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Plate - A tightrope walker
  • A tightrope walker
    Hine, Margaret, born 1927 - died 1987
  • Enlarge image

A tightrope walker

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1955 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hine, Margaret, born 1927 - died 1987 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, thrown and turned, painted in colours in a white tin glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Earthenware plate, thrown and turned leaving a spiral pattern on the back of the plate, the perimeter of the plate has fourteen pierced round holes; the scene depicts a tightrope walker and his audience; decorated with a white tin glaze, with in-glaze painted decoration in blue, manganese purple, tan and yellow, with touches of sgraffito.

Of the plates associated with La Ronde coffee house (Museum nos. C.116 to 122-2011), Museum nos. C.116 and 117-2011 are of closely similar body, technique and profile, as are Museum nos. C.119, 120 & 121-2011, the profiles of which are shallower. Museum no. C.118-2011 is of similar body and profile to Museum nos. C.116 and 117-2011, but the back is differently trimmed and the plate is decorated using different materials and techniques. Museum no. C.122-2011 is distinct from all others in the group in its body, method of forming, and in its decoration, and it has been pierced with larger and fewer round holes.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1955 (made)


Hine, Margaret, born 1927 - died 1987 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, thrown and turned, painted in colours in a white tin glaze

Marks and inscriptions

'WOOLLEY & WALLIS / 482 / 30th November 2011 / 7'
Auction house sticker on back.

'P711 1 / 7'
Sticker on back of plate.


Height: 3.2 cm, Diameter: 21.6 cm

Object history note

One of a group of plates (Museum nos. C.116 to 122-2011) that formed part of the interior decoration of La Ronde coffee bar in Baker Street, London, in the 1950s. A contemporary photograph of the interior from an architecture journal shows that the plates were wall-mounted and spaced at intervals across the wall surface. One plate from the group (Museum no. C.117-2011) is visible in the photograph. The group includes plates made both by Margeret Hine and by Nicholas Vergette. Vergette is also known to have made sculptural pieces for shelves in La Ronde. The plates are said to have been acquired from a sale at the time of the closure of the coffee bar. They were subsequently sold through Woolley & Wallis in their sale of British Art Pottery, Wednesday 30 November 2011, lot 482, alongside a larger plate by Hine for La Ronde, lot 481.

A triangular pattern of dirt on the back of the plate suggests that it was hung on the wall from a single point towards its top, the plate being supported by a triangular wire structure that held it at three points on the rim. It is not clear if this was the original or a subsequent method of display.

Descriptive line

Plate, earthenware, depicting a tightrope walker and audience, Margaret Hine, London, ca. 1955

Production Note

Produced for La Ronde coffee house, Baker Street, London.


Earthenware; Ceramic glaze


Sgraffito; Thrown; Turned


Ceramics; Studio Pottery


Ceramics Collection

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