|Molded Stoneware, Basalt & Parian|
Though the semi-nude female figures borne upon ocean waves might immediately suggest the b...
Though the semi-nude female figures borne upon ocean waves might immediately suggest the birth of the goddess Venus, Meigh's jug instead depicts a lesser known female diety, Amphitrite, wife of Neptune. Secondary status aside, she rises in great triumph surrounded by symbols from the high seas--mermaids, tritons, dolphins, sea shells--as well as bullrushes from the realm of rivers. It seems in fact that Meigh tried to cram in as many aquatic devices as possible including water birds and a mythical face (Neptune himself?) beneath the handle. The bright blue ground is subtly scored in parallel lines--vertical above the hip and squiggly horizontals below--adding one more level of consummate modelling.
Perhaps Meigh's most virtuosic achievement, however, is the incorporation of all these elements into a harmonious whole.
|Mark:||Registry Pad Mark|
|Date:||Registered June 13, 1856|
|Dimensions:||Height 7 1/2 in.; width 5 in.; diameter at hip 4 1/4 in.|
R. K. Henrywood notes Meigh's personal reputation in the Midlands as a connoisseur and col...
R. K. Henrywood notes Meigh's personal reputation in the Midlands as a connoisseur and collector of the fine arts. The influence of Botticelli's Birth of Venus on the "Amphitrite" jug is fairly apparent. Just as influential would have been mythological fantasies -- triumphs of gods and goddesses -- from the baroque and rococo periods.
Henrywood also notes that "Amphitrite" was the last jug design registered by Meigh. Whether or not it was actually his final jug, it stands as a worthy climax to an ambitious body of ceramic works. (Henrywood. Relief-Moulded Jugs 1820-1900 (pp.108,117).