Delftware: Popularising the Monarchy

During the seventeenth century commemorative items such as mugs and plates began being produced for signficant royal occasions such as royal marriages, birthdays, and coronations. Delftware was one type of pottery that was frequently used for commemorative items. These commercial wares were sold to an emergent middle class who could afford to buy them. Portrayals of kings and queens on plates and mugs could influence the public reception of those monarchs and, as Matthew Winterbottom and Dr John West discuss in this film, engage with contemporary political debates about kingship and the future of the Stuart dynasty.

Key Questions

  • What was delftware?
  • Who could afford to buy delftware and how was it presented in the home?
  • To what extent do images of kings and queens on delftware engage with contemporary political debates?

Further Reading

  • Ivor Noël Hume, Early English Delftware From London and Virginia (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1977).
  • Anthony Ray, English Delftware in the Ashmolean Museum (London: Jonathan Horne, 2000).

Unless otherwise noted, images in this film are reproduced by courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford.

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