This object is currently on display in room 206 as part of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color. There is one other image of this object. See our image rights statement.

 

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Object Timeline

-0001

1930

  • Work on this object began.

1939

  • Work on this object ended.

2003

  • We acquired this object.

2007

2018

2019

  • You found it!

Sample Plate (Denmark), 1930s

This is a Sample plate. It was manufactured by Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory. It is dated 1930s and we acquired it in 2003. Its medium is moulded and glazed porcelain, with enamelled color. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

This plate, a product of the Royal Copenhagen factory, has a mark indicating it was produced sometime after 1889. The surface is marked “Stelling’s Porcelaensfarver” in the center, surrounded by samples of glazes in various colors brushed on in small wedge shapes around the rim and the circular well. Each color has its corresponding code number and could have served as a guide for prospective clients to select colors or as a guide for porcelain painters at the factory.
This plate is an example of the “sampling” format. This format was widely used by manufacturers to assist consumers in choosing the right combination of color, design, and materials, for products ranging from textiles to dinner plates. These products have become stylistic indicators of the time in terms of the choices of color and design. They also are beautiful artifacts in the arrangement of visual information on either the page of a sample book or the rim of a plate.
Sample plates are relatively rare and greatly enrich the museum’s documentary holdings related to ceramics design, technology, and marketing.

This object was purchased from Marion Harris. It is credited Museum purchase from Charles E. Sampson Memorial Fund.

Our curators have highlighted 13 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Sample Plate (Denmark), 1930s
  • moulded and glazed porcelain, with enamelled color.
  • Museum purchase from Charles E. Sampson Memorial Fund.
  • 2003-5-4

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 2.8 x 25.3 cm (1 1/8 x 9 15/16 in.)

It has the following markings

On underside: in underglaze green, circular format: "ROYAL" / image of a crown / COPENHAGEN / DENMARK", ( Mark in use starting in 1922) above three wavey lines in underglaze blue.

It is inscribed

In center of plate: "Stelling's Porcelaensfarver"

Cite this object as

Sample Plate (Denmark), 1930s; Manufactured by Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory (Denmark); moulded and glazed porcelain, with enamelled color; H x diam.: 2.8 x 25.3 cm (1 1/8 x 9 15/16 in.); Museum purchase from Charles E. Sampson Memorial Fund; 2003-5-4

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18698057/ |title=Sample Plate (Denmark), 1930s |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 January 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>