This Tea Leaf ironstone pitcher was made by the firm of Alfred Meakin (1875-1976) in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, in the 1880s. Pure white with a copper lustre traditional tea leaf centered on the front and back, the body style is called “Bamboo” and the hand painted trim is copper lustre as well. The printed black mark on the bottom includes the words “Royal Ironstone China” and “Alfred Meakin England.” In the center is a logo that mimics that of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, complete with the quote “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (from the French “Shame be to him who thinks evil of it”), the motto of the British Order of the Garter. The mark does not include “Ltd.” (Limited) in the firm’s name, which dates it to pre-1897, when that designation was added.
This pitcher is in excellent condition, with extremely fine crazing to the glaze and minor flaking to the lustre but no damage or staining–it’s glossy and immaculate. It measures 7 1/4 inches tall to the tops of both the handles and the spout, 6 3/4 inches across from spout to handle and 3 1/2 inches front to back. It weighs about 1 1/2 pounds. A lovely, barely used addition to a collection, it’s also usable for serving.