Hand-Colored “Frolics of Youth” Plate
The scene in this child’s plate may have been hand colored by a child of less than 10 years old. Children typically started working at the potteries in Staffordshire, England, by the age of eight, but some started as young as five or six years old. The plate is decorated with “The Dancing Master,” one of several patterns in the “Frolics of Youth” series that was produced during the mid-1800s. They were produced for domestic and foreign markets (such as the United States) by several British potteries, including Davenport and Co. of Staffordshire. The scene is a transfer print that is hand colored over the glaze. The series was produced from 1840 until 1855 or 1857.