It’s All Ancient History…When Will I Be Famous!

Words and Photography by Nick Boston | 2 minute read | 20 September 2022

The great Victorian designer, the Father of Modernism, Dr. Christopher Dresser spoke of moments of inspiration. He spoke of a moment on a Winters morning, whilst sitting at his desk and watching frost forming on the outside of the leaded light window. The sharp, glassy spikes and angles formed by the frost drove him to an hour of pure inspiration. Grabbing any clean paper and ink pen and pencil he could find, he sketched and sketched, design after design, vases, teapots, urns, shape after shape poured onto the pages, Dresser was experiencing a gigantic wave of inspiration created by the skeletal frost..

Samuel Alcock had recognised the business possibilities of embracing the ‘fashion for pots’ that existed within the Victorian middle classes. Indeed, with his wares, the Victorian could purchase a perfect representation of the vase they had seen in the Museum or newspaper article and then sit it on their mantlepiece.

150 years later, Alcock facsimile vases are the perfect medium to discuss Victorian cultural history and especially the story of modern marketing. It is not surprising that museums now hold examples of Alcock’s work within their collections and that, although now very rare, collectors seek out examples to sit on their mantlepiece.
Intrerestingly, not much has changed in 150 years….I guess it is still all about marketing…so please click on the link below!


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