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Curiouser and Curiouser: The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill

Chapter 4

It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again and looking about anxiously, as if it had lost something; it was muttering “The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She’ll have me executed! Where CAN I have dropped them, I wonder?”

Alice guessed in a moment that it was looking for the fan and the pair of white kid gloves, and began hunting about for them, but they were nowhere to be seen. Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice and called out to her in an angry tone “Why, Mary Ann, what ARE you doing out here? Run this moment and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan! Quick, now!”

Alice was so shocked that she ran off at once in the direction it pointed to. After a few minutes she came to another room, this time it was filled with fans, pocket watches, and gloves of all varieties. “How queer it seems,” Alice said to herself, “to be running errands for a rabbit! I suppose Dinah’ll be sending me on messages next!”. Alice scooped up a pair of gloves and a fan and was about to leave when she noticed a bottle. She was thirsty from all the running! There was no label, just the words `DRINK ME,’ but nevertheless she uncorked it and put it to her lips. “I know SOMETHING interesting is sure to happen” she said to herself.

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And it did, much sooner than she had expected: before she had drunk half the bottle, she found herself becoming so tall she almost touched the roof. Alice could see lots of tiny rooms filled with all kinds of exquisite things, before she could begin inspecting any one room in detail, she heard a voice.

“Mary Ann! Mary Ann!” said the voice. “Fetch me my gloves this moment!” the rabbit came bounding round the corner and stopped in front of the now gigantic Alice. He staggered back and yelled “Pat! Pat! Where are you?” And then a voice she had never heard before, “Sure then I’m here!” and Pat skidded round another corner into the room and ran to join the rabbit. They were discussing the best way to get Alice down, for her head was now tilted to the side so she would not bump it on the ceiling and her arm had gone through a window-pane upstairs and her foot was stuck in a foyer doorway. “I wonder what they’ll do! I don’t want to stay like this any longer!”.

Her question was answered when she felt something touch her foot, Alice was ticklish. She squirmed and felt her foot loosen, the thing touched her foot again and she was able to squirm just enough to pull it out. When she drew back her foot a lizard stepped into the foyer, Alice had not expected this and jumped with such force that she kicked Bill up the stairs. 



As Bill tumbled back down, Alice remembered the bottle in her pocket, maybe this one would make her small again! It began to work almost immediately, and Alice summoned all her effort to get into a room on the top floor before she was stranded downstairs. Finally, back to normal size she looked behind her at the bottom floor where the rabbit and Pat were surrounding the poor little Lizard, Bill.

They started to yell at Alice, shocked she backed away, turning to see the room behind her. It was then she realized that she was still shrinking, when she had finally stopped the room was like a jungle with all the animals and scenery that spanned the space. There was a large mushroom growing near her, about the same height as herself; and when she had looked under it, and on both sides of it, and behind it, it occurred to her that she might as well look and see what was on the top of it. She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.


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Chapter 4 Featured Objects:

Lizard

One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This of course, Alice could not stand, and she went round the court and got behind him, and very soon found an opportunity of taking it away. She did it so quickly that the poor little juror (it was Bill, the Lizard) could not make out at all what had become of it; so, after hunting all about for it, he was obliged to write with one finger for the rest of the day; and this was of very little use, as it left no mark on the slate.

Between being kicked out of a chimney and having his squeaky pencil nabbed, poor Bill doesn’t have a very good time during Alice’s visit to Wonderland.

The lizard on display here is an exotic species – the Asian Water Monitor can be found across south east Asia, from India to Indonesia. Ours is an average size, but they can occasionally grow to around 2m in length. They mostly inhabit wetlands, swamps and mangroves, but have also adapted to the presence of humans and have been found in canals and abandoned mining pits. 

Though not a threatened species globally, it is protected under conservation laws in many countries, which should hopefully discourage people from kicking them up chimneys.

Bottle

One of the most well-known of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland is the encounter with the ‘Drink Me’ bottle. Finding herself too big for a small doorway, Alice drinks the potion and shrinks to the perfect size to enter. But not before she thoroughly inspects the bottle:

It was all very well to say `Drink me,’ but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. `No, I’ll look first,’ she said, `and see whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things … if you drink much from a bottle marked `poison,’ it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

However, this bottle was not marked `poison,’ so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.

Eagled-eyed visitors might recognise this distinctive bottle, with its heart-shaped stopper, as it is usually on display in the Chemists Shop in our Local History gallery. It was probably intended to hold perfumes, or similar products, made by local chemists and pharmacists.

Chapter 4 Blogs, games and activities:

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Caucus-Race

Chapter 3

“But what IS a Caucus-race, exactly?” asked Alice.

“Well, I think the best way to explain what a Caucus-race is, is to have a Caucus-race!” said the Dodo, already marking out a racecourse in a sort of circle. “The exact shape doesn’t matter,” it said as all the other creatures were placed here and there along the course. There was no: ‘ready, set, go!’. Instead, they ran whenever they liked, and left off when they liked, so it was not very easy to know when the race was over.

However, after running for half an hour or so, when everyone was dry again, the Dodo called out: “The race is over!” and all the creatures crowded around it, panting and asking: “But who has won?”
The Dodo could not answer this question without a great deal of thought. It sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead, while the rest waited in silence.
“EVERYBODY has won!” at last the dodo said, “and all must have prizes!”

Prizes?! All Alice could think to do was put a hand into her pocket, pull out a box of comfits, and began handing them out. There was one each for everyone, except for Alice herself.

“But she must have a prize herself, you know!” said the Mouse.

“Of course,” the Dodo replied, very gravely indeed. “What else have you got in your pocket?”
Only a thimble,” said Alice, sadly.
“Hand it to me,” said the Dodo. They all crowded around her once more, while the Dodo presented the thimble. “We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble.”

Alice thought the whole thing to be very absurd; and being unable to conjure any words, she simply bowed and took the thimble. The next thing was to eat the comfits. This caused some noise and confusion, with the large birds complaining that they could not taste theirs, while the small ones choked and had to be patted on the back. However, once it was over at long last, they all sat down again in a ring, begging the Mouse to tell them something more…

“You promised to tell me your history,” Alice enquired, “you know, why it is you hate C and D?”

The mouse, clearing his throat, began to talk of all sorts of non-sensical things. Alice soon found her thoughts drifting away, thinking instead of Dinah, which lead her to say aloud, to nobody in particular: “I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!”

“And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?” said the Lory.
“Dinah’s our cat!” Alice replied eagerly, excited to talk about her pet. “And she’s so good at catching mice you can’t think! And oh, if you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!”

Alice’s words caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once. The old Magpie began wrapping itself up, while a Canary pulled its children away to bed. One after another the creatures left and Alice was alone. Here she began to cry again, for she felt very lonely and low-spirited. After a while, however, she heard a familiar pattering of footsteps in the distance. Eagerly, she looked up…


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Chapter 3 Featured Objects:

Canary

When Alice cries a large pool of tears, she falls into the water along with birds, and other animals. Alice leads them to shore but soon upsets the party by fondly recalling the activities of her family cat.

Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice you can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!

This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once … a Canary called out in a trembling voice to its children, “Come away, my dears! It’s high time you were all in bed!” On various pretexts they all moved off, and Alice was soon left alone.

The real danger to the canaries used in this cage came not from cats, but from dangerous underground gases. Before electronic sensors where introduced, miners would carry a canary in a small cage. The birds were particularly sensitive to toxic gases such as carbon monoxide which is colourless, odourless and tasteless. Any sign of distress from the canary was a clear sign that the conditions were unsafe and that miners should be evacuated.

Chapter 3 Blogs, games and activities:

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Pool of Tears

Chapter 2

Walking down the hall, led by even more paintings, Alice began to feel hungry. She reached into her pocket, ignoring the signs of ‘NO FOOD OR DRINK’ scattered along the walls, and hastily stuffed the small cake into her mouth. After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance and turned to see what was coming. It was the White Rabbit, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in one hand and a large fan in the other, muttering under his breath as he went. “Oh! The Duchess, the Duchess! Oh! Won’t she be savage if I’ve kept her waiting!”

When the Rabbit came near enough, Alice decided to ask for his help. “If you please, sir–” The Rabbit jumped violently, dropped the gloves and the fan, and scurried away into the darkness as hard as he could go.

Alice took up the fan and gloves, the former of which came in very handy, as the hall was very hot, so she kept fanning herself. It was very rude of the Rabbit to run away! Before she could continue her train of thought, Alice realised the walls were starting to become smaller. Looking down, she also noticed that the fan in her hand was becoming smaller too. Or maybe she was getting bigger? The thought of which upset her. Dinah would never let her pick her up like this! Alice began to cry, not noticing the pool of tears forming around her feet – nor did Alice notice that with every tear shed, she was beginning to get smaller and smaller, until all at once, she was small enough to be swept up by the river of tears and carried down the hall.

 A little further downstream, Alice was trying to gain an idea of where she was, only to spot a mouse. Alice called out to him: “Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here.” Alice thought perhaps he was a French mouse, though the only phrase she knew in french was “ou est ma chatte?” the mouse leapt out of the water with fright and Alice realised her mistake as he took off swimming.

“Mouse, dear! Come back! And we won’t talk about cats nor dogs if you don’t like them!”

The mouse thought for a second and replied, “Let us get to the shore, and then I’ll tell you my history, and you’ll understand why I hate cats and dogs.”

Along the way, they gathered many other animals that had been caught in the stream of Alice’s tears. There was a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other creatures.

“Curiouser and curiouser!” exclaimed Alice as they all climbed out of the river. The Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called out:

“Sit down, all of you, and listen to me!”

They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mouse in the middle. But everybody was awfully wet and not at all ready for a story. It was decided they would have a Caucus race to get themselves dry.


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Chapter 2 Featured Objects:

Folding Fan
1880-1900
J. Duvelleroy, London
white satin with wooden sticks

The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white kid gloves and the fan, and skurried away into the darkness as hard as he could go. Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking: `Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day!

The history of the fan stretches back at least 3,000 years. The folding type of fan dropped by the White Rabbit was originally developed in China and Japan. From the 17th century onwards, folding fans were exported in large numbers to Europe, where they became an important fashion accessory. Often highly decorative and made of silk, lace, feathers or wood, fans followed the fashion trends of the day. Painting and decorating your own fan was very popular in the late 19th century and plain white fans such as this example were sold by famous firms such as Duvelleroy for this purpose

Chapter 1 Blogs, games and activities:

Curiouser and Curiouser: Down the Rabbit Hole

Chapter 1

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and having nothing to do. Once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice “without pictures or conversation?”

the white rabbit holding a pocket watch, illustrated by John Tenniel

She was roused from her sleepy contemplation when a white rabbit bounded from a hedge, and as it flashed past her, she could have sworn she had heard it say `Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’. She shook her head as if to knock the silly thought away, but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT- POCKET, and looked at it, before hurrying on, Alice started to her feet, for it crossed her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it. Burning with curiosity, she ran across the field, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. Without a thought she jumped in after it.

a selection of pocket-watches from the museum collections

Either the hole was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well and noticed that they were filled with watercolour paintings. There were birds and trees, buildings and flowers. There were flowers Alice had never seen, paintings of some so realistic Alice felt she could build a chain from the daisies on the page. There was even a cat that reminded her of Dinah.

Without warning the fall was over, but Alice was unhurt and seeing the rabbit round the corner ahead she hurried along after him; and turning the corner she let out a gasp. The hall she had stepped into was covered in yet more paintings; faces stared back at her from every wall. Women more beautiful than she had ever seen, lovers embracing and picnics in the park.

Alice passed by a painting of a small girl that looked a lot like her, she thought, and stopped to investigate it. The girl had on a white dress with a blue bow, her yellow hair hung down around her face, upon which was an expression Alice couldn’t quite decipher. Behind her head were more painted flowers, delicate little stars of yellow and white.

To the side of this painting was a small glass table upon which lay three objects; a key, a glass bottle bearing the words Drink me and a small glass box labelled Eat me. Alice placed the items in her pocket deciding she may need them later and continued down the hall, noting the intricate paintings as she went. At the very end of the hall was a tiny door and Alice thought of the key in her pocket, pinching the key between her fingers she fiddled with the tiny lock until the door sprang open, she peeked inside and saw a garden unlike anything she had seen. She would never fit through this door but was sure she could see something on the opposite side. She had to find it!


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Chapter 1 Featured Objects:

Pocket Watch

The first creature Alice encounters in Wonderland is a very well-dressed White Rabbit…

… but when the Rabbit actually TOOK A WATCH OUT OF ITS WAISTCOAT- POCKET, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it…

Pocket watches have been a fashionable accessory since their invention in the 16th century, though early pocket watches were in fact worn as pendants on a chain. King Charles II is thought to have popularised the men’s fashion of wearing a watch in a pocket when he introduced the waistcoat to male court dress in 1675. Special pockets were made in the waistcoat to accommodate the pocket watch . By the 19th century, pocket watches were often secured by an ‘Albert’ watch chain – named after Prince Albert (1819-1861), who was consort to Queen Victoria (1837-1901). On one end of the chain is a small swivel clasp that attaches to a pocket watch. The swivel clasp allows the wearer to rotate the watch and keep the chain from twisting. At the other end of the chain is a T-shaped bar which loops through a buttonhole in the waistcoat for security.

Childhood, c.1875-1876
William Wise (1847–1889)
oil on board

The themes of childhood and growing up are explored through the character of Alice as she experiences many physical changes during her adventures in Wonderland.

`Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); `now I’m opening out like the largest telescope that ever was!

But if I’m not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, THAT’S the great puzzle!’ And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them.

These themes played a key part in the development of what is sometimes called the ‘Cult of Childhood’ in the 19th century, with the idea of childhood being not only celebrated in literature, but also in the arts. William Wise was a designer at Minton’s China works and his painting of a young girl is a good example of this. He has painted white lilies in the background to symbolize the innocence and the fleeting nature of childhood.

Chapter 1 Blogs, games and activities:

Exhibition1

Filler Text to give move volume to exhibition to view

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Rodin, Auguste; Eternal Spring; The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/eternal-spring-268831

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Clay Bowl

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Jesus Figurine

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Red

Also other colours

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‘Eternal Spring’ by Auguste Rodin

Eternal Spring by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin is mounted on a metre-high plinth inside the entrance of the Fine Art Gallery. The bronze sculpture measures almost a metre in length and stands at just over half a metre high. It depicts the nude figures of a man and a woman locked in a passionate embrace.

Dr Samantha Howard, Curator of Arts, discusses Rodin’s ‘Eternal Spring’.

This three-minute audio clip describes the sculpture Eternal Spring by Auguste Rodin (1840–1917):

(Transcript)

VocalEyes is a registered charity in England that works with arts organisations across the United Kingdom to identify and remove barriers to access and inclusion for blind and partially sighted people. As project partners with Art UK Sculpture project, VocalEyes collaborated with the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and 24 other museums and galleries to create audio descriptions of standout sculptural works from their collections.

The Science Behind the Spitfire – Part 1: Wonderful Wings

Today marks the start of British Science Week AND is the 85th anniversary of the first Spitfire flight in 1936. This is the first of a series of blogs on the Science Behind the Spitfire.  The aeroplane is renowned for its performance and the important role it played during the Second World War. We will peel back the panels and discover some of the science behind the Spitfire’s success.

Wonderful Wings

Wings are probably one of the most important parts of an aeroplane. Trust me, you won’t get far without them! The wings of the Spitfire are one of its most recognisable features, but it’s no accident that they are shaped the way they are.

Supermarine Spitfire Vb ‘AB910’ in flight, showing the distinctive Spitfire wing shape. Photo by Alan Wilson & reproduced under Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 2.0.

Lots of Lift

Air moves around the wings when an aeroplane travels forwards. The air pushes more on the bottom of the wing than the top. If you generate enough pressure underneath the wing it will counteract the weight of the aeroplane and it will lift into the air. This force is known as lift.

The elliptical wings of the Spitfire are strong and light, and have a big surface area. This is great for generating lift and makes Spitfires very manoeuvrable and able to climb to higher altitudes more quickly.

The large surface area was also handy for fitting in the weapons, originally four machine guns in each wing, and later cannons.

Spitfire wing plan showing the positions for gun installations. Note the large surface area.

Ditching the Drag

Another force that acts upon aeroplanes is drag. The air moving around the aeroplane slows it down. Imagine trying to run into a strong wind.

The Spitfire wings were incredibly thin. They presented much less resistance to the air than a thicker wing. Additionally, a ‘cantilever design’ was used for the wings. This means they were self-supported and that all of the structure and supports were inside the wing. Earlier aeroplanes often had lots of cables and braces to strengthen the wings, which all produce dreaded drag!

Spitfire blue print showing the wings in both plan and section view. Note the thin wing section, especially at the tips.

Early Warnings

The Spitfire wings had another special feature. When aeroplanes undertake very tight turns the pressure on the wings increases. At a certain point they can no longer support the weight. When this occurs the wings ‘stall’ and the aeroplane loses control for a few moments.

In the Spitfire, the inner wing would stall before the outer wing, producing a juddering, shaking feeling for the pilots. The shaking was a helpful warning the aeroplane was reaching its limits and skilled pilots could use this to their advantage without losing control.

Changing Wings

A Spitfire Mk.V with clipped wings in action over North Africa.

The Spitfire wing shape was adapted to suit different jobs. The City’s Spitfire was ‘clipped wings’ which are shorter, with reduced surface area. This was for flying at lower altitudes and sacrificed some lift for greater manoeuvrability such as a faster roll-rate. Other Spitfires had the opposite: extended wing tips. They gave even more lift and improved flight at higher altitudes.

So there you have it, the Wonderful Wings of the Spitfire! Join us for our next blog when we examine the Spitfire’s special, all-metal body.

Love Brings Solace and Joy

This gold ring is an item of jewellery known as a posy or posie ring. Posy rings were popular from the medieval period onwards. The name derives from the French for poetry, a reference to the short sayings with which these rings were inscribed. Worn as finger rings they were typically used as love tokens and wedding rings or sometimes simply exchanged as gifts between friends. The inscribed phrases expressed affection, friendship or love. It was the ideal way to give a lasting gift with a personal message for those who could afford such an expensive gesture.

The phrases chosen for posy rings were usually written in Latin or French, languages that would have been understood at court throughout Western Europe. Some of the inscriptions used were unique but others re-appear regularly and seem to have been chosen from a list of stock phrases.  On this ring there are two phrases, which translate as ‘love conquers everything except the heart of a wretch’ and ‘love brings solace and joy’.  Although the ring is squashed and the size is difficult to estimate the ring is relatively heavy and large. It was probably made in England in the fifteenth century and was clearly an expensive item that could have belonged to a member of the nobility. Its owner would have been saddened to have lost such a valuable personal piece of jewellery.

The posy ring was found by a metal detectorist within a mile of the site of Chartley Hall home of the Devereux family who had strong royal connections in the sixteenth century. Queen Elizabeth I was entertained at Chartley Hall on her journey through Staffordshire in 1575. Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner there from 1585 to 1586. It was while at Chartley that she corresponded secretly with the group of Catholics led by Anthony Babington that led to her arrest and eventual execution for treason. The original Chartley Hall was destroyed by fire in 1781.

Chinese Ceramic Highlights

  1. Small porcelain dish painted with symbols of longevity and good fortune.

Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period, 1723-1735 1938.P.44

This small porcelain dish is beautifully painted with underglaze and overglaze decoration, all of which is highly symbolic. The interior shows five bats flying between a peach tree and ocean waves. The peach tree is associated with immortality and abundance. Five is a fortunate number and the colour red is associated joy and happiness. The five red bats represent five fortunes variously described as health, prosperity, wealth, happiness and longevity, as well as joy.

The combination of bats and the peach tree is particularly associated with birthdays (‘wufu-qingshou’ – ‘five bats celebrate a birthday’), while the combination of five bats and waves is a wish for great happiness (‘shoushan-fuhai’ -‘happiness like the East Sea is never ending’).

The exterior of the dish is decorated with repeated pairs of red bats alternated with peach branches, one of which has the character ‘shou’, again symbolising longevity.

The base is painted in blue with the reign mark of the Yonzheng Emperor within a double circle

This is one of a number of identical dishes commissioned to wish the Yongzheng Emperor a long life and there are examples in both Chinese and European museums.

The Yongzheng Emperor died at the comparatively early age of 56 and, while there are various stories about his death, it is generally agreed that his death was as a result of poisoning. Ironically this is said to have been through consuming too much of the ‘elixir of immortality’ which contained the poisons mercury and arsenic.

2. Porcelain dish with underglaze blue painted decoration.

Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1736-1795. 1938.P.136

The decoration of this dish depicts a mother and child playing in a garden, while on the rim are painted four of the eight Precious Objects: a pair of books, open lozenge, jewel and an artemesia leaf. The same four symbols are painted on the reverse.  This example dates from the period of the Qianlong Emperor but the design had been known in the West since the late 17th century, when large quantities of Chinese porcelain started to be imported into Europe by the East India Companies

This design and variations on it became very popular in England and were widely copied by potters from the mid-18th century onwards. Porcelain factories, such as Bow, in London, and Worcester produced their own finely painted close copies, while factories, such as Spode in Staffordshire, subsequently produced printed version of the design, which they called ‘Jumping Boy’, well into the 19th century.

3. Cylindrical porcelain mug with underglaze blue decoration

Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, c.1780 709

This cylindrical porcelain mug painted with underglaze blue decoration in an example of the type of wares being made in China for the European market in the late 18th century. The shape, and in particular, the crossed handles with their distinctive flowered terminals, are typical of English wares. From the middle of the 18th century the Chinese potteries were exporting such huge quantities of porcelain to Europe via the East India Companies that they were willing to adapt their output to their customers’ requirements.

The body of this mug has a raised spotted-textured ground with a blue-painted landscape with pagoda, trees and etc., in a reserved panel which is framed in gilt and has floral sprays to either side. There is additional gilding to the blue border under the rim with butterflies and flowers, and gilding to the handle terminals and rim.  The gilding would have been added in Europe by a specialist decorator in order to make the mug more desirable to the customer.

4. Earthenware model of a camel with head thrown back.

Tang dynasty, 618-907AD. 1948P94

Earthenware model of a camel in buff-coloured earthenware body with orange and cream glaze, standing, with its head thrown back, on a rectangular base.

Tang dynasty models of camels serve as a reminder of the activity of foreign merchants who, for hundreds of years travelled with their camel trains to trade along the Silk Road, between China and the West. This camel is a funerary sculpture, made to accompany the deceased into the afterlife.  All sorts of figures were produced from animals to human figures and models of buildings, during the period from the Han to the Tang dynasties.

Since they were made to be buried in tombs and not for export, pottery figures like these were rarely seen in Europe until the early 20th century, when they began to be collected by individuals and museums.

23. Madonna and Child

The image of the Virgin Mary (or Madonna) and Christ child are central to traditional Christian imagery associated with Christmas. For his sculpture made in stoneware depicting the Madonna and Child, ceramics artist, Phil Eglin draws upon the devotional images of the Virgin Mary with the infant Christ often seen in Renaissance art.

http://www.artuk.org/artworks/mother-and-child-268878