Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

  • Tray
    Redgrave, Richard CB, RA, ARA, born 1804 - died 1888
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (made)

  • Date:

    1865 (made)
    1847 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Redgrave, Richard CB, RA, ARA, born 1804 - died 1888 (designer)
    Jennens & Bettridge (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Papier-mâché, japanned and gilded, with appliqué of mother-of-pearl

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 122, case 2

Object Type
Shaped trays were popular with the Victorians as they combined new designs with a practical function. This wine tray was designed to hold two decanters and glasses so that wine or sherry could be served more easily to groups of people.

Henry Cole (1808-1882) and his friend the artist Richard Redgrave (1804-1888) collaborated over several products for Summerley's Art Manufactures in 1847. They visited Jennens & Bettridge and another papier-mâché manufacturer, Frederick Walton of Wolverhampton, to discuss designs. Redgrave's design for tray, decanters and glasses was approved by Cole in September 1847 and John Bettridge, who had agreed to make the tray, produced the first example in January 1848. Cole bought this tray from Bettridge in 1865 for £3 4s (£3.20) for the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A).

Cole optimistically advertised this 'supper tray', as he called it, with decanters and glasses in October 1847, although the first example was not ready until January 1848. He continued to promote this new design by including it in an exhibition that he organised at the Royal Society of Arts, London, in 1848. Jennens & Bettridge showed the tray on their stand at the Exposition of Arts and Manufactures, Birmingham, in 1849, which was praised by Cole in the Journal of Design.

Place of Origin

Birmingham (made)


1865 (made)
1847 (designed)


Redgrave, Richard CB, RA, ARA, born 1804 - died 1888 (designer)
Jennens & Bettridge (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Papier-mâché, japanned and gilded, with appliqué of mother-of-pearl


Height: 40 cm, Width: 72.5 cm, Depth: 4 cm

Object history note

Designed by Richard Redgrave CB, RA (born in London, 1804, died there in 1888) for Felix Summerly's Art Manufactures; made by the firm of Jennens & Bettridge, Birmingham

Historical context note

Other examples of the wine tray survive. One, of the same design, stamped by Jennens & Bettridge but with different floral decoration, was sold for £190 by Mallams Salerooms, Oxford, 25th July 2007.

Descriptive line

Wine tray

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jones, Yvonne, Japanned Papier-Mâché and Tinware c. 1740-1940. Woodbridge, Antique Collectors' Club, 2012 (ISBN 978 1 85149 686 0), p. 154, fig. 148

Labels and date

British Galleries:

This tray was specifically described as being designed 'on the new principle of fixing decanters and preventing their shifting among the glasses'. The idea of a tray shaped for ease of handling may have been jointly conceived by Henry Cole and Richard Redgrave. The decoration of bunches of grapes on the decanter was deemed appropriate to its use as a container for sherry. [27/03/2003]




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.