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Miniature shoe, with Arbroath coat of arms

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made in Glasgow

Miniature shoe, with Arbroath coat of arms
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This porcelain miniature shoe is decorated with the Arbroath coat of arms. It was made for the souvenir market by the Nautilus Porcelain Company at the Possil Pottery in Glasgow and dates from between around 1900 and 1910.

The arms consist of a shield with a portcullis, said to have been the entrance to Arbroath Abbey. Supporting the shield, on the left, is St Thomas à Becket. On the right is a Scottish baron. They are both standing among Scottish thistles. The motto 'PROPTER LIBERTATEM' translates as 'For Liberty'. The arms refer the struggle of the Scottish Estates with Pope John XXII, in 1320, over the claim of kingship by Robert the Bruce.

Crested china became the most important type of British souvenir between 1900 and 1930. Its invention is credited to William Henry Goss (1833-1906), the owner of the Falcon Works in Stoke-on Trent. The main producer of crested china in Scotland was the Nautilus Porcelain Company, at the Possil Pottery in Glasgow. Run by the china merchants MacDougall & Sons, of 77-79 Buchanan Street, the company produced 'Nautilus' miniatures between around 1900 and 1910. The pottery closed in 1911.

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