I believed M W to be Mary Wilkinson, because Whitehaven Pottery produced Asiatic Pheasants under her husband John and pieces were marked with the typical floral cartouche and I W, so a change to M W, could be considered likely. However, I have no firm evidence, but I have not been able to find another firm that might have used M W. There are a couple of M W & Co, both of which are recorded using the initials, but including the & Co. as well.
Asiatic Pheasants, whilst one standard pattern in theory, does have a number of variants in practice. The most obvious variations are whether one or two pheasants are present and if the butterfly is present. Then the positions of the pheasant(s) and butterfly in relation to the floral centre vary considerably. Looking at the Whitehaven version of Asiatic Pheasants illustrated in Florence Sibson's book it is a quite distinct variant and is not the same as the platter illustrated as part of this posting, which would suggest this platter is NOT by the Whitehaven Pottery. So perhaps that leaves us still looking for the true identitiy of M W?
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