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GREENAWAY, Kate, & Walter Crane.

Six Minton porcelain nursery rhyme menu tiles.

Stoke on Trent: Minton, 1879 Stock Code: 138252
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"Girls and boys come out to play"

Charming set of six menu tiles with a nursery rhyme theme, the unglazed portion allowing for a bill of fare to be written on in pencil and erased, much like the memorandum pages in a pocket book. The decoration has been applied entirely by hand in sepia ink, with the lightest of touches to very sprightly effect. Two tiles are decorated with illustrations from Walter Crane's The Baby's Opera (1876), two others with images from Greenaway's Under the Window (1878); the remaining pair bring together a slightly odd combination of imagery largely on a hunting theme, one with a scene reminiscent of the story of careless bespectacled Wild Huntsman from Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter, others bringing to mind Randolph Caldecott's work. We have been unable to trace other examples of this series, the oddness of the registration stamp, the fact that they are entirely hand-painted suggests that they perhaps may be prototypes. A delightful and unusual survival, presenting the work of the most influential children's illustrators of the era in an entirely sympathetic setting.

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Each tile 145 x 105 mm, plain white porcelain with faintly impressed ridged panel enclosing nursery rhyme designs hand-inked in sepia to the top and left-hand side and a blank bisque, unglazed rectangle to be written on, all have Minton's mark verso together with the date stamp 1878, an indistinct Minton mark for 1879, and British Patent Office diamond/lozenge mark with somewhat confusing date lettering, but appearing to indicate 1873. Each tile protected in a modern white felt pouch, housed in a brown cloth drop-back box with red morocco label.


One of the Greenaway tiles with a small piece at the top right-hand corner broken off and professionally reattached, the repair now slightly yellowed, but overall very good indeed.


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