"Much Ado About Nothing"

English (Birmingham)
1884
Designed by Leonard Morel-Ladeuil (1820-1888), Made for Elkington & Co. (English)


Object Place: Europe, England

Dimensions

H. 45.7 cm (18 in.); W. 59 cm (23 1/4 in.); D. 1.5 cm (9/16 in.)

Accession Number

1995.85

Medium or Technique

Silver; damascened steel frame

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Silver

The shaped rectangular plaque depicts the marriage scene from “Much Ado About Nothing”. It is mounted onto an eared, rectangular damascened steel frame decorated at each corner with masks of ‘Comedy’ and ‘Tragedy’, and with interlaced damascene ornament around the plaque. At the top of the frame is a chased silver portrait medallion of Shakespeare crowned with a laurel wreath by two flanking putti. At each side of the frame is a silver trophy of music, and at the bottom is the title plaque.


Trained in the Paris workshop of Antoine Vecht (1799-1869), a skilled chaser and expert in damascening, Morel-Ladeuil was one of a number of prestigious French artists hired by Elkington & Co. Ltd. for their design skills. This plaque depicts the marriage scene from “Much Ado About Nothing”. There was a tremendous revival of Shakespeare’s play in the London theatre at this time, and the scene represents the actual set of the Lyceum Theatre production of 1882.

Inscription

Engraved on lower left: Morel-Ladeuil/Fecit 1884; on lower right: Elkington co.

Provenance

Elkington & Co; 1973, sold by the firm; by 1995, with Wynyard R.T. Wilkinson, London; May 24, 1995, sold by Wynyard R.T. Wilkinson to the MFA. (Accession date: May 24, 1995)

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour and Gift of Wynyard R.T. Wilkinson