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Flowers are timeless

In the 19th Century British porcelain factories, the decorators did usually not get a fixed wage but were paid per piece, so when trade was low their income would suffer. One way to make some extra money was to paint porcelain plaques, which they would fire in the factory kiln, get framed and sell privately. There are quite a few of these plaques around and because they were made "off the books" and were therefore mostly unrecorded and unmarked, it is notoriously difficult to identify who made them.

For instance, many were made at Coalport, which worked with many talented flower painters in a hugely fluctuating market. The painter Thomas Steele, whom I have been writing about several times, made them at the many factories he worked at; and the famous painter John Creswell made some beautiful ones at Rockingham. Steele's plaques can be easily identified because of his style and quality, as are Creswell's. But many other plaques are impossible to trace back.

At the moment I have one beautiful plaque in stock, in a nice Italianate frame and with a beautiful Italian marbled back. It is painted in the style of Creswell's Rockingham plaques, but it is signed "C Brown". I have researched this name but could not find anything; it could have been any decorator at any factory; not someone we know about.

The plaque, however, is beautiful. The flowers are generous, imaginative and finely painted. It may not be Steele's or Creswell's standard, but it is a very attractive item. And have you spotted the ladybird? 🐞

The beautiful thing about these plaques is that because of the firing process, which means each colour got its own firing and the colour scheme therefore was built up gradually in many layers, the final result has a depth of colour that can't be achieved with oil paint on canvas. It gives particularly flowers a vibrancy that we see in real life when we look at a flower; the way flowers scream out at us in joy can't really be captured in pictures or on a canvas.

Below, I put this plaque in a modern interior to show how these traditional designs are really timeless and will fit anywhere: flowers are timeless after all!

Where to find things

You can find this plaque and many other decorative items here, and all my available stock here. If you always want to see the latest additions, follow me on Instagram... I post pictures and a story several times a week.

Happy weekend, and get out and enjoy the spring flowers! 🌸🌼🌹


This week's new treasures:​



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