William Butterfield ( British, 1814 - 1900 )


John Keith & Son ( British, 1824 - 1929 )

more object details

General Description

The lobed, pear-shaped form of this flagon is decorated with a floral motif, which seemingly leaps from the surface to take the form of a wirework stem and cut metal blossom. Made for the Anglican (Holy Trinity) Church of Funchal, Madeira, this flagon, designed by architect William Butterfield, reflects the influence of the Gothic Revival style popularized in England by designer and social critic A. W. N. Pugin.

Several designers, including Pugin and Butterfield, advocated Gothic designs and motifs as spiritually beneficial and thus appropriate to counter the grim societal conditions of the modern industrialized age. Butterfield later designed a number of Gothic-influenced structures including All Saints Church, London (1859) and St. Mary Brookfield, London (c. 1869-1875).

Excerpt from

DMA unpublished material, Label copy.

Web Resources

  • Google eBooks
    View similar John Keith & Son flagons depicted in "Illustrated Catalogue of the International Exhibition," an issue of The Art Journal published on the occasion of the International Exhibition of 1862.

  • Holy Trinity Church, Funchal, Madeira
    Learn the history of the Holy Trinity Church, Funchal, Madeira, for which the flagon was made.

  • Khan Academy
    All Saints Church, London, designed by William Butterfield, is one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. Watch a video on All Saints Church.