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Moorcroft Pottery

Times Gone By Vase 364/20

In Times Gone By a city’s gate opens into a world of the imagination. Paul Hilditch’s nineteenth century cityscape depicts the mercantile energy of a busy port. Streets are lined with merchants and their shops, and the centre foreground is dominated by a beautifully drawn open cab, complete with mustachioed merchant or grandee.

Of course there’s another side to all this, which Paul shows on the other side of the vase: men haggle over goods while dogs laze around, waiting to snap up dropped tidbits. In contrast with the affluent brick-fronted high street, the boys and draymen sit in front of a humbler galleried wooden house from the sixteenth century, so accurately portrayed it looks like a Shakespearean stage set (17th–18th century buildings were brown and white; black and white was a Victorian prettification).

While Paul has mastered the skill of portraying faces (extremely difficult with tubelining), his greatest accomplishment in Times Gone By is its buildings. They’re detailed with a vibrant precision in a skillfully constructed composition that draws together glimpses of the sea and distant churches in the background, while constantly leading the eye back to the foreground action.

With superb precision and skilled tubelining, this prestige vase is a Hilditch masterpiece of detail, design and craftsmanship.

© 2019, Cotswold Gift Gallery

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£5,465.00

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