Monday, August 5, 2013

Figure of the Day: Conquer or Die, 1830

Conquer or Die
Staffordshire, England
C. 1830
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This Staffordshire figure group of lead-glazed earthenware is adorned with enamel colors. The group of a man and a woman appear to be fighting over a pair of breeches. They stand in front of a fireplace with a large clock above. Plaques on either side of the seen read: “Conquer or Die” and “Who shall ware the breches (sic).”

This novelty piece refers to a familiar theme which was especially common in English and Dutch comic art as well as the theatre of the day…or, even, this day. 

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