Mid-century Minton Mythology

When we began to digitise the contents of three mid-20th century folios in the collection we didn’t expect to end up plotting patterns onto maps or creating galleries of plant-inspired designs – that’s what happens when the themes running through the pattern names are just too obvious to ignore! We were therefore rather excited to see where the final folio might take us, but at first glance there didn’t seem to be any strong naming conventions at all…

Shrugging off those anti-climactic feelings we looked a little closer and discovered a couple of smaller themes in the folio and, what’s more, recognised them as being present in the previous folios too. You can see one example in the gallery below – by working across all three folios we were able to expand what was a relatively small group of designs named after figures from Greek, Roman, and Middle Eastern mythology into a large pan-folio collection instead. Each caption shows from which folio the pattern was drawn and includes links to Wikipedia entries for each mythological figure – after all some aren’t as immediately familiar as Apollo or Neptune!

Apollo (Greek, Roman)
SD 1705/MS1932

Astarte (Middle Eastern)
SD 1705/MS1932

Athena (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1918A

Clio (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1918A

Electra (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1932

Fortuna (Roman)
SD 1705/MS1932

Juno (Roman)
SD 1705/MS1932

Jupiter (Roman)
SD 1705/MS1918

Lucina (Roman)
SD 1705/MS1918

Minos (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1918

Neptune (Roman)
SD 1705/MS1918

Pandora (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1918A

Persephone (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1918

Pluto (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1932

Thalia (Greek)
SD 1705/MS1918A

We also spotted a number of place-related pattern names in this folio but most referred to locations outside the UK, the “unofficial” catchment area for our initial Mid-century Minton mapping exercise. Once again we trawled back through the other two folios, picked out any names we’d left out of the original map, and brought them all together to broaden our map’s horizons. It’s thanks to SD 1705/MS1932 that no pin looks too lonely on the continent! (Yes, Shiraz is the exception but we couldn’t leave it out – not with that bright, colourful design!)

You can see the updated map below (and in both previous posts) – why not test your geographic knowledge by locating our latest additions: Ascona, Balmerino, Blenheim, Braemar, Brescia, Capri, Chantilly, Como, Fiesola, Haddon Hall, Knightsbridge, Lytham, Muralto, Naples, Orleans, Picardy, Rimini, Sandringham, Segovia, Shiraz, Sienna, Sprimont, Stresa, Valencia, and Verona.