A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Monday, March 23, 2015

Majolica in the Movies: "Atonement"

Atonement is the tale of love thwarted by the jealous misunderstanding of a little girl.

The story begins in England shortly before the start of WWII at the manor home of a wealthy family. The eldest daughter, played by Keira Knightly, falls in love with James McAvoy, the son of a servant.
When two children staying with the family fail to appear for dinner one evening the young girl runs to their room to get them and discovers they've run away.

It is when the young girl goes to retrieve the letter that we see the majolica in the children's bedroom. Sitting on the dresser is a large piece of continental ware that looks very much like the work of W.S. Schiler & Son.

There's no way to know for sure of course but the color palette is very much in keeping with the pottery's ware. It could just as easily be the work of one of the other continental potteries of Bohemia many of whom favored subdued earth tones to the brighter colors of English and French ware.

The movie is both beautiful and heartbreaking and this little dab of majolica is just enough distraction from the storyline to aid in making the sadness all bearable.

If any readers are familiar with the piece or the manufacturer we would love to hear about it.

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