Sunday, June 01, 2008


These handpainted Bisto plates are beautiful examples of Victorian landscape painting on pottery/porcelain. Apologies for the terrible glare of camera flash, they weren't the easiest things to photograph.
This is one of my recent aquisitions, a coffee pot with milk jug and sugar bowl (sadly no cups and saucers). This set nicely answers one of the questions that Fergus Gambon posed when I met him at the Antiques Roadshow - he asked if I knew whether the company ever did any handpainted work? The reason for asking was that the piece I brought to him for appraisal was most likely bought as a blank and then decorated at home. He wasn't sure if the company themselves ever did handpainted pieces. Well, the evidence above not only shows that they did indeed employ artists to handpaint some wares, but by George, weren't they a talented bunch as well!? Ok, Ok, so it's not on the same level as the best artists at Mintons or Worcester, but I would say that they were pretty skilful. Landscapes seem to have been a popular theme at this time (around the mid 1880s - 90s) and there was a tendancy to romanticise such scenes - some might even suggest that Victorian landscape artists were Chocolate box artists because the images now appear extremely sentimental and sickeningly idyllic. Commonly, Scottish highland and Devonshire moorland views abound.
This cup and saucer, although marked with the wand of caduceus, i think were bought as a blank and handpainted at home by a talented amateur art enthusiast. Their monogram is painted on the underside.

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Sometimes, life doesn't turn out the way you expected. And sometimes, it is exactly as it was 'meant' to be. But whilst i'm not a believer in fate or fatalism, I do believe that life is a both a learning experience and an obstacle course to be climbed and clambered over in the most creative way possible! In doing so, you'll get to where you should be even if it's not where you'd imagined.