The scene on the plate in French blue and white faience shows a hydrogen balloon over a village. The bowl in blue and white Bristol Delft china shows a balloon with flags and two aeronauts. Public balloon ascents began to be held in pleasure gardens after the first succesful balloon trips in Paris during 1783. These events attracted huge crowds and led to an explosion of ballooniana, or balloon art, expresed in paintings, prints and decorated ceramics as well as many other forms.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library