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Queens of England

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1953 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dekk, Dorrit, born 1917 - died 2014 (artist)
    Orient Line (printed and published)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Pamela Griffiths

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 68, box B II

This menu card was made for a voyage on board the Orient Line cruise ship "Oronsay" in 1953. Illustrated menus such as this were printed in advance on land with the inside (menu part) left blank, to be printed on board ship. Passengers often kept them as souvenirs. The menus reflect the luxury of cruise liner travel during its heyday. "Oronsay" was a new liner, making her maiden voyage in 1951.

Illustrator and designer Dorrit Dekk (1917-1961) designed a number of dinner menus for P&O during the 1950s and 1960s. Originally from Czechoslovakia, Dekk moved to England in 1938 to study advertising design. She designed for companies such as P&O, London Transport, British Rail and the Post Office (GPO), and in 1951 she designed the Sports and Games section of The Festival of Britain. She was also a book illustrator and her work included a series on the Queens of England, written by Ralph Lawrence.

Physical description

Printed dinner menu for the Orient line S.S. 'Oronsay', dated Saturday, 31st October, 1953. The card is folded once vertically. On the front is a printed image, from an illustration signed by Dorrit Dekk, depicting Queen Elizabeth I.

Queen Elizabeth is dressed in pink and holds sceptre and orb. Behind her stands a man in purple with pink feather in his hat. The gate-tower of a castle, in pink, is in the background.

The text on the back of the menu card, printed in black in a serif font, some in italics, gives a biography of Queen Elizabeth I. In two boxes, both with a red decorative border, say that this is the second of a series of six menus with sketches of the Queens of England who successed to the throne in their own right; others in the series are listed.The headline 'Queens of England' is in a red decorative font.

Inside, the dinner menu is printed on the right half in a black sans-serif font with occasional italics, centered.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


ca. 1953 (made)


Dekk, Dorrit, born 1917 - died 2014 (artist)
Orient Line (printed and published)

Materials and Techniques

Ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Artist signature, part of front image, bottom right just below image.

1 ROBI[...]
Within image left centre; first betting stand.

2. [...] SMITH
Within image centre towards left; second betting stand.

Within image centre; THIRD betting stand.

Within image centre towards right; fourth betting stand.


Height: 20.4 cm, Width: 14 cm folded, Width: 28 cm open

Object history note

Gift of Mrs. Pamela Griffiths, whose late husband collected them while a passenger on board.

Descriptive line

On-board dinner menu card on the Orient Line S.S. Oronsay, 'Elizabeth I, of the House of Tudor'; Saturday 31 October 1953; Dorrit Dekk.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Commission


Ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

Sceptre; Gate-tower; Trophy; Flowers; Costume; Jester; Man; Hats; Policemen; Horse-shoe; Orb; Hedges


Prints; Transport

Production Type

Limited edition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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