A loosely egg-shaped box, modelled in the form of a rosebud about to open, the top of which is hinged in a plain, circular, brass mount. Enamel on metal with the rose painted in deep pink tones, the calyx in shades of green and yellow.

Display Label

Gallery text panel Harold Raby Collection Harold Raby was charmed by English enamels finding them 'dainty and pretty, quaint and curious'. As a boy, he inherited a tiny, battered enamel box which inspired him to collect over 400 more items during the first half of the 20th century. These enamels were mainly made in Staffordshire and were fashionable from about 1750 to 1820. For Raby, they evoked a lost age of elegance and gave an insight into outmoded social customs. A local bank manager, Raby only had moderate means but he tried to buy examples of every type of object produced by the short-lived English enamel industry. He acquired boxes for face patches, snuff and tobacco, candlesticks, perfume bottles, tea caddies....... He even risked air raids to attend sales in London. Eventually, boxes outnumbered every other item and gave his collection an obsessive quality.

Object Name



object: 5cm

accession number


Place of creation

South Staffordshire


On Display

[G19] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 19 (Design Gallery)
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Harold Raby bequest


© Manchester Art Gallery

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