|Aesthetic, Arts & Crafts|
This Minton pilgrim flask vase, with enamel decoration by Emily Earle neatly illustrates s...
This Minton pilgrim flask vase, with enamel decoration by Emily Earle neatly illustrates several of the important trends in ornamentation characteristic of the final decades of the nineteenth century.
Most obvious is the influence of Japanese art--apparent in the naturalism of the spray of peonies and bamboo foliage on one side of the vase and the meditative simplicity of the spare bamboo sprig and butterfly vignette on the reverse. The choice of materials to portray, peonies and bamboo, themselves signal the presence of what the French would call une japoniste. The strong black outlines and simplified shading also indicate the work of one versed in the preferred ornamental drawing styles of the time.
In addition the simple borders at the neck, sides, and vase clearly derive from the geometric sources advocated by design theorists since Owen Jones earlier in the century.
Design theory, however, is never allowed to supersede aesthetics in this harmonious, strikingly colored piece.
|Mark:||Impressed Minton marks and painted script signature|
|Date:||Minton date mark for 1879; artist signature dated 1890|
|Dimensions:||Height 8 1/2 in, width 3 1/4 in., flat side width 6 1/4 in.|
|Condition:||Very minor typical enamel loss
According to The Dictionary of Minton (Atterbury and Batkin, p.162) flat sided pilgrim fla...
According to The Dictionary of Minton (Atterbury and Batkin, p.162) flat sided pilgrim flasks began appearing in Minton's production around 1870 and were strongly associated with the Art Pottery Studio operated by Minton in the first half of that decade. The reason is obvious, Few shapes better accommodate the work of the artist/decorator, eliminating all those troublesome swelling sides and curves.
Emily Earle is not included in lists of Minton decorators and could well be one of the many talented amateurs or decorating club members who secured blank ceramic wares on which to exercise their talents and show their advanced tastes. There were plenty of instructive periodicals available offering advice on the latest trends.
The apparently disjunct dates--1879 for ceramic production and 1890 for decoration--may argue for decoration outside the factory. We like to think that perhaps Emily was the sort of procrastinator that many of us are with an envisioned project on a back shelf. "Someday I must get around to painting that pilgrim flask..."