Crested china nurse : First World War

Place Europe: United Kingdom, England, Buckinghamshire
Accession Number REL23598
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description China
Maker Arcadian China
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made c 1914-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Full length figure of a nurse. The bib of her apron bears a red cross, while the front of her apron skirt carries the coat of arms for Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England. On the base is printed 'Soldier's Friend', although some of the text is worn off. The edges of the nurse's apron and sleeve cuffsare gilded. There is a makers mark for Arcadian China, Stoke on Trent, England, underneath the base.

History / Summary

Crested china collecting became a craze in the Victorian period when tourists bought small ivory coloured porcelain ornaments decorated with the coats of arms of the towns they visited to take home as a souvenir. Before the First World War companies (the most famous and the original being Goss crested china) made collectibles such as vases, plates and other crockery, houses, public buildings, cars and replicas of visitor attractions. During the war the range of souvenirs was expanded to include military caps, equipment and vehicles. Some crested china was made in the figures of generic soldiers, nurses and sailors, while others were produced to represent specific people, such as the nurse, Edith Cavell. The epithet, 'Soldier's Friend' on this figure enforced the importance to service personnel of nurses during the war.