Served up on a Staffordshire Platter: The Four Courts, c.1820

A blue transfer-printed Staffordshire china platter, with a central scene depicting the Four Courts, c.1820.

Perhaps originally part of some barrister’s dining set? Now in New England.

Some details below (zoom in closer here).

(1) A very early view of Morgan Place at the side of the courts.

(2) White-trousered gentlemen, possibly sailors? The couple should keep an eye on that dog – pets were regularly stolen on the quays.

(3) The very new Richmond Bridge in the distance. Track its evolution here and here.

The foliage in the foreground, which might seem fantastical today, may have been the ‘very fine trees’ on Usher’s Quay shown peeping out from behind the bridge in this image from c. 1800.

The area of the Four Courts was originally sylvan, there were nurseries and greenhouses on the quays as late as 1789 and Irwin’s Dublin Guide of 1853 describes nearby Blackhall-Street as being a location in Dublin where figs and grapes attain a tolerable size and maturity, and a few vines and fig-trees may yet be seen trained against some of the houses.’

Time to bring back horticulture to Dublin 7?

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