Sugar Bowl, Heath and Middleton, 1891



in the form of a blossoming lotus flower supported on the stems of two curled veined leaves, accompanied by a sifter with a twig form handle and the bowl perforated to represent the stamen of the flower.

London, 1891.

John Thomas Heath and John Hartshorne Middleton were best known for the pieces they made to the designs of Christopher Dresser (see no.165), yet they also produced a distinctive range of domestic items decorated with motifs derived from flora and fauna. Buddhist tradition holds the lotus as a sacred flower and a metaphor for purity.  It has many auspicious attributes, variously symbolising harmony, sympathy and prosperity.  The lotus flower is seen in carved, painted, embroidered and metal form in Buddhist temples, and Buddhist deities are traditionally seated on lotus mounts.

Japonisme: from Falize to Fabergé, the Goldsmith and Japan, Wartski, 2011, number 175.