Winchester upcycles Norman timber

Taken from the collection of The Antique Breadboard Museum, Putney:

A lacquered board with “Manners makyth man”, the motto of New College Oxford (1379), Winchester College (1382) and William of Wykeham (1324-1404), Bishop of Winchester (1366-1404), who founded them. The border is topped by the personal coat of arms of William of Wykeham amid lush acanthus leaves, which both establishments share.

Winchester College describes it thus: ‘argent two chevrons sable between three roses gules seeded or, barbed vert.’ The central silver inlay depicts a hircocervus, a mythical beast with Greek origins, which John Hoskins adapted to depict the many virtues of a perfect servant in 1579. It was located outside the kitchens of Winchester College. A verse accompanied the wall-painting translated from the Latin:

A trusty servant’s picture would you see,
This figure well survey, who’ever you be.
The porker’s snout not nice in diet shows;
The padlock shut, no secret he’ll disclose;
Patient, to angry lords the ass gives ear;
Swiftness on errand, the stag’s feet declare;
Laden his left hand, apt to labour saith;
The coat his neatness; the open hand his faith;
Girt with his sword, his shield upon his arm,
Himself and master he’ll protect from harm.
(Howard Staunton, The Great Schools of England (Shrahan, 1869)

Oak, 12″, Sheffield, 1907

Monogrammed Wedding Gift

Taken from the collection of The Antique Breadboard Museum, Putney:

A charming wedding board, possibly by an amateur, with the initials JES carved in gothic lettering in the central shield, on a basket-weave background, the border carved with plump wheat ears and chunky roses.

Sycamore, 11″, 1800s

An exercise in Gothic

Taken from the collection of The Antique Breadboard Museum, Putney:

“Take freely and thankfully”, elegantly incised in Gothic lettering with leafy tendrils playfully interspersed between the words. Like the vast majority of bread boards, no evidence of the workshop, carver, date or location is indicated.

Sizeable crack, sycamore, 12″, 1800s.

Humanity not morality

Taken from the collection of The Antique Breadboard Museum, Putney:

A porcelain bread platter with an intricately painted central roundel depicting Jesus with his disciples in the cornfield, signed H Warren, referring to Mark 2:23 of the New Testament. The raised rim is decorated with wheat and barley stalks on the outside and a ribbed blue stripe on the inside.

Good condition, cracks to glazing at back, unstamped, 13″, 1800s. Henry Warren (1794-1879) was a notable painter, watercolourist, draughtsman and illustrator, who specialised in portraits and landscapes.

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath – Mark 2:23-28
23. One Sabbath, Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 25. He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26. In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 27. Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Latest must-have in 1848

A unique family board commissioned by the Sophia Child-Villiers with two Earl’s coronets, top and bottom, distinguishable by the five lofty rays topped by balls, and complimented by four letter Js, one on either side, in mirror image, resembling vines. ‘Middleton’, carved twice in elegant Gothic lettering, refers to the Villiers family’s country seat of Middleton Park in Middleton Stoney, Oxfordshire.
An article entitled ‘Potato Bowls’ on p.368 in the Art Union Journal of 1848 reads: “Among the bread-platters which Mr Rogers continues to carve in considerable quantities, we may mention a number which have been produced for special positions: such as one of exquisite finish for the Duke of Richmond, inscribed in ornamental letters with the word “Glenfiddich”; a second for the Countess of Jersey with the family name “Middleton”; and a third, more remarkable than the rest, for Sir Robert Menzies, having, in Saxon characters, the motto, “VIL GOD I ZAL”.”

There is considerable wear to the surface and rim, with worm damage, 13″,
limewood, 1848.