The Warwick Vase and British Nostalgia



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After The Warwick Vase’s “creation” between 1771 and 1774, the form of the ancient-Neoclassical hybrid object was highly replicated in the decorative arts throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In particular, the British population demanded the form used in both shape and decoration to create an entire class of objects including, but not limited to, presentation vases, trophy cups, garden pots, as well as tea and dinner services. Why did this fantasy object invade the English domestic sphere? I intend to argue that the presence of art objects referencing The Warwick Vase in the homes of the British elite were a visual symbol of nostalgia for the upper class’s earlier dominance, in a time when their power and status was in decline.



Warwick Vase