c1800 Bilston Lattice Edge Enamel Love Heart Dish


A lovely early 19th century Bilston lattice edge Heart shaped enamelled and painted Dish in nice condition.

This dish is typically French in design and has a feminine romantic feel to it. It shows the inner bowl decorated with a Cupid aiming his arrow at a flying heart. He is mounted on a golden chariot, drawn by 2 doves. Above the tableau is a garland of flowers and the whole is surrounded by heart shaped laurel wreath. All of this has been hand painted on a white enamel base. The outside is a light turquoise enamelled. These dishes were often used as gaming trays or bowls for card games, such as Quadrille, but tend to have cards or suit symbols in the decoration. The dish is in good condition, even on the lattice edge, except for one bit of the outside, where the enamel has rubbed off the copper. The underside of the dish has the maker’s details hand painted: E. Dreyfo..s – to Their Majesties - 99 Mount St – W. The company was probably in London.

The first enamel miniatures were made in France in the 17th century where goldsmiths and enamelers produced miniature works of art on tiny boxes. European traders introduced these miniature enamels to China in the 17th century, where the Emperor Kangxi set up craftsmen to make similar miniature enamels. Miniature enamels were introduced to Britain later, in the 1740s. Enamel trinket boxes, known as bibelots, became highly fashionable and collectable luxuries in the high society of mid-18th century Georgian England, with many French enamelers settling in South Staffordshire and Bilston in particular. They soon became a famous and well-respected enamelling centre, serving the King and the gentry alike, and enriching the aesthetic nature of Georgian society. The economic downturn in Britain’s fortunes wipe out the production by the 1840s.

Size: 9.5 x 9.25 x 2.5 cm (3 ¾ x 3 5/8 x 1 inches)
Weight: 54g