An Unusual Edwardian Period Reverse Glass Painted Plaque; ‘God is Love’ c.1905-10

Origin: English
Period: Edwardian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1905-10
Diameter: 11”

The Edwardian period unusual circular enamelled and reverse glass painted plaque, bearing the words 'God is Love' in foil with a central angel leaning on a cloud, with a foil floral spray underneath to a metal rim, the whole surviving from the first quarter of twentieth century England.

The piece is in good overall order with some very small chips, and some wear to the enamel. The foil gives it a nice ethereal and shimmering quality.

“God is love” is a direct quote from two different verses in the Bible—1 John 4:8 and 1 John 4:16. For Christians, this description of the fundamental nature of God, is expressed many times in other scriptures. It’s meaning is essentially that God in his love wants his followers to become his children and to become at one with him and to learn to love him, his family and his creation, as he loves.

The popularity of glass as a building material and for decoration in particular increased after the Great Exhibition of 1851, the centrepiece of which, the Crystal Palace, used glass with great extravagance. A technique known as ‘back-painting’ became popular in the 1870s and is less commonly seen with mother of pearl inlay or foil as we see here.

Whether you are a fan of the big man himself or not, this is cool kitsch and we cannot find another example so it may well be unique.