Vintage "Covered Wagons and the Rocky Mountains" Bread Plate Set by Johnson Brothers, c. 1938

Presented is a set of two red-glazed transferware bread and butter plates, by the famous British potters Johnson Brothers. Made in England, this set comes from their “Historic America” line of ceramics, with the specific pattern celebrating the exploration and settlement of our Western states. Titled “Covered Wagons and the Rocky Mountains,” the pattern depicts a train of covered wagons in the foreground, each led by a team of oxen. The grassy valley is decorated with horse-mounted trail guides, tall trees, and even an active geyser. In the background, the sharp peaks of the Rocky Mountains loom large and grandiose. The rim of the plates are further decorated with an acorn and leaf border. 

British Staffordshire potteries such as Wedgwood and Johnson Brothers capitalized upon the popularity of American history seen after the Centennial of 1876 and again during the interwar period. Johnson Brothers’ serial pattern “Historic America,” introduced in 1938-39, celebrated early American history with idyllic and patriotic 19th-century themes. Scenes were modeled closely after iconic engravings by 19th century publishers, such as Currier and Ives, and subjects were chosen for how they reinforced Americans’ sense of national identity and pride.


Very good condition. Set of two. Red transferware bread and butter plates. Stamped on back: "Genuine Hand Engraving. Covered Wagons and the Rocky Mountains. Historic America. 8. Johnson Bros, England. Patent No. 111255. Reg U.S. Pat Off. Made in England. All Decoration Under the Glaze Permanent & Acid Resisting Colors." Only light fading to red printing. Glaze intact. No chips or damage to plates.

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