Pilkington's Tiles Group Plc


Pilkington's Tiles Group Plc


Ovoid vase with flared neck, white earthenware, decorated with fish swimming amongst weeds, in silver and copper lustre over a streaked purple glaze, on tall flared footring, tapering in to neck with wide flared rim. Decorated in a streaked and feathery dark blue and lilac glaze, streaky lilac patches on sides, thinner streaks round base. Painted round belly with five fishes, in silver lustre with copper lustre eyes and fins, swimming nose to tail through twelve tall sinuous weeds. Weeds congregate in leafy fronds at neck. Pebbled river bed painted in silver and copper round bottom of vase by footring, small copper lustre bubbles rising upwards. Footring decorated with band of alternating silver and copper wavy lines. Upper surface of neck rim plain silver lustre.

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



Whole: 22.3cm

accession number


Place of creation

Clifton Junction



Presented by Mr Edward A Eason


© Manchester Art Gallery

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