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An Art Nouveau Washstand tile of a Sturt's Desert Pea

This beautiful Art Nouveau majollica tile appears on a mahogany washstand. Unusual in its design, rather than being a typically stylised flower, it features instead a Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona Formosa). This suggests that it may have been created in Australia in 1901 or in the years directly following Australian Federation, when symbols of Australian flora and fauna worked their way into all forms of art, architecture and domestic design as a way of symbolising national patriotism.

 

Private collection.

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Taken on September 17, 2012