majolica glaze decoration

Circular plate with moulded ridge running around inner and outer sides of rim. Centre decorated with a raised design incorporating eight ears of wheat radiating from a geometric leaf and flower motif , surrounded by a strip of stylised leaves. Rim decorated with the motto ‘WASTE NOT WANT NOT’, in Gothic lettering, the words separated by floral motifs. The letters are glazed deep blue, other parts are clear glazed. The underside is recessed, forming a pronounced foot-rim, and glazed. A suspension hole has been drilled through one of the floral motifs on the rim.


History note: From the Charles & Lavinia Handley-Read Collection. Purchased from the executor, Thomas Stainton, 1972.

Legal notes

Bought using the Perceval Fund and a Grant-in-Aid from the Victoria and Albert Museum

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 34.3 cm
Height: 2.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Stoke ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1972) by Stainton, Thomas


Production date: AD 1875 : dated


Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) was a leading proponent of the Gothic style and believed it could be successfully applied to all designs, from domestic tableware to church interiors. A three-coloured, inlaid version of this plate was shown at the Birmingham Exhibition of 1849 and an engraving was printed in the Journal of Design the following year. The design, listed in the Minton ornamental shape books as ‘430 Tray, bread, Pugin’s ‘WASTE NOT WANT NOT’, encaustic (M)’, was available for many years, produced with either inlaid (encaustic) design or in relief-decorated Majolica (the final ‘M’ in the shape book indicates Majolica). On this Majolica example, the factory mark indicates a date after 1873, which is confirmed by the impressed year mark for 1875.

Minton, founded in 1793, originally produced blue printed earthenware and, later, creamware, bone china and other products, particularly tableware. Taking over in 1836, Herbert Minton revolutionised production methods and introduced new lines in encaustic and printed tiles, figures and ornamental wares. Minton encaustic tiles, designed by Pugin c.1850, featured extensively in Pugin’s designs for the interior of the new Palace of Westminster and wares ‘coloured in the Majolica style’ were introduced, to great acclaim, at the Great Exhibition of 1851. In 1858 the business passed to Herbert’s nephew, Colin Minton Campbell (1827-85), who continued the expansion. The early business traded under various names, from 1845 it was known as Minton & Co. and from 1873 as Mintons Ltd.

The ears of wheat in the design symbolise bread, indicating the function of the plate. The motto ‘waste not want not’, first recorded in 1772, would have had special meaning when Pugin designed the plate, at the end of a decade when many people went hungry. An earlier version, ‘willful waste makes woeful want’ was in use from c.1576.

School or Style

Gothic Revival

Components of the work

Decoration composed of lead-glaze

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Moulding : Relief moulded earthenware with Majolica glazes

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: MINTONS / BB
  • Location: Underside
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: (script-type letter)

  • Text: E
  • Location: Underside
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: (Roman type)

  • Text: E
  • Location: Underside
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: 430
  • Location: Underside
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: tiny oval stamp containing cross

  • Location: Underside
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.52-1972
Primary reference Number: 75411
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 16 February 2024

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) "Pugin bread plate" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-19 23:43:10

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Pugin bread plate |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-19 23:43:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        alt="Pugin bread plate"
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Pugin bread plate</figcaption>

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...