Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Charles II dishes at Birmingham Museum




I just wanted to share these beautiful commemorative dishes I discovered on a recent visit to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, England. These tin-glazed earthenware (or delftware) pieces were created in celebration of Charles II's coronation in 1661, and would have been made at one of the main manufacturing sites in London or Bristol.  Typical of the time their decoration is fairly unrefined, the bottom dish in particular shows a very crude representation of Charles, however I think they have their own unique charm. The development of English pottery techniques and style is very apparent in the museum's pottery gallery, as you walk round the room you can see the items in each cabinet morphing into more refined and elaborate styles throughout the centuries. There is something very special about getting up close and personal with objects from the period you're researching, I highly recommend it. Birmingham is a lovely museum, definitely worth a look if you are ever in the area, it also holds items from the Staffordshire Hoard and a fantastic Pre-Raphaelite collection.

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(Photographs taken by me,  28 January 2013)

Copyright © 2013 Elaine Hunter

7 comments:

  1. These are a delight. I have a collection of Royal memorabilia and of course a book to show me all the ones that have not survived the test of time, so I was delighted to stumble across your blog with these pictures.

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    1. Thanks Julie glad you have enjoyed them.

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  2. Fantastic! I'll have to check these out next time I'm in Birmingham. (Great pictures, btw)

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    1. Thank you! they have a lovely collection it's worth a visit.

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  3. They're great! How do you feel about this object (seen at Bath Holburne's Museum, still can't make up my mind if it's if it's the epitome of kitsch or just cute). Close up shows that (someone who possibly is) Catherine's breasts are hanging out which seems mildly disrespectful. Are there any other instances of popular portraits of queens with breasts showing?

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    1. Oh my gosh, you've made my day! What an amazing object! I'd love to ssee it sometime. It's very detailed,perhaps her breasts were covered and that bit dropped off? I notice she has no hair, poor thing.

      I don't know of any portraits of queens with their breasts showing but it does bring to mind a 16thc portrait of Gabrielle d'Estrees and her sister. She wasn't a queen but she was the Duchess of Beaufort, Marchioness of Monceaux and King Henry IV of France's mistress: http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/gabrielle-destrees-and-one-her-sisters

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  4. That's what I remembered... mistresses with breasts showing. But you are right, there might be a bit of drapery of glass missing.

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