Bread plate; Grindley; QS2008.16.1-3


Sydney Quarantine Station Moveable Heritage Collection


Bread plate

About this object

This plate was made in England by W. H. Grindley & Co. 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 under quarantine.
The object has historical significance because of its association 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 part of this history. The plate being of a good make indicates that the way of life experienced by the upper classes while at the Station was of high quality.
When compared to the materials received by the lower classes, this plate is historically significant because it demonstrates the class definitions that operated at the Station. From 1873 the Stations’ precinct boundaries were reflective of the class definitions that were present aboard passenger ships. These were also reflected in the architectural design, furnishing, cutlery and crockery in use at the Station. Third Class and Steerage were given basic enamel wares for their meal times showing that a substantially lower quality of life was experienced by the passengers of the lower classes.
Aesthetically, the plate is significant because of its beauty and craftsmanship. The even spread of the yellow colouring and the use of a highly glazed finish make the piece appealing to the eye. The smoothness of the ceramic surface and the detail of the scalloped edging show a high degree of skill and craftsmanship was involved in the plates manufacture.
The plate has social significance to the community of former employees, resident 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 whilst there.
The plate is representative of its type of design, the “Petal Ware” range made by W. H. Grindley & Co. It holds interpretive value as it gives information on the lifestyle of internees of the Station and gives insight into the class system which was in place.



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Place Made


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1.7 x Ø 17cm

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