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Royal Connections

Posted on 03 May 2018

 

With May being the month of a royal wedding we have decided that our Object of the Month should have a royal connection.

It is surprising that since the earliest mention of Tunbridge Ware in the late 17th century there are relatively few known examples with royal connections but pieces which immediately spring to mind are the views of Windsor Castle and those with the Prince of Wales Feathers, the latter being created to mark the birth of Prince Edward in 1841. Our Object of the Month, a matchbox cover inlaid with a crown, does however have a connection with a significant royal event, which proved to be a defining moment for the House of Windsor.

Thomas Littleton Green, working from the very last Tunbridge Ware Manufactory in Rye, East Sussex between 1931 & 1939 created the design in anticipation of Edward VIII’s coronation. The letters ‘ER’ and the date ‘1937’ flanked the centrally placed crown. With the abdication of Edward, Green adapted his design for the coronation of King George VI by replacing the letters ‘ER’ with ‘GR’.

Although this is a modest example of Tunbridge Ware, it is a surprisingly unusual one. It is in fact the first time we have ever owned a piece with this crown. Now we can’t help wondering if any mosaics with ’ER’ actually slipped through the net and whether there are any pieces with that image in circulation today.