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This image shows the small bay of Aberbach, Pembrokeshire, where materials salvaged by divers from the wreck of the CHARLES HOLMES were auctioned on the beach in October 1860.

The CHARLES HOLMES was a full-rigged ship and had left Liverpool on 24 October, bound for Mobile with a cargo of coal, iron, tools, clothing, crockery and meat. On 25 October 1859, a hurricane gale swept along the Welsh coast. Contemporary accounts suggest that ship was dismasted by the high winds and capsized to eventually be driven ashore in the vicinity of Aberbach.

Even after the initial events surrounding the wreck, interest in the wreck continued. In December 1859, the Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser reported the arrival of a person from Falmouth in Aberbach to inspect the spot where the vessel was lost with the purpose of placing divers. The Pembrokeshire Herald printed another report in May 1860, that the party of divers had successfully raised parts of the wreck, including 50 tons of iron, mostly rods.

Items salvaged from the wreck were eventually put up for sale by auction. An small advert placed on 14 September 1860, noted that Levi Jones, a well-known local auctioneer, would oversee the sale. The full list of items was to be printed in a hand bill.

According to the advert, the auction would consist of a variety of articles, including a complete set of china, breakfast tea and coffee services, dinner sets and a variety of hardware, such as boxes of carpenters tools, brass and iron chains and rigging.

Not all of the salvage from the CHARLES HOLMES was done by the official team of divers. Potters Electric News includes a report of the proceedings of the Dewsland Petty Sessions in which a J Roberts was fined 1 shilling for stealing part of the cargo.

Sources include:
Pembokeshire Herald, 16 December 1859, 11 May 1860, 14 Sept 1860, National Library of Wales: Welsh Newspapers Online:
Potters Electric News, 7 December 1859, National Library of Wales: Welsh Newspapers Online

The Victorian era encompassed a number of important artist movements which found expression in the decoration of china and porcelain, including the Arts and Craft Movement and Art Nouveau. The two styles which dominated at the time of the Great Storm of 1859 were:
Gothic Revival - Extending from about 1830 to around 1880, the Gothic Revival movement featured symmetry, ornate filigree work, Gothic-style arches, and sweeping geometric shapes.
Aesthetic - The Aesthetic movement extended from around 1850 through the mid-1880s and involved simpler motifs inspired by many non-Western cultures, including India, Japan, and China.

Research one of these movements and design a dinner service which encapsulates some of the most popular design motifs of the day in that style.

Royal Doulton is a British company which specialised in porcelain tableware and figurines. When was the company established and where?

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