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A domestic potter made and decorated this "redware" platter in the second quarter of the 19th century. An earthenware platter like this might have been used to hold the meat that comprised such a large part of the American diet in this period. Redware was usually used in the kitchen and for other utilitarian purposes; by this time it was considered less desirable than transfer-printed earthenware imported from England. None of these products was so expensive or highly regarded as porcelain, which was made in China.