Despite the rain today, I needed to get a breath of fresh air at lunchtime and luckily I live and work in Heavitree in Exeter. Luckily, because there happen to be not one but five charity shops, all of which usually have a treasure or two.
Pickings were slim in most of the shops today, or maybe it was my mood. I didn’t find much in my rush around the shops until I went to the Devon Air Ambulance shop. They were just setting up their Christmas display and I spied a pretty little white ceramic dome. Always drawn to all things white, I picked it up. I could see it was etched but couldn’t really see the design. It didn’t have a price on it. The man behind the counter looked at it briefly and said “£2”. “Thanks, I’ll have it”
At home, the light fading, I did my nightly ritual of lighting candles and turning on lights. Don’t you just love the winter for cosying on down. I found a tea light and popped it in my bargain find.
WOW ! What a gorgeous surprise awaited me ! A wonderful christmas scene, all around the dome. I posted a pic on Facebook and immediately received lots of praise. I decided to try and find out more about my pretty ceramic Christmas dome and soon found out (along with my lovely friend Amanda) that it was called a Lithopane.
Apologies for the quality of the photo. Seriously hoping Father Christmas will bring me a camera for Christmas, but you get the idea. I soon discovered my Ceramic Lithophane was originally sold by Tesco ! Oh well , not a Lladro treasure but still a bargain for £2 ! It was by a company called Hellmann Versand from Bravaria in Germany. I’m interested now. Lets find out more about what Lithopane is.
It would seem that a Lithophane is an etched or moulded artwork in a very thin translucent porcelain that can only be seen clearly when back lit with a light source. It is a design or scene in intaglio that appears in grey tones ! So there you go.
image Angela Mellor
Something was niggling away at the back of my mind. Digging a little deeper on Pinterest, I realised what it was. I have one of these cups tucked away at the back of my she shed. Its a Japanese Lithopane Geisha tea cup that has the face of a Geisha girl in the bottom.
Image Sad Gheisha
So after a pretty rubbish morning at work, my five minute breather out of the office, found me a wonderful new treasure to add to my collection and a little more knowledge.