|Molded Stoneware, Basalt & Parian|
Elijah Mayer commemorates Nelson's victory at the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar with this neocl...
Elijah Mayer commemorates Nelson's victory at the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar with this neoclaslassical creamer. The somewhat austere design and the use of basalt with its solemn color and suggestion of bronze lend a sense of gravity appropriate in a memorial to the naval hero fallen in battle. The principal ornamental elements of the "London" shape creamer are a Greek key band and two memorial medallions--appropriately shell shaped.
On one ribbed shell panel, Fate and Britannia flank an obelisk inscribed "Pro Patria." Stylus in hand, Fate inscribes a shield shaped plaque with "Nelson" and the date of the battle. On the reverse medallion, traditional war trophies--canon, shield and crossed arms--are arranged beneath a banner inscribed "Trafalgar." Flanking this group is a pyramid and crocodile representing the Battle of the Nile, balanced by stone battlements on the right.
Rather a lot of symbolism and national sentiment contained in a relatively diminutive object!
|Dimensions:||Length 4 1/2 in.; width 2 5/8 in.; height 3 in.|
|Condition:||Fine, slight molding flaw on outside rim of nose.
In her work on basalt, Diana Edwards notes that there are two versions of this pattern, id...
In her work on basalt, Diana Edwards notes that there are two versions of this pattern, identical except for the left-right orientation of the Greek key border. This well-observed clue enables us to identify this example as Mayer, rather than the alternative maker Moseley (Black Basalt, Wedgwood and Contemporary Manufacturers; pp. 199, 204).
One hesitates to find humor in so serious a piece, but close observation will reveal amusing simplifications of Britannia's lion (a face with electrified mane) and the Egyptian crocodile (which resembles a letter opener.)