counter trays

counter trays


A set of counter or card trays in a loosely quatrefoil form with upright sides decorated with lattice-work perforations, comprising of a larger tray with a pair of almost identical smaller trays. All are painted in colours on a turquiose blue ground, the smaller trays each with a representation of a playing card with the knave of clubs in the centre and the larger one with a bank note, coins and playing cards; each are decorated around the sides with sprays of flowers and scrolls in dark blue.

Display Label

Social Ritual Afternoon tea, or dinner with friends and family, going out for a coffee, or having a drink in the pub are just a few of the social rituals enjoyed by many. Some rituals have survived through the centuries, or been adapted to suit our ever-changing society, whilst others have been lost in the mists of time. Different cultures have their own social rituals. Although sometimes seen as strange and exotic, they often inspire other countries to adopt them. Food, drink and the rituals associated with them, once new, expensive or for the elite, are now taken for granted and part of everyday life. The objects on display reflect some of those rituals; where they came from and how they have changed, those that have survived and those that were lost. They each tell a story about a time and a place, the people from the past and society today.

Object Name

counter trays


smaller trays: 2.8cm x 8.3cm
larger tray: 3.4cm x 13.5cm

accession number


Place of creation

South Staffordshire



Harold Raby bequest


© Manchester Art Gallery

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