Offered for sale is a large plate/shallow dish produced by F. & R. Pratt entitled "The Blind Fiddler" based on the 1806 painting by Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841). Oval in shape it is bordered in gold coloured geometric trim and is in turn bounded by the common Pratt acanthus leaf border.
F. and R. Pratt of Fenton, England operated from 1847 to 1885, and came into prominence for the excellence of its coloured underglaze printing, notably on pot lids and tea ware.
The original oil painting, which depicts an itinerant fiddler playing for a humble country family, was painted on a mahogany board and dates to 1806. It was donated to the Tate in London in 1826. As noted on the Tate website, the painting initially created some controversy when first exhibited, as “critics thought the bust on the shelf represented a dissenting minister and concluded that the family were nonconformists.”
Artist Sir David Wilkie, R.A. was born in Scotland in 1785 but was based in London for most of his career. He was known for his genre scenes such as the one seen on this plate, but also painted portraits and served as “Principal Painter in Ordinary” to both King William Iv and Queen Victoria. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1809.