This is a large 19th century ironstone platter. It has a decorated feather edge often referred to as “Leeds.” The shell-shaped edges are transfer printed with cobalt. Much of this popular pottery was made by Leeds in England. The War of 1812 caused Congress to ban all English imports, but when the embargo was lifted demand for English ceramics was high and resumed. Ceramics like this one are easily damaged and archaeologists have found pieces of this same type of pottery around the homesite of Colonial William Preston in Greenfield. Alfred, Betty and Clara Firebaugh donated this platter to the Botetourt Museum of History and Culture where it is displayed. Previously, it belonged to their great-grandmother Elizabeth McCoy Rieley. She was married to Irish immigrant, William Rieley. Botetourt resident, Greg Rieley, is her great-great-grandson. Being able to see what your ancestors touched and used makes the History Museum special.
~ Botetourt County Museum of History & Culture