RARE ORANGE TRANSFERWARE PLATE ~ ELF in HORNET'S NEST
- Source: eBay
STIRRING UP A HORNET'S NEST ~ EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF William Brownfield
This is an fabulous transferware plate, transfer printed in a spectactular rust red or dark orange. The plate measures 9" in diameter.
It is decorated with a fantasy image of a three elfin children who have stirred up a hornet's nest. The hornets or bees are attacking them, and the boys are trying to get themselves out of the predicament without any concern for anyone else. They can be seen running every which way -- one bare bottomed boy is diving into the water, one has fallen over a rock, and the third is running as away. The plate is titled on the back side, "SAUVE QUI PEUT", an early idiom which translates from Latin as "EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF".
This whimsical Aesthetic movement image is part of an early series of fantasy images with elves, fairies and gnomes. The person from whom we purchased the plate said that the design is based on The Water-Babies, a Victorian children's novel by the Charles Kingsley, written in 1862, a mainstay of early children's literature, written as a moral educational fable. The protagonist of the book is Tom, an inquisitive young boy who falls into a river w he is transformed into a "water baby" and begins his... read more