|Description: Oval ironstone china vegetable dish. Maroon transfer ware pattern design depicting oriental style flowers (peonies) that are painted orange, pink and yellow. Some of the leaves on the flowers are painted a lime green colour. On each side there is a cobalt blue design outlined with hand painted gold scrolling. There is a pink half flower in each blue area. The pattern is repeated around the dish with a pink flower to the proper right of the blue area, a yellow smaller flower in the centre and an orange flower to the proper left. The background colour is white There is a blue line around the outside of the tureen with a gold line running parallel around the edge. The bottom of the dish is all white. It shows the symbol for Geo. Ashworth and Bros. in maroon. The symbol depicts a crown with a ribbon folded underneath that reads "Real Ironstone China, A. Bros." Stamped into the bottom is "Ashworth Real Ironstone China". The vegetable dish lid has the same painted pattern and fits within the lip of the dish. The lid is oval and raised and has a handle in the centre. The handle is cylindrical with two curved cylinders that curve up from the top of the lid. The handle is white and is accented with gold. This vegetable dish sits on a smaller platter and has a low raised foot.
History: This tableware set was most likely purchased in the 1880ís. These dishes may have been purchased for Mary Magrathís marriage to Arthur Harris in 1881 or they may have been purchased later in the 1880ís with funds from one of the inheritances they received. Inheritances were received when both of Arthurís parents, Elizabeth and Captain James Harris, died in 1884, Arthurís Scottish aunt, Matilda Lindsay, died in 1886 and Maryís father, William Magrath, died in 1888.
George Ashworth & Brothers Ltd. was in operation from 1862 to 1883 in Hanley, England. This company descended from the famous pottery designer Charles Mason whose firm of Mason of Lane Delph flourished until 1844 and eventually closed in 1848. Francis Morley bought the Mason patents and he and his partner, Taylor Ashworth, established their own firm in 1857. As Morleyís health declined, the firm was taken over by Taylorís brother, George Ashworth, in 1863. The firm has traded under Geo. L. Ashworth & Bros ever since. This company was operated by George, James, and Taylor Ashworth until 1883, as the brothers were "deeply involved in the collapse of the Lancashire woollen trade". The business was purchased by J.H. Goddard and his son, J. Shaw Goddard .The Goddard descendents continue producing the Mason patterns to this day and still use the name of Ashworth. Source: www.thepotteries.org and Ralph & Terry Kovel "Kovelsí New Dictionary of Marks" Crown Publisherís Inc, New York, 1986.