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The Duke of the Victoria Plate

The Duke of the Victoria Plate, Manises

№ inv.: CE1/01939

In the centre of this oval-shaped polychrome china plate, there is a scene in which General Espartero, Prince of Vergara, pledges allegiance to the 1837 Constitution. The plate also has the following inscriptions: “El Duque/ de la/ Victa.” (“Duke of the Victory”) is written between sprigs of laurel. “Constn. o muerte./ 1837.” (“Constitution or death 1837”) is inscribed underneath the extended arm of the General. “M. Comes” is at the bottom of the central theme. A thick floral garland frames the whole scene.

The plate, with its clearly political and liberal focus, is one of a few pieces of the popular Manises china from the 19th century. Because of this motif and its history, there is great interest in this piece to more closely identify the chronological evolution of works like it. From this representation it is apparent that General Espartero was highly regarded by the majority of the people. He was often considered the saviour of their native land, particularly after the approval of the Spanish Constitution of 22nd May 1837. It was typical for Manises china of the 19th century to have political iconography. However, it is not known whether the signature or dedication “M. Comes” refers to another political figure. It is unlikely to be the signature of the artist since this would usually be placed at the reverse of the piece.

On display in the Sala de cerámica de Manises del siglo XIX (19th Century Manises Ceramics Room), second floor.

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