Spode Armorial rectangular dish, Captain Nathaniel Gooding Clarke of Handsworth, c. 1825
Spode ‘Feldspar Porcelain’ Armorial rectangular dish, well painted to the centre with the arms of Clarke of Handsworth above a ribbon inscribed ‘ALACER’ (courageous ), within a wide border with colourful flower groups reserved in gilt scroll framed panels, on a deep green ground with ornate gilt work & gadrooned rim.
26 x 18.5cm
This would have belonged to Captain Nathaniel Gooding Clarke Esquire (1755-1833) an influential character in the Staffordshire / Birmingham region in the early 19th century. The family came from Holdsworth, a region just out of Birmingham on the way to Stoke-on-Trent, part of Staffordshire then but now swallowed up by Birmingham.
With the threat of the French invasion, local ‘volunteer’ troops were formed across Britain. In Holdsworth, a troop was formed in 1798 with Captain Nathaniel Gooding Clarke Esquire, including volunteer cavalry. It was disbanded in 1820. Nathaniel then fulfilled the position of “one of his Majesty’s justices for Wales”, ie a judge.
His name appears on legal documents as trustee alongside the famous Mathew Boulton; in the 12th century St Mary’s Church, the James Watts chapel c. 1822 (of Industrial Revolution importance) bears the memorial to Mathew Boulton, a short distance from a bust by Hollins of Nathaniel Clarke Esquire. ‘Browns Green House’ in Handsworth where Clarke lived & presumably used this service was a rather severe 18th century building with a remarkably bland facade, demolished around 1900.
Part of this service was sold Sotheby’s 2003 ‘…most marked with wreath SPODE mark in puce….’
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