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National Museum of Australia

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Souvenir printed china bowl of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's Royal Tour 1949


Souvenir printed china bowl of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's Royal Tour 1949

Object information

Physical description

Shallow cream coloured souvenir china bowl. It has a tan coloured bear[?] clinging to the rim, and there is a thin tan coloured line around the rim. The overlapping left profiles of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth are superimposed on the outlines of Australia and New Zealand in the centre. "SOUVENIR" is separated from "OF THE" by a crown in a scroll above them and "ROYAL TOUR 1949" is below. "Brentleigh / Ware / STAFFORDSHIRE / ENGLAND" is printed on the base in brown, and there is a supplementary smudged green stamp "PAT. APP. FOR".

Statement of significance

The Margaret O'Callaghan collection is a commemorative plate produced as a souvenir for the cancelled 1949 visit of King George VI to Australia and New Zealand. The plate was manufactured by the British firm, Brentleigh Ware, a trade name produced by the Howard Pottery Company. The plate is decorated in the centre with a two-tone portrait of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, later to be known as the Queen Mother. The portrait is positioned within a stylised map of Australia and New Zealand, surrounded by the words 'Souvenir of the Royal Tour 1949'.

The collection reflects mass produced ephemera and paraphernalia created in anticipation of the 1949 royal tour. The significance of this object is further enhanced by the fact that it was owned and used by the donor, Margaret O'Callaghan, as a child, at the time of manufacture. The plate subsequently represents growing up in the early 1950s in London and Tasmania and the appeal of the British Royal family to Australians during this period.

Object information

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