Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025743, Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:22:31 -0400

ANNOTATION: Ada's Eckercrown plate
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Ada's Eckercrown plate
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:22:37 -0700
From: Rachel Ronning <rachel_worden@YAHOO.COM>

In Part 1 Chapter 10 of Ada, Van and Ada discuss the flowers on a
"Eckercrown plate" to prevent Marina from lecturing on theater.

Van: "That yellow thingum" (pointing at a floweret prettily
depicted on an Eckercrown plate) "—is it a buttercup?"
Ada: "No. That yellow flower is the common Marsh Mari-
gold, Caltha palustris. In this country, peasants miscall it ‘Cow-
slip,’ though of course the true Cowslip, Primula veris, is a
different plant altogether."

"I see," said Van.

"Yes, indeed," began Marina, "when I was playing Ophelia,
the fact that I had once collected flowers—"

"Helped, no doubt," said Ada. "Now the Russian word for
marsh marigold is Kuroslep (which muzhiks in Tartary mis-
apply, poor slaves, to the buttercup) or else Kaluzhnitsa, as used
quite properly in Kaluga, U.S.A."

"Eckercrown" might be a nod to the pottery house of Hammersley & Co.
which used an acorn and crown as their mark.
They also created a china pattern line titled "Flowers of Shakespeare's
I haven't been able to track down the Hammersley pattern for "Hamlet"
but have found a marigold and buttercup in the pattern line.
(for "Cymbaline" and "Loves Labors Lost.")

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