A reign that spans seven decades is not only exceptional, but is perhaps unlikely ever to be repeated. Queen Victoria’s 63-year reign gave her name to a whole era, and it is the sheer extent of the reign of our present Queen that has inspired this very special commemorative collection.
On fine bone china plaques, our artists have depicted seven buildings that are closely associated with Queen Elizabeth II, each related to one of the decades of her reign. Everyone is painted entirely by hand, and finished with an ornate frame. It takes enormous skill to create such detailed and lifelike images using specialist ceramic pigments, and the light glaze and vivid colours produce an unforgettable effect that, unlike many other forms of art, will never fade.
For the 1950s, we have chosen Westminster Abbey, where the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953. In 1962 the Royal Family celebrated the centenary of their Norfolk estate by Queen Victoria, and so our plaque shows Sandringham House, the residence she built there. In honour of The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the ironwork of Tower Bridge in London was redecorated in red, white and blue, as shown on our plaque for that decade. The royal residence in Scotland, Balmoral Castle, is shown on the 1980s plaque, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the estate’s gardens to the public, while for the 1990s the image of Windsor Castle is a reminder of the disastrous fire that engulfed much of the building in 1992, and the subsequent splendid restoration.
In 2002 The Queen’s Golden Jubilee was celebrated, including a flypast of the Red Arrows aerial display team over Buckingham Palace, which is shown on our plaque. Finally, in the later months of 2014 a beautiful and poignant display of ceramic poppies in the moat of The Tower of London gained worldwide acclaim and attracted thousands of tourists. Our image shows the memorable ‘weeping window’ that formed part of the display.
Each of these superb hand-painted plaques is presented in a hand-made, silk-lined box and is a limited edition of just 25.
Buckingham House was acquired by King George III in 1781 and became the official palace of the British monarch during Queen Victoria’s reign. The palace is now familiar as the venue for many ceremonial events, and particularly for its famous balcony on which members of the Royal Family greet the crowds. In 2002 the palace was the scene of a flypast by the Red Arrows, in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, as shown on our 2000s plaque.