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Showing posts from August 7, 2011

Elijah Lovejoy Plate

In the late nineteenth century, collectors of Americana eagerly sought examples of transfer-printed earthenware produced by Staffordshire factories in the 1830s-40s for export to the United States. Popular subjects included historical monuments, as well as patriotic and political themes and views of American cities. These  wares often were issued in series, fueling the collecting craze, especially for blue, that continues today.  This interesting, light blue transfer ware plate displays the etchings of the U.S. Constitutions First Amendment, recalling the protection of free speech and the press.  This artifact of liberty and freedom is referred to as the anti-slavery or abolition plate, one of the very few produced to commemorate the life of Elijah Lovejoy. Lovejoy was an active advocate for anti-slavery and an Abolitionist editor who published an antislavery newspaper in Alton, Illinois in the 1800s.  Lovejoy fought for free speech and press on the subject of