3rd British Industries Fair
Victoria & Albert Museum and the Imperial Institute, London
PG 3.17 p262 and 4.17 p372:
AE Gray & Co Ltd of Hanley, china and earthenware, were bold exponents of the cult of the open stand, their frontage being only broken by one tall rectangular glass case in which the most important objects were some new tea caddies and vases, beautifully decorated in Sèvres Marbling, with black borders and enamel colours on Rose-du-Barri, jade green, pink, yellow and purple backgrounds.
Some of these articles, as shown in the accompanying illustration, had been selected for purchase by Her Majesty the Queen. On a stand in the rear was a quantity of tea, coffee, and dessert ware for which similar decorations were provided. Here the pink, jade green and light and dark purples were repeated, and also the [Sèvres Marbling] with hand-painted gold borders.
The colouring was extremely rich and of a high degree of translucence, being, indeed, one of the best achievements of something approaching a novelty that we saw in the whole of the Fair. Besides the colours specified there were also black grounds with tangerine, pearl grey, and Celadon shades. In some cases the borders were diversified by means of panels bearing exotic birds. On the opposite side of the stand was an assortment of useful goods with lithographed decorations and also again with repetitions of those already noticed, the [Sèvres Marbling] proving as suitable for toilet and tableware as for lighter or more fancy articles.
A good pattern for dinner ware was a [strong golden yellow with black Persian border and black handles and knobs]. Some of the older decorations were given new life by being applied to a [new shape of vegetable dish], this being square with rounded corners. Beneath the shelf, deserving a better place if such had been available, was a double row of toilet ware.
At the further end were some lavishly decorated dessert sets in Rockingham styles, some with a pheasant and some with a basket of flowers in the centre. Among these we noticed a few plates with a deep foot which had been specially prepared for mounting. The exhibit of this firm was really refreshing in its originality, both as regards the ware and the manner in which it had been displayed.