ginger jar and cover

Pilkington's Tiles Group Plc

ginger jar and cover

Pilkington's Tiles Group Plc


Ginger jar and cover with modelled fish finial, white earthenware, painted with fish and swirling water in silver and copper lustre on a curdled mauve glaze. Thrown globular jar with short, straight neck, flattened domed lid with large modelled finial of a fish curving round on itself. Body slip-modelled in low relief with fifteen large fish, fourteen in overlapping pairs, one single, the whole then decorated with a curdled mauve glaze. Lower fish of each pair painted over the glaze in reduction-fired copper red, uppermost fish and single fish in slightly higher relief painted in bright silver lustre. Irregular wavy lines and small spiral motifs in copper red around fish indicate movement of water, plain silver lustre band round bottom of jar. Lid decorated with watery cobalt blue glaze on upper surface with small copper red spirals at intervals, modelled fish finial painted in silver lustre. Sides of lid painted with pattern of thick silver spirals on copper red. Greyish blue cobalt glaze inside.

Display Label

Gallery text panel In Pursuit of Beauty Late Victorian Art and Design Improving the quality of British art and design had been a concern since the 1850s. The British Empire had expanded into new continents but it was the classical ideal of beauty, based on Ancient Greek and Roman culture that was still considered the model for serious art. The pursuit of beauty was a form of escapism from the mass-production of industrial Britain. As well as looking to the ancient world, artists and designers were delighted and inspired by the arts of Renaissance Italy, the Middle and Far East. Many of the paintings here feature a beautiful woman. Sometimes she is a passive, decorative form, but often she is a dark and brooding femme fatale, a symbol of seduction, deception and destruction. The 'fatal woman' may reflect late Victorian male fears as women campaigned for equal rights and new roles. The emphasis on colour, harmony and rhythm and simplifying the form of an object would become major concerns in the 20th century. They can be seen emerging here in the work of late Victorian artists and designers.

Object Name

ginger jar and cover

Date Created



Without lid: 21.2cm
With lid: 26.1cm

accession number


Place of creation

Clifton Junction



Presented by Mr Edward A Eason


© Manchester Art Gallery

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