Scene in a first class railway carriage

Lithophane Scene in a first class railway carriage

Lithophane, porcelain, smear glazed, showing a scene in a first class railway carriage, a young man in naval officer's uniform is in conversation with an elderly gentleman whilst a young woman simpers in the corner; impressed mark 'PPM' and pattern number 730 on back, made by the Plauesche Porzellanmanufactur, Plaue, Thuringia, Germany, c1855-1875.

The source of this design is 'First Class - The Meeting' (1855), a painting by Abraham Solomon (1824-1862) of which at least four examples exist, the original in the National Railway Museum in York, two copies in private collections and another in Southampton City Art Gallery.

The composition on which this lithophane is based was pre-dated by a painting, 'First Class - The Meeting... and at first meeting loved', now in the National Gallery of Canada, exhibited by Solomon at the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1854; this earlier painting attracted moral censure for showing a young man (not in this version a naval officer) talking to the young woman whilst the old gentleman sleeps; Solomon accordingly created a revised composition one year later.

Purchased with the assistance of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund