Tureen base made by W & E Corn, England
This earthenware tureen base was manufactured by the English porcelain factory, W. & E. Corn of Longport, Staffordshire, in around 1891. Its transfer-printed design in grey represents sprays of Australian flannel flowers, with small closed buds decorating the back of the base and large open blossom decorating the front. Its heavy and robust form indicates that it was an inexpensive item for everyday use. W. & E. Corn was one of many Staffordshire factories to decorate its wares with Australian motifs.
Australian and English manufacturers of the decorative arts became interested in Australian flora and fauna motifs in the early nineteenth century. From the mid 1850s, following the discovery of gold in Australia in 1851, they began using Australian imagery on a larger scale - among the most striking early examples were silver presentation pieces and gold jewellery. In the late nineteenth century and in the decades that followed Australia's Federation in 1901, a number of ceramics decorated with Australian motifs were produced in Britain. Wedgwood, Doulton, Worcester and many smaller factories designed and made series of wares mostly destined for the Australian market. These tablewares were sold by local retailers, for example Sydney's Flavelle Bros, Feldheim Gotthelf and Co, and Anthony Horden. Australian firms often copied English designs, particularly those transfer-printed at Doulton. This tureen was acquired to complement a matching cover already in the Museum's collection.