Pair of plates
Retailed by Howell & James (1819-1911)
Painted earthenware, in original ebonized frames
34.9 x 34.3 cm
English, circa 1878
Joan Maria Hansen, ‘Howell & James of London: Retailing the Aesthetic Movement’, The Decorative Arts Society Journal, 34 (2010), pp. 20-41, figs. 22-24.
Hansen, op. cit., p. 34, identifies the second figure as Ophelia; the first is inscribed ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ and is signed ‘WWQ’. At the Paris Exposition Universelle, 1878, ‘A prize Medal was awarded by the International Jury to Messrs Howell & James in recognition of their successful efforts in developing the Art of Ceramic Painting, and in originating a movement that has already done much to supply a greatly needed employment to cultivated women’ (Hansen, loc. cit.).
There are two further, closely related plaques in a private collection: one representing Ophelia and the second Cordelia. This second pair has more characteristically ‘Victorian’ gilt wood frames.