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).
DMA unpublished material, Label copy.