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Patterns of the Month: Children's Patterns

Each month we feature a new pattern from our Pattern and Source Print Database and archive them on these pages by category.

(Click on thumbnails to
see larger images)
The Cup Found In Benjamin’s Sack

"The Cup Found In Benjamin’s Sack"

Shown is a 6.7 inch plate by an unknown maker from the “History Of Joseph” series. Here, the pattern name is “The Cup Found In Benjamin’s Sack,” which you may remember was placed there by Joseph in order to detain his family in Egypt. A 19th century child would have known the story well, which may be why the series appears so often on children’s items. The TCC Database of Patterns and Sources shows 15 Joseph patterns. To learn more about this and other patterns, see the Pattern and Source Print Database.

ABC Song

"ABC Song"

Children's plates and mugs were often given as rewards for good behavior, christening presents, and as teaching tools. Shown is an unusual pattern on a 7.5 inch plate which features the musical notes that are named for the first seven letters of the alphabet. These letter names are used over and over as you go up the piano keys: ABCDEFGABCDEFG. To learn more about this and other patterns, see the Pattern and Source Print Database.

"A Present From The Staffordshire Potteries"

"A Present From The Staffordshire Potteries"

Shown is a 7.75 inch pearlware plate titled "A Present From The Staffordshire Potteries." Children's patterns were often intended as rewards, christening gifts or souvenirs. This plate was probably a souvenir from the Potteries. To learn more about this and other patterns, see the Pattern and Source Print Database.

March plate

"March"

Seen here is a 6.5 child's plate with a molded daisy border in a series depicting each of the months along with the appropriate sign of the Zodiac (look at the ram peeking over the shoulder of the man). It is impressed Scott (1840-1897) on the back, and was probably made around 1840. To learn more about this and other patterns, see the Pattern and Source Print Database.

Children's plate with sign language

Children's Subjects

Shown here on a 6.31 inch child's plate are hands illustrating the sign language alphabet consonants in two circles surrounding a single hand showing the vowels. Children's patterns were often used as teaching tools, and this one would be as useful today as it was in the 19th century. However, the alphabet is an example of the British manual alphabet which uses two hands rather than the American manual alphabet which uses one hand. To learn more about this and other patterns, see the Pattern and Source Print Database.

Tiger plate
Children's patterns were often given as rewards for good behavior, christening presents and teaching tools. Children, in general, like animals, so this 5.75 inch plate with an exotic animal would have been a delightful gift. To learn more about it, see the Pattern and Source Print Database.

Christmas Plate

"Christmas Day"
Children's patterns were intended as gifts or teaching tools. This 7 inch plate does both.  It was probably a Christmas gift and its molded border teaches the alphabet.  As is typical for most patterns made for children, the maker is unknown.

Plate
"At The Zoo" by an unknown maker is found on a 5.12 inch child's ABC plate.   Patterns made to celebrate the popular London Zoological Gardens are found on adult dinner services as well as children's items.  To learn more about this pattern, see At The Zoo in the pattern and source print database.   To see more zoo patterns, type in "zoo" in the Name box in Pattern Search.  There are 41 zoo patterns in the pattern and source print database.
Alphabet plate
Alphabet
Plate, 4.5 inches.  It is printed with a lower case alphabet that is out of order.  Used as a teaching tool, the child had to pick out the letters and put them in sequence.  Try it!  It is not easy.  For more information about this plate, see Alphabet plate in the pattern and source print database
Plate

"Poor Richard's Maxim's" (sic)
Found on a 5 inch plate, this pattern is surrounded by an alphabet border with a Vitruvian scroll edge. There are two maxims that relate to the pattern: "I never saw an oft removed tree nor yet an oft removed family that did so well as those that  settled be" and "Three removes are as bad as a fire and a rolling stone gathers no moss" (actually three maxims!). Poor Richard is the alter ego of Benjamin Franklin.  For more information about this pattern and children's patterns in general, please see the pattern and source print database.

A Ride on Carlo plate
"A Ride On Carlo"
Found on a 7.25 inch plate, this pattern was made to delight and teach. Along with the alphabet on the border are clock numerals. The lucky child could learn to tell time as well as the ABCs. The actual pattern name is "Childrens (sic) Clock". The pattern was made by Brownhills Pottery (1872-1896). For more information about this pattern and for more children's patterns, please see the pattern and source print database.


Find additional patterns and more extensive information in our Patterns and Source Print Database..

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