Thursday, 27 September 2012

Possible arctic scene on pottery!

Nick Brannon has looked at the pottery sherd found in Cutting Five and suggests that the image represents a piece of chinoiserie (Chinese style), a costumed figure. It seems to come from a small hollow-ware (cup/bowl/egg-cup) with external-only black+white transfer print.

Pottery fragment from Cutting Five
A possible match for the image is that of an ‘arctic scene’ (especially the 'heavy' sleeve and possible back-pack straps, wherein the figure may be of an explorer/Eskimo/Inuit- type figure)! These gained popularity from images published in the 1820s, relating to explorations by Sir William Parry in search of the North-West Passage. One source says that these wares were not that common in Britain and it is possible that they were produced primarily for export to Canada. Lots of echoes of export of so-called sponge-wares, much produced in Scotland and exported world-wide.

Staffordshire platter showing arctic scene (Image:
While this sherd has no link with the Plantation period activity it provides an interesting insight into 19th century Bangor. It probably entered the ground through agricultural practice.

Nick Brannon (Project Leader)

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