Saturday, October 5, 2013

To Serve and Project: The Minton Phoenix Dish, c. 1825

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Dish, c. 1825
Minton &  Co.
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Made at Minton’s Stoke-on-Trent factory, this porcelain plate is painted in enamel colors and adorned with fine gilding. Dating to about 1825, this oval plate features a high, shaped rim which frames the oval panel in the center which depicts flowering plants.

Two birds, based on Chinese paintings, adorn the plate. I’d guess they were meant to represent the phoenix. The sides come alive with panels of cloud ornament while the high rim is decorated with rosettes and a pattern of dots on a blue ground. Eight floral scenes punctuate the rim.

The 1820s, especially in England, saw a stylistic turn, a stylized nod to Asian themes, which found a comfortable spot in the home. Such Asian-inspired motifs adorned everything from porcelain to furnishings and offered an interesting counterpoint to the heavier, darker pieces which had long been in fashion. 

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