Bread plate; Grindley; QS2008.14


Sydney Quarantine Station Moveable Heritage Collection


Bread plate

About this object

This plate was manufactured by W. H. Grindley & Co. in England after 1954. It was brought to Australia for use at the Quarantine Station. As it is made of good quality ceramic it was probably used by First and Second Class passengers who were under quarantine.
The object is historically significant because it is associated with the North Head Quarantine Station and the people connected to it. The Station is the longest continually operating Quarantine Station in Australia and this plate is a part of its history. The plate demonstrates the quality of life experienced by the First and Second Class internees.
It is also historically significant because the plate is evidence of the class definitions that operated at the Station. From 1873 the Stations’ precinct boundaries reflected the class definitions that were present aboard passenger ships. This was also made obvious in the architectural design, furnishings, cutlery and crockery used on site. While the upper classes were using this plate the lower Third Class and Steerage classes would not have had access to it. This clearly demonstrates that the object is evidence of class definitions at the Station.
Aesthetically, the plate is significant because of its beauty and craftsmanship. The even spread of the yellow colour throughout the plate and the highly glazed finish make the object pleasing to the eye. The smooth finish of the plate’s surfaces and the detail of the scalloped edging show the degree of skill required to craft this plate.
This object is socially significant to the community of former employees, residents and internees of the Station. It is important to them because it is a reminder of the time they spent at the Station and the experiences they had or did not have whilst there.
The plate is representative of its type of design, the “Petal Ware” series made by W. H. Grindley & Co. It also maintains interpretive value as it gives information on the lifestyles of the people at the Quarantine Station and the class systems that operated there.



Maker Role


Place Made


Medium and Materials



1.7 x Ø 17cm

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Object number


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