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I despair with books like this; they remind me of the idiots on tv who blather on about the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age, Flapper Girls and other icons that illustrate their lack of knowledge of the period. Hunger marches, soup kitchens, the General Strike, the Great Depression all are included in the period defined as Art Deco.
The significance of all the bright colours used has always seemed like some sort of denial of reality, like whistling in the dark.
One segment by the author left me not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Frank Brangwyn produced some designs for Doulton and the author asserts they were for low income families but taken up by the middle classes. A modestly priced twelve place dinner service priced at eight pounds is a sentence which is laugh out loud stupid in the context of the times. Low income families setting twelve places for dinner? Eight pounds at a time when my father was told to wait for an hour so that the baker would be selling bread a penny cheaper because it was stale?
The history of each factory is quite comprehensive and even the minors are covered adequately. The illustrations are all full colour and contain some original advertising material, and these factors are the plus items but as for context of the period find another text.
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on 10 January 2006
A good starting point for learning about the evolution of British tableware in the Art Deco period, from the time of the famous 1925 Art Decoratifs exhbition in Paris up until the start of WWII. Informative text breaks it down into major manufacturers, rather than designers, (hence Keith Murray comes under Wedgwood) and there are some superb colour photos throughout. My favourites are the displays of Murray pots and tableware and the Eric Ravillious wares. Clarice Cliffe and Susie Cooper naturally also get a mention. Doesn't give you pricer, or exhaustive lists of shapes and designs, but a solid, attractive essay-based history of the Great British Table Service between the wars.
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on 1 October 2014
Very interesting.
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on 10 December 2016
Very interesting
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