A Passage to India

Delhi HindoostanMy inherited Irish genes having bequeathed to me an abiding loathing of colonialism, I can fully sympathise with those whose Asian heritage would cause them to look askance at the thought of collecting anything which might possibly be construed as glorifying the Raj.

However, leaving aside any such prejudices, there is much pleasure to be derived from the building of a collection of antique transfer printed pottery, the theme of which takes it’s inspiration from life in 19th Century India. Further, for those whose inclinations lead them to study the history of the sub-continent, particularly collectors within the large British-Asian community, such a collection may also provide unexpected insights into their own family background and history.

By far the most popular pieces to be found in this genre are from Spode’s “Indian Sporting” series, based on engravings in Williamson’s “Oriental Field Sports”, published in 1807. There are however many others of topographical interest which are well worth seeking out. A most valuable work to be acquired in this connection is “India on Transferware”, by Michael Sacks, published by The Transferware Collectors Club in 2009, a copy of which the Collector should endeavour always to have to hand.

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