This very impressive large charger or plaque has a central roundel which is the work of Samuel Bateman, a painter connected to Wedgwood but about whose work with them little is known. As far as we are aware, the only other surviving Bateman work with a Wedgwood connection consists of single painted plaques. It is usually considered that Bateman worked in his studio on Wedgwood blanks, but this charger, which clearly has been fired at Wedgwood, may question that assumption, and is therefore rare and unusual.
Bateman worked mainly in oils. The technique on the roundel is impasto or barbotine i.e. painting using coloured clay slips which is then fired in a clear glaze. This allows painters who generaly use oils to employ a similar technique on ceramic items. At the time this plaque was created, some major art pottery makers were experimenting with barbotine, not least the Haviland Atelier d'Auteuil workshop in Paris which drew painters including the French impressionists. This plaque may be a response to that work and could even have been created for show at the Paris Exposition of 1889.
The impasto scene shows boats off the coast, with two figures paddling, on a blustery day. It is signed lower right with Bateman's monogram.
The border of the plaque is in the style Wedgwood called auro basalt, which usually (possibly invariably apart from this piece) is used on black basalt ware. Here is is on a creamware base.
On the base is a printed mark, Wedgwood impressed mark and also the date code PSP (for 1887). There is the remains of a collector's label. There is a little damage to the footrim at one of the hanging points.
The charger is 41 cm in diameter and apart from the damage mention above is in fine condition.