April 14, 2013

In or Out

It’s so amazing the way our eyes can deceive us. We can look at something from one angle and it looks one way, but when we cock our head, the vision changes and we see another picture entirely.

I bought a set of plates over the weekend. I am quite taken with china of all sorts, especially late 1800’s transfer-ware. And lately, I’ve been drawn to brown and white transfer-ware and have acquired several pieces of it.
These two pieces are from Wedgwood Anniversary productions of Catherine the Great’s famous “Green Frog” service, which comprised 1244 pieces of china, each with a different view of a place in England! Each also had a green frog, signifying the marsh upon which Catherine built a summer palace.

But I digress… this is about some china I bought this weekend from my friends at Halcyon House Antiques. It’s great-looking china, marked Wedgwood, as well as another mark. But that’s not what intrigued me. It’s the border of the plates. Look at the scalloped edges… are they concave or convex? As your my eye travels around the edge of the plate, some of the scalloped edges look like they’re raised,image and others look like they’re depressed. imageAnd then I look again, and it’s different. And of course, as you look around the edge of the plate, you realize that the pattern’s the same all over! It’s just that your eyes are playing tricks on you and you’re seeing it differently.

Which do you see? Concave or convex?

13 comments:

  1. That's interesting. It looks convex on the lower half, concave on the upper half until I try to find where it changes over from one to the other.
    Nice finds!

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    1. You can see a break in the transfer at the bottom of the plate, but that's not where it changes!

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  2. From an e-mail I received...
    Your eye is not playing tricks on you! All of the shadowing on the ridges are on the right hand size. In the real world those shadows would vary. That is why your brain is confused as to whether it is concave or convex…because your brain knows the shadows should vary as they travel around the plate that reflects a singular light source!

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  3. Agree with @ An Urban Cottage. Beautiful China. I have also started seeking out brown transfer ware. I'm a closet china junky.

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    1. I think a lot of us are closet china junkies!

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  4. These plates are lovely and it is interesting how your eye knows how the shadowing should be. I came out as a china addict ages ago. Just when I say I'm done and give away a set or two I manage to find something else I can't live without.

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    1. When I moved back to the states, i bought a lot of mismatched china... but it was all blue willow.

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  5. I think they are both, convex & concave. If the truth be known, I am china addict. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  6. Your blog has been so scientific lately! haha j/k.. These are GREAT! Esp love the frog series. They look concave to me -till you see the joint at the bottom and realize the jokes on you -it's flat!

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  7. I do love that border -- but the little green frog is my favorite!

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  8. I see them both! and I want some plates!

    Great post!

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