Dinner plate, stoneware, made by Biltons Ltd, England, c.1965
This Biltons dinner plate is from a collection of plates designed between the 1950s and 1980s and collected by John Hinds (b1950), an artist based in Melbourne. Initially intended to form part of his multi-media artworks, these plates reflect Hinds' personal taste and interest in 'retro' tableware patterns of 'everyday' production lines popular in mid-century Australia. While the 1950s and 1960s were dominated by British imports from firms such as Broadhurst, Biltons, Wedgwood and Midwinter, it is the dishwasher-friendly Japanese stonewares, often in more dramatic darker colours from firms such as Mikasa, Casual Ceram and Suzukastone that rose to prominence during the 1970s and 1980s. These were supplemented by a limited range of usually more affordable local offerings from Johnson of Australia and from New Zealand's Crown Lynn, Kelston Ceramics and Genuine Ironstone. Hinds would often buy his plates from Melbourne's Camberwell Market but also from second hand shops and garage sales.
This is one of ten plates in the group made by Biltons of Stoke, Staffordshire, England. The firm was founded in 1901. From the 1950s it was a producer of mass-market tableware, and in the 1960s employed new decorating techniques, such as rubber-stamp machine printing and multi-colour machine printing.
Atterbury, P., Denker, EP., Batkin, M., 'Twentieth Century Ceramics', Miller's, Octopus Publishing Group Ltd, 1999, p 25
Eva Czernis-Ryl, with Roger Elliott and Marion Barker, 2012.