c1865 Victorian Royal Navy Blue & White Mess No 12 Plate


A mid-Victorian Royal Navy Mess Plate, in a blue printed flow blue design, with the crown emblem and Mess No. 12.

The soft paste soup plate has a design around the edge consisting of 3 side views of a young Queen Victoria’s bust in cartouches, in between a naval battle scene with sailors and trophies. The inner border is a circular chain. In the middle is MESS, the Victorian era crown and No. 12. The reverse has a maker’s mark with P & Co. within a scroll. Condition is good apart from a few nibbles to the edge.

Much but not all of the "Young Head" blue transfer decal pattern was produced for the Royal Navy by the Bovey Tracy Co Ltd. However, P & Co. would be Pountney & Co. of Bristol. A company also specialising in earthenwares. The cartouche is near identical to that of Bovey Tracy and the latter produced printed wares with the name of the retailer, who then sold the plates to the Royal Navy.
This type of plate was in use on the Royal Navy around 1865. At this time, one of the main draws to entering into military life was the guarantee of regular and substantial meals. This decorated plate would have been an everyday piece of tableware for the non-commissioned ranks. It is a celebration of Queen Victoria’s care of duty to her Navy.

Size: 25 x 3 cm (9 ¾ x 1 1/8 inches)
Weight: 496 g