The Phoenix and the Turtle by William Shakespeare

The Phoenix and the Turtle is an allegorical poem by William Shakespeare, first published in 1601 to accompany Robert Chester’s Love’s Martyr.

Just to make things clear – the turtle from the title is a turtle dove, not a reptile.

porcelain dove

A porcelain dove I featured in my post on Shakespeare’s Henry V

The poem is often read as an allegory of ideal, Neoplatonic love, but some critics have found political or religious allusions there as well.

During Elizabeth I’s reign, phoenix, as a symbol of perfection, was one of the birds associated with the Queen. Turtle dove represents devoted love. Thus, one possible interpretation of the poem would be the perfect union between the Ruler and her People.

To be honest, I’ve never “felt” this poem the way I do, for example, Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis. Maybe it’s because of its elegaic, mournful tone. In the poem, the birds gather at the funeral of the phoenix and the turtle dove. The birds sing about their perfect union, how the two became one and what the world has lost:

Beauty, truth, and rarity.
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclos’d in cinders lie. (lines 54-56)

Beauty, truth and rarity, the colours of the phoenix and dove grey – this is what inspired me in this poem and what I’ve decided to translate into objects for you today.

Boleslawiec, a Polish ceramic factory has recently introduced a new collection of pottery called Renesans/Renaissance. It is designed by a young and talented designer, Dorota Koziara. You can watch a video narrated by her here.

renesans by dorota koziara

Photos from press materials via here

I love the way in which you can mix and match patterns and colours to get your ideal set.

Colombe – a dove in French – is a name of a shop and design studio that stands behind the new look of this 1950s flat in Warsaw.

Project: Marta Chrapka, photos: Rafał Lipski

Project: Marta Chrapka, photo: Rafał Lipski

Project: Marta Chrapka, photo: Rafał Lipski

Project: Marta Chrapka, photo: Rafał Lipski

The star-shaped mirror is my personal favourite. If you want to find out more about Colombe and this project, read the article in Vogue.

I’m so glad that there are so many outstanding Polish designers that get recognition worldwide. Colombe, soar high – you deserve it.

And finally, my selection of dove grey pearls for you:

dove grey

1. Curtains via asmushomeinteriors 2. Duvet cover by HouseOfBalticLinen 3. Wallpaper by QUADROSTYLE 4. Lampshade by DesignsOnPaper 5. Ceramic lamp via theretrobeehive 6. Dish via ConstableDewey 7. Cushion cover by WhitlockandCo 8. Knobs by HANDPAINTEDbydesign 9. Stained-glass feather by GepettosWorkShoppe

Have you found something that caught your eye? Share it in the comment box below or in my social media.

IM finalist(1)

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Have a wonderful week.



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