Royal Worcester Bone China Plates, 1917
This rare and complete service of twelve square-shape plates was hand-painted with Australian flora, mostly varieties of wattle, by R. Austin and W. Hart after Marian Ellis Rowan. The source for the decoration of the service were watercolours commissioned by Flavelle Brothers from the pre-eminent Australian watercolour artist, Marian Ellis Rowan, who specialised in painting Australian flora and fauna – unique to this series is a narrow Quaker grey matt border which further distinguishes the decoration.
Amongst her many accolades, Marian Ellis Rowan (1848-1922) won a gold medal at the Sydney International Exhibition in 1879, and Queen Victoria purchased some of her works. Shortly after Rowan’s death in 1925, the Commonwealth Government purchased from her estate 925 of her paintings, which are held in the National Library in Canberra.