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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Birmingham Treasures

Mrs Elton (Emma) famously said that she thought 'there is
something direful in the sound' of Birmingham, but if you explore Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, you'll discover some wonderful treasures from the world of Jane Austen's England

Much of the stained glass in Britain's churches is of Victorian date, some of which is splendid, but some is of rather dubious taste. Apparently many Georgian-era stained glass windows were removed by Gothic revivalists, but the museum holds some extremely rare survivals.
These two windows, 'Charity' and 'Justice', date about 1816, were painted by William Eginton, and I think they are really beautiful.

Birmingham toys.  

Wine glass.
Birmingham was famous for its 'toys' or trinkets, and Matthew Boulton began his early career as a 'toy'-maker.This little 'taperstick' would have held a candle; the fish was a spicebox or vinaigrette. 
This wine glass (right) is hand-blown, and typical of the period. 
And what Georgian home would be complete without some beautiful china?
This is a Meissen coffee-cup and tea-cup from the 1750s (too early, I know for Jane Austen, but they are really pretty. Maybe Mr Woodhouse had an old set for when his friends and neighbours came for tea). 
Meissen ware.

This vase (right) is a copy of the famous Portland vase, and is one of the masterpieces which made Josiah Wedgwood famous.

 Last, but not least, we have some Birmingham-made pearl and metal buttons, dated 1780-1820s, and another product which the city was famous for.

1 comment:

  1. I remember when, I was about 14 (I think) going on a school trip to the Wedgewood factory and Museum near Stoke. I was at school in Shropshire in those days.That is a long long time ago.Very nice pictures Sue.