The bird becomes central – Aesthetic Movement plate, 1880

I am collecting a nice line of dinner plates… so keep watching this space. My first today is a beautiful Aesthetic Movement plate from Powell, Bishop & Stonier, 1880, with a bird eating mosquitos in full flight. While during the 19th Century pottery artists had become experts at painting beautiful birds and flowers, often studying books at night by candle light, these were passive objects of beauty. The Aesthetic Movement was a rebellion against Victorian design that had become over-stylised, meant to impress rather than to depict. Birds and flowers became actors who eat, nest and love just like humans. This bird is very busy indeed, eating a meal of mosquitos at a Mediterranean coast (as tourism to the south had just become fashionable). You can find the listing here in my Antiques shop.

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