Thursday, 22 February 2018

#52Ancestors - Week 8 - Heirloom

An heirloom is an object, often valuable, that has belonged to a family for generations. Of course there are many ways of placing a value on an item. It may be monetary value, it may be the rarity of an item or it may just be that the item conveys memories of people and places.
Dining area at Rosemount - family china and other items on display (1950s)
In the lounge / dining room family portraits adorned the walls and pieces of fine china and wooden items were on display. Many of these items had come with the Hutton family from England via India, though unfortunately many of the family possessions, including furniture, were lost when the ship carrying them sank on the voyage to Australia. Members of the Hutton family had settled in Australia by 1874 so this ship wreck would have occurred around this time. [Another project to research.]

One of the items that came from Rosemount that I now own is a Wedgwood cake plate.

I searched images of Wedgwood designs online and the closest suggests that it is a variation of the Japan design.

 I found a photo and information about a plate with a similar, but not identical, design on the Hampshire Cultural Trust website.
Hampshire Cultural Trust dinner plate.
Early in the nineteenth century Wedgwood began to use Japanese style designs when making table-ware and the plate above possibly comes from that period.

The following mark appears on the bottom of my plate. Checking a website describing marks on Wedgwood plates I found the information that a vase symbol with WEDGWOOD printed underneath was the 'basic printed mark on porcelain from c1878+' England was added from 1891. My plate was therefore probably made within that thirteen year period.

There is also a second mark on the plate. I found some information about impressed markings used to signify date and potter but this mark is written and sequence used over the years is confusing. Consequently I have not been able to narrow the possible date range any further.

The Hutton family settled in Australia in the mid 1870s. The plate would have come into their possession after their arrival in Australia.

A selection of china with another version of the pattern on my plate was produced with what was called Kashmar decoration in retro style in the second part of the twentieth century. Many images of items with this design can be located online via a Google search.

Over time I may be able to find more information about the plate which appears to have possibly belonged to members of my family for around 130 years. 

Whatever its age turns out to be, the plate will continue to be used to hold a cake (or cakes) on special family occasions.

Another heirloom post


  1. I found your 2 posts very informative, such a good idea to do 2 seperate posts for them. I am inspired

  2. I am glad that you likes the posts. Good luck with your research.