An Ode to Fruit
While the world has been fighting a bug, I am fighting off my own passing cold with lots and lots of fruit. Which is a nice coincidence with my latest finds...
Recently I came across several Coalport plates painted by Jabey Aston, one of Coalport's most celebrated painters. Aston worked for Coalport his whole adult life and he specialised in fruits, turning out huge numbers of wonderful pieces. These paintings are pieces of art in their own right - but thy are often put onto dessert plates, vases and other items of the most unbelievable quality, so I thought to show you a few!
It also made me contemplate the value of fruit, something we often take for granted. We now consider it normal to have whatever fruit we like at whatever time of year. I've been eating locally-grown blueberries all winter, something that was unthinkable even 20 years ago.
But not so very long ago you had to wait for the right season, and in the 19th Century fruits were incredibly expensive unless you lived in the countryside and had your own garden. So fruits were an expression of luxury, and a very desired food. I can't even think of how unhealthy city people must have been, given that they had so little access to the fruits and vegetables that are completely commonplace now. And, thinking about our recent fear of a super-virus spreading, people must have lived through this fear on a regular basis in those days, without the comforting presence of healthy fruit and vegetable to fight off the bugs.
If you hosted a lavish dinner, then, the dessert did not consist of the cakes or ice cream we now think of as dessert, but just fruits were enough of an exciting luxury. They would be served fresh, chilled in ice and cooked in the form of trifles or compotes, and this is also why many dessert services are painted with beautiful fruits.
Jabey Aston, as I explained in a previous post this week, became one of the expert painters of fruits, devoting his life to improving his skill and training many other porcelain painters. And you can see in the pictures here what an amazing artist he was... one of the very best ever. So, honouring the great fruit painting genius of 150 years ago, here's my ode to fruit 🍇🍑🌿
I have several Jabey Aston fruit plates from about 1870 here in my shop (and you can see all my plates, many of which are made by Coalport). And if you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story every single day 🌺🍃🌸
Enjoy your weekend!
This week's new treasures:
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