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"Olympic Games" series (Thomas Mayer)

Henrywood's Highlights
Transferware from a British Perspective

Number Seven of an Ongoing Series by Dick Henrywood

My previous outing concentrated on William Ridgway’s “Italian” series and elicited several contributions from members, reported in the Bulletin. As always, further news about any of the previous subjects would always be welcome but for this seventh instalment I have chosen another series from the 1830s which was not extensively covered in The Dictionary of Blue & White Printed Pottery.

“Olympic Games” Series

A series of titled romantic sporting patterns by Thomas Mayer of Stoke. The central scenes appear within a border featuring alternate floral and scenic vignettes. The printed mark consists of the individual title within a scroll cartouche surmounted by an armorial crest with the series title above, and with “T.MAYER / STOKE UPON TRENT” at the base. The series is found on dinner wares printed in blue, black, brown, green, purple, and shades of pink or red. Two cups have also been noted so other teawares may also exist. No source for any of the scenes has yet been identified.

To date I know of eleven titled scenes and one that is unidentified:

“Animal Prize Fight” *
Platter 18in
Soup tureen
Illustrations: Williams 1/513 (tureen)

Plate 9.25in

“Darting” *
Platter 11in *

Plate 7.25in

Plate 7in
Illustrations: Williams 2/645 (plate, mark)

“Spanish Bull Fight”
Plate 9in
Jug 8in
Illustrations: Snyder 128 (plate, mark); Williams 1/511 (plate); Williams 2/645 (mark)

“The Charioteers” *
Platter 15.5in *

“The Discus”
Dinner plate 10.5in
Soup plate 10.25in
Illustrations: Snyder 128 (dinner plate, mark)

“The Sling”
Vegetable dish
The title is not always clear and the mark on one example appears to read “The Slind” [sic] although this could possibly have been caused by distortion during printing.

“Victors Crowned” *
Stand for soup tureen
Illustrations: Williams 1/512 (stand)

Plate 8in

Unidentified Scene A
Cup plate
Illustrations: Williams 1/511 (cup plate)
A woman seated watching a ball game.

As is usual in these lists, an asterisk (*) indicates information that I have not yet been able to confirm, so four of these titles and two items are not yet certain. Only three plates are currently listed in the TCC database but I am able to illustrate four different plates here. Images of other pieces are proving elusive.

Although the above list includes most common plate sizes, only three platters feature so there must be others. We would also expect a sauce tureen, and since cups exist, there should be other teawares. As is usual in this column, can I appeal to readers who can add any information, particularly anyone who can supply images. All contributions would be gratefully received and will be reported in a future club Bulletin. Please send anything to me via email at e-mail:

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Plate Mark

“Archery”, black plate 9.25in

Typical mark, this example “The Discus” from a dinner plate


Three graduated plates in purple: “The Discus” 10.5in, “Wrestling” 8in, and “Gladiators” 7in (courtesy Gary Donald Antiques)


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