Of Portraits, Porcelain, and Places
Glimpses of Maria Rogers' Life Beyond her Letters
Bedford Historical Society
Formal meals in the nineteenth century commonly began with soup served from a finely made tureen to add elegance to the first course. Maria Roger's tureen, stamped "Wm. R. & Co. Albion," indicates the manufacturer was William Ridgeway and Company of England and pattern as "Albion."

The dish is an example of early nineteenth century transferware, an English middle class china which mimicked the glossy whiteness, translucency, and hand painted patterns of more expensive porcelain imported from the Far East. The piece dates to the 1830s.
China painted with cobalt blue designs was a popular style for dishware throughout the nineteenth century, influenced by patterns from the Netherlands and Far East.
Maria probably obtained the china around the time of her marriage to Joseph Ambler in 1827, hence the museum's collection colloquial, " Maria's wedding china." The phrase also refers to the nineteenth century practice of young brides receiving or purchasing formal china to prepare the women for new homemaking roles and social obligations.