Frolicking birds - 1880s
The Aesthetic Movement was a rebellion against overly-stylised Victorian opulence. It was influenced by Japanese art, which brought the radical idea that art should be beautiful for its own sake, not just to glorify its owner. In the 1880s, a new movement started that turned the focus around; birds and flowers were not passive objects of artful showmanship, but they became the actors through which we can see the world. They live, work, eat, make love, and play just like we do.
These birds are very busy indeed! Two blue tits (the most ordinary countryside birds you can think of) are frolicking around in beautiful gilt foliage. They have been relief moulded, making them even more alive.
I don't know who made this plate as I could not decipher the impressed mark on the back, but it was done with extraordinary skill. You can find the listing here in my shop.