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This is a truly exceptional pair of English black lacquered papier mâché coasters and for two reasons. First, they are in excellent condition when a very high percentage are in much less than good condition. Second, the quality of the decoration is superb.
There was quite a revival in 'Chinoiserie' decoration in the opening few years of the 19th century, indeed it had started earlier, first in the 1670s, then later in the 1760s and again later in the century. In part, echoing the taste of the Prince Regent and his extraordinary palace at Brighton Pavilion, this fashion extended to small furnishing items - like this pair of coasters.
The decoration in shades of gold, bronze and terra cotta comprises a watery lanscape with pavilions, stylised trees, fanciful birds and a bridge. It is executed in a light, almost frivolous style and was presumably inspired by a 'drawing book' - perhaps Stalker and Parker's treatise of 1688. However, wherever the inspiration arose, it certainly took on a delightful and light touch at the hands of the craftsman (or woman) who decorated these.
Dimensions: 5.25", 13.3 cm diameter, 5" internal