19th C. Staffordshire Leaf-shaped Willow Pattern Pickle Dish #1
Unmarked blue and white leaf-shaped willow pattern pickle dish, circa 1815.
Dimensions: Approximately 5½” x 5” x 1½”
Leaf-shaped with sharp dentil molded rims. Interior decoration includes a diaper border and a center scene very similar to Spode’s Willow II pattern.
Condition: In excellent condition consistent with age and usage. See photos.
According to Halliday and Zeller in “CHINOISERIE, Printed British Ceramics in the Chinese Style 1750 - 1900” at page 292, pickle dishes were an integral part of a dinner service and were considered essential for serving a variety of sauces, pickles, relishes, and condiments. While many people assume that a pickle dish was only; used for the presentation of various types of pickles, it was considered perfectly acceptable in include type of pickled food or condiment on these dishes. Pickle dishes could be used to serve pickled or candied fruits as well as nuts during the dessert course. They were made in a variety of shapes in both earthenware and porcelain and with many design patterns.
There is also a brief discussion of Pickle dishes in “The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery 1780-1880 Vol. I” by Coysh and Henrywood at page 283. For a discussion of the Willow pattern, see “Spode’s Willow Pattern and other designs after the Chinese” by Copeland.
Lastly, there is Dr. Richard Halliday’s definitive work “Pickle Dishes and Milseys”.