Monday, May 16, 2011

Saucer of the Week Addendum: Ode to a Vanishing Urn

As many readers of this blog may know, my last post featured a favorite antique saucer in our collection at Darlington House that is simply and severely decorated with a grisaille urn, gilt-painted garlands, and gold bands.

In the post I posited that the decoration of the saucer was really rather perfect and that each element of its design was essential to the integrity of the whole.  Taking just one element of the design away, I wrote, would compromise it.

The saucer, decorated as I found it
and as I displayed it in my previous post

One of my readers, named Parnassas, decided to playfully take me up on my challenge . . .

Now with one of the gilt bands removed

He carefully Photoshopped the photograph that I posted of the saucer, progressively removing each design element, starting with the interior gold bands . . .

Now bereft of two of its gilt bands

He then removed the the gilt garlands that festooned the urn . . .

Now with the gilt garlands removed

And finally he removed the urn itself, leaving nothing decorating the saucer but the gilt banding around its rim.

The saucer, wiped clean of its interior bands,
garlands, and grisaille urn

How delightfully clever Parnassas is!  And how delightful is his photographic essay that confirms Reggie's premise that the saucer as found was perfectly sublime in its simplicity, and that each decorative element is, in fact, absolutely essential to the integrity of the whole.

It is most amusing of you, dear Mr. Parnassas, and I cannot thank you enough for sharing your photographic essay with me and then giving me permission to share it with my grateful readers.

First photograph by Boy Fenwick; each subsequent one as modified by Parnassas 


  1. Clever, indeed. I'm really enjoying your saucer of the week, Reggie, and I hope that at some point you collect them all into a gallery.

  2. I do love it with just the urn.

  3. Hello,

    I prefer the first picture of your saucer. But, it's amazing what a computer can do.

    Greetings from Belgium

  4. Dear Mr. Darling,

    Brilliant, just brilliant! I had to double check my eyes were indeed seeing the disappearing elements of your saucer and not just playing tricks on me. Thank you for the good chuckle! Just what I need on a Monday morning. Oh, and thank you Parnassas for such a clever approach in proving Mr. Daring's theory correct.

  5. Reggie, Thank you for your kind words. Ironically, with many antiques and buildings, people really do strip off design elements in an effort to "improve" them. We can all be grateful for your efforts to preserve the objects and standards of the past.

  6. The original is pure perfection.


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