The Botanical Obsession: Prints and Porcelain, 1730–1830

Patricia Darrell Knight, San Francisco Ceramic Circle

Saturday, June 9, 2012Mini-exhibit: Lecture: 11:30amGould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor
Legion of Honor
Chelsea plate, c.1755 (Victoria & Albert Museum)

Chelsea plate, c.1755 (Victoria & Albert Museum)

"Acanthus spinoza", Georg Ehret print (Antiquariaat Junk)

“Acanthus spinoza”, Georg Ehret print (Antiquariaat Junk)

Pat Knight will bring together her passions for plants, prints and porcelains in this thoroughly researched and beautifully illustrated presentation. Pat’s first passion is the role of botany in the 18th century. She will discuss the role of explorations, especially in the hinterlands of the North American colonies, as well as the scientific work of Carl Linneaus and Georg Oeder. Introduction of new and exotic plants changed the landscape of the great estates and promoted research at botanical centers, such as the Chelsea Physic garden.

Popular interest in horticulture led to books illustrated with botanical prints by Georg Ehret and to the “Botanical Magazine” published by William Curtis. Popular interest and novelty led to fashionable botanical decoration on porcelain. Mrs. Knight will illustrate this cultural phenomenon with examples of botanical wares from Meissen, Chelsea, Derby and the Royal Danish Porcelain Factory made in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Patricia Knight earned a bachelor’s degree in English and European history at Southampton University. Always a keen gardener, she obtained certification in gardening after emigrating to the United States. She founded Patrician Antiques, specializing in 18th and 19th century porcelain, pottery, silver and decorative objects. Pat is a longtime member of the Ceramic Circle, and has spoken before on Minton pottery and porcelain. Her ceramic collecting interests include Staffordshire figures and wares, Regency period porcelains, Jugendstil and modern ceramics.

As an enthusiastic gardener Pat Knight has served on the boards of Western Horticulture and the Los Altos Garden club; she is web master for both organizations. Her plant interests include Mediterranean-climate plants and the drought-resistant plants of South Africa and Australia and, in fact, anything with flowers.


Gould Theatre, Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, San Francisco. Enter at the west side lower level near the café, or through the main entrance for day-time events.