Pilkington's Tiles Group Plc


Pilkington's Tiles Group Plc


Ovoid cylindrical vase, white earthenware, decorated with cypress trees and dancing classical figures holding flaming lamps, in silver lustre and copper red on an orange-red glaze. Tapered to flat foot and curving in to short flared neck. Painted silver lustre pattern round waist of procession of four classical figures, two male, two female, in robes and hats, dancing with arms outspread and holding onto flaming lamps between them joined by long looped chains. Between each figure, underneath each outheld lamp, a stylised tall cypress tree in silver lustre. Orange-red base glaze has fired a clouded pink in places from the lustre. Wide borders of diagonal stripes in copper red and lustre on shoulder and above base. Base border also has wavy lustre tails inside each copper red stripe.

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


Date Created

1909 (date of throwing)


Whole: 26.4cm

accession number

1920.143 A

Place of creation

Clifton Junction



Presented by Mr Edward A Eason

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