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"Illinois" Plate

A work made of hard paste porcelain.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of hard paste porcelain.


c. 1878/89


Decorated by Joseph S. Potter
American, 1822–1904

About this artwork

Joseph S. Potter served as a diplomat and United States Consul in Germany, where he embraced the hobby of china painting after he noticed women in the consulate taking lessons and later visited the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. Potter painted a series of “states” plates, including this Illinois plate, which is decorated in polychromatic minerals, gold, and silver. Inside the gold, filigree-patterned cartouche, “Illinois” is depicted as a bald eagle against rays of sunshine, with the state motto, “State Sovereignty, National Union.” In the late 19th century, when such pieces were at the height of their popularity, these plates would have been displayed in china cabinets, alongside other ceramics.


On View, Gallery 176


Arts of the Americas


Joseph Potter


"Illinois" Plate


United States (Object made in)


c. 1878–1889


Hard paste porcelain


Diam. 21.3 cm (8 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Harry Root

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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