Skip to main content

'The Diary' plaque: C.3104-1928

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


'The Diary' plaque


Factory: Minton
Decorator: Solon, Louis-Marc-Emmanuel
Minton & Co.




Porcelain with pâte-sur-pâte decoration on a dark bluish-green ground.

Square tinted porcelain plaque, decorated with a white pâte-sur-pâte image of a girl seated on a stool tearing leaves from a book; Cupid stands in front of her offering her his pen; the pages float away behind her, as if on the wind. The face and sides are clear glazed. The underside is flat, unglazed and unmarked.


History note: Louis-Marc-Emmanuel Solon, Stoke-on-Trent; sold Hanley, Charles Butters & Sons, 26-28 November 1912, Catalogue of the Pottery & porcelain in the Collection of L.M. Solon, second day, lot 368; purchased by Mr Stoner for £17.17 for Dr Glaisher

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 0.5 cm
Width: 16 cm

Relative size of this object

16 cm5 mm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Stoke-on-Trent ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


Early 20th century
Edward VII
Production date: AD 1909 : dated


Dr Glaisher bought this plaque from the artist, who told him that ‘the torn out pages blown behind her by the wind represent superseded lovers and Cupid hands her the pen with which to start a new page’. The plaque was in a gilt slip and black frame at this point.

Louis-Marc-Emmanuel Solon (1835-1913), born at Montauban in France, was originally employed at Sèvres as a figure modeller and there became a leading exponent of pâte-sur-pâte decoration. Some of his early work is signed ‘MILES’. In 1870 he joined Mintons where, until he retired in 1904, he established the company as the premier producer of pâte-sur-pâte wares, winning accolades at many of the international exhibitions. An inventive designer, he rarely copied directly from sources and introduced a range of new tinted grounds. Many of his apprentices, such as Frederick Rhead and Albion Birks, achieved their own renown as pâte-sur-pâte practitioners. This plaque was produced after Solon’s retirement, when he continued to decorate slab decoration on slabs supplied by Mintons while writing and collecting a library of over 4,000 books on pottery .

Minton, founded in 1793, originally produced blue printed earthenware and, later, creamware, bone china and other products, particularly tableware. From the mid 1830s, new lines in encaustic and printed tiles, figures and ornamental wares were introduced. The early business traded under various names, from 1845 it was known as Minton & Co. and from 1873 as Mintons Ltd.

Pâte-sur-pâte decoration is created by applying layers of white slip (liquid clay) with a brush. By using this method, the decorator is able to achieve a semi-translucent image, which would not be possible with moulded reliefs.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production

tinted Porcelain

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: L Solon 09
  • Location: Face. bottom rhs
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in the white clay decoration
  • Type: Signature
  • Text: 3605 Square pâte-sur-pâte plaque made by Mr L M Solon and entitled by him ‘The Diary’. b. at the Solon sale at Hanley, Nov.27th 1912
  • Location: Underside
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label inscribed in black ink
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3104-1928
Primary reference Number: 137206
Old object number: 3605
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Tuesday 22 November 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "'The Diary' plaque" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-06 08:32:03

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title='The Diary' plaque |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-06 08:32:03|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like


Accession Number: C.123B-1961


Accession Number: C.123A-1961


Accession Number: C.125A-1961


Accession Number: C.124C-1961

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...