J. B. Higginson is listed in the 1869 Directory
for Madely, Staffordshire, as a painter and decorator. Other known works by him are of a similar composition. Unlike comparable still-life scenes in our Naples collection, where fruit and vegetables assume metaphorical value, this modest meal
is recorded purely topographically. Historically a farm-house industry, British cheese began to be mass-produced from 1870 with the opening of England’s first cheese factory at Longford, near Derby. The tableware perhaps serves as evidence of British glass and cotton damask production in factories at the time.
Donated by Christopher Bibby
James Booth Higginson A Still Life with Cheese, Bread and Beer 1870 © Compton VerneyDonated by Christopher Bibby