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Object of the Day: A Cup and Saucer from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

Monday, May 16, 2011

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When we think of Queen Elizabeth II, we tend to think of her as the perfectly-coiffed sovereign with her rigid, white hair and ubiquitous blue handbag. However, sixty years ago, she was a fresh-faced, sporty princess who was known for her beauty and girlish charm.


This commemorative cup and saucer by Royal Art Pottery in Longton, England was produced for the 1953 Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It’s quite a lovely little set of a delicate bone color with scalloped edges. What’s unusual about this set is the image of Elizabeth II. Instead of the usual formal portrait which is often centered on such items, these bear a less formal likeness of the Queen in an almost candid shot. She looks quite young in her tam o’ shanter and Scottish garb. Images such as this one show Elizabeth as the keen sportswoman that she is and also serve to cast her in her role as Sovereign of Scotland.

I love this cup and saucer because of its contrast with the images of the Queen in her formal court robes. It reminds us that, at heart, she’s a very down-to earth (for a Queen) person.



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