Plate

Production date
Pre 1790
Pre 1790
Country
Australia
State/Province
Queensland
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Object detail

Description
Plate - intact creamware plate with letter scratched into underside.
Classification
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food & Drink Consumption Crockery plate
Maker
Production date
Pre 1790
Pre 1790
Production place
Measurements
Dia 240mm, Ht to Rim 30mm
Media/Materials description
Ceramic
Signature/Marks
X
History and use
In 1790 HMS Pandora sailed from England in pursuit of the HMS Bounty and its mutineers. The Pandora was wrecked in 1791 on its return voyage while attempting to negotiate the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland. The wreck was discovered in 1977, and between 1983 and 1999 excavations conducted by Queensland Museum archaeologists and colleagues recovered many artefacts.

This dish came from a crockery service used by the officers of the Pandora, and marks on the surface indicate the dish had been used. Royal pattern creamware, such as this, was in common use in middle class dining rooms of 18th century Britain.

This plate has either a “W” or “M” scratched into the underside of its base, and two possible explanations have been suggested for this. If it is an “M” it could indicate that it was the property of midshipman Richard Matson. However, another possibility is that it is a W, which was used to identify dinner services used in the wardroom – the room used by commissioned officers for dining or relaxing. This is a more likely theory as other items of crockery have been recovered with the letter “C”, possibly identifying items for use in the Captain’s Cabin.
Registration number
MA8177

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