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Link to reverse styles




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The 'camellia' reverse is a fairly uncommon type used over quite a long period in two or three variations from around  1740 -1760 but in my view a rather fine one. Not exactly rare, but scarce enough. It is a 'Chinese' type of flower design and precedes the more 'European' styles of flowers to come in the 1770's. It is known in rounds but never in other shapes - and this posed a question: what did the other shapes in the sets being produced at the time have to the reverse? Sets of 140 with 3 shapes were already the norm by then, so there must be plenty of counters with a matching design to the reverse - but what is it? 

The question was answered recently when two 'new' armorials arrived - that is new to my collection. The round is very well decorated and bears the family crest of a demi-lion rampant between two wings, possibly for the Newenham family. The front of the round is especially well-decorated. with very fine back-hatching and is interesting in showing the reserves to the border which were to develop into the Queen Charlotte type border when filled with European flowers. A beautiful counter. The real interest however came in the accompanying long-oblong. This has the same crest- though not as impressive in this smaller size- and scrolling thistles to the sides, again typical of around 1760. What would be on the reverse? The answer is scrolling leaves surrounding a flower in that distinctive, dense style of decorating and accompanied by a diaper pattern to the edges.  Not exactly a major breakthrough perhaps- but one small mystery solved!


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