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Title: Pottery and Porcelain, from early times down to the Philadelphia exhibition of 1876

Author: Charles Wyllys Elliott

Release Date: September 6, 2014 [EBook #46779]

Language: English

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P O R C E L A I N,




549 & 551 BROADWAY.




WHAT we have attempted has been to gather and present, in a way to be easily understood, the most important facts respecting “Pottery and Porcelain.”

The study of this interesting subject has for more than a century been constant in Europe, and notably so during the last twenty-five years. A correct knowledge of it may now almost be called a liberal education. In the United States something has been done; and the public mind is now asking, “What is it that makes ‘pottery and porcelain’ so attractive to scholars, statesmen, women, and wits?”

In some degree we have answered this question. My part of the work has been to gather where I could such historical and technical facts and such illustrations as seemed most valuable, not only to the student but to the collector.

Many of these came from Europe, of course, where since Queen Anne’s day the love of “old china” has at times risen to enthusiasm. But I have drawn from our own collections whenever it has been possible. In the preparation and engraving of the illustrations I hope the judicious critic, as well as the judicious public, will give due credit to the publishers and their artists, who, it seems to me, deserve great praise for having so well done what they have undertaken to do. Permit me to say a word for collectors.

Busy men who are making railways and coal-pits, under the pleasing{4} illusion that they are developing the country more than the rest of us, are apt to think a man with any hobby except that of making money is wasting his time.

I would like to remind the reader that there are a few—many of them young men and young women too—who have money enough for all reasonable wants, and who do not care to waste time and life in getting more money, for which they have no special uses; these persons find a perennial occupation in the study, the comparison, the purchasing, the collecting, of all that will illustrate their subject of study—their hobby. Around this subject of pottery and porcelain may be grouped, if one so pleases, all the habits, the wants, the inventions, the growths, of human society.

Some have yet a notion that the study of the politics and the fightings of man is most important; others, how man came to be an Arminian or an Augustinian; others, whether the sun is or is not gradually cooling down, and must finally cease to be, or whether, on the contrary, its flames are fed by the self-sacrificing stars.

Without detracting from their labors, I beg leave to say that my great hobby or central fact being the home, I hold that whatever makes that interesting, beautiful, or useful, is, or should be, interesting, beautiful, and useful, to all the world. I believe that what we call politics, or government, is only valuable in that it helps to create and to protect desirable homes; all the rest—all the speeches, and processions, and crownings, and court-balls, and receptions, and dinners—are “leather and prunella.”

Therefore I believe the “art of living” is first and foremost; to know how to make this life comfortable and beautiful is all-important. Yet there is not a teacher of this great art in all the land, although “professors” are legion.

We may well ask, when we go to a house: “What have they there to tell us—what to show us? What have they collected to interest, to please, to instruct?”{5}

If a person has only many bonds bearing coupons locked up in his safe—delightful as the fact may be to him—what pleasure or satisfaction is that to us?

But if in that house are gathered all the interesting examples of any growth of Nature or of Art, what a pleasure to go there!—they may be beetles, or butterflies, or stones, or shells, or silvers, or porcelains. I thank God that here is a man who can and does collect—one who does care for something which I too care for.

I wish, therefore, that every young man and young woman would get a hobby early in life to which he or she can at any time devote some spare time and spare money. Ennui, the demon who afflicts the idle, is thus exorcised, and vice loses its charming power.

The collector, too, does not waste his money. There is not a collection of pictures or of minerals, of birds or of butterflies, of chinas or of books, of armor or of gems, of laces or of tapestries, if made with ordinary care and knowledge, but is worth more—often ten times or fifty times more—than it has cost. Even in a pecuniary way, therefore, the hobby is productive; and the collection is not only as interesting, but it is as good as gold.

Our Collections.—Of collections of porcelain and pottery one must of course look for great exhibitions to the museums of Europe—such as the Kensington Museum, in London; the Cluny, in Paris; the Green Vaults, in Dresden; the Oriental, at Leyden—and to private collections, such as the Rothschilds have made at London and at Paris, to Lady Schreiber’s, and many more, in England.

What are accessible to us are the private collections of some of our own people.

In New York, Mr. William C. Prime’s collection is quite large, numbering some four thousand pieces. It is particularly devoted to the porcelains of Europe, and is an excellent collection. In it are some four or five complete dinner-services of old Dresden and Sèvres porcelain, and many single pieces which rank high.{6}

Mr. S. P. Avery’s collection of Oriental porcelains is the most complete we have, and is very rich in all the departments, especially the Chinese. His pieces of “celestial blue” number more than any other single collection in this country.

In the Loan Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art have been exhibited many examples from Mr. Prime’s collection of porcelains, and about five hundred pieces of Oriental ware from Mr. Avery’s, of nearly every distinctive style made in China and Japan in their best times.

The collection of Mr. Robert Hoe, Jr., is extremely choice in its admirable specimens of Oriental porcelain. Its egg-shells, crackles, and “celestial blues,” are not to be excelled. In this collection are also examples of other styles, among them some of the best of old Dresden.

Mr. W. L. Andrews, of New York, has a very choice collection of Oriental porcelain, probably the best in the country, and, containing the most of the “rose-back” and other “egg-shell.”

Mr. Edward Cunningham, of Milton, Massachusetts, has many superb vases, some of them of great size, obtained by himself in China.

In Albany, Mr. J. V. L. Pruyn has several complete dinner-services of Sèvres porcelain, made for King Louis Philippe, one large service of Lowestoft, and many other individual and interesting specimens. Some of his examples of Sèvres painting cannot be surpassed. He has also a small breakfast-service of “celestial blue,” mounted in silver, which is excellent.

In Boston, Mr. G. W. Wales’s collection is very varied and rich. He has excellent examples of Oriental and of European porcelains, and some perfect pieces of “celestial blue.” Many of his best specimens are on loan in the Boston Art Museum.

Mrs. Anson Burlingame’s collection of Chinese porcelain, at Cambridge, made while in China, is not large, but it has in it some of the best examples of the “green,” the “celestial blue,” the “rose,”{7} and the “chrysanthemum.” Some of these have been exhibited in the Loan Collection in Boston.

Dr. F. W. Lewis and Mr. E. S. Clarke, of Philadelphia, have small and good collections, particularly devoted to Oriental porcelains.

Mr. W. S. Vaux and Dr. Lewis have made interesting exhibitions of the pottery of Greece and of Italy.

Mr. Joseph A. Clay, of Philadelphia, has a small and valuable collection of early Peruvian pottery, of the period before the Spanish Conquest. There is also a varied collection of South and North American Indian pottery in the Peabody Museum at Cambridge.

There may be, and probably are, in the United States many interesting collections of which I know nothing. I am told that Mr. Walters, of Baltimore, and Mr. Probasco, of Cincinnati, both have many very rare and valuable pieces; but, I regret to say, I have had no opportunity of seeing them.

I do not doubt that the love for these fine works of man’s hand will grow, that more and more small collections will be begun, and that time will make them large and valuable and interesting.

A word of caution may be said to guard against imitations, which abound in Europe. I hear now that the Chinese and Japanese are learning, all too quickly, our Christian ways of counterfeiting, and are likely to better the instruction.

In conclusion, I implore our people not to fill their houses with imitations of old things—not even when the antiques are good is it desirable to encourage porcelain-painters in that sort of thing: when it comes to copying antiquity which is poor, it is inexcusable; and when we reach the counterfeiting of the antique, it smacks of baseness.

For this sort of thing we, the public, are responsible. The painter paints what will sell.

No gentleman or lady should consent to be shabby, or to help other people along that facile road. Let us keep our eyes open to any and all new work which is good, and especially to all which shows originality{8} and courage on the part of modelers or of painters. Let us moderns admire the good in the Orientals, but let us worship our own gods, and dare and do for ourselves.

As far as practicable, I have in these pages pointed to examples, and have illustrated by such as are owned in this country; so that many persons who wish to examine these interesting works of fictile art may see them for themselves.

The public collections are of course all open; and I am glad to say that private collectors seem willing and ready to open their collections to students as much as possible. It is human and pleasant to wish that others should enjoy what we enjoy.

Marks, and especially upon porcelain, are not the most important thing; but still they are important, and to many are most satisfactory. I have therefore included in this volume all the prominent ones; so that the book will be found useful not only to the collector at home, but also to him who travels abroad.

The traveler who has a wise hobby gets a thousand times more pleasure from his travels than he who has no purpose except change of place and aimless movement. I suggest to the man who has none to try “pottery and porcelain.”

As to prices of porcelain, etc., I have given those paid at actual sales whenever I could find them; they will be of service to buyers and collectors, as something of a guide to what they may safely pay.

Books which may be referred to, and especially such as may be found in some of our public libraries, are given at the end of the volume.

I hope the public will buy this book, and also good pottery and porcelain.

C. W. E.





The Pottery of the Stone Age.—The Lacustrine Dwellings.—Vases of the Bronze Age.—Peruvian Pottery.—Mexican Pottery.—Pottery of Western Mounds.—The Cesnola Collections.—Roman Pottery.—Saxon and Scandinavian Pottery.—The Pottery of Ancient Gaul—of Ancient Germany

Page 13



Palaces of Homer’s Heroes.—The Ceramicus at Athens.—Egyptian Pottery.—Etruscan Tombs.—Good and Bad Vases.—Age of Vases.—Various Styles.—The Archaic Style.—The Fine Style.—Beauty a Birthright.—Aspasia’s House.—Names of Vases.—The Cup of Arcesilaus.—Number of Extant Vases.—Their Uses.—The Greek Houses.—Greek Women.—Greek Men.—The Hetairai.—Etruscan Vases




Unglazed Water-Colors.—Clay Sketches.—Japanese Clay Figures.—Spanish Pots.—Italian Peasant Pottery.—Egyptian.—Turkish.—Mexican.—Watcombe Terra-cotta.—Copenhagen Pottery




Definition of Glaze.—Varnish.—Enamel in Egypt, Babylon.—The Arabs and the Moors.—Grès de Flandre.—Cologne, Regensburg, Baireuth, Neuwied, Grenzhausen, Coblentz.—Holland.—Beauvais.—Flanders.—Apostle-Mugs.—Graybeards.—“Bellarmines.”—“Pottle-Pots.”—Modern Work.—Doulton Stone-ware.—Early German Stone-ware at Breslau.—Hirschvogel.—Nuremberg{10}




The Arabs in Spain.—Cordova, Granada, Seville.—Enamel and Lustres.—Hispano-Moresque.—The Alhambra.—Tiles.—Vase of the Alhambra.—Malaga.—Majorca and Maiolica.—Rhodian Pottery.—Damascus Pottery.—Persian and Arabic Pottery.—Persian Porcelain.—Persian and Arabic Tiles




The Word Maiolica, or Majolica.—Italian Renaissance.—The Dark Ages.—The Crusades.—The Mezza-Maiolica.—The True Maiolica.—Luca della Robbia.—Urbino.—Xanto and Fontana.—Raffaelesque Ware.—Mr. Fortnum.—Prices to-day.—Gubbio.—Maestro Giorgio.—The Lustres.—Castel-Durante.—Faenza.—The Sgraffito.—Forli, Venice, Castelli, etc.—Castellani.—Maiolicas at the Centennial




Bernard Palissy.—The Catholics and the Huguenots.—Saintes.—Figurines.—The Centennial Exhibition.—Prices.—Henri-Deux—where made—when.—Copies at Philadelphia.—List of Pieces extant, and Prices




Number of Manufactories.—Their Rise and Decline.—Nevers.—Prices.—Beauvais.—Rouen.—Moustiers.—Strasbourg, or Haguenau.—Marseilles.—Sarreguemines.—Sinceny, Nancy, Creil, Montpellier.—Paris.—Paris to-day.—Limoges.—Deck




Delft, Number of Fabriques.—Haarlem.—Paste.—Great Painters.—Violins.—Tea-Services.—A Dutch Stable.—Broeck Dutch Tiles.—England.—Queen Elizabeth.—Pepys’s Diary.—Brown Stone-ware.—The Tyg.—Lambeth Pottery.—Fulham Pottery.—Elers.—Elizabethan Pottery.—Stoke-upon-Trent.—Josiah Wedgwood.—Cheapness.—Queen’s-ware.—Jasper-ware.—Flaxman.—Cameos.—Basalt.—The Portland Vase.—Prices{11}




Difficulties.—The Porcelain Tower at Nanking.—First Making of Porcelain.—Kaolin and Pe-tun-tse.—Marco Polo.—Portuguese Importation.—The City of King-te-chin.—Jacquemart’s Groups.—Symbolic Decoration.—Inscriptions.—The Ming Period.—The Celestial Blue.—The Celadons.—Reticulated Cups.—The Crackle.—Various Periods.—Individualism.—Marks and Dates




Corean Porcelain.—Katosiro-ouye-mon.—The Province of Idsoumi.—Styles prevailing in Japan.—Marks.—Japanese Blue.—Indian Porcelain.—Dutch East India Company.—Egg-shell and Crackle.—Mandarin China.—Kaga Ware.—Satsuma Ware.—Japanese Art.—The Philadelphia Exhibition




Dresden China.—Porcelain in Europe.—The Alchemists.—Augustus II.—Böttger.—Tschirnhaus.—Experiments.—Kaolin discovered.—Höroldt and Kändler.—Fine Art, or Decorative Art.—Lindenir.—Angelica Kauffmann.—Rococo-Work.—Collectors.—Marcolini.—Prices.—Marks.—Berlin.—The Seven Years’ War.—Frederick the Great.—Prices.—Marks.—Vienna.—Stenzel.—Maria Theresa.—Lamprecht.—Prices.—Marks.—Hungary.—Herend.—Fischer.—Marks.—Höchst, or Mayence.—Ringler.—Marks.—Frankenthal, or Bavarian.—Carl Theodor.—Melchior.—Prices.—Marks.—Fürstenburg, or Brunswick.—Von Lang.—Prices.—Marks.—Nymphenburg.—Heintzmann and Lindemann.—Prices.—Marks.—Ludwigsburg, or Kronenburg.—Fulda.—Hesse-Cassel.—Switzerland.—Marks




Hard and Soft Porcelain.—Discovery of Kaolin.—St.-Cloud.—Pâte Tendre.—Marks.—Rouen.—Small Manufactories.—Marks of same.—Chantilly.—Scéaux-Penthièvre.—Niderviller.—Marks.—Limoges.—Sèvres.—Flower-Work.—Hard Porcelain, Pâte Dure.—The Grand Monarque.—Florid Taste.—Boucher.—Vieux Sèvres.—Three Vases.—Greek Vases.—Prices at Bernal Sale.—Chemists.—Colors used.—Collections.—Art Museums.—Alexandra Brongniart.—Marks and Dates




Florentine, or Medicean.—Is it a True Porcelain?—The House of Medici.—Marks.—Doccia Porcelain.—The Marquis Ginori.—Beccheroni.—Present Work.—Marks.—Venice.—Vezzi.—Cozzi.—Marks.—Turin.—Gioanetti.—Marks.—Nove.—Terraglia.—Marks.—Capo di Monte.—Naples.—In Relief.—Marks.—Spanish Porcelain.—Buen Retiro.—Marks.—Portugal




Bow.—Chelsea.—Derby.—Chelsea-Derby.—Lowestoft.—Worcester.—Chamberlains.—Plymouth.—Bristol.—Pinxton.—Nantgaraw.—Swansea.—Turners.—Coalport.—Coalbrookdale.—Herculaneum.—Shelton, New Hall.—Rockingham.—Spode, Copeland.—Place.—Daniell.—Minton.—Prices and Marks




Holland and Belgium.—Oriental Trade.—Weesp.—Marks.—Loosdrecht.—Amstel, Old and New.—Marks.—The Hague.—Marks.—Lille.—Mark.—Tournay.—Marks.—Sweden.—Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII.—Marieberg.—Rörstrand.—Marks.—Denmark.—Copenhagen.—Marks.—Russia.—Peter the Great.—Catherine II.—Marks.—Tver.—Gardner.—Moscow.—Popoff.—Gulena.—Mark.—Poland.—Korzec




The First Porcelain made here.—Bonnin and Morris.—Franklin Institute.—William Ellis Tucker.—Tucker and Hemphill.—Thomas Tucker.—General Tyndale.—Porcelain of T. C. Smith and Sons.—Early Advertisements.—Josiah Wedgwood.—Lord Sheffield’s Report.—Alexander Hamilton’s Report.—History of Norwich.—Samuel Dennis, New Haven.—Isaac Hanford, Hartford.—Gallatin’s Report.—The “Washington Pitchers.”—Lyman and Fenton, Vermont.—Rouse and Turner, New Jersey.—Potteries at Trenton.—In Ohio.—The Centennial Exhibition






The Pottery of the Stone Age.—The Lacustrine Dwellings.—Vases of the Bronze Age.—Peruvian Pottery.—Mexican Pottery.—Pottery of Western Mounds.—The Cesnola Collections.—Roman Pottery.—Saxon and Scandinavian Pottery.—The Pottery of Ancient Gaul—of Ancient Germany.

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Fig 1.Bowl of the Stone Age.

SO ancient is the potter’s art that it may be said to have begun with the beginnings of man. A belief exists still in Silesia that there is a mountain out of which cups and jugs spring spontaneously, as the mushrooms shoot from the moist soil of the plains. Interwoven, then, as pottery is with the history of the race, having relations daily and hourly with man’s universal and greatest vocation—the preparation of{14} the food which supports and continues life—it has had and will have an interest as vital as it is wide-spread.

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Fig. 2.Vase of the Stone Age.

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Fig. 3.Vase of the Bronze Age.

Man a Cooking Animal.—Man is the only cooking animal, so far as I know. It is easy to believe that archaic man, when he began to evolve from the animal state, at once began to invent, and that, after he had discovered the uses of fire, the first need was of vessels which could be used upon the fire to seethe and boil.

And what do we find?{15}

The Reindeer Age—the Stone Age.—Of prehistoric times, when the reindeer roved free over Europe, even to the shores of the Mediterranean, in the Stone age, even when man lived in caves and was only able to fashion things with stones, a few pots have been found, showing how early his wants led him to fashion things of clay.

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Fig. 4.Vase of the Bronze Age.

The Lacustrine Dwellings of the Stone Age have given up a few traces of men. The remains of lake-dwellers have been found mostly in Switzerland, but somewhat in Ireland and Scotland. These reveal a people who built their huts for safety upon piles or upon fascines anchored in the small lakes. A variety of interesting things, consisting of spear-heads, knives, hatchets, etc., have been found, some of flint, some of bone, and some of bronze. Among these, which pertain to our subject, are a few pots of clay, which have survived the gnawing tooth of Time.

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Fig. 5.Bronze Age.

In Figs. 1 and 2 are to be seen two of these. They are coarse and clumsy, and are of blackish-gray clay, hardened in the sun or in an insufficient fire. They are not turned upon a wheel, but show marks{16} of the fingers impressed in the soft clay. Yet we cannot but be struck with the faint attempt at decoration to be seen on the foot of one of them, even in that era of savageness.

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Fig. 6.Bronze Age.

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Fig. 7.Bronze Age.

The Bronze Age yields up pottery which does not yet show the invention of the potter’s wheel. The work is still moulded by the hand, but the clay is better, and the forms begin to show clear indications of a{17} sense of proportion and a considerable degree of choice. The shapes are in greater variety, and some of them certainly are good. Of the five examples (Figs. 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) none are very bad, and two (Figs. 3 and 4), if not three, are excellent.

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Fig. 8.Peruvian.

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Fig. 9.Peruvian.

The pointed bottom appears here as it does in the early forms of the{18} Greek amphora; and, as the illustrations show, this involves a necessity for a further invention in the tripods upon which they rest. I have seen no explanation of this more difficult construction, and can think of none. It is certainly no easier to make the pointed than the flat bottom, and it certainly is not so useful. Why, then, was it so common? I can only suppose that when first made the point was intended to be thrust into the ground; but the moment they had hit upon the flat bottom, that moment the point, I should fancy, would have been abandoned; but it evidently was not. Perhaps they loved the old as some of us do, not because it was good, but because it was old. Who can tell?

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Fig. 10.Ancient Peru.

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Fig. 11.Ancient Peru.     Fig. 12.Ancient Peru.

How early the varied decoration showed itself we cannot know, but in many examples of early fictile work, the meander, the chevron or saw-tooth, and the fret, now called the Greek fret, are sure to appear{19}—and among the most diverse and distant nations; so, too, the forms and the uses of the vessels.

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Fig. 13.Ancient Peru.

Do not these things show that man develops everywhere along a corresponding line? They have not copied from one another, but a like want has produced a similar result in all.

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Fig. 14.Ancient Peru.     Fig. 15.Ancient Peru.

As we approach the historic ages, we find among the Egyptians, the Mexicans, the Peruvians, the Greeks, the Assyrians, the Romans, the Gauls, the Germans, the use of the potter’s wheel, one of the earliest{20} machines made by man. Of the Egyptian and Greek pottery I shall have something to say in a chapter upon the “Greek Vase.”

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Fig. 16.Roman Cup.

The Mexican pottery, sometimes called Aztec, is usually of reddish clay, and the vessels are almost identical in form and decoration with those of the Peruvians, which will appear in their place. They are of great variety, and must have been made in large numbers. The Mexicans also made grotesques and idols of clay, which are usually hideous, and are intended to be; for the gods of evil were those they feared and worshiped most. These potteries are of unglazed clay, as are all those we are now treating.

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Fig. 17.Roman Vase.

The civilizations which organized themselves in Mexico have always been an interesting and curious study. When Cortez and his conquering,{21} gold-seeking white men reached the high lands of the beautiful interior (1517), they found the splendid city of Mexico, built over and along the shores of the inland lake, and stretching toward the foot-hills which protect it from unfriendly winds. Here the Aztecs had organized society. They had succeeded to the Toltecs, a prosperous, industrious, and probably a peaceful people—a people coming from the warmer South, and unable to cope with the more hardy Aztecs, who came down from the North.

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Fig. 18.Roman Vase found at London.

These Aztecs had not only developed the arts of architecture and painting, as well as most of the mechanic arts; they had also reached to a literature, to laws, to a religion most elaborate and splendid; and they had not neglected to conquer and tax surrounding tribes, and make them pay tribute, as all the “great” white nations of the world have done. But all their civilizations, laws, religions, arts, were swept into ruin by the conquering hand of Cortez and his successors.

And what have we now in Mexico? What has come of the destruction of the great Indian races there? What but greed, anarchy, cruelty, ruin? It would be a curious speculation now to picture what that country—the most beautiful and most bountiful—might now be in the hands of its own people, and with a government which could protect life and make labor safe. As it is, its life and its art give us nothing to look at or to enjoy.{22}

Must man always destroy first in order that he may build up, and then be himself destroyed? No remains have come to us of glazed pottery belonging to these times; and it is probable that, their wants being fewer, their climate milder, and their food simpler, invention was not so much on the alert as it might have been in a colder and harsher climate. That these races were for some unknown reason superior to those living farther to the north, none will doubt when they know what they accomplished as compared with the Indians of the United States.

The Peruvians were the most cultivated and comfortable nation upon the Western Continent when Pizarro (1531) invaded, and, I may say, destroyed them. Indeed, when we read the accounts given of them by the Spanish writers themselves, we have only another proof that what we call “carrying to other peoples the blessings of civilization and Christianity” means rather the cursing them with cruelty and greed.

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Fig. 19.Vase. Pottery of Ancient Gaul.

A large collection of their pottery was shown at the United States Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, and there is a sufficient and most interesting exhibit of it in the Peabody Museum at Harvard in Cambridge. In this collection, also, are to be found many examples of like unglazed pottery found in the Western mounds of the United States by{23} Professors Shaler and Carr, who for some years have been engaged in researches in Kentucky and at other points in the West.

Upon some examples of this American pottery (Figs. 8 to 15) are to be seen decorations in color, mostly red, black, and brown; and it would seem impossible that these colors should have lasted through so many centuries, if they were not fixed by fire, and therefore were mineral.

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Fig. 20.Pottery of Ancient Gaul.

The decorations, too, were somewhat varied, but in none which I have seen do they go beyond the elementary styles already mentioned.

The production of idols and fantastic vases, animals and grotesques, must have been extensive, as so many of these have already been found; indicating that they must have been common in their day. Examples of this fantastic decoration and modeling are seen in Figs. 12 to 15—and in Fig. 14 is an approach to portraiture. In one (Fig. 15) is seen the double-bellied bottle, so much in use in China and Japan. The twin-bottles seen in Figs. 8 and 9 are good examples of a fancy which evidently pleased potter and people in those “good old Peruvian times.”

A most singular fact is mentioned by Demmin, that on one of their casseroles the handle is clearly the phallus, symbol of life, found on Egyptian sculptures, and once worshiped.

One curious fact is asserted by the French savants,[1] that there is abundant evidence to show that through a long succession of years, perhaps{24} three thousand, the character of these American potteries grew less and less pure and simple, and more and more debased and vulgar; which one can well believe, when we see everywhere that whole nations, some of them calling themselves civilized, have gone the same road, downward from the good to the bad, and not upward toward the true and the beautiful.

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Fig. 21.Ancient Gaul.

The opening of the Cesnola collections, at the New York Museum of Arts, shows us a vast number of early potteries which are as yet hardly classified or understood. Many of them bear marks of Assyrian or of Phœnician inspiration; and among them are rude vessels closely resembling those of Peru, and also many grotesque forms of vases and animals, such as mark the early attempts at Art in other nations. That collection should be examined by those who are interested in this subject.

The hand-book published by the Museum is full of condensed information, and should be carefully preserved.

The pottery of the Romans went wherever their armies went. Thus{25} it is found in France, in England, in Germany, in Spain, etc., etc. This Roman pottery has been found where excavations have been made, in Italy, in France, in England, along the Rhine, and in other places. It is distinguished as being more heavy and clumsy in form than that made in Greece, and the color of the clay is red, lighter or darker. The best of the Roman ware is often called Samian, because it was supposed to resemble that made at Samos in Greece, though it is quite different. The finest pieces approach to the color of sealing-wax, and have a lustre thin and brilliant, which has given rise to some dispute whether or not it is the result of an applied mineral varnish, or whether it is the product of careful hand-friction, developed and perfected by a high heat. The varnish, if such, is so thin that it has not been possible to analyze and decide upon it.

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Fig. 22.Ancient Gaul.

This red Samian or Roman much resembles the polished red ware made to-day in Egypt—of which a collection was shown in the recent Philadelphia Exhibition, and this bore no varnish.

One thing remarked as to this Roman pottery is, that it is never decorated with designs or ornaments in one or more colors. The decoration is sometimes incised, but more often is in relief. This is curious,{26} too, as those master-potters, the Greeks, used colors in their designs. These pieces are to be seen in the museums of Paris, London, and elsewhere. The example engraved (Fig. 16) is a cup on which the decoration is in relief, and the fillets and bands are carefully moulded on the potter’s wheel.

Figs. 17 and 18 were found in excavations made in 1845 in the city of London, and are excellent examples of this pottery. They are now in the Museum of Geology at London.

Fig. 17 is a sort of vase, or perhaps a drinking-cup, and is ornamented with the head of an animal. It is described as of “a pale red with a darkish-brown varnish.”

Fig. 18 is called the “Cup of Samos,” resembling so much as it does the work made at Samos. While these pieces were found in the earth beneath the city of London, many others have been found elsewhere; and much is believed to have been made at the old Anglo-Roman town of Caistre, in England, where remains of many furnaces have been unearthed.

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Fig. 23.Ancient Gaul.

Roman pottery has been found on the banks of the Rhine, near Bonn, Coblentz, Mayence, in Baden, etc., etc.; in France, at Auvergne, and at other points.

This finer work is supposed to date about the first century of our{27} era. It is classed by M. Demmin as being made at Arezzo, the ancient Aretium, in Tuscany.

Commoner styles of Roman pottery were made, and many examples of these have been found of a coarser clay, and varying in color, gray, black, and yellow, or light paleish red; sometimes with a black or brown varnish. These were doubtless made for the common uses of the kitchen. The drinking-cups of this pottery often bore inscriptions, such as Ave, welcome; Vivas, live; Bibe, drink; Vive, bibe multum, live and drink much, etc.

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Fig. 24.Ancient German.

Pottery was undoubtedly made by the Saxons, the Scandinavians, the Gauls, and the Germans, before the coming of Roman armies and Roman potters. Of these early remains examples have been found in the barrows of England, and in other excavations.

M. Cleuziou published a work in 1872, “La Poterie Gauloise,”[2]{28} warmly and strenuously claiming for the Gauls an art and a pottery before the coming of the all-grasping Romans; who, he asserts, not only stole their country, but also have claimed to be their benefactors and civilizers when they were not. I cannot, of course, discuss the question here. The engravings given (Figs. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23) are quoted by M. Figuier, from whom I take them, as examples of this early and curious work. Some of these certainly seem to indicate an inspiration original and quite different from what we see among the Romans. Later, and after the coming of the Romans, there were produced in Gaul vases and other articles, which may well be called “Gallo-Romaine,” or Gallic-Roman.

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Fig. 25.German Pottery.     Fig. 26.German Pottery.

The German potters also produced at a very early day large quantities of pottery, which has a character of its own. That it must have been very extensively made and used is evident from the many specimens exhumed in various parts of Germany; in such numbers, indeed, that the peasantry have a profound belief they are the work of the dwarfs, and that they sprout spontaneously like mushrooms, as I have said. The examples we present are more simple than most of the Roman work, and the decoration is more severe. (Figs. 24, 25, 26.)

Pots, vases, and children’s toys, are also found in tombs in various parts of Germany, some of which show decided marks of art.

In some of these are found the ashes of the dead, in others bones broken up, and so preserved.{29}



Palaces of Homer’s Heroes.—The Ceramicus at Athens.—Egyptian Pottery.—Etruscan Tombs.—Good and Bad Vases.—Age of Vases.—Various Styles.—The Archaic Style.—The Fine Style.—Beauty a Birthright.—Aspasia’s House.—Names of Vases.—The Cup of Arcesilaus.—Number of Extant Vases.—Their Uses.—The Greek Houses.—Greek Women.—Greek Men.—The Hetairai.—Etruscan Vases.

THE Greek Vase has come to be a synonym for beauty of form. Not that every Greek vase is perfect—by no means—but that the Greeks had come to feel and were able to express perfection of form in it as it had not been done before, and as it has not been better done since.

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Fig. 27.Egyptian Kylix.

So much interest hangs around this expression of the potter’s art, that we give more space to the subject than to many other branches of the art. Keeping this perfection in mind, the manner of life of those Greeks, out of which the Greek vase grew, becomes of value, and is indeed of most interest.{30}

How did the Greeks live, and why was the Greek vase made?

That the finest houses or palaces of the chiefs of the Heroic or Homeric period were larger, and more marked by barbaric splendor, than were the dwellings of the great in the days of Pericles, is admitted.

We give from Mr. Bryant’s translation of the Iliad a brief description of Hector’s return to Troy from the battle-field:

“And now had Hector reached the Scean gates
And beechen tree. Around him flocked the wives
And daughters of the Trojans eagerly;
Tidings of sons and brothers they required,
And friends and husbands. He admonished all
Duly to importune the gods in prayer,
For woe he said was near to many a one.”

He passed onward in search of Andromache:

“And then he came to Priam’s noble hall,
A palace built with graceful porticoes,
And fifty chambers near each other walled
With polished stone, the rooms of Priam’s sons,
And of their wives; and opposite to these
Twelve chambers for his daughters, also near
Each other; and with polished marble walls,
The sleeping-rooms of Priam’s sons-in-law
And their unblemished consorts. There he met
His gentle mother on her way to seek
Her fairest child Laodice.”

That the description is glorified, we need not doubt, for that is the province of poetry; and poor is the poet who does not see the beauty through the squalor, the sunshine through the cloud.

The Greek house of the time of Pericles was much smaller and less splendid than this.

It is a curious fact to know that most of what remains to us of the living Greeks and Egyptians has been saved for us by the dead. Not a complete house of the living exists; while those of the dead have been unearthed not only in Greece, but in parts of Italy, which in many places{31} was colonized by Greeks, and in which Greek customs and Greek art had a strong hold.

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Fig. 28.Egyptian Bottle, Side and Front View.

The Egyptians honored their dead, the Greeks honored their dead, and the Romans honored their dead. Let them have our thanks; for, because of that, things of interest and beauty are left to us.

In their tombs have been found gold-work, jewels, manuscripts, vases: all of which tell their stories of the way men lived, how they worked, what they sought; all of which show us that man then was the same as man is now—if you pricked him he bled, if you tickled him he laughed. We are apt to think that the Past was ignorant, brutal, savage. Have we, boastful as we are, made porcelain better than the Chinese? Have we made vases more beautiful than the Greeks? Poetry more musical?

In the far past man was savage, brutal, ignorant; and there is in man still the latent tiger. In the civilization of which we boast, there exist in all great cities, side by side with luxury and splendor, poverty, wretchedness, squalor, brutality.{32}

In the days of Pericles, in those days when the Amphora and the Temple reached their most perfect development, the influences of Art and Poetry were most potent upon that small democratic oligarchy which possessed Athens and tyrannized over Greece. Then the tiger lay down in the midst of a wonderful wealth of architecture, sculpture, poetry, eloquence, painting (we suppose), and pottery. Then a whole district of the city to the northwest of the Acropolis and the Areopagus was occupied by the shops of the potter and the painter, and was known as the Ceramicus, or Keramicus, as it now is often spelled. From that centre went out into all the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea thousands upon thousands of those vases and pots which were made and decorated there, and from whose pictures we have drawn much of our knowledge of Greek life, art, manners, and dress.

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Fig. 29.Egyptian Vase.

In this high time of Art lay the seeds of corruption and death. The Athenian Greek became critical, refined, weak, luxurious, corrupt,{33} base; and then he went to decay. In some tombs (Fig. 30) opened in Italy, the body is found lying at length in the middle, and about it stand perfect vases, love-offerings of friends: were they once filled with perfumes upon which the spirit of the dead was wafted away? We place flowers in the graves of our lovely ones, and, beautiful as they are, they vanish with the dead. But the Greek vase remains to us after the lapse of two thousand years.

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Fig. 30.Tomb found in the Environs of Naples.

When the Greeks—how early—began to fashion their fine work is not surely known; but pottery of theirs exists dating as far back as 700 B. C. Behind them were the Assyrians and the Egyptians, both nations great in war and great in the arts of peace. The remains we have of both show the Egyptians to have been the masters, with whom began those arts which grew and bore fruit in Assyria and in Greece. But the art of the Egyptians seems never to have reached the lightness, the{34} delicacy, the exquisite beauty of line, which yet glorify the fictile art of Greece. Older than the oldest writings of the Hebrews, older than Homer, is the potter’s wheel; through all history it has been the friend and companion of man; its products are part of his daily life; and delicate, brittle as they are, they have proved more enduring than the Pyramids.

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Fig. 31.The Archaic Period.

Nearly all the pieces of pottery found in Egypt belong to those things which went into the daily uses of life. Most of them are of common clay, with common forms, and rude finish; and they seem to have been of all shapes and designed for many purposes. Great casks, vases, pots for oil, for grain, for meats, for wines, for drugs, for lamps; children’s marbles, checkers, toys, rings, amulets, bottles, etc., etc., are among the many things shaped by the potter in Egypt.

Of those things made for ornamental purposes, there still exist some vases which approach the simple beauty of the Greek; of which we give one as pictured by Wilkinson in his work upon the antiquities of Egypt.

Fig. 27 is an Egyptian kylix or drinking-cup. It much resembles the Greek kylix or cylix, except that the foot is less perfect.{35}

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Fig. 32.The Departure of Achilles, from Vase in the Louvre.

The highly-ornamented bottle (Fig. 28, aryballos) is another thing made purely for purposes of luxury, which Potiphar’s wife used to hold{36} her dainty perfumes—perfumes which, we may easily believe, would add to her dangerous charms. It is modeled from the African calabash, which was the first vessel used there for carrying water. Form and decoration are both perfect in this small bottle.

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Fig. 33.Kylix, of an Early Form.

We add a figure of very ancient Egyptian pottery, an early example of the efforts of that people at the human figure in clay. It is made to serve the purposes of a vase, whether for religious uses or other we do not know (Fig. 29).

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Fig. 34.Kylix, Finer Form.

The terra-cotta earthenware vases and cups of the Greek and Etruscan potters, by universal consent, have come to be accepted as the most beautiful and satisfactory. That they were thus perfect from the start, and always so, no one need maintain; but that from Greece and from many parts of it should have come such a vast number of vessels, nearly all of which are beyond criticism, is what no one can fully explain.

Whence came the inspiration, the perception of beauty, which made the ordinary potter an artist, no man can tell.

It is not possible that the men who worked at the potter’s wheel in{37} Athens, or in Samos, or in Crete, were “educated,” as we say it, to such a fine sense of the beautiful. We, with all the education we can put into our people, do not equal them. We can no more explain this than we can tell how such a wonderful growth of beautiful cathedrals shot up into life in France in what we call the “Middle Ages.” Nor was this perfection only to be found among the potters who worked in Greece. It brought forth works fit for gods in Cyrenaica, on the northern coast of Africa, in great abundance; of which farther on we give an example in the Cup of Arcesilaus. The wandering potters who went into Italy, and there produced those beautiful vases, were Greeks. We have been in the habit of calling them “Etruscan vases,” because they have been found in largest numbers and in most perfect preservation in Etruria. But it is now well known that the real Etruscan potters never reached the same technical skill, or had any such eye for form, as was common among the Greeks.

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Fig. 35.Greek Rhyton, in the Louvre.

I have mentioned the tombs—that many of the finest Greek vases have been found in those of Italy, and particularly in the part once{38} called Etruria. In Fig. 30 is shown one of these tombs discovered near Naples. In it may be seen the remains of the body, with vases of various shapes standing or hanging on the wall. Most of the vases found with the dead in Greece were buried in the soil, and are thus less perfect than those found in Italy.

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Fig. 36.Greek Amphora, Panathenaic.

Good and Bad.—While, then, we can exalt the Greek vase to a foremost place in the perfection of form, let us say that there are very{39} many Greek vases and pots which are bad, common, vulgar. So that no buyer, no student, must admire with his eyes shut. Hardly any considerable collection is without these bad things. Therefore, whoever seizes upon a Greek vase with the belief that it is beautiful because it is Greek, may wake some day to dash his god to pieces as false.

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Fig. 37.Amphora, from the Louvre.

Let us guard, too, against another chance for disappointment. Nearly all the best vases extant have lain for centuries underground; they have lost the freshness and fineness of their polish; their coloring is often defaced; they are, perhaps, scratched or chipped. Seeing these rather dilapidated examples of the fictile art with eyes of extravagant{40} expectation, one may feel disappointment or disgust. But let him look on till he sees and feels the subtile springing lines which shot from the brain of the potter, and inspired his hand to shape the vase.

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Fig. 38.Amphora.

As to the age of the Greek vases there are some evidences. The Greek poet Pindar, who lived between 520 and 440 B. C., describes the amphoræ, those painted vases which were given as prizes at the Panathenaic{41} festivals (see Fig. 36), and they are spoken of by Aristophanes, Strabo, and others.[3]

Many attempts have been made to classify the works of the Greek potters, and the result is of some value, though a considerable degree of vagueness must attach to such as cannot be fixed by any signature or by the subject. Demmin,[4] Brongniart,[5] Birch, and others, have attempted classifications. We give here a sketch of that of the last as, on the whole, the most simple and probable; the writer follows Gerhard:

1. The “Ancient” or “Archaic” style, from B. C. 700 to 450.

2. The “Fine Style” from B. C. 450 to 328. The best were during the time of Phidias.

3. The Decadence, from B. C. 228 to the end of the Social Wars, B. C. 87. This includes all made in Italy down to the time of Augustus, at which period most of the towns and works in “Magna Græcia” and the south of Italy had been destroyed.

To the first or Archaic period are attributed the vases with yellow ground, having brown and maroon figures, mostly hatchings, flowers, or rude representations of animals, such as the goat, the pig, the stork, etc., etc. Whenever the human figure appears on the vases of this period it is shorter and less graceful than that on later work.

The next period is likely to show the figures in yellow upon black ground; the designs here are more beautiful; the subjects are mythological, historical, and poetical, and the human figures often have the grace and beauty which mark the best period of Grecian art.

The Decadence is marked by coarser work, less purity of form, and grosser and clumsier designs.

The paste or clay at times approaches the hardness of “terra-cotta;” at others it is so soft as to be scratched with a knife, and is easily broken. Its color varies: the earlier or Archaic period is mostly of a pale lemon-color; the clay used at Athens and Melos was a pale red; and in the best period of Greece the color becomes a warm orange; while those found in Italy usually called Etruscan are always of a dull,{42} rather pale, red. Upon these grounds figures were painted in black, brown, yellow, and red.

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Fig. 39.Amphora.

Perspective those true artists did not strive after. The Greeks sketched in their designs in clean lines, and colored them with flat color, touching the muscles and articulations here and there to bring out more fully the action; but to rival the painter upon his canvas, that was not attempted upon pottery. It seems desirable to give some notion, as well as can be done in black-and-white, of what the earlier vases were like; and we, therefore, transcribe here some examples given by Birch, which show, not only the style of the decoration, but the forms, of the Archaic period (see Fig. 31).

The animals shown are rude and clumsy, and are arranged in bands, which are sown with flower-shapes without order or meaning. The{43} forms, too, of the pots themselves, especially the two largest, are wholly lacking in that fine, subtile grace which marks them during the time of the “Fine Style.” That the Art of Greece was not born full-grown and perfect like the goddess Minerva is certain; but that it grew and grew fast to its perfectness in that most keen and cunning Greek brain is also certain.

The time of the “Fine Style” was the time of Pericles, of Aspasia, of Æschylus, of Phidias; the time when the most beautiful of the beautiful Greek temples was built on the Acropolis sacred to Minerva; when sculpture, painting, poetry, and architecture, reached their height; when the human form and the human face arrived at such a divine beauty as they had never reached since the days of paradise, and have not again reached. In this wonderful time the Greek vase was born into its perfect form.

Some peculiarities of the old or Archaic style, after it passed the simple method of decoration already described, and when it began to treat the human figure, are thus specified by Mr. Birch: “The faces of the females are white to indicate superior delicacy of complexion, and the pupils of their eyes, which are more elongated than those of the male figures, are red. The eyes of the men are engraved and of a form inclining to oval, the pupils circular. The eyes of the women are sometimes made like those of men, especially on those vases on which the faces are colored black upon a white ground. The forms are rather full and muscular, the noses long, the eyes oblique and in profile, the pupil as if seen in front, the extremities long and not carefully finished, the outlines rigid, the attitudes à plomb, the knees and elbows rectangular, the draperies stiff, and describing perpendicular, angular, and precise oval lines. The faces are generally in profile, full faces being very rare.”

We quote again as to the work upon the Fine style: “In this the figures are still red, and the black grounds are occasionally very dark and lustrous. The ornaments are in white, and so are the letters. The figures have lost that hardness which at first characterized them; the eyes are no longer represented oblique and in profile; the extremities are finished with greater care, the chin and nose are more rounded, and{44}

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Fig. 40.Krater (Vase Campanienne), from the Louvre.

have lost the extreme elongation of the earlier school. The limbs are fuller and thicker, the faces noble, the hair of the head and beard treated with greater breadth and mass, as in the style of the painter Zeuxis, who gave more flesh to his figures, in order to make them appear of greater breadth and more grandiose, adopting the ideas of Homer, who represents even his females of large proportions. The great charm of these designs is the beauty of the composition and the more perfect proportion of the figures. The head is oval, three-quarters of which are comprised from the chin to the ear, thus affording a{45} guide to its proportions, which are far superior to those of the previous figures. The disproportionate shape of the limbs disappears, and the countenance assumes its natural form and expression. The folds of the drapery, too, are freer, and the attitudes have lost their ancient rigidity. The figures are generally large, and arranged in groups of two or three on each side, occupying about two-thirds of the height of the vase.”

The design we have given to illustrate in some degree the “Fine Style” is the “Departure of Achilles” (Fig. 32), taken from a vase in the Louvre.

In our modern time it has come to pass that men worship strength, power, words, gold, brass—everything but beauty. They care little to have beautiful things about them, less to be beautiful themselves, to create beautiful children, or to do beautiful work. And what is the result? Often they are as unlovely in their souls as in their persons; and so, while we boast of great cities, and long railways, and amazing cotton-mills, we boast not of beautiful men who make beautiful work. Perfection tends to perfection, and ugliness to ugliness. Therefore, let the perfect man and the perfect woman marry, that thus we may have the perfect race once more. To bring this to pass we must insist upon perfect form and perfect decoration in all things about us; we must know beauty and value it. One step to this great end is to study the Greek vase. The next step is to make every home a temple of art.

What can we not believe of such a house as that of Aspasia in Athens, when she was virtually the wife of Pericles in the best period of Greece? That it was graced surely by works of divinest beauty; that these exquisite vases which we are praising stood upon her shelves, graced her pedestals, and adorned the corners specially made for their reception. We may believe that the potters themselves presented their beautiful work to the most distinguished woman of all Greece; that the victor in the Panathenaic games should ask a place for his prize in the atmosphere of light and learning which surrounded this remarkable woman.

The shapes and uses of the Greek vases, cups, jugs, etc., etc., are many. We mention here those most known as follows: for holding oil, wine, etc., etc., amphora, pelice, stamnos; for carrying water, etc.,{46} hydria, kalpis, or calpis; for mixing wine and water, etc., krater, oxybaphon, kelebe; for pouring water, wine, etc., œnochoe, cruche, or kruche, olpe, prochoos; for cups and drinking-vessels, cylix, or kylix, kantharos, kyathos, rhyton, skyphos, phiale, etc., etc.; for perfumes, ointments, etc., lekythos, or lecythos, alabastron, cotyle, or kotyle, aryballos, etc.

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Fig. 41.Hydria.

The vases most known are these:

The amphora (Figs. 36, 37, 38, 39), a name applied to vases with two handles, sometimes with a pointed base to thrust into the ground or to be set into a tripod; great numbers of these exist, and in various shapes, some of which will appear in our illustrations.

The amphoræ were used to hold wine, oil, wheat, and a great variety of other articles.{47}

The hydria (Figs. 41 and Fig. 42) and kalpis were used to carry water. The former has one handle.

The krater or crater (Fig. 40) was a large, open-mouthed vessel used for mixing wine with water.

The cruche (Fig. 43) and œnochoe were jugs or pitchers used to pour liquids at the symposia.

The kylix or cylix (Figs. 33 and Fig. 34), the rhyton (Fig. 35), and the kyathos, were drinking-cups used at feasts.

The lekythos, and kotyle and alabastron, were used for perfumes, pomatums, and other such luxuries for the bath and the toilet; and we may believe, from the number of these found, that woman in those antique days was careful to enhance her charms.

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Fig. 42.Hydria.

We give two examples of the cylix or kylix used for a drinking-cup, which always carried two handles. The first (Fig. 33) is of the earliest period, and is more severe than the last. It is ornamented with the Greek fret, with zigzags or chevrons, etc., etc., of simple design.

The other (Fig. 34) is more graceful and finished in form, and has{48} a more elaborate design, which, however, seems to me quite behind the work found on the cups of the “Fine Style.”

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Fig. 43.Vase for Libations.

We give some particulars of the Greek vases, mostly from the collections of the Louvre at Paris.

Some of the Amphoræ were designed for particular uses; as, for example, for prizes to the victors of the public games (Fig. 36). The fashion which prevails with us of giving cups for prizes at our races, etc. (usually pieces of silver), is a fashion which began with the Greeks, and has continued till to-day.{49}

Sometimes these vases were filled with oil made from the olive blessed by Minerva. We may well believe such amphoræ so won were highly valued; and this will explain the curious history of the one now in the Museum of the Louvre.

In 1827 this good find came to light: “They recently found at Capoue the vase given to the victor at the athletic games at Athens in the year 332 before Christ. Beside the vase lay the skeleton of the victor, the Athenian himself, as was supposed. The vase is of clay covered with paintings, showing upon one side the goddess Pallas Athene (Fig. 36) launching a javelin; on the other side is a group of wrestlers, a young man who is a looker-on, a judge, and an old man holding a wand. At the top is found the name of the ruler of Athens in the year 332 B. C., and the words ‘Prize given at Athens.’ ” The victor is vanquished, his name and fame are forgot, but the vase is perfect after the lapse of twenty-two centuries.

The vase next presented (Fig. 37) is an amphora decorated with equestrian figures, marked by that archaic stiffness which some value. Its height is put by Figuier at thirty-seven centimetres—about fifteen inches. The color is yellowish; it is shaped with much care; the black varnish is brilliant, and is laid upon the yellow body; the outlines are incised to limit the figures; and the parts in relief are of a rusty red and unpolished.

The great amphora (Fig. 38) is in the Louvre Museum, and is one of the most perfect known. We see this form, as well as many others of the Greek amphora, in all modern work. The clay is yellowish, and is covered with a deep black. The figures are reserved on the yellow and are well brought out by the black. The simplicity and dignity of this vase can hardly be excelled, and they are in striking contrast with the over-decorated things, so many of which have been made at Sèvres and Meissen. The great virtue of reticence was known and observed among the Greek artists.

The next (Fig. 39) is of a more uncommon form than the others, in its swelling out at the base. The handles, too, are rare, and the twisting together at the top quite peculiar.

The great vase Krater (Fig. 40), called “Campanienne,” is some{50} fifteen inches in height, and is perfect in form and decoration. The figures are painted in black upon its surface. They have been found in great numbers in various parts of Italy.

The hydria (Figs. 41 and Fig. 42) is a water-jug; another term which is used for the same vessel is kalpis, but the latter has two handles. These vary much in form, decoration, and beauty. The one (Fig. 41) has a black ground with red figures; the other (Fig. 42) is just the reverse.

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Fig. 44.Lekythos.

The cruche or vase shown in Fig. 43 is supposed to have been used for libations when sacrifices were made to the gods. The neck and mouth are peculiar. This example has a red body covered with a black varnish, the designs showing the red.

The Lekythos is a sort of cylindrical amphora, with a straight neck{51} and a single handle. This beautiful vase was made to contain perfumes and unguents, which were largely in use.

The figure (44) here given is a perfect example of this delicate vase, and is painted with colored clays, which are fixed to the body of the vase by heat, and are, therefore, indestructible.

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Fig. 45.Pot for Infusion.

A pot for infusion (Fig. 45) is easily understood. It is a Greek ancestor to our teapot, and is marked by that elegance of form which appears in much of the work of the Grecian potters.

The curious cup (Fig. 46) called a Couthon is about eight inches in diameter. Our illustration shows at A the top of the cup with the open centre, while at B and C may be seen the peculiar involuted form. Just what uses this could have been put to does not appear. It is more an object of curiosity and gracefulness than of use. Just in what way such a pot can have been turned is not plain to the uninitiated soul.

The Cup of Arcesilaus (shown in Figs. 47 and 48) is one of the most graceful and beautiful things which has come down to us from the Greeks. It is supposed to date back to the time of Pindar, some 500 years before Christ. The cup is now to be seen in the collection of the Rue de Richelieu in Paris; it was found in Etruria, but was made by a potter of Cyrene. It is discovered that at this African city was a great pottery for the making of Greek vases, out of which have come some of the most perfect found; among them this one. So far had the art and culture of the Greeks spread even then. The cup{52} is about thirteen inches in diameter. Its name comes from the King of Cyrenaica, whose glories were sung by Pindar. The clay is very fine, and is of a delicate red; and this has been almost hidden by a black which appears solidly at the handles and foot. The design is put on with a colored clay or engobe of a yellowish-white, which is fixed by the fire; and it is believed that it must have passed through the furnace some three times.

The picture (Fig. 48) is curious and interesting. The king is shown sitting on the deck of a vessel afloat, holding his sceptre. Before him his servants are weighing baskets of merchandise, and below the deck others are seen carrying away the baskets into the hold. Now, what is this they are weighing and carrying away?

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Fig. 46.A Couthon.

M. de Witte, in making his catalogue, decides that the Greek word near the manager who is pointing to the scales means silphium or asafœtida: the most odious of flavors to us, but one which still provokes delicious titillations in some Orientals. Altogether, we get a{53} glimpse of life in this early Pindaric time; we see that a king then was not a mere figure-head, but a real king who oversaw his cargoes, and probably loved asafœtida, and was fond of making money, as some of our sovereigns are to-day.

The number of these vases, cups, etc., now existing in Europe is very great—at least 20,000, and some experts make the number as high as 70,000. The best-known collections are—at Naples in the Museo Borbonico, 2,000; in the Vatican at Rome, 1,000; at Florence, 700; at Turin, 500; at Vienna, 300; at Berlin, 1,690; at Munich, 1,700; at Dresden, 200; at Carlsruhe, 200; at Paris, the Louvre, 1,500; Bibliothèque Nationale, 500; at London, British Museum, 2,600. There are also a great many in private collections throughout the world.

What the keen and artistic mind wants to know is, not only what fine work was done by the Greeks, but why they did it—what, indeed, made that life more beautiful than any we find in all the earlier histories of man.

Through the wrecks and convulsions of time this crowd of delicate, perishable things still exists; what vast numbers must have been made and destroyed in the varying populations of Greece, Rome, Tyre, Carthage, and wherever Grecian civilizations and tastes made their way, it is not easy for the mind to compass. And we must remember that these things we now describe were not in every man’s hand; they were in a good degree for the rich and well-to-do. No slave (and slaves then abounded) used a kylix from which to drink his wine, nor an œnochoe from which to pour it.

That vases and cups were used and made especially as tokens of affection to be placed in the tombs, we know; that they were fashioned and painted for prizes at the Panathenaic games of Greece, we know; and that they were used in many ways in the symposia and feasts, we also know; and the numbers made must have been nigh countless. No satisfactory explanation of this profusion has so far been hit upon.

The potteries, of course, must have been many; for Brongniart cites in Greece proper twelve now known cities where vases were made; in Italy, some fourteen; and we know, also, that they were made in most{54}

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Fig. 47.Cup of Arcesilaus, View of the Outside.

of the colonies where Greek customs stamped themselves. The demand for all this product was, of course, equal to the supply. While we know that Greek civilizations had reached a high place, and that man, physically and intellectually, had come nigh to perfection, woman had not kept pace with him. The home then was not what we now make it, or attempt to, a temple in which all of comfort, all of luxury, all of beauty, are gathered. The Greek house, even in Athens, was rarely, large; the principal salons for the feasts were used only by men, for the ladies of the house did not appear at those times. The women’s apartments were more secluded, and were not used for show; we should not, therefore, expect them to be filled with objects of art and ornament, though they would not, of course, be excluded. That there should be, as we have shown there was, a great production of articles devoted to the tastes of the fairer sex is easy to understand, and for them, as well as for men, were made the beautiful lekythoi, the alabastron, and other articles, for perfumes, for the toilet, and the bath; for these we can account. The life of the married woman was not then passed in public and out-of-doors as it now has come to be; she was not{55} the central or only or principal figure around which society revolved; nor did the social or intellectual, the artistic or literary life find its centre or its applause with her. That she frequented the theatres with men is not believed, though she had her own opportunities for the indulgence of this taste; and it seems probable that some representations—as the tragedies—were open for both men and women. Her life partook of the seclusion which stamped the Asiatic courts. She had many duties and occupations; for the wife, with her maidens or her slaves, not only must prepare and serve the food, she must also spin and weave and make the garments for her household.

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Fig. 48.Cup of Arcesilaus, View of the Inside.

The care and education of children, the supervision of the house and the slaves, the production of stuffs and garments, of perfumes and unguents, gave necessary occupations in great profusion, and such as{56} would alleviate ennui—such as would put amusements into a second rather than a first place in her heart.

But the truth is that her life was so dull, so devoid of exciting cares, that many women, and among them some of the most beautiful, most witty, and most cultivated of Greece, preferred the seductive and exciting dangers of the life of the hetaira to the safe and frigid respectability and dullness of the married wife.

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Fig. 49.Etruscan Vase.

That dress was a matter of important thought with woman there also, is beyond doubt; and the textures of the chitons and himations, the proper colors of their bands and their girdles, caused much perplexity to the beautiful Greek maiden, as they have to the beautiful American of to-day. But the Greek seems to have escaped one great misery and mystery—her fashions did not change; no staff of designing men was working with swift brain, hand, and pencil, in Athens or{57} Corinth, to perplex her delicate mind with fashion-books, thus forcing her into exquisite torture, and keeping her there. The pictures upon the vases continuing through many centuries, show no very marked changes in dress. Was woman, then, supremely happy? Who can say! Besides dress, there can be no question, from the large numbers of perfume-bottles and vases of clay, as well as from the quantity of those of glass found by Cesnola in his excavations, that a very great degree of luxury, if not of dandyism, was reached by the women as well as the men in that “good old day of Greece.” We know something of the luxury, the lavish daintiness of Alcibiades and his friends, but very little of that of their wives.

There was, however, an evil thing in Greece, and one which the Greek wife felt strongly, keenly—it was the hetairai, the demi-monde of the great cities. Nowhere except in England and America has the virtue of married woman been held at so extreme and exalted a height, nowhere has its sale been lowered to such a depth, as in Athens.

Among the hetairai of Athens and Corinth were found the most beautiful, the most brilliant, and the most highly-cultivated women of Greece; to them every attraction was of inestimable value, and whatever would charm men was to be sought and seized. That among them were women of great mental gifts, of much political knowledge, of highly-cultivated artistic perceptions, we have every reason to believe; that the hetairai made their houses as attractive as possible we may also believe; and in them, we do not doubt, were found some of the best examples of the art of Greece outside the temples and the gymnasia. Here we may suppose that the fine vases found appreciative recipients, as well as appreciative admirers among men. That all who sold their charms were what we term “abandoned” is not true; they did not so consider themselves, and were not so esteemed among the men or women of Greece; that some of them, many of them, became so, is beyond doubt true. But among them some (how many who can tell?) were cultivated, interesting, able, there is no doubt; and that they continued so. It was long the fashion to suppose and to say that the poetess Sappho, and the politician Aspasia, were courtesans, which hardly any man will now maintain. As to the former less is known,{58} but Aspasia, though not legally married to Pericles (as she could not be), was virtually his wife and partner through all his life, in his schemes for governing, exalting, and beautifying Athens. Her house then was the most beautiful, the most complete, and the most attractive, in Athens; and to it resorted the most noted statesmen, rhetoricians, philosophers, wits, and artists, of that most remarkable city and time.

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Fig. 50.Etruscan Vase.

It is a misfortune to us that no Greek house of the time of{59}

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Fig. 51.Etruscan Vase.

Pericles, the perfect day of a most remarkable and highly-æsthetic civilization, remains; either its stone-walls, or in pictures on its temple-walls or on its vases. The great catastrophe which overwhelmed Herculaneum and Pompeii has secured to us the means of knowing how the luxurious Roman lived in those little seaside cities eighteen hundred years ago; a time when Cæsar was hardly dead, and Jesus almost unknown. Every house in Athens and in Corinth, in Samos and in Melos, has been swept away by the besom of war or the feathered wing of Time. We know what we do know from the verses of the poets or the allusions of the playwrights, and that is all; but from these we gather that the house or home was a place rather for the woman than for the man; that in it the woman, though not exactly a prisoner as in the harems of the Asiatic kings, was expected to stay and to find “her sphere.” The porter sat at the door of the house, and when the woman walked{60} forth she went accompanied by her slave, and it was known for what she went.

The life of the Greek man was essentially and in his best hours outside his own house. By the Greek man we now mean the upper or more wealthy classes; all these had their work done by slaves. He went forth in the early morning to visit the theatres, where he was entertained with the dramas of Æschylus, of Euripides, of Aristophanes; he breakfasted; he visited the markets; he went to the bath; to the hairdresser; he conversed in the porticoes; he frequented the gymnasia, where he could talk or listen, where he could exercise and enjoy his body, where beautiful bodies and philosophic tongues found free play and ample room. Everything of politics, of poetry, of art, of scandal, was a delight to the keen and active intellect of the Greek; as in St. Paul’s day, he was eager to hear or see some new thing: and when such a ruler as Pericles had grasped the purse and the sword, and had gathered together in the small city of Athens all the sculptures, all the poetry, all the eloquence, all the pictures, all the vases, to adorn and glorify it, the Greek man may be said—using our expressive American phrase—“to have had a good time!”—as good as he has been able yet to see in the long history of the race.

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Fig. 52.—Etruscan Vase.

Knowing as much as we do of the life of the Greek man and the{61} Greek woman, need we be surprised that the rather sharp-tempered Xantippe, wife of that delightful vagabond and philosopher, Socrates—he who puzzled the too conscious sophists and pleased the simpler people, who loved the true and hated the false; he who lived for wisdom and not for power; who cared much for mind and less for money; who basked in the sunshine of the porticoes and pined in the shadows of his own house—need we be surprised that this wife of his was driven to go forth at times to seek her vagrant lord in the throng of the market-place or the excitements of the Academy, and to lead him thence to the place of his wife and children? Need we be surprised that her speech was then unmelodious, unconjugal, and that she became a sport and by-word for the wicked wits of that brilliant city?

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Fig. 53.Etruscan Vase.

But with his faults Socrates had the great virtues of serenity and patience, always indispensable in the married man, at least.

If the vases had only preserved for us the portraits of Xantippe and Socrates, or even of the room they lived in, how much would we thank them! As to the pictures upon the vases, the best of them{62} seem to be copied or adapted by the vase-painters from pictures of the best artists of Greece, made to illustrate the worship or the doings of the gods, the great deeds of the heroes, the feats at games, the triumphs at the feasts, etc., etc. Many of these are but carelessly, even poorly, put upon the vases; the best are those we must look for to admire, to enjoy, and to emulate.

The tub of Diogenes, there is reason to believe, was a great earthen vase or pot—the Pithos. These were built up of clay by the Greeks by hand around a frame, and were afterward baked. As they sometimes reached the dimensions of over three feet in diameter and six or seven feet in height, it is plain that they could not be turned upon the potter’s wheel. It is easy, too, to understand what an excellent shelter such a pot would make for such a cynical philosopher as Diogenes, who needed a very cheap rent. But if a wicked boy should throw a cruel stone some fine evening, striking the pot in a weak spot, the rent might end in a convulsion and ruin.

Etruscan Vases.—The “Etruscan vase” not being what we have here described and figured as the “Greek vase,” it remains to say briefly that the vases and pots made by the Etruscans before the coming of the Greek potters were quite different; ruder and less fine in form and in decoration. Indeed, it is not likely that the painted vase found in Italy, known as the Greek vase, was ever the work of the Etruscan workmen. The Etruscan pottery was thicker, less ornamental, and it indicates a different race and lower æsthetic development. In the Museum of Art at Boston is now placed a collection of Etruscan work which is said to be unique in this country as well as in England. In this are a number of vases which are ornamented with heads and figures in relief, not sharp and fine; these are wholly covered with a black color. A few which are painted are quite different and inferior to the work of the Greeks. The collection was secured in Italy by Mr. J. J. Dixwell, who has been so good as to present it to the museum. Figs. 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, are examples of some of the vases in the Museum of the Louvre, which present the general style and character of this work; they show clearly how much the real Etruscan vase differs from the true Greek vase.{63}



Unglazed Water-Colors.—Clay Sketches.—Japanese Clay Figures.—Spanish Pots.—Italian Peasant Pottery.—Egyptian.—Turkish.—Mexican.—Watcombe Terra-cotta.—Copenhagen Pottery.

THE reports of the judges have not yet appeared, so that we do not and cannot know what their awards may be. But as so many persons who saw and judged for themselves may never see these reports, it may therefore serve to remind them of many things there if I put down here my own notes of what I saw and admired.

My notes do not cover the whole ground, by any means, but I think they touch upon the best examples of the unglazed work, of which, however, the quantity in no degree equaled that of the glazed pottery or faience; and, indeed, it could not, because for most of the uses of life it is valueless. The glazed pots are of course much stronger, and, for household uses, have almost entirely supplanted the other. Unglazed pots and pans are still in common domestic use, but they have a glaze on the inside which renders them capable of holding liquids. Unglazed vessels are much used along the shores of the Mediterranean for the purpose of cooling water, the percolation and evaporation from the surface bringing the water to a delicious coolness, which is grateful to the parched palate; indeed, it is much more wholesome than the intense coldness created by the use of ice. Many a dyspeptic stomach with us would gladden if refreshed with the crisp water produced by the Spanish or Egyptian coolers, which are now made feverish with the icy American draughts poured into them.

In Paris are still made many small figures in unglazed clay, some of which are full of artistic effects; they are sketches in clay, and are{64} valuable when they are such. A great many are made at some of the potteries in England, which are useless as works of art, and are useful only as cheap decorations. Some of them are well moulded, and are pleasing. I noticed none of these at the Exhibition, though it is likely they were represented there.

A very fine example of this sort of unglazed figure-work was to be seen in a case in the Japanese collection sent by Kiriu Kosko Kuwaisha. It was a much higher class of work than the Peruvian, of which an illustration is given at page 19, and in its way could hardly be excelled. The figure was about twelve inches high, and seemed to be an intense embodiment of Japanese jollity; its half-shut eyes, lolling tongue, and relaxed figure, told the story perfectly. My Japanese guide, philosopher, and friend, did not consider it in any way a god, though it was so like the Chinese Poutai, god of content, that one wondered. If it indeed had been a domestic god, our keen Japanese gentleman would not have been likely to urge that view to us, who have less regard for other people’s gods even than for our own.

Not far from the Japanese exhibit was to be seen in the Spanish collection a pyramid of unglazed pottery, nearly or quite all of a light-buff color. It had this value, that it was such as is in use to-day in the houses of the common people; and that is about all we can say for it. The whole of it has been bought for the Pennsylvania School of Art. Why they should want a hundred pieces of this work one may well be at a loss to know, unless it is true that to own what nobody else has is always a pleasure.

Throughout the southern countries of Europe, in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, this kind of pottery is made and used, and in some cases it has much merit in its forms; when decorated, it often reaches a naïve and fascinating kind of art.

Some very pretty, simple, and original pieces of this sort of pottery have been brought to us from time to time from Naples, though I have never seen any for sale. I learn from one of the Castellanis that in many places of Italy this sort of work is made to-day, much of it for decorative purposes. At some of them vases and other vessels{65} which are distinctly traditions derived from the Greek potters of a thousand years ago are still made; at others are made pots and vases, cups and bénitiers, which have sprung out of the simple artistic feeling of the potters themselves, and which have that flavor of genuineness which cannot be too much encouraged. The tendency everywhere is to copy something; let us, as far as we can, buy the real and disparage the copy. A hundred pieces of this peasant pottery were sent me a few years ago, but they were wrecked upon the “vexed Bermoöthes,” and are lying at the bottom of the sea.

A few pieces of a light-gray body in the Egyptian collection were excellent both in form and in their many-colored decoration. These pieces were like, but better than, most of that which comes out from Africa through Tangier, of which we saw none in the Main Building, but learned that there was a collection in the Tunisian Building. Many good pieces of this barbaric pottery are in the country, though most of the specimens are glazed. These Egyptian pots have this vast merit, that they have come from the personal wants and the depths of the moral consciousness of the Egyptians themselves; from potters who know no language, no country, and no art, but their own; and therefore they are in no way imitations of what has been done in France, or England, or Boston.

The dark-red terra-cotta ware from Egypt was mostly in small pieces, but was excellent in its modeling and finish; and it was satisfactory to see that it was much bought by our people. This clay, with its polished surface, is peculiar to Egypt; at least we see it nowhere else.

This red Egyptian ware, is much like the red Roman ware often called Samian, which has been spoken of in a preceding chapter. Some larger pieces have been brought by private parties from Egypt, which have much merit in form, as well as in incised decoration.

The Turks sent a few examples of their simple pottery, some of it unglazed, and some covered with a deep-green glaze, which were simply what they pretended to be. Their polychrome decoration was also good, but not so good as the Egyptian.

Mexico, too, sent a small collection of this sort of work, which{66}

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Fig. 54.Danish Pottery.

smacked yet of the Aztec races, but too little of it to be of much use. A few glazed pots painted in the native fashion were excellent, and were bought up quickly, because they suggested Montezuma and his brown people, who have been wholly consumed by the greedy whites.{67} The belief of Señor Alejandro Cassarin, the potter or dealer who sent from Mexico, evidently was that this native spontaneous pottery, which doubtless is yet to be found, in out-of-the-way places, is not a thing to be proud of—at least, it is not to be sent to us; that what we want is a very poor imitation of European porcelain. Nor is such a delusion his alone.

Of terra-cotta work in red and in buff there was a good show, mainly from England and Denmark. The clay, the modeling, and the finish, were quite perfect in many of these. The Watcombe people, in England, had already reached perfection in the color and texture of their clay; and the Greek vases, as well as jugs, ewers, and a variety of things—their own designs—could not have been bettered some three years ago. They were then satisfied to insure a simplicity which touched perfection. In their exhibit at Philadelphia it was clear that they are no longer satisfied with this, or that a jaded taste needs excitement. The work sent us constantly says, “We are trying to do something new and surprising, if nothing better than before.” The principal novelty was the combining of two colors of clay in the same pot; as, for example, a lighter body with a darker red for the handles, mouldings, and ornaments. Dignity and repose were thus lost, and no new pleasure was supplied. We felt sure that this would not last. And then, when bands of color or polychrome decoration are used on the fine red clay, they nearly always do harm; and the inevitable tendency to overdo cannot be restrained. Their modeled figures seemed to have neither the delicacy of the parian nor the sketchy freedom of some of the French designers. The color of the clay and the finish of the Watcombe terra-cotta vases are superior to any I have ever seen.

Some years ago the Copenhagen potters made a very considerable success in their revival of the Greek vase, both plain and painted in black, with Greek figures of horses, warriors, women, etc. (Fig. 54). These have had for the last ten years a large sale; and as we cannot have the real Greek vases because of their scarcity and price, it is well to have some examples so well copied as these are. But there is a limit to one’s capacity for copies of Greek vases, and it seems positive that we have reached it. We hope so. Ipsen’s widow sent us some{68} of the yellow vases and pots, most delicately and delightfully painted with the lotus and other Egyptian designs, which for subtilty of color and precision of touch cannot be surpassed. These we were glad to see our people buying, and not the other.

Among much that was commonplace, there were many examples of good work in the department of unglazed pottery. It would have been a great satisfaction to have met with more which showed courage and freshness of design. While the public are not so responsive to these as one could wish, there is still enough to encourage potters and designers in this direction, if they will only believe it.{69}



Definition of Glaze.—Varnish.—Enamel in Egypt, Babylon.—The Arabs and the Moors.—Grès de Flandre.—Cologne, Regensburg, Baireuth, Neuwied, Grenzhausen, Coblentz.—Holland.—Beauvais.—Flanders.—Apostle-Mugs.—Graybeards.—“Bellarmines.”—“Pottle-Pots.”—Modern Work.—Doulton Stone-ware.—Early German Stone-ware at Breslau.—Hirschvogel.—Nuremberg.

BEFORE saying anything about the various styles of glazed pottery, it may be well to give the definitions of glaze, as presented by Marryatt, thus:

Glaze (Glauçure, Vernis, Fr.).—The composition used for coating pottery is composed chiefly of lead and silex. That for porcelain is analogous to flint-glass (whence the derivation glassing or glazing). In fact, this term may be applied to any substance that covers the surface of the piece; as, for instance, that produced by the decomposition of salt on stone-ware. M. Brongniart classes the different kinds of glazing, or vitreous substances with which pottery is covered when finished, into three kinds:

“ ‘Varnish.—Every vitrifiable substance, transparent and plumbiferous, which melts at low temperature, generally inferior to that required for the baking of the paste: common pottery, fine earthen-ware.

“ ‘Enamel.—A vitrifiable substance, opaque, generally stanniferous (tin): majolica and common earthen-ware.

“ ‘Couverte.—A vitrifiable substance, earthy, which melts at a high temperature equal to that of the baking of the paste: hard porcelain, some stone-wares....’

“The mark caused by the absence of glaze is very apparent in Oriental{70} porcelain, the bottom edge being rough and sandy. This defective appearance is obviated in Europe by supporting the piece upon a tripod with very small points (prenettes, Fr.). The three ugly marks upon old Chelsea china are caused by the clumsy tripod which was employed.”

The use of glaze and of tin to form the glaze or enamel seems to have been known to the Chinese beyond the time when Occidental records were kept. It appears, according to Sir Gardiner Wilkinson and Mr. Samuel Birch, that very early indeed the Egyptian potters knew the use of the siliceous glaze, composed of sand and potash or soda; and also that small sepulchral figures have been found, coated with enamels made from oxides of tin or copper, dating as far back as the sixth dynasty (B. C. 3703). In the museums of Europe are preserved tiles and bricks taken from the temples or palaces of Egypt and Babylon, and they must have been largely used long before our historical time. These glazed bricks are supposed to date back twenty-five hundred years before our era.

Mr. Birch, in his “History of Ancient Pottery,” says that the use of these bricks was probably learned by the Assyrians from the Egyptians, “who at a very early period had inlaid in this manner the chamber of the Pyramid at Saqquara.”

He says: “The glazed or enameled bricks from Nimrúd are of the usual kiln-dried kind, measuring thirteen and a half inches square, and about four and a half inches thick. They were laid in rows horizontally above the slates of sculpture of the Mosul marble, and seem to have been employed in the construction of cornices. They are glazed on one of the narrow sides or edges only, having on this edge various patterns, chiefly of an architectural nature, such as guilloche or chain ornaments, bands of palmettes or helices, and fleurettes or flowers of many petals. The colors employed were blue, black, yellow, red, and white. The glaze, which is much decomposed, easily exfoliates, and the colors have lost much of their freshness. It would appear that patterns of tolerably large size were executed in this manner, each brick having its appropriate portion enameled upon it.... Another brick, found by Mr. Layard in the earliest palace of Nimrúd, has an horizontal line of inscription in arrow-headed characters of a darker color, and{71} with square heads like nails. Its tenor was of the usual purport: ‘This is the great palace of “Asar-aden-pal.” ’ Bricks of this glazed kind were found chiefly in the space between the great bulls which flanked the entrances of the chambers. From Nimrúd were also brought corbels of blue faience, or what has been called porcelain, the under part modeled to represent the five fingers of the hand.”

This much is given to show how the glaze was applied to pottery by the nations of that very early time. Where they got their knowledge—whether they discovered it for themselves in their search into the secrets of Nature, or whether they derived it from the great world of life which lay beyond in the far East—we do not and cannot know. But why this so valuable knowledge was not applied universally by those acute peoples to the utensils of every-day life, and to all which we now call “artistic pottery,” remains a curious question. That it was applied to some things, we know; for small vases, toys, marbles, etc., etc., have been found among the Egyptian tombs coated with this enamel; but most of the pottery found in Egypt is without glaze, which would indicate that what was in ordinary daily use was unglazed. Examples of this enameled ware are to be seen in the British and other museums of Europe.

Coming to the Greeks, it is singular that nothing of this enamel-glaze is found. The inference is, that they had not the knowledge of it, and that the art must have been lost; for surely so valuable and beautiful an art, if known, must have been applied by so æsthetic a people as the Greeks to the uses of life.

Upon the Greek vases, of which so many examples remain, there appears sometimes to have been used a very thin and very transparent varnish; but this does not seem to have been a glaze made either of glass, or of lead, or of tin. If it was a varnish, and not a polish, the probabilities point to its being a thin wash of soda or potash. This varnish served to protect the painting, but did not prevent the percolation of water.

The Greek methods prevailed among the Romans. Among the great numbers of potters, and the vast production of pottery, the Romans seem not to have used the glaze. All that remains of their{72} work, found in Gaul, in Britain, and in other parts of Europe, is the unglazed ware.

The Arabs and the Moors brought into Europe a knowledge of the stanniferous (tin) glaze, as has been explained more fully elsewhere. To this keen and most energetic civilization Europe owes its beginnings in the arts of pottery, as well as in many other things.

The value of the glaze in all the arts of life cannot be estimated. When the only cooking-utensils were those made of unglazed pottery, the cooking was of the simplest, if not most insufficient, character. Indeed, at that time it is not likely that meat was cooked in the pot at all. In addition to this, the difficulty of making unglazed vessels capable of holding wine, oil, etc., without wasting them slowly, must have forbidden those things being kept to such a time as to insure perfection, not to mention the inevitable loss.

It is likely that such unglazed pots were then painted on the inside with some resinous substance which in a degree met the difficulty, but which, at the same time, imparted a flavor to the wine which we cannot believe to have been delicious.

Between China and the Spanish Moors exist a wide gap and centuries of time, in which glazed pottery and porcelain intended for the uses of domestic life seem to have been unknown. And this, too, was among the Greeks, the Phœnicians, the Romans—nations eager for every good thing, astute, keen, grasping. Among the remains of Roman art have been found a few pieces of pottery upon which are traces of the use of a glaze; but, if it was used at all, it seems to have been almost an accident—not at all as with us, to complete and perfect the work.

To the Moors and the Moorish civilization of Spain, Europe owes the knowledge or the introduction of this most valuable art, which has enabled her to reach such perfection in the making of fictile ware as we now see and enjoy.

Not only has the glaze (and enamel) given great strength to pottery, and increased its use to an infinite variety: it has also enabled most nations, beginning with the Chinese, to add to its beauty, and, indeed, to develop or create a method of artistic expression which is peculiar{73} and most interesting. This subject will be treated more fully, in the progress of this work, in a chapter upon decorating porcelain and pottery.

After the work of the Moors in Spain, which will be treated in a separate chapter, one of the earliest applications of the glaze in Europe was upon a hard sort of stone-ware made at various places along the Rhine, and in Flanders and Germany. It has come to be known under a generic title of Grès de Flandre, while but little of it was really made in Flanders. A great centre of its manufacture and sale, as early as the 1300’s of our era, was at Cologne; and a more fit name for it would be Grès de Cologne; still, the usual name is the one the world knows it by.

The body or paste of which this is composed differs from the faiences or earthen-wares of which we write.

It is harder, heavier, and much more durable. The commoner kinds are made so by a considerable mixture of siliceous sand; while in the finer kinds, known as Grès de Flandre, there are mixed with the paste other clays, such as terre de pipe and kaolin. This hard and heavy body has long been used for common stone-ware jugs and pots made for every-day use. In China it was and is still used as a body for vases and dishes, which received a covering or “engobe,” and upon that an artistic finish—such as the crackle-vases, and many others.

The glaze upon what we know as Grès de Flandre was made by using in the furnace common salt; the fumes of which, combining with the fused silex, resulted in what is termed the salt-glaze. This requires a high degree of heat, in which no colors will stay except the blue of cobalt, a brown, and a violet.

The Grès de Flandre, of which we give two illustrations (Figs. 55 and 56), is now well known under that name. Its color is a liquid gray, and its decoration is made with the blue of cobalt. Some pieces of this ware are highly and beautifully decorated, as is seen on the fine fountain now in the museum of the Louvre (Fig. 55). Most of the figures and reliefs are made with moulds, which have a quaint interest; they were cut in wood, carefully, often with considerable artistic expression. The best work of this sort was made in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and is mostly German.{74}

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Fig. 55.Grès de Flandre Fountain, Musée du Louvre.

There were factories at Cologne, at Regensburg, at Baireuth, at Neuwied, at Grenzhausen, at Coblentz, and at other places along the Rhine. The same work was also made in Holland, in Flanders, and in Beauvais. Many pieces of this style of work were decorated with{75} figures of saints, and other sacred emblems. Some pieces, such as salt-cellars, inkstands, and candlesticks, were carefully modeled by hand, and have thus an added interest. I know of but few pieces of this work in our museums, while those of Europe have made special attempts to secure examples of it; for it has a peculiar character of its own, and in many cases is delicious in color and most quaint and artistic in its forms and decoration. Often coats-of-arms are found impressed upon tankards and bottles and flagons of this work, and most of these are German. They were evidently reproduced from the moulds, and sold to others than the persons whose arms they bore.

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Fig. 56.Pilgrim-shaped Grès Bottle, in the British Museum.

The making of this ware was undoubtedly one step by which Böttcher at last succeeded in making true porcelain at Dresden.

Fig. 56 is a pilgrim-bottle, bought at the Bernal sale by the British Museum for eighteen pounds.

At Baireuth were made, in the 1600’s, some very curious mugs, called Apostle-Mugs, because the figures of the twelve apostles were worked in relief around the cup. The clay was a dark-brown, but the dresses of the figures and the inscriptions were painted in colors. Mr.{76} Frederick J. Betts, of New York, has one of these interesting bits of work; they are now hardly ever offered for sale.

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Fig. 57.Brown Graybeard or Bellarmine.

The Graybeards, or Longbeards, or Bellarmines, were made largely in the Low Countries for their own uses, and were exported to England. We give an illustration (Fig. 57) of one in Mr. Prime’s collection. There is also an excellent one, I believe, in possession of Dr. Breck, of Springfield, Massachusetts. These were intended for use, and usually carried from one quart to three gallons. They were always in brown—at least I have seen none in the gray; but their decoration was sometimes touched with the violet-color. They are a very handsome and decorative bottle. The name of “Bellarmine” was given them because, in the sixteenth century, when these bottles were made and used, the Cardinal Bellarmin was sent into the Low Countries to counteract the movements of the pernicious Reformers then so zealously at work there.{77} He was cordially hated by the Protestants, and received from them his due share of contumely. Having a short stature and a large stomach, like the Longbeard bottles, and, as they said, holding like them much vinous or other liquor, they soon called the bottle a Bellarmine, which name it bears to this day—so that, indeed, it may be said, the bottle has immortalized the man.

These bottles were largely in use on the Continent and in England all through Shakespeare’s time, and one was dug up on the site of the “Boar’s Head at Eastcheap.” The “pottle-pot,” as the bottle was then called, held about two quarts. In one of the old English plays, Clodpate says: “Uds-buds, my head begins to turn round; but let’s into the house. ‘Tis dark, we’ll have one Bellarmine more, and then Bonus Nocius.”

Sometimes these Graybeards were handsomely mounted, and came to be ranked high among the household gods. An inventory of the Duke of Burgundy, made in 1467, speaks of one of them as being decorated with silver and gold: “Ung hault Goblet de Terre ouvré et chiqueté à ung visaige d’un heremite, garny au dessus et au dessoubs d’argent doré, et le couvercle aussi d’argent doré.”

Upon the Rhine these stone pots are still made for common uses, and largely; the same sort of clay is also extensively converted into seltzer-water bottles. Near Coblentz are several potteries devoted to this sort of work. At these places, since the great desire for interesting pottery has sprung up, some very fair copies of the old grès have been made. At first they were made with considerable care, and then had some value, showing us, as they did, what this very quaint and very original pottery was; and they were of value, as we could not have the originals. But now there is no restraint, and they are turned out by the ship-load in a slovenly style, and are to be seen in every shop-window. Fortunately, they do not pretend to be the real thing; and, fortunately, they will have but a short existence, as they do not grow out of any true want or true use.

Doulton Stone-ware.—On the other hand has sprung up at Lambeth, England, in the potteries of the Doultons, stone-ware which is true, original, artistic, and delightful. This is the same paste as the{78}

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Fig. 58.Doulton Ware.

grès; but, instead of imitating that, a scale and a variety of colors have been developed which the old grès could not at all touch. By means{79} of thousands of experiments and much scientific knowledge, colors have been found which will bear the heat, and some of the results attained there of color alone are gratifying.

No pains or cost have been spared by the Messrs. Doulton to bring about the best work. Artists have been employed—indeed, have been created—to invent and to bring forth works novel in design and color; and they have done it. We cannot but welcome their work with open hands and open hearts; and we have reason to believe that the public has welcomed it with open purses. A very fine exhibition of this work was made at the United States Centennial Festival at Philadelphia, which attracted much and deserved praise. Among the artists early engaged were some ladies named Barlow, I think, who did excellent work. One of them etched in the wet clay groups of animals which were spirited and fascinating; the other, I believe, did flowers and plants. These ladies went to work, and thus solved the “woman question,” so far as it concerned themselves. Their work was much valued by collectors as far back as five or six years.

Besides this style, many decorated vases, bottles, jugs, cups, etc., etc., have been made, of which examples will be seen in our illustration (Fig. 58).

Not only have great variety and beauty of form been reached, but the methods of decoration are equally varied. One of the most elaborate is in the use of beads in lines or singly, so as to produce a jeweled effect, often very brilliant and very finished; this is in danger of being carried to excess.

So many pieces of their work have been brought to the United States, that those interested can see them for themselves, and will need no further description.

Early German Glazed Pottery.—Before leaving this subject a few words may be said upon the early German work in pottery.

We know but little of the history of the German or Teutonic tribes before the time of Cæsar; but it was found then that here existed strong, handsome, vigorous races, who had reached an unexpected degree of civilization. They had brilliant arms and armor; they respected woman, and honored old age. In the museums are found examples of{80} the early German unglazed pottery, so much like that found in Egypt, in Gaul, in Peru, and in most other parts of the globe, examples of which are shown in our first chapter upon unglazed pottery. Just when they began to use the glaze for the finishing and protection of pottery, we do not know. But it is known that it was in use there some two hundred years before it had been applied in Italy in the 1400’s A. D. There are evidences sufficient to prove that the use of enamel, in which tin was an element, was known in Germany as early as the thirteenth century.

The most famous piece of this early glazed pottery is to be seen in the Church of the Cross, at Breslau, Prussian Silesia. It is a great monument of pottery, built in honor of the founder of the church, Henry IV. of Silesia. He lies at length, the size of life, wearing his armor and his crown, and with a sword in the right hand, a shield in the left. Around the sarcophagus upon which he lies are twenty-one figures in bass-relief, the whole executed in the style of the earliest German-Gothic. Upon the monument is an inscription, saying that Henry IV. died on the night of St. John, in 1290, etc., etc. This does not prove that the monument was executed then; but there are other proofs that it was made about that time, in the dress, etc., etc.

The name most conspicuous among the early potters of Germany is Hirschvogel, who worked at Nuremberg, and who, indeed, founded potteries there which continued through the century. He was born in 1441, and died in 1525. He appears to have been a painter upon glass, but from that went to the production of glazed pottery. Large plaques in bass-relief exist of this work, and also artistic earthen-ware stoves, some of which are elaborately and beautifully modeled. Examples of these, as well as pots, cruches, etc., etc., are to be seen in the museum at Nuremberg. The work of the German potters appears to have been finished with the glaze earlier than that of any others of Europe, except that of the Moors, in Spain.{81}



The Arabs in Spain.—Cordova, Granada, Seville.—Enamel and Lustres.—Hispano-Moresque.—The Alhambra.—Tiles.—Vase of the Alhambra.—Malaga.—Majorca and Maiolica.—Rhodian Pottery.—Damascus Pottery.—Persian and Arabic Pottery.—Persian Porcelain.—Persian and Arabic Tiles.

BEFORE giving some particulars of the interesting examples of pottery which have come to us from the Arabs and the Moors of Spain, it may be well to devote a few moments to the people themselves.

I have thought it well to group under one head a number of their productions, because they are peculiar, and because they seem to have sprung from one centre, or to have grown up under a corresponding sense of the beautiful, so different from that of other peoples.

Beginning with the pottery of the Spanish Moors, now called Hispano-Moresque, and which is the latest, we run backward to the Rhodian, the Arabic, the Damascene, and the Persian. From what examples I have been able to see of these, they certainly show a strong family likeness in their colors, their designs, and their clays.

It is hardly to be supposed that this grew out of their religion, or that the fervid soul of Mohammed fired the souls of his followers with that striking and low-toned and intense and subtile harmony of blues, greens, and browns, which is so often seen on their tiles and dishes. It is more likely that, beginning somewhere, the Arabian potters carried with them wherever they went their colors and their secrets; and that what was desired in Persia, or Damascus, or Cairo, must be desired wherever the “followers of the faithful” were found;{82} and thus they went to work to produce these various fictile wares which are now so much sought for.

One of the most curious, most interesting, and most picturesque episodes in modern history is that of the Moors in Spain.

From the year 712 to the time of the discovery of America, in 1492, these Moslems held possession of the finest parts of Spain, including the cities of Cordova, Granada, and Seville. Of these, Cordova and Seville are older than the Romans. In the first century they were fought over by Cæsar and Pompey, but were not destroyed. The shores of Spain were visited by the ships of Tyre, and afterward by the Greeks; but these came as traders, rather than as conquerors. The old inhabitants, the Iberians, were brave and determined; but they could not organize, could not resist the invading arms of Rome, which swept over the world under the leadership of some one able and daring leader. Then came in the Vandals and the Goths. They swarmed down upon Italy, and into Spain, where they became strong and great. As we read history, we see almost nothing but one long, fierce, destructive fight, and we wonder that there could have been any art, any learning, any kindness, in the world; for every man’s hand was against every man, and the chief vocation of great men was to rob and enslave other men. So it has been, so it is now; the forms change, the fact remains. We have our feudal barons to-day. But how came the Moors—the Arabs, rather—in Spain? Briefly this may be answered:

The amazing, almost miraculous power with which Mohammed the Promised had inspired the Arabian race led them forth to conquer and convert. They went east and they went west, until they stretched along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and reached the Pillars of Hercules.

Could the narrow strait stop their way? They passed over it like dry land, and spread their victorious bands over the southern part of the peninsula, and possessed themselves of the lovely lands of Andalusia, Estremadura, Castile, and even penetrated to the cold and savage mountains of Navarre.

What were these Moors? Were they savage beasts, cruel robbers?{83}

They appear to have brought into Spain not only Art, but the arts, sciences, learning, literature. Under the strong and able rule of Abderrahman III. (912 to 961), agriculture, science, trade, and decent living, throve as they never yet had done in Spain. During the five or six centuries in which the Moors held the land, it is easy to believe that Spain enjoyed a greater measure of worldly prosperity than before or since. In this time Cordova, the seat of the caliphate, grew to have a population of a million souls; it had three hundred mosques and nine hundred baths. Its greatest mosque, begun in 786, shone with four thousand silver lamps, and its dome was raised aloft on twelve hundred slender pillars.

The city of Granada was built, and upon the sides of its mountain sprang into being the fairy fortress and palace of the Alhambra. Its halls, its courts, its galleries, its arabesques, its fretwork, its fountains, even in their ruin, tell us of the power of this singular people.

In Seville, too, the Alcazar and the Giralda even now bear beautiful witness to their art, their skill, their industry.

There seems little question now that the Moorish potters brought with them into Spain the arts which the Persian or Arabian potters knew, not only for the preparing the clays, but that they also had the secret for making the stanniferous enamel, or glaze, into which the use of tin enters. They also applied to the decoration of their wares certain lustres, which Demmin says were produced by the fumes of bismuth, of antimony, or of arsenic. It is not probable that gold was a component part of these lustres.

Just when the Moors went to work to make their tiles and their lustred dishes, we do not know. But as ornamental tiles—azulejos—were used to decorate their walls, we conclude that the production began almost at once. These tiles were not only used in bands or strips on the walls; they were also used as pavements, and the floors of the Alhambra were glittering with them, some few of which still remain there.

Mr. Ford’s description of them, thus quoted by Marryat, says: “Moorish very fine, and most ancient; surface plain, painted and enameled blue; the elaborate designs in gold lustre. The inscription{84} on the shield is the well-known motto of the Mussulman founders of the palace of Granada: ‘There is no conqueror but God.’ The date of its manufacture may be placed about 1300.”

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Fig. 59.From the Alhambra.

Our engraving of one of these tiles (Fig. 59) gives a good representation of the design, but it cannot, of course, express the color. No one can fail to see how far away it is from the commonplace and the ordinary geometric patterns into which the dull man invariably falls; no one can fail to be struck with the simple intricacy which interests, we cannot tell why.

Another remarkable piece of their work is The Vase of the Alhambra (Fig. 60), one of the most beautiful and most interesting vases anywhere known. This is sometimes called “La Jarra,” and is figured in Owen Jones’s “Alhambra,” where will be found much more that is worthy of attention. This is supposed to have been made about 1320. I take the description from Marryat’s work: “It is of earthen-ware; the ground white, the ornaments either blue of two shades, or of that gold or copper lustre so often found in Spanish and Italian pottery. This beautiful specimen of Moorish workmanship, which is four feet three inches in height, was discovered, with another similar to it, beneath the pavement of the Alhambra, and is said to have been filled{85} with gold. It was copied in 1842, at the manufactory of Sèvres, from drawings made in Spain by Dauzats.” It has since been copied by Deck, of Paris.

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Fig. 60.The Vase of the Alhambra.

Malaga was probably the place where the best of the Moorish work{86} was made, and there the manufacture continued for centuries. At Valencia faiences were afterward largely produced, as they are still.

The examples of Moorish dishes remaining are marked by a peculiar lustre, which I have mentioned, which is either a lighter or a darker yellow, and sometimes of a deep coppery color.

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Fig. 61.Hispano-Moresque Plate.

A very fine example of this golden lustred ware is in the collection of Mr. Wales, at Boston, through whose kindness I am enabled to present the accompanying illustration (Fig. 61). It is now, I think, hung in the loan collection of the Museum of Arts at Boston, with many other of his valuable and interesting pieces.

That any pieces of this work should yet be in existence may excite our surprise.

The struggle between the Christians and the Moslems for the possession of the government and the religion of Spain went on through the centuries. Yet through all these troubled centuries these Moors{87} found time to build great cities, and to create those beautiful examples of their peculiar architecture which are so satisfactory even in ruin. They also did more to encourage learning and the arts than any other nation of Europe; so that their schools and their scholars became renowned the world over, and were flocked to by Christian students.

In due time internal dissensions weakened them; then they went to ruin, and at last were driven out of Spain by the combined Christians. Then it was that the bitterness of war was intensified with the hatreds of religion; and then it was that a war of destruction was waged, not only against the persons of the “vile Moslems,” but against all their works; so that nothing should remain to tell the story of their hated supremacy and their hated religion. Then it was that the Moorish potters of Malaga and Valencia were slaughtered or expelled, and then, too, their handiwork went with them into wholesale destruction.

In this wreck and ruin, it is singular that the mosques, those finest monuments of the arts and the industry of the Moors, were spared.

These remain, and a few examples of their pottery, of which we have striven to give some idea, though faint.

One thing seems to be admitted on all hands, viz.: that to the Moors of Spain Europe owes either the invention or the introduction of siliceous or glass-glazed wares, and that from that date begins all improvements in fictile work; that directly from it came the potteries of the Balearic Islands, and that from Majorca came not only the names into Italy, but in all probability the potters or their secrets, which resulted in the production, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, of the wares now so famous under the name of Majolica, or, as it is now spelled, Maiolica, of which we shall have something to say further on.

Rhodian Pottery.—Pursuing this subject eastward, we find traces of a lustred pottery on the island of Sicily, believed to be the work of Arabic potters.

Still farther eastward, upon the island of Rhodes, have been found many plates and dishes, now classed as Rhodian, sometimes as Persian, and sometimes as Damascus ware. The styles of this work, their{88} colors and their designs, seem to group them together, and it is difficult to separate them in any consistent way.

The first I saw of these were hung on the walls of the house of Mr. Frederick Leighton, the distinguished artist of London. While following his art on the island of Rhodes, he had heard that some pottery of this sort was now and then to be found on the island; the pieces he saw were very bold and striking, and tradition there said that they were the work of Persian potters, who, as prisoners, had centuries before been placed on the island. Finding clay to their hands, they went to work at their trade, and, with little doubt, practised it diligently through a long time, and handed it down to their children.

Whatever was the truth of the tradition, a search among the poor people of the island unearthed many pieces of the ware, which Mr. Leighton brought with him to London. This was repeated on a second visit, until now this private collection is probably one of the best in England.

Upon his second return, Mr. Leighton told me he found in London, for sale, plates and dishes of the same character and coloring which were said to have been brought around from Persia; so that, whatever may have been the origin of this ware, whether Rhodes, Persia, or Damascus, the product was almost the same.

Mr. Fortnum, in his “Hand-Book upon Maiolica,” says:

“The paste varies in quality more than in kind, being of a gray-white color and sandy consistence, analogous to that of the Persian wares. The decoration is more generally rich in color, the ground white, blue, turquoise, tobacco-color, and lilac, sometimes covered with scale-work, with panels of Oriental form or leafage, large sprays of flowers, particularly roses, tulips, hyacinths, carnations, etc., the colors used being a rich blue, turquoise, green, purple, yellow, red, black. The forms are elegant: large bowls on raised feet; flasks or bottles bulb-shaped with elongated necks; pear-shaped jugs with cylindrical necks and loop-handle; circular dishes or plates with deep centres, etc. An interesting example of the highest quality of this ware is in the writer’s possession, and is described and figured in color in vol. xlii. of{89} the ‘Archæologia.’ It is a hanging-lamp made for and obtained from the Mosque of Omar at Jerusalem, signed and dated June, 1549.

“Two leading varieties are known in collections: namely, Damascus proper; known by its evenness of surface and rich glaze with subdued but harmonious coloring, certain tones of which are peculiar to this variety; for example, a dull lilac or purple, replacing the embossed red so conspicuous on the Rhodian, and used against blue, which is of two or three shades, the turquoise being frequently placed against the darker tone; a sage green is also characteristic. The dishes of this variety usually have the outer edge shaped in alternating ogee.

“This kind is much more uncommon than the other, Rhodian or Lindus, to which the greater number of pieces known in collections as ‘Persian ware’ belong. It is to Mr. Salzmann that we owe the discovery of the remains of ancient furnaces at Lindus, in the island of Rhodes, from the old palaces of which he collected numerous examples. This variety, although extremely beautiful, is generally coarser than the former, and the decoration more marked and brilliant. A bright-red pigment, so thickly laid on as to stand out in relief upon the surface of the piece, is very characteristic and in many cases is a color of great beauty; the predominant decoration of the plates consists of two or three sprays of roses, pinks, hyacinths, and tulips, and leaves, sometimes tied together at the stem and spreading over the entire surface of the piece in graceful lines; the border frequently of black and blue scroll-work. Ships, birds, and animals, are also depicted; and a shield-of-arms occurs on some pieces.”

A few of these striking Rhodian plates are to be seen in America; and I here engrave one (Fig. 62) from Mr. W. C. Prime’s collection, which is an excellent example. It shows a group of flowers starting from a point, the central stalk being that of a purple hyacinth. This method of grouping was a favorite one with these painters. These plates vary in price in Europe from fifteen to seventy-five dollars each.

Of the Damascus pottery little can be said, because little is known. From time to time plates and dishes are purchased there and brought to us, which possess the general character already described as Rhodian{90}, but are thought to have a delicacy and fineness not found in that pottery. A very handsome example is in Mr. Wales’s collection, which bears a little gilding, and which, perhaps, may be classed as of Damascus.

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Fig. 62.Persian and Rhodian Pottery.

Of Persian and Arabic pottery it is impossible, in the vagueness existing with respect to it, to do more than make a few suggestions.{91}

We cannot do better than to read what Mr. Fortnum has gathered with regard to this ware:

“We do not derive any information from M. de Rochchouart on the subject of the lustred wares, except in his description of the tiles of the Mosque of Natinz of the twelfth century; nor do we learn anything of that variety of creamy white pottery having the sides pierced through the paste, but filled with the translucent glaze, and which is believed to be the Gombrōn ware of Horace Walpole’s day. But he gives interesting information on the subject of the tiles used for decoration, of which the finest are those mentioned above; those of Ispahan and of the period of Shah Abbas being also admirable for their exquisite design.

“The Persian glazed pottery known to us may be divided into:

A. Wares, generally highly baked, and sometimes semi-translucent. Paste, fine and rather thin, decorated with ruby, brown, and coppery lustre, on dark-blue and creamy-white ground.

B. Wares, of fine paste, highly baked, semi-translucent, of creamy color and rich, clear glaze, running into tears beneath the piece of a pale sea-green tint. Its characteristic decoration consisting of holes pierced through the paste, and filled in with the transparent glaze: the raised centres, etc., are bordered with a chocolate brown or blue leafage, slightly used. This is supposed to be the Gombrōn ware.

C. Wares, frequently of fine paste, and highly baked to semi-transparency: the ground white; decoration of plants and animals, sometimes after the Chinese, in bright cobalt blue, the outlines frequently drawn in manganese; some pieces with reliefs and imitation Chinese marks also occur; this variety is perhaps more recent than the others.”

This description may apply rather to a sort of semi or imperfect porcelain of Persian manufacture, as to the reality of which there has been and is much doubt, rather than to the peculiar class of faience of which we have been writing.

As to the porcelain or hard faience of Persia, here and there are to be met with singular examples, which, because of a peculiar style of painting, combined with a certain coarseness or imperfectness of paste, have usually been relegated to the less dexterous potters of Persia.{92} That pottery has been made in Persia, far back in the dimness of the Dark Ages, there seems to be no doubt; just what it was remains a doubt; because even then a sort of commerce, probably by sea and land, existed with China, and thence came porcelains of various qualities and many designs. We are apt to believe that, until our day, there were few “cakes and ale”—little art, or only coarse fabrics. Whereas fine and admirable work of many sorts, and especially in porcelain and pottery, had reached perfection before our European or Western civilization began. Out of China came porcelain to Persia; out of Persia and Phœnicia came pottery to us.

Of the Persian porcelain, or hard pottery, a single example is to be seen in Mr. Avery’s collection, now in the Museum of Art at New York. It was bought at the Vienna Exhibition from Prince Ehtezad-es-Saltenet, uncle to the Shah of Persia, and we may suppose it, therefore, to have about it the true flavor of genuineness. It is a bowl of rather coarse ware, approaching to the hardness, if not the translucency, of porcelain; it is painted with blue of a common color, and with a not very interesting design; and is valuable as an example of the probable work of Persian potters.

But there exist many pieces of pottery besides these, which have usually been called Persian because of their peculiarities of design and of coloring. Some of these approach closely to the work already designated as Rhodian or Damascene. In the upper plate of Fig. 62, from Mr. Prime’s collection, is shown one of these, which the owner is inclined to believe may be Persian and not Rhodian. So also the painted faience egg (Fig. 62), obtained by him from a lamp in a mosque of the Holy Land. The face and the coloring do certainly impress one with a Persian faith, though it may not be easy to explain the reason why.

In my possession is a sweetmeat-pot covered with an “engobe” or “slip,” upon which are boldly painted in colors flowers and leaves; these last are peculiar in shape, and are by some believed to be Persian work—I doubt it, but it is possible.

We have a few words to say of the Persian or Arabic Tiles. These have been found inlaid upon the walls of mosques and palaces{93} and tombs in Damascus, in Cairo, in Ispahan. As far back as the palmy days of Babylon and Assyria, these enameled or glazed bricks or tiles were used to decorate the walls of their buildings; and that is about all we know. These bricks remain; for, of all the works of man, the brick is seemingly imperishable.

It is also certain that upon some of these bricks or tiles is found a glaze or enamel made with the use of tin; so that what is now called stanniferous enamel was known at that early day, and long before it was used in Italy by Luca della Robbia, who at one time was supposed to have invented it.

The example here given (Fig. 63) is a very beautiful plaque, made up of many pieces, and is remarkable for the splendor of its color, rather than for any perfectness of design. It is interesting, however, as showing the dresses of the cavaliers of the Persian court.

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Fig. 63.Persian Plaque.

In the walls of Damascus, of Jerusalem, and of Cairo, these tiles were imbedded for ornamental and decorative purposes, and from them they have been gathered by those good people called “collectors.” In Fig. 62 is an engraving of one in Mr. Prime’s collection, which gives simply the lines, but wholly fails to give the magic and mystery of color which endues it with beauty. This cannot be described, nor can{94} it be pictured; the combinations of blues are too subtile for the palette of the painter; they have been sublimated in the fiery heats of the furnace.

A few of these tiles are in possession of Mr. Prime and of Mr. Wales; and a very fine collection is now in the house of Mr. Leighton, of London, of which I have spoken. He has had them imbedded in the walls of his halls, which they tinge with their peculiar and pensive light.{95}



The Word Maiolica, or Majolica.—Italian Renaissance.—The Dark Ages.—The Crusades.—The Mezza-Maiolica.—The True Maiolica.—Luca della Robbia.—Urbino.—Xanto and Fontana.—Raffaelesque Ware.—Mr. Fortnum.—Prices to-day.—Gubbio.—Maestro Giorgio.—The Lustres.—Castel-Durante.—Faenza.—The Sgraffito.—Forli, Venice, Castelli, etc.—Castellani.—Maiolicas at the Centennial.

THE term Maiolica, or Majolica, as has been often explained, came from the island of Majorca, whence came to Italy, in the twelfth century, some of those peculiar potteries already described under the name of Hispano-Moresque.

The Balearic Islands, lying in such convenient proximity to the mainland, were then possessed by the active and enterprising Moors—that most daring and doing race, who had planted the standard of the Prophet in Southern Europe. From these convenient islands they could organize pleasant surprises upon the coasts of Italy, and gratify themselves with much plunder. While human nature can bear and does bear much marauding, there comes a time when endurance ceases to be a virtue, and then—war ensues. Such a time had come in the twelfth century, when the Pisans, and their friends along the Italian coasts, determined to plunder, rather than be plundered; and then they pounced upon the hated Moors of the islands, and turned the tables upon them. It is believed that, among the spoils carried away to Italy, were many pieces of the peculiar wares made by the Moors in these islands as well as in Spain. That these examples, and some of the potters themselves, were carried away to the Italian coast, is most likely; and that the Italians, always a people with quick sensibilities, and a{96} ready perception of the beautiful, if not of the good or the true, at once saw that here was a manufacture ready to their hands, which combined use and beauty, as their own did not. At any rate, it was during the most vivid period of the Italian Renaissance (1350 to 1600) that the production of the highly-decorated fictile work, known as Maiolica, sprang up, culminated, and went to decay.

Through the centuries called the Dark Ages, art and literature had not died; their fires were kept bright in the monkish cell, where some Alcuin, in England or in France, traced with painful pen the lives of the saints, or the romaunts of the Lady; and touched their illuminated margins with those exquisite colors which feed the eye with a pleasant surprise now, when centuries have passed, and books lie about our feet as thick as leaves in Vallambrosa’s vales. During this dark time art and literature flourished among the Saracens along the African coast, and grew into splendor in the halls of Cordova and Seville.

But a day was at hand when Peter the Hermit made his pilgrimage to the “Holy City” (1093), and came back to preach his fiery crusades against the abominations with which the Moslems defiled the sepulchre of the Lord. Then through some two centuries Europe was converted into religious camps, from which streamed out toward Jerusalem the armies of the Cross—the Crusaders—and that Oriental world was thus mingled in a great warlike confusion with the Occidental world of Europe.

How does all this touch upon the small matter of Italian maiolicas, of which I treat? Thus: these religious wars made Venice, Leghorn, and Genoa, into great centres of commercial activity, and into them flowed wealth, as well as every kind of merchandise and manufacture known in the East. The people of these small kingdoms grew rich, and vastly so. The Dandolos, the Dorias, the Medicis, founded princely families, and became patrons of learning and art. Then, too, the Church grew great, all-powerful, and rich; for the fervor of piety, which fired all hearts, sought expression not only in shedding its blood to rescue the holy places, it poured in of its earnings or plunderings rivers of wealth to enrich the coffers of the Church. The popes, the cardinals, the bishops, grew great, not so much in religious truth, but more in lands,{97} in castles, in gold, and in goods. Thus every prelate and every patriarch became a prince, with gold to give, and favors to bestow. Then they became, all through Italy, patrons of art and fosterers of learning.

We see in this the spring out of which flowed the “Renaissance” of literature and the arts, and which resulted in the architecture, the painting, the poetry, the maiolicas, and the luxury, of that new Italian life.

The term maiolica, in its generic sense, means what delft does in Holland, faience in France, and earthen-ware in England. All are soft pottery, covered with an opaque glaze called enamel. The term was once applied only to the lustred wares of Spain and Italy; but now it has come to mean such dishes—ewers, vases, etc., etc.—as were made in Italy during the period of the Renaissance, which have an expression of art, and can be termed decorative; perhaps it goes still further, for the druggists’ pots (Fig. 64), then much in use, and which may perhaps be classed wholly with the useful, are not excluded; for upon some of these much decoration was put. The word also carries a subdivision called mezza-maiolica.

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Fig. 64.Druggist’s Pot.


Mezza-Maiolica.—We cannot attempt to give a history of all the potteries which sprang into being in Italy during this time; it would be both difficult and useless. Of course, we know that many existed, and must have existed even from the days of the Roman dominion. But, under the influences mentioned, they took on a new life. Not only had striking examples come to the Italians from the Moors of Majorca, but beyond question many others had reached them from time to time from the East. Common and unglazed potteries gave place to the better sorts; and a vast stride was taken when the vessel came to be protected by a glaze made with the use first of lead (plumbiferous), and then of tin (stanniferous).

The Italian writers assert that the use of lead—the plumbiferous glaze—was applied in Urbino as early as 1300. Why need we doubt it? At Pesaro it reached its perfection about 1540. The common earthen or red ware of the country was dipped into a slip or “engobe” of white clay; then it was dried or baked; then painted, and afterward covered with a thin skin of lead-glaze, which was fixed with the fire.

The colors used in decorating these pieces were few, being mostly yellows, greens, blues, and black. This lead-glaze was soft, but it had a sort of metallic, iridescent lustre, which is one of its peculiarities and beauties. It is almost useless to attempt with the engraving to express fully the characteristics of this ware; the colors we cannot give. One piece (Fig. 65) will serve to show the kind of design often used, which bears unquestioned testimony to its Moorish parentage.

This finer work seems to have been made about 1500 to 1550, and at Pesaro.

The True Maiolica is that which is covered with a glaze made with the oxide of tin and siliceous sand. This stanniferous glaze or enamel takes the place of the “slip” or “engobe,” and covers the potter’s clay with a clear white enamel, upon which the colors can be laid.

The avidity with which the new art was seized upon in Italy by dukes and priests, by workmen and artists, we can hardly comprehend. It would seem that the whole Italian world then rushed into every form of art and literature with an eagerness only to be explained by a desire to make good the Lost Ages—often called the “Dark Ages.”{99}

Furnaces and potters sprang out of the ground, and almost every good town sooner or later had its “botega.” Of these we may mention as among the most noted: Urbino, Gubbio, Pesaro, Castel-Durante, Faenza, Forli, Caffagiolo, Siena, Deruta, Venice, Castelli, besides many others.

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Fig. 65.Mezza-Maiolica.

Before giving some particulars of these manufactures, it may be well to refer to a name which seems to take precedence of others among the artists in ceramic work in Italy. This man was Luca della Robbia, born in the year 1400. M. Ritter says of him: “He was a sculptor first, and a potter afterward. An artist of the highest power, he was inspired with all the marvelous æsthetic force and subtilty and fertility of his age and of his country. He was not satisfied, as other sculptors are, with form-beauty alone, but cast about to add to his moulded figures the further beauties of coloring and surface-texture. He no doubt well knew the wares of the Moors of Spain, and probably was acquainted with the secret of the tin-glaze already used by the Italian potters. It is needless to assume, as most writers do, that he discovered tin-glazes for himself; but he at any rate{100} adopted the process, and he has left us bass-reliefs and even life-sized statues covered with a fine stanniferous polychrome-glaze, which are among the wonders of Italian Renaissance art, and which to this day are, in their way, unsurpassed triumphs of skill.”

The portrait (Fig. 66) which we give shows him to be among the strong and able men, who might not only stand before kings, but might be a king himself.

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Fig. 66.Portrait of Luca della Robbia.

There are but few pieces of his work in this country—so far as I know, only these: one a Virgin and Child, in possession of Mr. Prime, of New York; the other now in the loan collection of the Art-Museum at New York, the property of Mrs. Robert M. Grinnell. It is thus described: “The child Jesus lies on a mass of green grass. White lilies with yellow stamens spring up behind him. The Virgin kneels; above her two winged cherub heads, and two arms stretched down hold a crown over her head. On the crown, yellow and blue spots.”{101} From the description, the reader will not be likely to rank this among works of the finest art. These works were produced to meet the religious wants of the time and people, and were in great demand. But to-day, for other than religious reasons, they sell for twenty times the prices they then did.

In Fig. 67 is to be seen a retable, now in the Museum of the Louvre, which is probably among the best examples of his style of work. These bass-reliefs were at first done with white figures on a blue ground; subsequently other colors were introduced, such as greens, browns, and yellows. His four sons and a nephew carried on the same styles of work, but failed to improve upon their master.

From the two or three pieces of the work which I have seen, I could value them as examples in the history of ceramics; as works of art, for myself not at all.

Italian writers naturally wish to claim for Luca della Robbia all possible merit, and particularly that he discovered and first applied in Europe (outside of Spain) the enamel made from tin; thus raising him to a high rank as a discoverer and originator, as well as an artist. Much discussion and speculation has been indulged in, which is, however, of but little interest to us, and probably less to Della Robbia himself. What he did do, and for which he deserved praise, was, that he seems to have worked at the new business he had taken up with honesty and persistency; that he was patient and painstaking. These are always good. He was merchant enough to make what then would sell; that is, works for the ornamentation of churches and altars, one of which we have illustrated.

He was successful, and that was a satisfaction to him as it is to us.

He made, besides altar-pieces, rondels and squares to be set into walls, upon which were masks, scrolls, fruit, flowers, buds, etc., etc.; and these were sometimes white, and sometimes enameled with various colors.

His nephew Andrea followed his lead, but did not improve upon his master; and his four sons, Giovanni, Luca, Ambrosio, and Girolamo, continued to make the same description of reliefs, but greatly inferior to those of the first Della Robbia.{102}

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Fig. 67.Altar-Piece, by Luca della Robbia, in the Museum of the Louvre.

Urbino.—The Dukes of Urbino were foremost in encouraging and developing the maiolica work of Italy; and around them, as a sort of centre, the ceramic art seems to have gathered.

I give from Mr. Fortnum’s book a brief account, which may interest{103} many. Having had whatever good could be derived from the great and valuable collections of the Kensington Museum, and being a man of keen perceptions and sound judgment, whatever he writes deserves respect. He says:

“In 1443 what had been but an unimportant mountain fief was erected into a duchy, and the house of Montefeltro ruled a fair territory in the person of the infamous Oddantonio, the first Duke of Urbino. On his violent death in 1444, Federigo, his illegitimate brother, succeeded to the dukedom. Of enlightened mind, as well as of martial capacity, he developed the native capabilities of the country, and gathered about him at the court of Urbino the science and learning of the period. He built a noble castellated palace at Urbino, for the embellishment of which he invited the leading artists of the day. A patron of all art, and a great collector, he encouraged the manufacture of the maiolica wares which flourished under his reign. On his death, in 1482, his son Guidobaldo I. continued his father’s patronage to the ceramic artists of the duchy, although much occupied in the Italian wars consequent on the French invasion by Charles VIII. Passeri states that fine maiolica (by which he means that covered with the tin-enamel) was introduced into Pesaro in 1500; and there is some reason to believe that the new process came from Tuscany. It differed materially in composition and manufacture from the ‘mezza-maiolica’ wares, to which it was very superior, and was known as ‘porcellana,’ a name applied at that period in Italy to the choicer description of enameled earthen-ware. Passeri also states that in the inventory of the ducal palaces a large quantity of painted ‘maiolica’ vases were included under this name. The superior whiteness of the enamel, more nearly approaching to that of Oriental porcelain, was probably the reason for its adoption; but we must not confound the term as used in this sense with its technical meaning in reference to a decorative design known as ‘a porcellana.’ ”

These famous manufactories of maiolica at Urbino, Gubbio, Pesaro, and Castel-Durante, sprang into life about the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. That of Urbino perhaps took the lead, being so directly under the patronage of the dukes.{104}

The two most distinguished artists here were Francisco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo and Orazio Fontana; they are commonly spoken of as “Xanto” and “Fontana.” Besides these were Battista Franco and Raffaelle del Calle, among the best painters upon maiolica.

During the time of these artists many elaborate pictures were painted by them upon the vases and plates of Urbino. Following the mezza-maiolica, the work at first showed much of the Oriental character of design, and the lustred surfaces were continued. But soon ambition seized them, and they transferred to the surface of the clay elaborate scriptural, historical, and allegorical subjects. Original designs were made to some extent; but to a larger extent the great pictures of the great masters were seized upon—such as Raffaelle’s “Triumph of Galatea,” and other works of the same sort. The engravings of Marc Antonio and of Albert Dürer, then just at hand, gave easy aid; and with such helps, with a rich and art-loving public to encourage them, we can see how the production should flourish. The vase (Fig. 68) is a good example of one of their best works.

These fine pieces were used as presents by grandees to grandees, and by princes to princes. Pieces and sets were painted expressly as gifts for lovers, for espoused persons, for safe deliveries; as marks of favor, and as persuasives for favors to come. Then grew up a large production of plates painted expressly for lovers, upon which the portrait of the lady was painted; in many cases, I am sure, with unnecessary ugliness, but with a sufficiently lovely motto to atone in some degree for the injury, no doubt unwittingly done—such as “diva” or “paragon di tutti.” These are known as amatorii, and are much prized.

In Fig. 69 we give one of these amatorii, and one of the most pleasing; some are of supreme ugliness. This one is dedicated to Vanna Bella—the beautiful Vanna; and in its time was more beautiful than now, for it was the inspiration of love.

Among the fancies indulged in upon the amatorii plates and jugs are mentioned such as these:

On one, we have two hands clasped over a fire; and above, a golden heart pierced by two darts.{105}

On another, a heart transfixed with a sword and an arrow over a burning flame, bedewed with tears falling from two eyes placed above.

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Fig. 68.Maiolica Vase, David and Bath-sheba.

On a saucer is a youth kissing a lady, and giving her a flower—Dulce est amare.

On another is a greyhound with a heart in its mouth—Per mento di mia fè in te, etc.

All of these are sufficiently youthful and sentimental to meet the wants of the valentine-makers of to-day.

But the subjects of paintings were not all either divine or historical or amatory. Many subjects painted from the old mythology had a too palpable quality which we more fastidious people might call coarse, if{106} not roughly vulgar; and such subjects do not heighten the pleasure we expect to find in examining these works.

The “Raffaelle ware,” as it is sometimes called in England, had a quality of design which is peculiar, and therefore an example of it may be of service here (Fig. 70). The combination of scrolls, masks, Cupids, flowers, buds, etc., which marks this style of work, is found more or less to pervade much of the ornamentation of what is known as Italian Renaissance.

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Fig. 69.Example of Amatorii.

It has sometimes been said that Raffaelle himself painted upon the maiolica, but it is not proved; and the finest pieces were not made until after his death.

It is true that many of his pictures were copied or adapted by the maiolica-painters for their own uses; and it is also asserted that some of his pupils painted upon the clay. Marryat states that the engraver Marc Antonio—good prints of whose works now sell to collectors for{107} enormous prices, beautiful specimens of which have been shown in the famous collection of Mr. Rose, of London—was in the height of his powers when the brilliant young painter Raffaelle was in the full command of his; and that the engraver lived in the house of the painter, worked with him under his own eye, and was influenced by his inspirations. We cannot wonder, therefore, that the finest results were thus produced. But it is not to be believed that either of them worked upon the clay. Copies of their pictures were painted upon the maiolica by other hands, and vastly inferior ones to theirs.

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Fig. 70.Raffaelle Ware.

What is known as Raffaelle, or Raffaellesque maiolica, are not those pieces which carry copies of Raffaelle’s pictures, but those, like the example seen in Fig. 70, which are ornamented with arabesques, chimeras, scrolls, etc.{108}

Of the painting of Xanto, a competent critic, Mr. J. C. Robinson, thus writes:

“Xanto’s works may be considered to represent perfectly the ‘Majoliche istoriate,’ and he certainly had a talent for the arrangement of his works in composition, nearly all his subjects being ‘pasticci;’ the various figures or groups introduced being the invention of other artists copied with adroit variations over and over again, and made to do duty in the most widely different characters. As an original artist—if, indeed, he can be so considered—he may be classed with the more mannered of the scholars of Raffaelle. His designs are generally from classical or mythological subjects. Xanto’s execution, although dexterous, is monotonous and mechanical; his scale of coloring is crude and positive, full of violent oppositions, the only merit, if merit it be, being that of a certain force and brightness of aspect; in every other respect his coloring is commonplace, not to say disagreeable even; blue, crude opaque yellow, and orange tints, and bright verdigris green, are the dominant hues, and are scattered over the pieces in full, unbroken masses, the yellow especially meeting the eye at the first glance. In the unsigned pieces, before 1531, the glaze is better and more transparent, the execution more delicate, and the outline more hard and black, than in the later specimens. Some of Xanto’s wares are profusely enriched with metallic lustres, including the beautiful ruby tint; these specimens, however, form but a small, percentage of the entire number of his works extant. This class of piece is, moreover, interesting from the fact that the iridescent colors were obviously not of Xanto’s own production, but that, on the contrary, they were applied to his wares by Mo. Giorgio, and the supposed continuers of Giorgio’s ‘fabrique’ in Gubbio. Many pieces are extant which, in addition to Xanto’s own signature, nearly always written in dark-blue or olive tint, are likewise signed with the monogram ‘N’ of the Giorgio school in the lustre-tint; and one specimen, at least, has been observed which, though painted by Xanto, has been signed in the lustre-tint by Maestro Giorgio himself.”

At this time there came to Urbino some artists who took the name of Fontana, whose works have a great fame—when known; their name{109} originally is believed to have been Pellipario. These brothers appear to have founded a factory or “botega” of their own at Urbino, where they did much work which reached a high reputation. But little of it, however, is surely known; for these painters, like most of the maiolica-painters, but rarely signed their pieces.

“With regard to the Fontana family, chiefs among Italian ceramic artists, we quote from the notice by Mr. Robinson appended to the Soulages catalogue. He tells us that ‘the celebrity of one member of this family has been long established by common consent. Orazio Fontana has always occupied the highest place in the scanty list of maiolica artists, although at the same time nothing was definitely known of his works. Unlike their contemporary Xanto, the Fontana seem but rarely to have signed their productions, and consequently their reputation as yet rests almost entirely on tradition, on incidental notices in writings which date back to the age in which they flourished, and on facts extracted at a recent period from local records. No connected account of this family has as yet been attempted, although the materials are somewhat less scanty than usual. There can be no doubt that a considerable proportion of the products of the Fontana “boteghe” is still extant, and that future observations will throw light on much that is now obscure in the history of this notable race of industrial artists. Orazio Fontana, whose renown seems to have completely eclipsed that of the other members of his family, and, in fact, of all the other Urbinese artists, is first mentioned by Baldi, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, in his eulogy of the state of Urbino pronounced before Duke Francesco Maria II.... From documents cited by Raffaelli, it is established beyond doubt that the original family name was Pellipario, of Castel-Durante, Fontana being an adopted surname; and it is not immaterial to observe that down to the latest mention of any one of the family (in 1605) they are invariably described as of Castel-Durante.... The Fontana were undoubtedly manufacturers as well as artists, i.e., they were the proprietors of “vaserie.” Of the first Nicola, as we have only a brief incidental notice, nothing positive can be affirmed; but with respect to his son Guido we have the testimony both of works still extant and of contemporary{110} documents. We know, also, that Guido’s son Orazio also had a manufactory of his own, and the fact is established that between 1565 and 1571 there were two distinct Fontana manufactories—those of father and son. What became of Orazio’s establishment after his death, whether continued by his brother Camillo or reunited to that of the father, there is no evidence to show. With respect to the remaining members of the family, our information is of the scantiest kind. Camillo, who was inferior in reputation as a painter only to his elder brother, appears to have been invited to Ferrara by Duke Alfonso II., and to have introduced the maiolica-manufacture into that city. Of Nicola, the third (?) son, we have only incidental mention in a legal document, showing that he was alive in the year 1570. Guido, son of Camillo, lived till 1605; and of Flaminio, who may either have been son of Camillo or of Nicola, Dennistoun’s vague notice asserting his settlement in Florence is all I have been able to collect. No signed pieces of Camillo, Flaminio, Nicola the second, or Guido the second, have as yet been observed.

“ ‘A considerable proportion of the Fontana maiolica is doubtless still extant; and it is desirable to endeavor to identify the works of the individual members of the family, without which the mere knowledge of their existence is of very little moment; but this is no easy task; although specimens from the hands of one or other of them are to be undoubtedly found in almost every collection, the work of comparison and collation has as yet been scarcely attempted. The similarity of style and technical characteristics of the several artists, moreover, working, as they did, with the same colors on the same quality of enamel-ground, and doubtless in intimate communication with each other, resolves itself into such a strong family resemblance that it will require the most minute and careful observation, unremittingly continued, ere the authorship of the several specimens can be determined with anything like certainty. The evidence of signed specimens is, of course, the most to be relied on, and is indeed indispensable in giving the clew to complete identification in the first instance; but in the case of the Fontana family a difficulty presents itself which should be noticed in the outset. This difficulty arises in determining the authorship{111} of the pieces signed “Fatto in botega,” etc.—a mode of signature, in fact, which proves very little in determining individual characteristics, inasmuch as apparently nearly all the works so inscribed are painted by other hands than that of the proprietor of the Vaseria. In cases, however, in which the artist has actually signed or initialed pieces with his own name, of course no such difficulty exists, but the certainty acquired by this positive evidence is as yet confined in the case of the Fontana family to their greatest name, Orazio.’ ”

With regard to the artistic quality of this work, I will quote the criticism of a competent judge, Mr. Fortnum, as upon the general question I have a few words to say further on; for it is unfortunately true that too many buy for the name, and not the merit. He says:

“The celebrated vases made for the spezieria of the duke were produced at the Fontana fabrique, and subsequently presented to the Santa Casa at Loreto, where many of them are still preserved. Those shown to the writer on his visit to that celebrated shrine some few years since did not strike him as being of such extraordinary beauty and great artistic excellence as the high-flown eulogy bestowed upon them by some writers would have led him to expect. The majority of the pieces are drug-pots of a not unusual form, but all or nearly all of them are ‘istoriati,’ instead of being, as is generally the case, simply decorated with ‘trofei,’ ‘foglie,’ ‘grotesche,’ the more usual and less costly ornamentation. Some of the pieces have serpent-handles, mask-spouts, etc., but he vainly looked for the magnificent vases of unsurpassed beauty; nor, indeed, did he see anything equal to the shaped pieces preserved in the Bargello at Florence. The work of the well-known hands of the Fontana fabrique is clearly recognizable, and several pieces are probably by Orazio. Some, more important, preserved in a low press, were finer examples. We have said that the pieces individually are not so striking, but, taken as a whole, it is a very remarkable service, said to have originally numbered three hundred and eighty vases, all painted with subjects after the designs of Battista Franco, Giulio Romano, Angelo, and Raffaelle; and, as the work of one private artistic pottery in the comparatively remote capital of a small duchy, it bears no slight testimony to the extraordinary development{112} of every branch of art-industry in the various districts of Italy during the sixteenth century.”

At the period of which we write, Italy had become the leading nation of Europe in all that pertained to literature and the arts; her painters, sculptors, and poets, had thrown over her people and history a glory, or rather a glamour, which was but the iridescence which whispered of decay. Within a century all had sunk into insignificance and palsy. To-day the world visits Italy to see with curious eyes what she has been, not what she is.

The art and the maiolica which she now produces are but copies, and too often bad copies, of that past. The manufactories of Ginori at Florence, and of Giustiniani at Naples, make much good work; but, so far as I have seen, they blindly copy the shapes, the colors, and the decoration, of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and attempt nothing more. And the pity is that we, who buy to-day, seem to want only those!

In our pursuit of art it may be well to remember that no nation can be created by “art,” and none can be saved by it. When it is enlisted only in copying the past, it means feebleness and decay.

From about the year 1500 to 1560 is counted the “fine period” of maiolica-painting, when the painters of whom I have spoken were transferring the compositions of such artists as Raffaelle, Giulio Romano, and Parmegiano, to the clay. These have always had a great value, and always will. The prices vary as the fashion varies. I find at the Bernal sale, in 1856, the prices quoted range from five to one hundred and twenty pounds, since which time they have enormously increased, so that Marryat quotes one piece at eight hundred and eighty pounds; and a beautiful ruby-lustred dish of Gubbio maiolica, exhibited in Sir Richard Wallace’s collection at Bethnal Green, was said to have cost forty thousand dollars, which one easily doubts. The most extreme prices were and are paid for the elaborate figure-pieces copied from the works of Raphael and others. When to these are added the brilliant lustres of Gubbio, we have all that maiolica can show.

When the fabric began to decline in quality, the elaborate figure-painting rapidly went out of use, and arabesques of all kinds, conceits{113} of all kinds—birds, boys, monsters, anything—came in to vary the decoration: these could be done by inferior painters; and the decline of maiolica was as sudden as its rise had been rapid.

Gubbio.—I have spoken of a beautiful plate, brilliant with its ruby-lustre, exhibited at Bethnal Green in the collection of Sir Richard Wallace. The work done at this small town of Gubbio is noted for its lustres; for, while other maiolicas also were decorated with these exquisite flashings of color, these had a marked superiority. The paintings applied there, like those at Urbino, Castel-Durante, and the other “botegas,” were in considerable variety, including sacred, profane, and historical subjects; the beauty and the value of these colored lustres were soon discovered. To one man the especial honor has been given of making them, whether he was the discoverer or not. He is known as Maestro Giorgio Andreoli, usually called “Maestro Giorgio.” He was not only a painter and designer, but he early saw and seized upon the magical art of imparting an added beauty by the use of what is termed lustre. It was applied before his day by the Moors of Spain and Majorca, and also by the potters at Pesaro. But Giorgio seems to have produced results finer than any; and one, the ruby-color, seems to be identified with him. Besides the ruby, he used, with great effect, gold, silver, and copper lustres; and not only were these applied to the paintings done under his eye, but works from other factories were sent to him to be endued with this subtile charm.

I cannot do better than to give here the results of Mr. Fortnum’s careful study of this subject:

“Chiefly under the direction of one man, it would seem that the produce of the Gubbio furnaces was for the most part of a special nature; namely, a decoration of the pieces with the lustre-pigments, producing those brilliant metallic-ruby, golden, and opalescent tints which vary in every piece, and which assume almost every color of the rainbow as they reflect the light directed at varying angles upon their surface. That the Gubbio ware was of a special nature, and produced only at a few fabriques almost exclusively devoted to that class of decoration, is to be reasonably inferred from Piccolpasso’s statement, who, speaking of the application of the maiolica-pigments, says, ‘Non ch’io{114} ne abbia mai fatto ne men veduto fare.’ He was the maestro of an important botega at Castel-Durante, one of the largest and most productive of the Umbrian manufactories, within a few miles, also, of those of Urbino, with which he must have been intimately acquainted and in frequent correspondence. That he, in the middle of the sixteenth century, when all these works were at the highest period of their development, should be able to state that he had not only never applied or even witnessed the process of application of these lustrous enrichments, is, we think, a convincing proof that they were never adopted at either of those seats of the manufacture of enameled pottery. Although much modified and improved, lustre-colors were not invented by Italian artists, but were derived from the potters of the East, probably from the Moors of Sicily, of Spain, or of Majorca. Hence (we once more repeat) the name ‘majolica’ was originally applied only to wares having the lustre enrichment; but, since the decline of the manufacture, the term has been more generally given: all varieties of Italian enameled pottery being usually, though wrongly, known as ‘maiolica.’

“That some of these early bacili, so well known, and apparently the work of one artist, were made at Pesaro, whence the secret and probably the artist passed to Gubbio, is far from improbable. The reason for this emigration is not known, but it may be surmised that the large quantity of broom and other brush-wood necessary for the reducing process of the reverberatory furnace in which this lustre was produced might have been more abundantly supplied by the hills of Gubbio than in the vicinity of the larger city on the coast. That the process of producing these metallic effects was costly, we gather from Piccolpasso’s statement that sometimes not more than six pieces out of a hundred succeeded in the firing.

“The fame of the Gubbio wares is associated almost entirely with one name, that of Giorgio Andreoli. We learn from the Marchese Brancaleoni that this artist was the son of Pietro, of a ‘Castello’ called ‘Judeo,’ in the diocese of Pavia; and that, accompanied by his brother Salimbene, he went to Gubbio in the second half of the fifteenth century. He appears to have left and again returned thither{115} in 1492, accompanied by his younger brother Giovanni. They were enrolled as citizens on the 23d of May, 1498, on pain of forfeiting five hundred ducats if they left the city in which they engaged to continue practising their ceramic art. Patronized by the dukes of Urbino, Giorgio was made ‘castellano’ of Gubbio. Passeri states that the family was noble in Pavia. It is not known why or when he was created a ‘Maestro’—a title prized even more than nobility—but it is to be presumed that it took place at the time of his enrollment as a citizen, his name with the title ‘Maestro’ first appearing on a document dated that same year, 1498. Piccolpasso states that maiolica-painters were considered noble by profession. The family of Andreoli and the ‘Casa’ still exist in Gubbio, and it was asserted by his descendant, Girolamo Andreoli, who died some forty years since, that political motives induced their emigration from Pavia.

“Maestro Giorgio was an artist by profession, not only as a draughtsman, but as a modeler; and, being familiar with the enameled terra-cottas of Luca della Robbia, is said to have executed with his own hands and in their manner large altar-pieces. We were once disposed to think that great confusion existed in respect to these altar-pieces in rilievo, and were inclined to the belief that, although some of the smaller lustred-works may have been modeled by Giorgio, the larger altar-pieces were really only imported by him. Judging from the most important which we have been able to examine, the ‘Madonna del Rosario,’ portions of which are in the museum at Frankfort-on-the-Main, it seemed to approach more nearly to the work of some member of the Della Robbia family. This fine work is in part glazed, and in part colored in distemper on the unglazed terra-cotta, in which respect it precisely agrees with works known to have been executed by Andrea della Robbia, assisted by his sons. There are no signs of the application of the lustre-colors to any portion of the work, but this might be accounted for by the great risk of failure in the firing, particularly to pieces of such large size and in high-relief. Be this as it may, from a further consideration of the style of this work and the record of others, some of which are heightened with the lustre-colors, and the fact stated by the Marchese Brancaleoni that a receipt for an altar-piece is still{116} preserved in the archives of Gubbio, we are inclined to think that history must be correct in attributing these important works in ceramic sculpture to Maestro Giorgio Andreoli. If they were his unassisted work, he deserves as high a place among the modelers of his period as he is acknowledged to have among artistic potters.

“Maestro Giorgio’s manner of decoration consists of foliated scrolls and other ornaments terminating in dolphins, eagles, and human heads, trophies, masks, etc.; in the drawing of which he exhibited considerable power, with great facility of invention. These ‘grotesche’ differ materially from those of Urbino and Faenza, approaching more to the style of some of the Castel-Durante designs. In the drawing of figures, and of the nude, Giorgio cannot be ranked as an artist of the first class. From 1519 his signature, greatly varied, occurs through succeeding years. It would be useless to repeat the many varieties, several of which will be seen in the large catalogue and among the marks on specimens in other collections. We believe that to whim or accident may be ascribed those changes that have tasked the ingenuity of connoisseurs to read as other names. His finer and more important pieces were generally signed in full, ‘Maestro Giorgio da Ugubio,’ with the year, and sometimes the day of the month.”

It may be said that the secret of this ruby-lustre was soon lost, and has not been fully recovered; although admirable pieces are now made in England.

It is impossible to convey in any engraving the subtile beauty imparted by these lustres; it seems to me that this is by far the finest and most fascinating quality of the maiolicas.

Of the work made at Castel-Durante but little need be said in addition to what has been written upon the general subject of Italian maiolica.

This was a small town in the neighborhood of Urbino; which town since then has been dignified with the name of Urbania, after Pope Urban VIII.

At Castel-Durante pottery was made long before it reached the name and fame of maiolica. Through a book left by a potter of the place, named Piccolpasso, it is perhaps better known than by the maiolica{117} made there. This manuscript book, which he illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings, gives some account of the wares produced there. I believe the book is now the property of the Kensington Museum at London. There are some few signed examples of the maiolica of Castel-Durante in the collections of England and of the Continent. I know of none in the United States. Of a piece owned by Mrs. H. T. Hope, of England, Mr. Robinson says in his enthusiastic way, “In the design and execution of the painting, splendor of color, and perfection of enamel-glaze, this magnificent piece is a triumph of the art.”

The ware made here is said to be recognized by “a pale buff-colored paste, and great richness and purity of the glaze.” Still none but an expert—a person who has made these productions a study—could distinguish them from those made at some other Italian factories.

Faenza.—Under the name of Faenza, an old town of Roman Italy, all sorts of waifs and strays which have no other home are likely to be classed. Its productions have no such peculiarities as mark those of Urbino, Gubbio, and some other Italian “botegas.” But for the antiquity and extent of its potteries, and also because it seems to have given the name “faience” to all earthen-ware pottery made in France, it has a certain importance. I therefore give a single extract from what Mr. Fortnum has written about it. As there are a considerable number of these druggist’s pots (see Fig. 64) in this country, the matter may be of interest. He writes:

“From an early period Faenza seems to have produced a large number of electuary-pots and pharmacy-bottles; a pair are in the Hôtel Cluny, one bearing the name Faenza, the other 1500. Many of these vases are decorated in the style known as a quartiere, being divided into compartments, painted in bright yellow, etc., on dark blue, with foliated and other ornament, and usually having a medallion with profile head or subject on one side, under which the name of the drug in Gothic lettering is inscribed on a ribbon. A curious example is in the British Museum: a large flask-shaped bottle of dark-blue ground with yellow leafage and with twisted handles, upon the medallion of which is represented a bear clasping a column, with the inscription, ‘et sarrimo{118} boni amici,’ allusive, in all probability, to the reconciliation of the rival houses of Orsini and Colonna in 1517.

“We would here refer to the frequent occurrence on these vases, as occasionally upon other pieces, of pharmaceutical and ecclesiastical signs, letters, etc., surmounted by the archiepiscopal cross and other emblems which we believe have reference to the uses of monastic and private pharmacies for which the services were made, and not to be confounded, as has been too frequently the case, with the marks of boteghe or of the painters of the piece. These emblems have no other value to us than the clew which they might afford to patient investigation of the locality and brotherhood of the conventual establishment to which they may have belonged, and among the archives of which may be recorded the date and the fabrique by which they were furnished. But what are of far greater interest are those admirable early pieces, painted by ceramic artists of the first rank, who, beyond a rare monogram or date, have left no record of their place or name; and whose highly-prized works, for their authors are several, are jealously guarded in our public and private museums. Some of these, with reasonable probability, are believed to have been executed at Faenza. Several examples are preserved, of an early character, perhaps the work of one hand, who marked them on the back with a large ‘M’ crossed by a paraph. They are usually plateaux with raised centre, on which is a portrait-head, or shallow dishes with flat border. Variations of the letter ‘F’ are found on pieces, some of which are fairly ascribable to this fabrique; but we need not point out the fact that many other localities of the manufacture can claim the same for their initial letter, and that the characteristics and technical qualities of the pieces themselves are a necessary test.

“Later in the sixteenth century, when subject-painting, covering the whole surface of the piece, was in general fashion (istoriata), the unsigned works produced at Faenza are difficult to distinguish from those of other fabriques. Some examples exist in collections, as one in the Louvre, with the subject of a cavalry-skirmish, and inscribed, ‘1561 in Faenca;’ but we have no knowledge of their painters, and even the occurrence of the name of that city is but rarely met with. Her wares{119} are usually richly ornamented on the back with imbrication, as was the manner of Manara, or with concentric lines of blue, yellow, and orange.

“Of the pottery produced at Faenza during the seventeenth and the last century we have but little record. Some pharmacy-vases are mentioned by M. Jacquemart, signed ‘Andrea Pantales Pingit, 1616,’ but the signature does not appear to be accompanied by the name of that city. In 1639 Francesco Vicchij was the proprietor of the most important fabrique.

“A modern establishment professes to occupy the premises of the ancient Casa Pirota, where we have seen fairly good reproductions of the ordinary sopra azzuro plates of the old botega; but these are but weak imitations, and the glory of Faentine ceramic art must be looked for in museums.”

The “Sgraffiato” wares of Italy do not come under the head of maiolica. The term is used to designate work where the design is scratched or incised upon the clay; and in Italy, often upon a white clay laid over a darker clay, so that the design shows through the lighter “slip” or “engobe,” as the covering is called.

Of Forli, Venice, Castelli, or Abruzzi, and the many other manufactories of maiolica, it will be almost useless to write here. We have few, if any, examples of the work in this country; and without examples it is difficult to make the subject interesting.

I have not attempted to give any “marks” of maiolica, for two reasons: one, that we have so little opportunity for purchasing that the knowledge of the marks, such as they are, would be almost wholly useless; and, second, these marks are of little use anywhere. Few of the painters were in the habit of marking their work; and, when they did, their marks seem to have had no uniformity, and were varied in many whimsical ways. Those who wish to buy pieces of maiolica, unless they have made the matter a study, will hardly do it without consulting a person of experience; and a person of experience will not be guided solely by the marks.

It can do no harm to say that admirable counterfeits are now made, both in Italy and in France (probably also in Germany), of the finest{120} of the old maiolicas, design, color, and all complete. Even judicious chippings of edges and mild cracks are added to please the exacting connoisseurs. Any person, therefore, who is looking for the best specimens of “genuine old” maiolicas, at the smallest prices, will be fairly and fully met in the shops of the Continent.

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Fig. 71.From the Kensington Collection.

With regard to some of the most celebrated maiolica, I have quoted the judgments of two most competent writers as to the beauties of two of the most famous artists. It is far from being high praise. I venture to say, in addition, that much, very much, of what I have had the opportunity to see, strikes me forcibly as being crude and poor in color, bad in drawing, uninteresting in design, and wretched in clay and in glaze. Not that there are not good and beautiful works among the maiolicas; but it seems to me they are few.

Besides this, I believe the great maiolica-painters, such as Xanto and Giorgio, were wholly wrong in attempting to transfer to pottery{121} the pictures of Raffaelle and Giulio Romano; at least, they can be but very poor representations of the pictures themselves, and therefore unjust to their models, and useless to us as examples of high art.

We copy here (Fig. 71), from Mr. Fortnum, one of the elaborate figure-pieces of maiolica in the Kensington collection; which, as it seems to us, is a striking proof of what has just been said.

In the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts at Boston are to be seen ten or twelve plates, bowls, etc., which give a fair exhibition of the work of the sixteenth-century painters. Some of these are attributed to the best masters, the Fontana and Xanto, and one has the mark of Xanto.

The large and varied collection of Italian maiolicas brought to the Philadelphia Exhibition in 1876 is now (May, 1877) to be seen in the rooms of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York, and it offers an excellent opportunity for examining and studying these styles of fictile work.

What is doing in Italy now.—A very large show of Italian maiolica of to-day was made at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876. What did we find there? Hundreds of imitations. Italy especially has been devoting herself with great industry to reproductions of the vases, ewers, tazzas, plaques, dishes, and so on, of the past; and some very fair ones were sent from Pesaro, Rome, and Faenza. The vases and ewers bearing figure-pieces or mythological pictures had a certain quality peculiar to this style of work which at first may excite distaste rather than desire, but after a time may induce a mild sort of assent; more, we believe, from the low and quiet tones and harmonies of color than from any marked excellence of either the form of the vase or the painted subject. The two names most conspicuous as potters in Italy now—Ginori at Florence, and Giustiniani at Naples—did not appear among the exhibitors, so far as we know. Of Ginori’s work we give a fine example in Fig. 71a. But if draughtsmen and artists so good would only give us their pictures of the life of Italy to-day as they so well could do—of the peasants and their donkeys, their vine-dressing and wine-making, their fishing, their cooking, their street-work in its thousand varieties! That they could,{122} and do not; that they continue on and on with the stupid round of copy after copy in all departments of art, may mean that the good public who have money to spend want these copies, and therefore potters and painters sink from the clear air of invention and originality into the dull inanities of copying.

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Fig. 71a a.—Maiolica Vase, by Ginori.




Bernard Palissy.—The Catholics and the Huguenots.—Saintes.—Figurines.—The Centennial Exhibition.—Prices.—Henri-Deux—where made—when.—Copies at Philadelphia.—List of Pieces extant, and Prices.

BERNARD PALISSY.—Over the name and fame of Palissy hangs an aureola of glory. He was a potter, and he learned his trade through much perseverance and much suffering. But, more than that, he was a Protestant in the days of the Leaguers, when to be a Protestant in France meant to persecute or to be persecuted; and it meant also peril and probable death. Palissy was born about 1510, and died in 1590. He lived, therefore, through the times of the bitter and cruel wars of the Huguenots and the Catholics, when political and religious and social intrigues divided the nobility of France into factions, which were not only ready to, but did, rend each other’s throats. He lived—he, a Protestant—through the wholesale butcheries of St. Bartholomew (1572), when it is asserted that from twenty to one hundred thousand Protestants were slaughtered in the kingdom of France in cold blood.

Palissy was one of those Protestants, was known as one, and he was not slaughtered. From this fact has come a good part of his glory, as a few words may serve to explain.

For a long time the struggle for power between the Catholic party and the Huguenot party had raged, with varying fortunes, when both sides pillaged and persecuted, and true religion was driven to the wall, or fled from France. At last the Catholic party, under the lead of the Duke of Guise, secured the preëminence, and in due time—in 1559—{124}severe edicts were issued against the Protestants. Palissy was not safe; but by that time he had acquired reputation as a potter, and had made pieces of his rustic ware for the king and for members of the court. He was known to the king; and the queen-mother, Catherine de’ Medicis, brought him to Paris, established his furnaces in the grounds of the Tuileries, made him a servant of the king, and so saved him for the time from the persecutions which swept away his brethren.

It must be remembered that those were days in which many men believed—believed that their truth or faith was the only thing to save them from the eternal fires of hell. Palissy was one of those earnest, intense, narrow natures who believed their faith was the only true faith for man. All the influence of the queen, the persuasions of the priests, and even the appeals of the king, could not shake him. Palissy has written his own story, and it has the interest of romance and the fervor of faith. When he was eighty years old he was thrown into the Bastile, with other stanch Huguenots, because of his faith. The king, Henry III., is reported to have said:

“My good friend, you have now been five-and-forty years in the service of my mother and myself; we have allowed you to retain your religion in the midst of fire and slaughter. Now I am so hard pressed by the Guises and my own people, that I am constrained to deliver you up into the hands of your enemies, and to-morrow you will be burned unless you are converted.”

Inflexible to the last, the old man is reported to have answered the king in this wise:

“Sire, I am ready to resign my life for the glory of God. You have told me several times that you pity me; and I in my turn pity you, who have used the words ‘I am constrained.’ It was not spoken like a king, sire; and these are words which neither you nor those who constrain you, the Guisards and all your people, will ever be able to make me utter, for I know how to die.”

The whole world admires pluck; and that, we cannot doubt, marked the character of the man. We need only to look at his face (Fig. 72) to believe that he might have said those words. And those who came{125} after him, inheriting in a degree the hatred of the Catholics which he enjoyed, have not allowed the words nor the fame of the man to die.

But he was not put to death; he lingered out his last year in the prisons of the Bastile, and then departed.

The story he left behind him, of his own struggles and sufferings in seeking and finding the arts of the potter, has been intensified by his admirers; they have added to its intrinsic interest by telling of his patience, his endurance, his suffering, and his final success—that which can be imparted by the glow of admiring souls, who see in him a hero such as they would themselves wish to be, but are not.

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Fig. 72.Bernard Palissy.

That story is briefly this: He was born poor, but he had patience, industry, and an aspiring nature. He studied, he learned, he sought; he became something of a draughtsman, a painter, a surveyor, a writer. Glass-painting may be said to have been his occupation, or one of them; and, in following this, he came quickly into sympathy with{126} cognate arts. We can well believe, therefore, that when he saw a beautifully-enameled cup—whether one of those now so famous as the Henri-Deux ware, or whether one of those already made at Nuremberg by Hirschvogel (probably the latter)—we can well believe that it inspired his soul with enthusiasm, and held him with the tenacity we know to have marked his character.

From that day he was possessed; he had a mastering thought: it was to discover the secrets of this art, and to apply them to the production of like ware in France, where it was not known. With little or no knowledge of chemistry, with none of pottery, he set himself to the task. He worked persistently, indefatigably, but darkly, ignorantly, wastefully, and at last only reached a half-success. He did this, too, by sacrificing largely of his own life for sixteen years, and, more than that, as he has himself told the story, by the hard and almost cruel sacrifice of the decent comforts of life of his wife and family. He borrowed the money of his friends and neighbors to conduct his experiments; he burned his tables and chairs to heat his furnaces; he could not pay his assistants; he could bear the tears and reproaches of his wife and his friends, and did so for years; and all this for what some persons call the “glorious result” of discovering a glaze for pottery—which had already been known and was in full practice at Nuremberg, only a hundred miles from him! If, as is stated by Demmin, he did himself visit Nuremberg to see and learn what was there being done, his course becomes still more inexplicable and unpraiseworthy. And what makes the matter still more curious is that, after all, he did not succeed in discovering or applying the stanniferous enamel; for M. Demmin states positively that his glaze was the plumbiferous glaze, and not the stanniferous. Quoting his words, he says: “On ne rencontre pas la moindre parcelle d’émail stannifère, blanc ou autres, sur les poteries attribuées à ce maître. Le blanc est une terre blanchâtre qui, couverte d’un vernis incolore, conserve sa blancheur.”

If, therefore, it may be questioned whether the object of discovering a stanniferous glaze was worthy the sacrifice of sixteen years of his own life, as well as of the peace and comfort of his friends and family; and if, after all, he did not discover it; and if, besides that, he{127} might have obtained it from Hirschvogel without all this tribulation, and did not—we may well be at a loss to understand the high praise which in some quarters has been lavished on Palissy; and for myself I am not willing to continue it. Martyrdom is usually a very poor business, and the cause of good pottery certainly does not demand it.

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Fig. 73.Large Oval Dish, from the Museum of the Louvre.

The work begun at Saintes about 1535, and afterward carried on at Paris, is marked by peculiarities which for a long time were supposed to be confined to the wares of Palissy. These were the use of shells, lizards, snakes, fish, frogs, insects, and plants, in high-relief upon the surface of his plates and dishes. This will be shown in the example we give (Fig. 73), which is one of the finest pieces of this work extant, now in the museum of the Louvre. And even this is now believed by some competent experts to be of modern manufacture.{128}

These natural objects were modeled with considerable care, and colored to represent the real things, so that they have a value to the naturalist as well as to the potter.

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Fig. 74.Palissy Dish.

As works of ceramic art, can we accord them a high rank, or can we get much satisfaction in their contemplation? Can we accept them as art at all? Admit them to be clever imitations—and that is all, it seems to me, we can do—and they fall to the place of prettiness, and rank with wax-flowers and alabaster-apples.

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Fig. 75.A Basket, by Palissy, in the Kensington Museum.

It is quite certain that work of this sort was done by many potters after Palissy, if not by his contemporaries; and collectors have been induced to pay great prices for things alleged to be the work of{129} Palissy which are now known not to have been made by him. In addition to this, the world is full of counterfeits of this sort of thing which out-Palissy Palissy; and the extravagant prices once paid for counterfeits cannot now be obtained for what are known to be genuine.

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Fig. 76.Perpendicular View, showing the Marguerites on the Edge.

The other two examples shown in Figs. 74, 75, and 76, differ from the first; and it may be doubted whether these are not to be attributed to some other potter than Palissy. The cornucopia on Fig. 74 was a favorite decoration at Rouen, and might readily enough find a place there.

This style of work, being made in moulds, can be easily and cheaply reproduced.

At one time a large number of figurines, such as “The Nurse” and others, were attributed to Palissy, notwithstanding that the dresses, and in some cases the persons, did not exist until after the time of{130} Palissy; but it is now asserted that there is nothing at all to prove that Palissy ever made this style of work.

A great number of examples may be seen of so-called “Palissy” in the Kensington Museum at London and in the Louvre at Paris. But they nowhere hold the high places they once did, nor do they bring the prices they once did. In the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia of 1876 a great variety of this sort of work was shown, made by the clever potters of the day in Europe.

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Fig. 77.Palissy Jug, from the Museum of the Louvre.

A very large sale has been found within the last twenty years for{131} imitations of Palissy ware, and these have been made with great skill by Barbizôt and Aviso, of France, and by Minton, of England; indeed, some of these seem much better than any I have seen supposed to be the genuine thing. The virtues most needed are, of course, patience and a keen faculty of imitation—art in any good sense is not essential.

The sales of Palissy ware at the Bernal sale were not at the high figures they afterward reached. The prices ran from seven to one hundred and sixty-two pounds, the latter price having been paid for a circular dish twelve and a half inches in diameter, which, having been broken into pieces and mended, was bought by the Baron Rothschild.

We give, in Fig. 77, another style of work—a very beautiful jug in the collection of the Louvre. It is there placed among the works of Bernard Palissy; and there are various other pieces of like work so catalogued in the public and private collections of Europe. But there are doubts as to these, which in some minds approach to certainty—doubts whether Palissy himself worked at all with the human form. It is well known that he was a naturalist, a geologist, a scientist, but it is not certain that he was an artist in this direction. Some students assert distinctly that he was not; and it seems most probable that he was not a modeler of the human figure.

As work like this, shown in the last illustration, has for so long a period been attributed to him, it has seemed desirable to give an example of it in our pages. That it is work of his time, if not made by him or under his direction, is not questioned.

Henri-Deux Ware: Faience d’Oiron.—This unique earthen-ware for years perplexed the lovers of pottery. It seemed to appear from Touraine and La Vendée, and only here and there a piece. It was so peculiar, so different from any and all the known styles, that no one could decide whence it came or by whom it was made. The impression—and it was only an impression—seemed to be that it must have come out of Italy, and that Benvenuto Cellini was as likely as any one to have had to do with its designs or execution; and this simply because he was known to have stamped his peculiar taste upon works which might be classed with this only in expressing the finer forms and decorations of the Italian Renaissance.{132}

A few pieces only of this ware came to light from time to time, but they were eagerly seized upon, and they gave rise to much speculation. Why there should be so few, and why no traces of like ware were found in other directions, remained for a time a mystery. But it was solved. I quote here from a paper by Mr. Ritter, which sums up what is now known upon the subject; he writes with the knowledge and appreciation of a practical potter:

“It was so late as the year 1839 that M. André Pottier, a French writer on art, first announced to the world the existence of the singular species of pottery now known as ‘Henri-Deux’ ware. He gave it as his opinion that it was the production of Florentine artists working in France. Until thus brought to the knowledge of connoisseurs, the very existence of this exquisite ware had been forgotten. It soon, however, became famous. Every corner of Europe was ransacked for specimens of it. Dukes, princes, and millionaires, contended with the heads of national museums for the few pieces still to be found. No ware ever yet became so costly; for every hundred pounds that a rare piece of Sèvres or maiolica will fetch, the ‘Henri-Deux’ will bring its thousand. As yet only about fifty pieces have come to light; and of these fifty more than one-half have found their way into the galleries of our wealthier English amateurs.

“Those who see a specimen of this rare and precious pottery for the first time are apt to be extremely disappointed. They see a vase, or a ewer, or a candlestick, of fantastic shape, covered with a thin, greenish-yellow glaze, the coloring not by any means brilliant, and the surface seemingly inlaid and incrusted with the innumerable details of a most elaborate ornamentation, made out in quiet browns, blacks, and sad neutral tints. Nothing is less striking to a casual or an ignorant observer—nothing in the whole range of decorative art so absolutely exquisite in design and effect to the cultivated appreciation of a connoisseur in Renaissance-work.

“No sooner was the ware discovered than speculations began as to its maker, its date, and the locality of its fabrication. On no single point did the ten or twelve French writers on the subject come to an agreement, and a certain amount of unsolved mystery still attaches to{133} all these points. There is no so-called ‘potter’s mark’ on any of the pieces except one, and this solitary mark is not recognizable as that of any known potter. It may be tortured into a monogram, or assumed to be a device, at the pleasure of those who form their various theories on the origin of the ware.

“The pieces are decorated with the arms of French royal and noble families. One piece has on it the salamander surrounded by flames, the device of Francis I. of France; and very many out of the fifty bear the well-known monogram of Henry II. worked into the ornamentation of the surface—a circumstance which has given the ware its name. The date is, therefore, more or less fixed to the short period between 1540 and 1560, or twenty years. As to the nationality of the artist, the best authorities join in thinking he must have been a Frenchman, because the work is essentially of the style of the somewhat distinctive French Renaissance then prevailing. The precise locality of its production could only be inferred to be somewhere in Touraine, because a majority of the pieces can be traced as coming from that province.

“Such was the mystery which hung about all connected with this curious ware—a mystery which not a little enhanced the interest taken in it, and perhaps the estimation in which it was held.

“This mystery is now, to a great extent, cleared up.

“At the court of King Francis lived a widow lady of high birth, named Hélène de Hangest. Her husband had been governor of the king, and Grand-Master of France. She was herself an artist, and a collection of drawings by her of considerable artistic merit is preserved. They are portraits of the celebrities of the period. She was in favor at court; the king himself composed a rhymed motto to each of her portraits, and some of these verses are written in his own hand. It is established that Hélène de Hangest set up a pottery at her Château of Oiron, and that Francis Charpentier, a potter, was in her employ. To his hand, under the auspices of the Châtelaine of Oiron, is due the famous ware of ‘Henri-Deux.’

“Mr. J. C. Robinson gives it as his opinion that the technical merit of the ‘Henri-Deux’ ware is very small. With due deference to Mr.{134} Robinson, who, as a rule, writes well and learnedly upon this and cognate matters, we do not think he would say this if he had been able to appreciate the subject from a potter’s point of view. The body of the ‘Henri-Deux’ ware is of admirable texture and quality; the mode in which the various clays are incorporated into the substance of the pieces without shrinking or expansion, the clearness, thinness, and smoothness of the glaze—which, by-the-way, is plumbiferous—all these things are so many marvels of skillful manipulation, and fill the mind of a practical potter with admiration.”

These curious and interesting facts were brought to light by the researches of a French savant, M. B. Fillon, about 1862.

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Fig. 78.Henri-Deux Faience Vase.

It appears that this ware was not made for sale, and that it was not sold, but was made for presents, and therefore was produced only in small quantities. The clay itself is what the French term terre de pipe, and what we know as pipe-clay—a white, delicate, and very light clay. The inlaying, or the incised lines which are filled with colored clays, are most delicately cut, and so much resemble work done by book-binders{135} that some persons have suggested that they were made with the tools used in the bookbinder’s trade. At any rate, one should give these pieces a close look, for any thoroughly good piece of work is a source of supreme satisfaction. Admirable copies have been made of some pieces of this work by an artist named Toft, which were exhibited at Philadelphia in 1876 by Minton, of England.

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Fig. 79.Henri-Deux Salt-cellar.

We give, in Figs. 78 and 79, two examples, more to exhibit something of the forms and conceits indulged in than to show the delicacy and precision of the work, which are perfect. Fig. 78 is termed a biberon; it is but seven inches high. “The upper part is white, the ornaments yellow; and the lower part black, with white ornaments. On the shield underneath the spout are the three crescents interlaced.” Fig. 79 is a salt-cellar.

After the decease of Madame Hélène de Hangest, who was the widow of Arthur Gouffier, a gentleman of rank, the manufacture of this peculiar ware was continued at the Château d’Oiron by her son, Claude Gouffier; but the production was still limited, and it is doubtful if any pieces were ever sold. It is therefore of great rarity and of corresponding money-value, only fifty-three specimens of it being known to exist.{136}

The interest in these pieces is such now that many persons may like to know where they are and what they are thought to be worth. I transcribe from Chaffers as follows:

In England there are twenty-six pieces:

DESCRIPTION. Owner. Whence obtained. Cost. Estimated
  1. Large ewer H. Magniac Odiot sale, 1842 £96 £1,500
  2. Large ewer Sir Anthony de Rothschild Strawberry Hill, 1842 20 1,200
  3. Large ewer Sir Anthony de Rothschild De Monville collection 140 1,200
  4. Candlestick Sir Anthony de Rothschild Préaux sale, 1850 208 1,000
  5. Hanap Sir Anthony de Rothschild De Bruge sale, 1849 20 500
  6. Tazza Sir Anthony de Rothschild Préaux sale, 1850 44 500
  7. Cover of a cup Sir Anthony de Rothschild Unknown 150
  8. Bouquetière Sir Anthony de Rothschild Bought of a curé at Tours 48 800
  9. Candlestick Andrew Fontaine Bought a century ago 1,000
10. Biberon Andrew Fontaine Bought a century ago 800
11. Salt-cellar Andrew Fontaine Bought a century ago 500
12. Biberon Baron Lionel de Rothschild Bought of Madame Delaunay 800
13. Salt-cellar Baron Lionel de Rothschild Strawberry Hill, 1842 21 300
14. Tazza Duke of Hamilton Préaux sale, ’50; Rattier, ’59 280 500
15. Salt-cellar Duke of Hamilton Préaux sale, ’50; Rattier, ’59 80 300
16. Salt-cellar George Field, Esq. ... 300
17. Part of ewer H. T. Hope De Bruge sale, 1849 16 300
18. Small ewer H. T. Hope De Bruge sale, 1849 20 600
19. Small ewer M. T. Smith Bought as Palissy 600
20. Biberon J. Malcolm Pourtalès sale, 1865 1,100 1,100
21. Salt-cellar South Kensington Museum Soltykoff, 1861, to Napier 268 300
22. Tazza and cover South Kensington Museum Soltykoff, 1861, to Napier 450 500
23. Tazza South Kensington Museum Poitiers, 50 s., Delange 180 180
24. Candlestick South Kensington Museum De Norzy sale 640 750
25. Salver South Kensington Museum Espoulart, 1857 180 400
26. Salt-cellar South Kensington Museum Addington collection 300 300

In France there are twenty-six pieces:

DESCRIPTION. Owner. Whence obtained. Cost. Estimated
27. Tazza Le Duc d’Uzes   £500
28. Cover of cup Le Duc d’Uzes   150
29. Pilgrim’s bottle Le Duc d’Uzes   800
30. Tazza and cover M. Hutteau d’Origny   500
31. Tazza and cover Musée de Cluny Bought by M. Thoré in 1798 £20 500
32. Salt-cellar Baron A. de Rothschild 300
33. Jug or canette Baron A. de Rothschild Bought by Strauss, £600 800 1,000
34. Small ewer Baron A. de Rothschild Préaux sale, 1850 44 500
35. Candlestick Baron G. de Rothschild   £1,000
36 Hanap Baron G. de Rothschild   500
37. Tazza Baron James de Rothschild South of France, 1860 £480 500
38. Biberon Museum of the Louvre Sauvageot, from Tours 800
39. Salt-cellar Museum of the Louvre Sauvageot, from Lehrié, 1824 5 300
40. Salt-cellar Museum of the Louvre Sauvageot, from Troyes 300
41. Salt-cellar Museum of the Louvre Sauvageot, from Troyes 300
42. Tazza Museum of the Louvre Sauvageot, bo’t as Palissy 8 500
43. Salt-cellar Museum of the Louvre Revoil collection, 1828 300
44. Tazza Museum of the Louvre Revoil collection, 1828 500
45. Tazza Sèvres Museum   500
46. Cover of cup Sèvres Museum   150
47. Salt-cellar Madame d’Yvon   300
48. Salt-cellar Comte de Tussau   300
49. Salt-cellar Comte de Tussau   300
50. Salt-cellar Comte de Tussau   300
51. Cover of tazza. M. B. Delessert South of France, by Rutter. 4 150
52. Biberon     


In Russia, one piece:

DESCRIPTION. Owner. Whence obtained. Cost. Estimated
53. Biberon. Prince Galitzin Préaux sale, 1850 £100 £800




Number of Manufactories.—Their Rise and Decline.—Nevers.—Prices.—Beauvais.—Rouen.—Moustiers.—Strasbourg, or Haguenau.—Marseilles.—Sarreguemines.—Sinceny, Nancy, Creil, Montpellier.—Paris.—Paris to-day.—Limoges.—Deck.

OF French faiences, the Palissy ware and the Henri-Deux have been already treated.

I now propose to give some account of the most prominent among the very large number of potteries which, in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, sprang up in various parts of France. Mr. Chaffers, in his work upon “Pottery,” etc., enumerates one hundred and sixty-five factories which in 1790 petitioned the National Assembly that they might not be ruined by the floods of cheap pottery then being sent in from England; and this was not the whole number in France.

Great skill and much good taste have been expended upon the faiences of France, and some of the work rises into the region of art. Much of that found in collections and museums is of this kind. But it should not be forgotten that the great purpose and business of those manufactories was the production of dishes, plates, and services, for the table—for the uses of life. And in this direction the production in France was very large and profitable, until the time when, as said above, the introduction of cheap wares from England ruined the makers. These disastrous changes and whimseys of trade, disagreeable as they may be to the masters and the workmen who are ruined, do{139} give a certain zest and variety to human history; they relieve life from the monotony and dullness which usually attends upon unbroken prosperity. As some of the doctrinaires tell us, they are really blessings—often very much in disguise; at least, they seem so to those who are the immediate sufferers.

Nearly the whole of the French potteries went down about the period of the great Revolution, from the effects of the wares introduced from England, and the troubles growing out of the political disorders. Within this last quarter of a century a noted revival has come to this most interesting industry, of which some notice will be made hereafter.

It is the fine examples of the work of the older potteries which collectors are desirous to get.

Marks are often found upon pieces of the faiences of France, the delft of Holland, etc.; but I do not reproduce them here, partly because they are much less important than those on the porcelains, and partly because we should have almost no occasion for their use.

Nevers.—It is supposed that at Nevers was made the first enameled pottery in France, in the days of Catherine de’ Medicis. M. Broc de Ségange, in his work “La Faïence, les Faïenciers et les Émailleurs de Nevers,”[6] traces the beginning of the work to an Italian named Conrad, who probably came to France with the queen, and was naturalized in 1578. He and his brothers began the manufacture about that time. Another famous potter there was Pierre Custode.

It was inevitable that the early faience of Nevers should bear a likeness to that which had grown up so rapidly in Italy, and had impressed itself so vividly upon the artistic mind of Europe. But it was not an imitation. We have little if any examples of this work in our country, and I give Marryat’s brief distinction:

“The Nevers pottery differs in many points from its Italian original. The outlines of the figures are traced in violet, the flesh in yellow. The red color is seldom used, but a copper-green is peculiar to this ware. Blue and yellow are the predominating colors, separated by{140} a line of white. The sea is represented by undulating lines of blue, in the style of Orazio Fontana, and the Urbino school. The lips of the ewers are in the form of leaves, the handles in that of dragons.”

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Fig 80.Faïences of Nevers.

Demmin separates the work done here into four styles or periods, as follows:{141}

“1. The Italian, 1602 to 1670.

“2. The Persian, about 1640.

“3. The Chinese and Dutch, 1640 to 1750.

“4. The popular and patriotic, about 1789.”

The examples shown (Fig. 80) are of the later periods, and partake of a general character which prevailed at other manufactories of the periods in France.

The colors during the Persian period were often effective, and the lapis-lazuli blue was rich.

A very great quantity of plates, vases, dishes, etc., was made, many of them rude and cheap, during the time of the French Revolution, which were decorated with revolutionary emblems, pictures of the destruction of the Bastile, with the liberty-cap, and with patriotic cries, such as “Liberté, égalité, ou mort!” and “Vive le roi citoyen!

At the beginning of the eighteenth century there were twelve manufactories, or “fabriques,” in full blast at Nevers. At the present time there is a very considerable production of faience at Nevers, much of which is only the imitations or reproductions of that made in the earlier centuries. Nothing of special interest, so far as I know, was shown at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia.

At the Bernal sale was “No. 1981: A pair of bottles of Nevers ware, light blue, spirally fluted with dark-blue flowers; twelve inches high. Eleven pounds.—J. S. Forbes, Esq.

Beauvais.—How early pottery was made at Beauvais is not certainly known; one of the earliest notices is of a pot of Charles VI. in 1399, “Un godet de terre de Beauvais, garny d’argent;” and Rabelais mentions this work more than once, in this way, “Une salière de terre; et ung goubelet de Beauvoys,” etc. Various pieces of this very quaint and interesting pottery are extant in the museums of Europe. The great plate we illustrate is in the Imperial Library at Paris, and bears the date of 1511 (Fig. 81). It is of fine paste, and is about seventeen inches in diameter. Its ornaments are in relief, and are the arms of France and of Brittany at that period. Many elaborate and decorative pieces were made here, and some of them were designed and were used for presents to distinguished personages who visited the{142} city. Not only were these works of luxury made, but large quantities of household work were manufactured for the uses of France; and there was a very considerable export of it to England.

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Fig. 81.Beauvais Pottery.

Rouen.—One of the most extensive productions of pottery in France began at Rouen as early as 1542; and after 1640 were made here many large and highly-decorated pieces, of which we give some illustrations. Just when work of this kind was first produced does not clearly appear; but a very considerable number of fabriques were established in this city, and many men and women were employed. There is no question that at one time the potteries of Delft had a considerable influence upon the work at Rouen, and much that was then made{143}

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Fig. 82.Rouen Faience.

showed traces of imitation. Pieces of large size were produced, such as fountains, vases, busts, figures and figurines, and even mantel-pieces. Work was done for the table, some of which holds high rank. When Louis XIV. sent his silver to be minted in 1713, to pay for his extravagant wars, he had it replaced by a service made at Rouen.{144} Some pieces in the Sèvres Museum, marked with the fleur-de-lis, may have belonged to this.

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Fig. 83.Rouen Faience.

Many of the rich and the noble followed his example, and the result was that a marvelous impulse was given to the increase and the perfection of the faiences at Rouen. Before the final closing of the{145} works, about 1789 or 1790, some eighteen extensive fabriques were in active work.

The variety of articles made at Rouen was very great, ranging from salt-cellars and candlesticks to mantel-pieces and stoves.

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Fig. 84.Rouen Faience.

The paste of the Rouen faience is stronger than that of Delft, and the pieces I have seen show a reddish clay through the breaks of the enamel.

Many of the paintings indicate much taste and skill. It seems to me that this work is marked by more originality, and by a finer perception of the fit and the beautiful, than any other French pottery. The pieces shown in Figs. 82 and 83, as far as engravings can do it, prove this. They do not show the variety and the richness of color which distinguish much of the best work.

The early Rouen work, in a considerable degree following the{146} Delft, was painted, as some suppose, by men brought from there. Imitations of the Chinese at one time were in vogue; and a good deal of work was done in blue—en camaïeu—in one color only. But the colored or polychrome Rouen is most distinctive, most brilliant, and most desired. One of the styles most sought for is termed à la corne, showing cornucopias combined with flowers and birds. It is very effective. The example engraved is a beautiful plate from Mr. Wales’s collection at Boston (Fig. 84). Many pieces of this ware are in existence, and they are found in all the museums and in many private collections of Europe. Mrs. Moses Ives, at Providence, has some perfect examples, gathered by her from old houses in Rhode Island. Her belief is, that they got into Rhode Island from ships captured by privateers and brought into Newport, where their cargoes were sold and scattered. It seems probable.

Moustiers.—Within the last twenty-five years the faience of Moustiers has been separated from that of other places in France, into which it had once been merged.

The little town in the department of the Lower Alps seems to have had a fabrique as early as 1686, when the records mention the name of Antoine Clerissy as maître fayensier. Two other names are known as master-potters of that town—Olery and Roux. All these made ornamental work of an excellent class, some of which is much valued.

Three styles of decoration are assigned to these potters. The earliest is recognized as being painted in blue camaieu (in one color), with subjects—hunting-scenes, escutcheons and armorial bearings, country-scenes, figures of the time of Louis XIV., etc. Most of these are assigned to Clerissy.

The second style runs from about 1700 to 1745. “The specimens of this period are better known to amateurs, and not so rare; they are also decorated in blue camaieu, with highly-finished and gracefully-interlaced patterns, among which are Cupids, satyrs and nymphs, terminal figures, garlands of flowers, masks, etc.; and canopies resting on consoles, or brackets, from which hangs drapery bordered or framed with foliage and hatched spaces; mythological personages, vases of flowers, and other designs, being frequently introduced; the centre subjects are{147} classical or champêtre figures in costume of the time, sometimes coats-of-arms. Some of the faience of this period is painted in cobalt-blue in the Chinese style, which M. Davillier attributes to Pol Roux, and refers to a similar plate in the Sèvres collection bearing the arms of le grand Colbert.” In this style there is evidently a following of the maiolicas of Italy in what is known as the Raffaelesque ware. But that was never, I believe, painted in blue.

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Fig. 85.Faience of Moustiers.


The third style, running from 1745 to 1789, is almost always painted in polychrome; the colors are blue, brown, yellow, green, and violet. Garlands of flowers, fruits, and foliage, are used. Mythological subjects also appear—Cupids, medallions, gods and goddesses, etc. To this class apparently belongs our illustration (Fig. 85). Some of these ornamental pieces are well painted, and latterly have been much sought for, but they do not rank with the work of Nevers or Rouen. At the time of the French Revolution there was a large industry in pottery at Moustiers—some twelve fabriques being in full activity. Nearly all have disappeared,[7] and the town has dwindled into one-third its former size.

Strasbourg, or Haguenau.—The beginnings of a faience fabrique here were probably about 1721. Hannong was a potter, who came to the town from Germany and established himself at Haguenau, near to or a part of Strasbourg. This had been a German city until Louis XIV. clutched it and made it French and Catholic. In 1870 the Germans took it back, and are now converting it to German and Protestant. The faience made here has never taken so high a place as that made at the other fabriques I have mentioned. But some of the decorated pieces—vases especially—were of good form and pleasing coloring. The most common painting was roses and flowers, in a free, bold, and rather rough style. Sometimes this has been confounded with delft; but it is quite different. It more resembles the pottery made at Marseilles.

Some of the marks on the faience are like those on the porcelain which was made here for a short time; these were an “H.” or “P. H.” combined, indicating the maker’s name—Hannong.

The Marseilles potteries were in full activity at the beginning of the 1700’s—a single piece exists which is marked 1697. In the middle of this century the number of fabriques had increased to some twelve, employing about two hundred and fifty workmen. All have gone down.

The faience made here followed that of Moustiers for its best work,{149} and that of Strasbourg for the more common. The flower-painting done here is said to be distinct from that of Strasbourg, in that the flowers are perceptibly raised by the paint; while in that of Strasbourg the painting is melted into the glaze. A very pleasing style of classic vases, made here in the time of Louis XV., are painted in camaieu rose-color, the wreaths and ornaments often being in relief.

At Sarreguemines, in the Moselle country, very beautiful faience was made in the last century—about 1775—some of which was highly finished in the lathe. Work was made there, too, with white figures on blue and colored grounds, much resembling the jasper ware made by Wedgwood.

There is an extensive pottery now at work at Sarreguemines, in which great quantities of domestic pottery are made for the market.

At Sinceny, Nancy, Creil, Montpellier, and many other small places, potteries were at work in the last century; few, if any, of which continued beyond the great Revolution.

Paris, too, had many small fabriques of faience, but none of them reached much importance. The name of Briot is yet kept in mind.

To-day (1876) France has burst into a great blossoming, not only of porcelain, but of decorative faience.

In Paris, Collinot has made a style of relief-enamel, in imitation of cloisonné, which is rich and effective in color, and often very beautiful; many have followed him.

Barbizôt has made and is making the imitations of Palissy better than Palissy himself.

Brianchon has made and perfected a lustrous ware like mother-of-pearl, which he calls “Nacre;” it is pretty and fanciful, and is very like what is made in Ireland, and called Belleek.

Durand Ruel had, in his exhibitions in 1875, some of the most superb and richly-colored faience-vases I have ever seen; but the name of their manufacturer was not made known.

Laurin, Chapelet, and some other artists at Bourg-la-Reine, struck out a style of faience-painting about the same time—1874 to 1875—which, for richness and mystery of color, freedom and force of design, and for delicious treatment—if I may call it so—has rarely been surpassed{150}. It is original, and different from anything the Orientals have done, and quite as good.

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Fig. 86.Limoges Faience.

The Havilands, at Limoges, have gone on with this work, and have not let it falter; their exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876 was excellent. I venture to include my notes made at the Exhibition:

But, in the way of earthen-ware, nothing in the French or English exhibits is at all equal to the vases, bottles, etc., shown by Haviland, from Limoges. These, we were told frankly and with all desire to{151}

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Fig. 87.Limoges Faience.

give the artists their due share, were modeled by Lindencher and painted by Lafon (we hope we have their names right). The forms of the pots and the relief-modelings are bold, unconventional, and excellent. The artist has studied Nature, and art also, but not to copy. This is true too of Lafon, whose lavish and daring use of color is{152} remarkable. Nothing is niggled or petty, as in this kind of work nothing should be. As examples of real art, they are equal to the best work of China and Japan; and a true man would wish rather a hundred such vases as the Pennsylvania Industrial Museum has bought, than one of those great vases from Sèvres which stand in the French picture-gallery. This is the same kind of art-work which for a few years has been done by Chapelet and a little band of artists near Paris, some of which has been brought to Boston by the Household Art Company, and has had a tedious sale. These painters are artists in color. Bold and strange as the work is, nothing is glaring, showy, bright, or flashy; throughout there is that reserve which indicates strength and creates confidence.

I give also some illustrations of their work, which in a faint degree exhibit its excellence. The color cannot be expressed (Figs. 86 and Fig. 87).

Deck, of Paris, should not be forgotten. I believe he is an Alsatian; he, his brother, and sister, are all fine specimens of the German-French; they have been at work since 1859 in producing some of the most beautiful things to be made; and the work done there now sells at high prices. T. Deck is himself an artist; but many others are engaged there in making flower, figure, and other paintings. Their exhibitions at London have attracted much attention, and their productions have been quickly sold.

No doubt other artists are to-day engaged at Paris in this fascinating work, which is attracting so much attention, and feeding well the desire for the useful and the beautiful.

Great establishments, with hundreds of workmen, are now in full activity at Nevers, at Gien, at Nancy, producing wares at low prices, which have much merit, and for every-day uses are good. Mostly they follow the old designs, and attempt little else. As they do not pretend that these are anything more than that, and as the prices are very reasonable, they reach a great sale.{153}



Delft, Number of Fabriques.—Haarlem.—Paste.—Great Painters.—Violins.—Tea-Services.—A Dutch Stable.—Broeck Dutch Tiles.—England.—Queen Elizabeth.—Pepys’s Diary.—Brown Stone-ware.—The Tyg.—Lambeth Pottery.—Fulham Pottery.—Elers.—Elizabethan Pottery.—Stoke-upon-Trent.—Josiah Wedgwood.—Cheapness.—Queen’s-ware.—Jasper-ware.—Flaxman.—Cameos.—Basalt.—The Portland Vase.—Prices.

THERE was a day (about 1650) when the Dutch town of Delft had fifty manufactories of earthen-ware, and employed in them over seven thousand people. To-day she has but one—if even that—and the work done there has sunk into insignificance. To those who are fond of change, of excitement, this will be a pleasant fact to know; it goes to show that Macaulay’s prophecy, that the coming New-Zealander will sit on the piers of London Bridge in the “good time that is coming,” and moralize over the ruins of London, may come true—pleasanter for the New Zealand savant than for the English statesman!

Haydn’s “Dictionary of Dates” states that pottery was made at Delft as early as 1310; and there are records of its importation from there into England in the time of King Henry IV. (1399 to 1413). The great industry was undoubtedly stimulated by the close knowledge of Japanese and Oriental porcelains which the Dutch merchants at a very early day and for so long a time had access to; which they brought to Holland in such large quantities, and which by them were distributed over Europe. But the cost of these was, of course, very considerable for those times; and the discovery of good clays in Holland gave the Dutch every facility for engaging in the manufacture,{154} which they had the wit to seize and the skill to develop; so that they were able to make earthen-ware of good quality, with creditable ornamentation, at comparatively small prices.

The Dutch were then the great “traders” of the world. They soon sent this pottery far and wide, into Germany, France, and England; and they got much money for it. Holland grew rich.

Haarlem was also a centre for this industry; but it made less impression there than at Delft, and went down sooner; so that but little is known of it.

The paste of the Delft, or at least some of it, is of a fine quality, so that it was worked quite thin, and yet preserved sufficient strength for use. To make this, a good deal of pains and skill was applied to it before it went to the deft hand of the modeler.

Of course, the great production at Delft was for the uses of the table, and its work did much to effect a revolution in the household-art of the table. Before this production the plates and dishes of the common people were of wood or “tre;” often only a square bit of board upon which the meat could be laid and cut. The better-off people had plates of pewter, and kings and princes indulged in those of silver.

Boitet, writing in 1667 of Delft, says:

“One of the principal branches of industry at present consists in the manufacture of a kind of porcelain[8] which nowhere in Europe is made of such fine quality and so cheap. For some years, indeed, porcelain has been manufactured in Saxony, and also at some places in France. The former is finer than that made at Delft, but more expensive likewise, and therefore not much in general use; whereas the Delft porcelain, on account of its more moderate price, is more salable; and it is sent not alone to most places in Europe, but even to Asia also. The clay of which it is made comes from the neighborhood of Maestricht, and is purified in Delft by divers processes. Besides larger articles for general use, complete services are made here, ornamented with escutcheons, as they may be desired, beautifully gilt and painted, almost equal to the East Indian in transparency, and surpassing such{155} in the painting. Many persons of property have such sets with their escutcheons made here, which then pass for Japan or Chinese porcelain.”

We must receive M. Boitet’s judgment that the Delft “surpassed the East Indian (or Chinese) in the painting” with many grains of allowance. Still, when it is known that many services were painted with landscapes after Berghem, and that William Vandervelde, Van der Meer, and Jan Steen, painted some of the ware themselves, we may easily believe that many pieces of delft had a character of their own, which gave it a very high rank.

I have myself never seen such pieces of these, and hardly know where to look for them. Marryat says that in the Sèvres Museum is a large dish, in the centre of which is a landscape, with animals and figures after Berghem, which is one of the finest examples known; and that other fine pieces are in the Japan Museum at Dresden. Some of these finest pieces are (or were) in the collection of M. Demmin at Paris; one of them is a portrait of Jan Steen himself about twenty-five or thirty years of age, with flowing light hair covered with a cap or bonnet.

Of the paintings upon delft by Van der Meer, Demmin enumerates a number; among which the “Head of a Woman,” a “Landscape,” and a “View of Delft,” are at the Hague; the “Porch at Delft, upon which ‘le Taciturne’ was assassinated,” is in the Museum at Amsterdam; and a variety of portraits, landscapes, city views, etc., are in private collections.

Demmin describes a very elaborately-painted picture upon delft tiles in the Gallery Suermondt at Aix-la-Chapelle, containing a country-house, a figure of a woman, a well and a person drawing water from it, a pigeon, a tree, and the sunlight shooting through it and touching the walls of the house here and there.

This very elaborate picture, so well and minutely painted, has been attributed both to Ruysdael and to Hobbema; it is now ascribed to Van der Meer.

This is work which will bring any price, because it is so difficult and so uncommon; but it is not what I should value upon delft or{156} porcelain. It can never be so good as upon canvas; it is much more difficult to make it, and a small accident ruins it past repair.

It is not “decorating china;” it is simply trying to make a picture with materials unsuited for the purpose; and its only merit is that it shows difficulties overcome. It is precisely the same in principle as the mosaics. It would have been idiotic for Raffaelle to have made the Dresden Madonna in mosaic or on porcelain.

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Fig. 88.Delft.

In the decorative work of the Delft potters it seems to me the things to desire are the fine plates and dishes painted, as many of them are, with luminous blues almost equal to the celestial blues of China, such as we see in Fig. 88; and the vases, the flagons, the cups and mugs, in every style and shape; the same things in polychrome,{157} with those bold groups of flowers, equal in their way to the work of the Orientals. Besides, there are the figures of peasants, etc.; also their cows and horses, which have a quaint interest not easily explained.

The Dutch potters ran into many things, such as small foot-stoves, barbers’ basins, casters, salt-cellars, etc. About much of the good delft is that same quaint, countrified beauty of which I have spoken. It is good, because it is real and native to the people and its painters. When they left this and went to imitating the Chinese and the Japanese, their work seems to me almost worthless; because it was an imitation, and it was inferior.

In one of the largest workshops, or fabriques, a custom prevailed that one should read portions of the Bible, which all might hear and all might discuss. This was a time when religious heat was fervent; when the great questions of church direction and free thought were rife; when Catholic and Protestant often went from the assault of the tongue to that with the arquebuse. This practice no doubt made good Protestants, but also without doubt poor potters.

The most curious pieces of delft known are four violins, still extant, very carefully made and very carefully painted. One is (or was) in the museum at Rouen, one at the Conservatoire at Paris, the third in the collection of M. Demmin, and the fourth in a private collection at Utrecht. The story still lives that these four violins were made by the master-modelers for marriage-gifts to the four daughters of the master of the fabrique, about to marry four young potters; and that the music for the dance was drawn from them. It was a pretty conceit.

Some elaborate dinner-services were made at Delft, which required much skill and much work. The covers of the dishes were modeled in the likeness of birds or fish, indicating whatever was to be served in them; these were painted carefully to imitate Nature, so that the guest, in seeing the table, would know if it were a turkey, a pheasant, a ptarmigan—whatever luxury had been provided for his delectation.

Tea-Services.—It is possible there are persons who believe that tea has always been known, and that the lovely tea-services out of which, we sometimes drink it have existed from the time of Noah and the Deluge; not so.{158}

Pepys, in his “Diary,” speaks of it in 1661 as “a China drink of which I had never drunk before.” And at that time it sold in England at fifty or sixty shillings a pound—an enormous price.

Tea and coffee pots were first brought to Holland from China, and do not appear earlier than about 1700; so that those which came over in the Mayflower and the Half-Moon and the Ark must have been made by Elder Brewster and Henry Hudson and Leonard Calvert from the “depths of their moral consciousness.”

Tea, we must remember, was not drunk in England earlier than about 1660, and then but rarely; and coffee was introduced into England about 1637.

Teapots have from time to time been a collector’s fancy, and persons have again and again got together four or five hundred, of all patterns and decorations. Nothing would be more pleasing in this way at the afternoon tea, when every guest should have each his own service, and every one beautiful.

That the use of delft-ware for ornament throughout Holland was great is evident from the number of decorated plates and vases, many of large size, and many showing a careful style of painting; these are now constantly coming from that country, and they are not counterfeits. Most of them certainly are rudely but effectively painted, and are very decorative. Upon a farm, not far from Amsterdam, the cows during the summer season being upon the pastures, I found the stables carefully cleansed and whitewashed, and the stalls and walls hung with large and gayly-painted plates and plaques; and some pieces of brass-work were added to impart a desired brilliancy.

Nearly every house, great and small, in the palmy days of Holland had more or less decorative delft-ware hung upon its walls and placed upon its mantel-pieces; many of these have been carefully treasured up, and they are the stores from which the world now makes its drafts.

A favorite decoration was a garniture for the mantel-shelf, consisting of three covered and two uncovered vases, such as are seen in Fig. 89. They are often painted in blue alone, which for a long time was the prevailing color, and which sometimes nearly equaled the best blues of{159} China. The ones here figured are of an excellent blue, and show a religious subject—the Virgin, Child, and St. John.

The variety of decoration was great; but mostly of birds, flowers, fruit, and other objects of Nature.

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Fig 89.Delft.

Afterward these, as well as plates, dishes, mugs, etc., were painted with many colors; and some of these were quite rude and garish, to suit a low and garish taste. But, as decoratives, these too have a certain value.

At the small village of Broeck, some seven miles from Amsterdam, there was in 1870 a very nice collection of delft for sale, among which were a dozen or more large plates of the best blue. It was the collection of a woman who had for a long time been a dealer there.

The town of Broeck, as most know, has been a point to visit; it was at one time the cleanest spot in the known world, no horse or cow or other animal being permitted in its streets. In those days it{160} was a sort of country-seat for the rich Amsterdam merchants. It is changed now.

The marks upon delft are mostly those of the individual painters, and may be found in considerable variety in Demmin’s more elaborate work.

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Fig. 90.Delft Plate.

Fig. 90 is a good representation of the bold painting of the Delft workmen. These great plates, when standing on shelves or fastened to the wall, produce a striking and pleasing effect. They are now much sought for; and the high-class work brings high prices, though not such prices as the Italian maiolicas.

Tiles were made from an early period in Holland, and during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in great quantities. They were{161} used to decorate fireplaces, stoves, walls, hearths, etc. The blue and brown Scripture-tiles were made in great numbers, and found a wide and ready sale. They are rude, quaint, and interesting—are not art at all, but whimsical expressions of a religious sentiment. They are still made in Holland almost identical in design and feeling with those produced three hundred years ago.


Very primitive unglazed pottery was made in England by the Britons and Saxons before the days of written history. Some account is given, in the chapter upon “Unglazed Pottery,” of the red Roman unglazed ware found in London and elsewhere, which, beyond any reasonable doubt, was made largely in England. An account of the use and production of glazed pottery in England will be in place here.

Down to the times even of Queen Elizabeth (1558 to 1603) we know that trenchers of wood, and cups and bottles of wood as well as of leather (these were called “black jacks”), were in common use even in good houses. As late as 1663, Pepys, in his most entertaining “Diary,” says that at the lord-mayor’s feast meats were served on wooden dishes, and were eaten off trenchers. The common dishes in Queen Elizabeth’s housekeeping were of wood; while those for the queen’s table were of silver, or possibly of pewter. These silver and pewter services prevailed on the tables of the wealthy till some time after the introduction of porcelain from China, and delft from Holland, which came in in considerable quantities about 1650 and later.

The first glazed ware made in England seems to have been the brown stone-ware, which, Chaffers says, was in use down to about 1680, and mostly in the shape of pitchers, jugs, and bottles. It did not at first come into use for table-dishes.

After this dishes were made of coarse and gritty clay, not at all equal to the delft-ware, upon which a lead-glaze was used of a greenish or dark-yellowish color. This lead or plumbiferous glaze continued in{162} use for a long time; but when it was first used in England seems unknown. Salt-glaze was used in Staffordshire in 1680.

One of the earliest attempts at “fancy” in English pottery is to be seen in the drinking-cup called a “tyg,” which has three handles, intended for three friends; so that each could drink from his own lip in succession. Mugs with two and four handles were also made.

At Lambeth it is believed that some Dutch potters made earthenware resembling delft as early as 1650. A patent was granted to some potters by the name of Van Hamme in 1676. Various pieces of glazed pottery with English designs remain, bearing dates from 1642 down to 1682, which it is thought were made here.

At Fulham stone-ware of a fine quality seems to have been made by a Mr. Dwight as early as 1671. This, in the accounts of the day, was sometimes called “porcellane.” There is reason to believe that a good degree of advance was reached here, and that the work approached that made at Cologne, now called “Grès de Flanders.” Figures and busts were also made here, a few of which are still extant.

Two gentlemen named Elers, who came to England with William of Orange, were clever men, and one of them was a chemist. They discovered clay at Bradwell, and established a pottery there, where for a time they produced good ware from the red clay. But curious eyes were at work to discover their processes, and one Astbury, pretending to be a half-witted fellow, succeeded in doing it; and then their business was ruined and broken up.

From Paul Elers descended the wife of Richard Lovel Edgeworth, whose daughter is known as Maria Edgeworth.

A white salt-glazed stone-ware was made in Staffordshire about 1700, which has been called “Elizabethan.” This often had designs made from a mould applied to the surface.

Stoke-upon-Trent, in Staffordshire, very early became a centre for potter’s work, as it is to-day; the country there for miles being a string of villages, filled with furnaces and the houses of potters.

It is not my purpose to attempt a detailed history of the immense pottery industries which have been developed in and about Staffordshire—potteries which, for variety and extent, have never been equaled,{163} unless perhaps in China. There is, however, one potter, whose life and work have had a distinguished influence upon the potteries of England, to whom some space must be given; he is Josiah Wedgwood.

Born in 1730 at Burslem, he came from an ancestry of potters, and he breathed the air of the potteries, so that he may be said to have been a born potter. He was one of thirteen children; he grew up with the small amount of school education then in vogue in that part of England—especially among his class of workers—and was apprenticed to a potter when he was but fourteen years old.

The English nation has in these latter days gone into a sort of frenzy upon the subject of school education, having got the impression that that will enable them to compete with or excel all the nations of the world. This I believe to be a mistake. I may, I think, fairly point to Germany, whose commissioner at the American Exhibition writes home that the productions of Germany are marked by lack of taste, lack of thoroughness, and lack of honesty; in other words, Germany, with the most thorough system of common-school education, is distinguished for the “cheap and nasty” in her work.

What was it, then, I may ask at this point, which made Josiah Wedgwood, this unschooled boy, the most able and successful potter of England, and perhaps of all the world? I attempt to answer it by stating my belief that he was not living for riches, but for excellence. He worked all his life to combine the useful with the beautiful more and more perfectly; and in a surprising degree he succeeded. This was not because of his intellectual ability, but because of his sense of honor.

The world has gone into a craze for intellect—not at all for honesty. I mean by honesty not a sickly sort of conscientiousness, which often hinders; but honesty of intention, showing itself in work. To illustrate my meaning, I may say that my own experience has been that the larger part of mankind are quite willing to “shab” a thing—to do it poorly—provided it will sell, and give them their wages.

This, it seems to me, was just what made Wedgwood what he was; he could not do that. All the work of his I have seen was done as well as it could be done. I do not mean that all his designs were{164} good or his decorations faultless; but, as it was, it was as well done as he could do it.

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Fig. 91.Portrait of Wedgwood.

It seems to me that in his portrait (Fig. 91) a good deal of this robust, manly, honorable character is to be traced. I like to think that the face here, as in many cases, is a sort of promise of the man.

I cannot do better than to quote, from one of Wedgwood’s catalogues, his own words, which are better than any sermon, better than much “burnt-offering and sacrifice;” which phrase of the prophet shows that there were shabby fellows then, even in the days of God’s Jews. I quote:

“A competition for cheapness, and not for excellence of workmanship, is the most frequent and certain cause of the rapid decay and entire destruction of arts and manufactures.

“The desire of selling much in a little time, without respect to the taste or quality of the goods, leads manufacturers and merchants to ruin the reputation of the articles which they make and deal in; and{165} while those who buy, for the sake of a fallacious saving, prefer mediocrity to excellence, it will be impossible for them either to improve or keep up the quality of their works.

“All works of art must bear a price in proportion to the skill, the taste, the time, the expense, and the risk, attending the invention and execution of them. Those pieces that for these reasons bear the highest price, and which those who are not accustomed to consider the real difficulty and expense of making fine things are apt to call dear, are, when justly estimated, the cheapest articles that can be purchased; and such are generally attended with much less profit to the artist than those that everybody calls cheap.

“Beautiful forms and compositions are not to be made by chance; and they never were made nor can be made in any kind at small expense; but the proprietors of this manufactory have the satisfaction of knowing, by a careful comparison, that the prices of many of their ornaments are much lower than, and all of them as low as, those of any other ornamental works in Europe of equal quality and risk, notwithstanding the high price of labor in England; and they are determined to give up the making of any article rather than to degrade it.”

From all this is it not evident that Wedgwood too found his world full of shabby buyers? I think so; and that has been the misfortune of others. While the buyers are apt to vituperate the workmen, in too many cases they are the culprits.

Few will dispute it, that nearly all the manufacturing and trading world has been sliding downward into shabbiness since Wedgwood’s day; and few will dispute it, that the mania to “buy cheap and sell dear” always did and always will debase any people.

It is not my purpose to give any detailed history of the life and doings of Wedgwood. All who are enough interested will find these in his “Life,” by Llewellynn Jewitt, and in that by Miss Meteyard, both of which are full, and are profusely illustrated. What I can do here is to call attention to some of the most distinctive things accomplished by this great potter.

Almost from the first, Wedgwood perceived or felt that there were good and bad both in form and decoration; and he set to work to{166} secure perfection in both. While all his life he wished to make, and did make, vases and other works for purely ornamental and artistic purposes, in which the expression of beauty alone was sought, he had that practical sense which taught him to apply his skill and his perception first to the production and improvement of earthen-ware which came into the daily uses of life. Out of this came his “queen’s-ware,” which soon had such a reputation for form and quality that it went in large quantities all over the trading world.

From this it should be known that Wedgwood made the money with which he carried forward those investigations and experiments which at last culminated in his finest works of fictile art.

It may as well be said here that even his art-work made him no money, although many of his pieces were reproduced. The fifty copies of the “Portland Vase”—of which more hereafter, and which sold for fifty guineas each—cost him more than he got for them. It is best to say this, because some men and women think that artists are sure to become rich. No man should attempt to be an artist with such an expectation; for, while here and there one is caught on the wave of fashion and borne onward to fortune, the number of these is few. No artist must expect a speedy recognition for good work.

Wedgwood would not have been Wedgwood had he not had a foundation for his art-work in his “queen’s-ware.” Upon this ware a word of explanation may be desirable. He early brought this every-day ware to great perfection, not only of form, but of paste and glaze. It was not painted, but was of a creamy white; and, being at such a small price, it went into very wide use. Having sent some pieces of it as a present to Queen Charlotte, she was induced to order a complete table-service, and to request that it might be called “queen’s-ware” thenceforth, as it is to this day.

This service was painted in the best style then in vogue by the two chief artists at the works, Thomas Daniell and Daniel Steele.

One of the most remarkable dinner-services made by Wedgwood was for the Empress Catharine II. of Russia, for her palace near St. Petersburg called Grenouillière. It is thus described by Chaffers:

“This splendid service was commenced in April, 1773, and had{167} upward of twelve hundred views of the seats of noblemen and gentlemen in England, and a green frog was painted underneath each piece. The form chosen was the royal pattern, and was made of the ordinary cream-color ware, with a delicate saffron-tint. The views were in purple camaieu, bordered with a gadroon pattern in Indian-ink, and round the edge a running wreath of mauve flowers and green leaves. The two services for dinner and dessert consisted of nine hundred and fifty-two pieces, had twelve hundred and forty-four enamel views, which cost, on an average, twenty-one shillings each, the borders and frogs to each about fifteen shillings more; making the entire cost, with fifty-one pounds eight shillings and fourpence for the cream-ware itself, a total of twenty-three hundred and fifty-nine pounds two shillings and one penny, without calculating many extras. The price ultimately paid by the empress was stated to be three thousand pounds. In June, 1774, the service was sufficiently completed to exhibit at the new rooms in Portland House, Greek Street, Soho, No. 12, where it remained on show for nearly two months. The empress showed it to Lord Malmesbury when he visited the Grenouillière in 1779.”

I may refer here also to his partnership with Mr. Bentley as another of the important elements of his success. Bentley was a man with capital, and also a man with an artistic sense; and he coöperated heartily with Wedgwood in a desire for thorough work, for excellence, and for profit.

The artistic work for which Wedgwood is so distinguished is what the pottery collector is most interested in. This, as Wedgwood himself has said of all good work, was not the result of chance. From the first he used his own brains and those of others. He studied whatever he could find to improve his profession, and became something of a chemist; so that the values of clays and silex, and the composition and use of metallic oxides for coloring them, grew to be an art in themselves in his hands.

The work upon which Wedgwood applied his inventions and his art may be classified in this way:

1. Queen’s-ware, for the table.

2. Terra-cotta, to represent porphyry, granite, etc.{168}

3. Basalt, or black Egyptian.

4. White biscuit.

5. Bamboo, cream-colored biscuit.

6. Jasper, or onyx.

7. A hard porcelain biscuit, for chemists, etc.

He conceived that he could produce a paste or body so fine, compact, and homogeneous, as to be finished without a glaze, and, at the same time, be susceptible of receiving color in purity and perfection throughout this body. This he succeeded in doing, and this is what is now known over all the world as Wedgwood’s jasper, or onyx. This is the ware upon which he afterward applied the cameo ornaments in white upon a ground or body of various tints—blues, sage-green, and purple. At first the color permeated the whole paste; afterward it was applied on the surface only by means of a “dip.” This was begun about the year 1776, and went onward till the end of his life.

It is of interest for us to know how the beautiful cameo ornaments used on this ware were obtained. The enthusiasm and the sense of honor which inspired Wedgwood gave him access soon to the best people and the best collections in England. In the collections of Sir William Hamilton, and others, were the exquisite intaglios found in the antique art-work of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Wedgwood took most careful and delicate impressions of these, and from these his careful and delicate cameos were formed. Not only did he draw thus from the ancients, he also enlisted the best designers and workmen wherever he could find them, and among these the most distinguished was the sculptor Flaxman. It may interest the rising sculptor to know that Flaxman’s price for designs made for Wedgwood was a half-guinea each. At this time he was a young man struggling into recognition; and he was glad of the opportunity, as well as of the money, which Wedgwood gave him. His designs all bear unmistakable indications of Greek inspiration, and he has been called an “English Greek.”

Miss Meteyard, in her “Life of Wedgwood,” quotes a number of the bills paid to Flaxman. One in 1775 runs thus: “A pair of vases, one with a satyr, the other with a triton-handle, three guineas; bass-reliefs{169} of the Muses and Apollo, Hercules and the lion, Hercules and the boar, Hercules and Cerberus, Bacchus and Ariadne, Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Justice and Hope—for each of these he received ten shillings and sixpence; table of the four seasons, two pounds and two shillings,” etc.

Flaxman modeled, too, a goodly number of busts of distinguished persons.

Models and designs were also procured from artists in Italy, many of which were made under the supervision of Flaxman while he was studying and working there.

Of this jasper was made a great variety of objects, besides vases and tea-services. Of the last we engrave portions of one in possession of Mr. Wales, of Boston, which is as near perfection as any work of this kind can be (Fig. 92).

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Fig. 92.Old Wedgwood.

This jasper-ware was used in many ways, as the following list will indicate. It shows something of the variety of art-work made by Wedgwood:

1. Cameos and intaglios.

2. Bass-reliefs, medallions, and tablets.

3. Kings and illustrious persons of Asia, Egypt, Greece, etc.

4. Busts of kings, emperors, popes, etc., down to modern times.

5. Heads of poets, painters, divines, etc.

6. Busts, statuettes, animals, etc.{170}

7. Lamps and candelabra.

8. Ornamental vases and antique vases.

9. Painted Etruscan (Greek) vases, etc.

So great was the production of the cameos and antique ornaments, and so greatly were they used as articles of jewelry, for settings in furniture, etc., that over two thousand different moulds and designs were made. We engrave here one of these small cameos, which, however, fails to convey a full sense of the delicate character of the work (Fig. 93). They reached almost the perfection of gems.

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Fig. 93.Wedgwood Cameo.

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Fig. 94.Teapot.

Fig. 94, a teapot, which is not remarkable for beauty of form or execution, is given as an example of the work done by the English{171} potters before Wedgwood’s day, to meet the ordinary wants of common life. It should be kept in mind, in estimating Wedgwood’s character, that he combined, in an eminent degree, the artistic and the commercial faculties, and thus was able to produce results of a striking kind. Like Shakespeare, he was omnivorous, and browsed wherever the pastures were sweet. All food was good which could be turned into delectable milk.

Some of the most perfect of Wedgwood’s work was made in the black basalt; which, however, lacks the brilliancy that colors gave to the jasper-ware. The example engraved (Fig. 95) is from Mr. Wales’s collection.

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Fig. 95.Wedgwood Basalt.

In 1787 the most celebrated vase of antiquity, called the “Barberini Vase,” and now the “Portland Vase,” was to be sold by auction. Wedgwood was inspired with a desire to possess it; probably with the intention of making copies. He kept bidding upon it, but his competitor was the Duchess of Portland, who also was inspired with the desire of ownership. Finally, when the price had reached eighteen hundred guineas, she sent Wedgwood word that he should have the loan of the vase, if he would withdraw his competition. It was so agreed; and Wedgwood set to work. He paid Webber five hundred guineas to make the model, for he was not allowed to make a mould. He then produced fifty copies (some say fewer) in his jasper-ware, the body being black, with a tinge of blue; the reliefs being in white. It was as nearly a perfect reproduction as could be made by the hand of man. As I have said, the cost of these was more than the price received.{172} This remarkable piece of antiquity is now in the British Museum. It was once shown to a crazed man, who, with a blow of his stick, broke it into a dozen pieces. It is, however, thoroughly repaired.

The original vase is nine and three-fourths inches high and twenty-one and three-fourths inches in circumference. Wedgwood’s reproduction of it was pronounced by the best judges to be faultless. It was exhibited at all the principal courts of Europe by his son in 1791. The moulds are still in existence, and other copies have frequently been made by Wedgwood’s successors, but they are not equal to the first in finish. We give a photograph of this celebrated vase as a frontispiece.

Miss Meteyard gives the following account of this renowned vase: “The original vase is supposed to have been manufactured in the glass-works of Alexandria at their best period. Brought thence to Rome, it was used as a receptacle for the ashes of the funeral-pyre, as it was found inclosed in a sarcophagus of excellent workmanship, and this in a sepulchral chamber beneath a mound of earth called Monte del Grano, about three miles from Rome, on the road to ancient Tusculum. The discovery was made between the years 1623 and 1644, during the pontificate of Urban VIII. (Barberini). An inscription on the sarcophagus, which was otherwise covered with fine bass-reliefs, showed it to have been dedicated to the memory of the Emperor Alexander Severus, and his mother, Julia Mammæa, both of whom were killed in the year 235, during the revolt in Germany. The vase, ten inches in height, was deposited in the library of the Barberini family, and the sarcophagus in the museum of the capital. The material of which the former is composed was, by Montfauçon and others, conjectured to be a precious stone, but Wedgwood’s examination proved it to be formed of glass; the ground being a dark blue, so nearly approaching black as to appear to be of that color, except when held in a strong light. The white bass-reliefs are of glass or paste, the material having been fused on in a mass, and then cut out by the skill and patience of the gem-engraver. The subjects of these bass-reliefs, as also the age and place of production of the vase, are points so wholly unknown as to be open to conjecture and criticism. With respect to the first, critics have differed. They have been generally considered to{173} bear reference to the Eleusinian mysteries; but one of the most learned critics of our own day, whose works on ‘Gems’ are known to every artist, scholar, and man of taste, considers that one of the group represents Peleus approaching Thetis. At best, the vase must ever remain what Erasmus Darwin termed it, ‘Portland’s mystic urn.’ Wedgwood valued the copy represented at two hundred pounds.”

I must say for myself that, having seen the original—now in the British Museum, where it is most jealously guarded—I cannot but admire the careful and beautiful cutting of the figures in the designs which surround the body; but I did not when I saw it, nor do I now, think the form of the vase in any degree equal to the best of the Greek or Etruscan vases.

Wedgwood’s life was an active and a productive one. He learned how to live, not from books, not in schools, but in doing the work his hands found to do. He was born a potter, he remained a potter, and he died a potter. He did not esteem his occupation a thing to be dropped as soon as possible, that he might be something else; or, as many persons are apt to do, that he might do nothing. Work, to him, was not only honorable, it was necessary. The old notion, that work was a curse, never entered his sound head.

It is an honorable thing that his merits were recognized while he lived; for this is rare in the heat and hurry and competition of this day of ours. Before he died, in 1795, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and of the Society of Antiquaries; and was recognized by a large number of people as a thorough worker and an able man. Since his death, honors have descended on his head. His “Life” has been carefully written by Mr. Jewitt and by Miss Meteyard; and Mr. Gladstone, England’s ablest man, has spoken with generous and discriminating praise of him and his works.

In many private collections, as well as in all public ones, these works are prized; and not the least interesting and valuable of these collections is that of Mr. Gladstone, now loaned to the city of Liverpool.

The prices which fine pieces of Wedgwood’s work have sold for will be seen in the following, from a sale of Mrs. Brett’s, in England, in 1864:{174}

Plaques, white on blue ground, “Virgil reciting before Augustus,” 7½ by 18 inches    £44
Five groups, infant bacchanals, 5 by 23 inches64
Basin, with Cupids and figures10

At a sale of De la Rue’s, in 1866:

Pair of two-handled seaux, with satyrs, gnomes, etc.      £39 18s.
Dish, nautilus-shell9 10s.
Large bowl on foot, with boys, festoons, etc.27 6s.

Busts in black-ware sold as follows:

De Witt      £17 17s.
Bacon10 10s.
Venus15 15s.
Cato9 10s.

At Mr. Marryat’s sale:

A black tazza supported on three figures, 11 inches£6 10s.
A pair of black vases and covers, with white figures in cameo, 12 inches46 
A black lamp, with red figures2 10s.
A granite vase, with handles, gilt ornaments, etc., 9 inches44s.
A watch-stand, with Cupid in relief in white, on sage-green ground, 6 inches8 
A candlestick, in form of a tree, with Cupids ditto, 11 inches,16 

Staffordshire now smokes for miles with the fires of her kilns, and vast quantities of wares are produced. Within the last twenty-five years a growing desire has been felt to bestow upon these articles of every-day use some grace of form and some decoration of art; and in both the English and the French pottery of to-day beauty and use are combined.{175}



Difficulties.—The Porcelain Tower at Nanking.—First Making of Porcelain.—Kaolin and Pe-tun-tse.—Marco Polo.—Portuguese Importation.—The City of King-te-chin.—Jacquemart’s Groups.—Symbolic Decoration.—Inscriptions.—The Ming Period.—The Celestial Blue.—The Celadons.—Reticulated Cups.—The Crackle.—Various Periods.—Individualism.—Marks and Dates.

NO people and no civilization have been or are still of greater interest than those of the “Flowery Kingdom;” and, spite of much study and careful investigation, of none are we less certain than of these. Through thousands of years a peculiar people have developed a peculiar social system—most striking, most distinct, and, in its way, as complete as any other, even if compared with ours, of which we loudly boast. And now this singular people—a people who have grown into a population of four hundred millions, having their barriers broken down by the guns and rams of England, so that trade should enter—are themselves coming out to do the work of the world cheaper than any others can do it. We see them in Batavia, in Siam, in Singapore, in great numbers, as workers, as brokers, as merchants, as manufacturers, and now they are flowing a steady tide into California; and who can say where the flood will reach, where it will stop, and whom it will submerge? No other question of such importance now presses upon us as this.

But here we have to deal only with one of the most perfect and most beautiful of industries—one which seems to have had its rise and its culmination with this strange people.

What we know of it we can hardly be said to know. The Chinese{176} have always kept their own secrets, and have not cared to convert us to their methods, or to cater to our ways. We therefore gather, here and there, a scrap of information upon the subject of porcelains; we get, when we can, examples of their work; we try to learn something of their processes; but, after all, can only submit what we gather with some misgivings as to the absolute truth.

We do not know how to spell their names in our letters, and they vary infinitely; so too the inscriptions upon their plates and dishes vary with the knowledge and the fancy of the translator. Of course, we approximate to the truth, but not more; for no two Chinese quite agree as to what this most flexible writing may mean. As to dates on the pieces, some certainty seems to have been reached; and such is valuable. I have added to this article marks and dates as now understood by the best authorities in England, and as arranged by Mr. A. W. Franks, who is the latest writer upon the subject. The knowledge of these helps the student, and is valuable to the collector.

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Fig. 96.Pou-tai, “The God of Content.”

The opening cut (Fig. 96) in our chapter shows the Chinese god Pou-tai—the “God of Content.” He is described as “corpulent, his chest uncovered, mounted upon or leaning on the wine-skin which holds his terrestrial goods; his face, with half-closed eyes, beaming with an eternal laugh.”

His image, done in porcelain, is found in the workshops of China, where men wish more than they can obtain; he allays, perhaps, but does not quench. This image would be most useful—at least, most{177} suggestive—if it could be set up in every bourse of the Western world.

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Fig. 97.The Porcelain Tower at Nanking.

The Nanking Tower (Fig. 97) once stood near the city of Nanking, from which city much of our finest porcelain comes. It was built with bricks or pottery, the face of which was coated with a dip or slip{178} of porcelain; and the whole thing was valuable and interesting as a monument of the potter’s art. It is now razed to the ground, the last destruction being that of the Taiping rebels.

The history of pottery is in a good degree the history of man. All nations have done something in this way, from the rude clay pots of the barbarians, through the gayly-painted dishes of the incipient civilization, up to the culmination of the art, when perfection seems to have been reached in China through the centuries extending up to the sixteenth. This manufacture, which reached in China and Japan to the point of finest art, has not been surpassed by any civilized race, if equaled. I am unable to do anything but admire a people whose workmen did and liked to do such fine and faithful work, and found such large patronage for it; and it seems a ludicrous and stupid judgment for us, who admire and pay for the sculptures of Mr. Mills and Miss Ream, to call those peoples barbarians!

Are they not justified in calling us “outside barbarians?”

This chapter will treat briefly upon these Oriental productions, and I hope no apology is needed.

Three thousand years (2697 B. C.) before our Christian era these Chinese were great potters, had reached to a high point in form and decoration; and porcelain, the finest pottery, began to be made some two hundred years before our era. At that time our ancestors were in a state of gross, if not beastly, barbarism; while they showed skill, taste, refinement, in this and in other ways.

As late as the seventeenth century cups and trenchers of “honest tre,” or wood, were used in the best castles of England, and the dishes were often square bits of board; and down even to a much later day the fingers were used to carry the meat to the mouth.

Some two hundred years, then, before Christ, it appears that the Chinese had discovered and applied to the making of porcelain two fine clays, one called kaolin, and the other pe-tun-tse; the first is a decayed feldspar; combined, these clays produce the fine semi-transparent body which we call china or porcelain. All china, then, has in a greater or less degree this quality of translucency. It appears, therefore, that most of the Canton ware brought to us is not porcelain at{179} all, but simply a kind of stone or earthen ware, coated with an enamel or “slip,” which sometimes may contain porcelain.

So, too, the most beautiful Satsuma ware from Japan is not porcelain, but a fine sort of pottery or earthen-ware, the decoration of which is most marked and harmonious.

For more than two thousand years the “heathen Chinee” has been working at the production of porcelain—and apparently most intelligently and skillfully. He has accomplished this:

1. The materials used are selected with the greatest care.

2. They are combined, and ground, and mixed, with consummate knowledge.

3. The articles desired are turned and modeled with great precision and dexterity, oftentimes with the keenest perception of beauty of line.

4. The decorations exhibit an exquisite feeling as to value and harmony of color, and freedom of design.

This combination of knowledge, skill, and taste, the Chinese were the first to combine in pottery and porcelain, and they have not been excelled.

To those who are ignorant, it seems a very paltry thing to make a dinner-plate; but to make a perfect one requires most of the best faculties of man. Ignorant and foolish people hold the china-lovers in contempt; we reciprocate: we believe that the man who does not perceive and enjoy all this beautiful handiwork is willfully ignorant or pitiably stupid: he has our pity and our prayers.

Traces of porcelain are found in the ancient tombs and among the mummies of Egypt, in the form of small bottles as here shown (Fig. 98). Just what was their use or significance we do not know; but some think they prove that intercourse existed between those countries in very early days.

Marco Polo visited China in the latter half of the thirteenth century, and he told of the great factories for the production of porcelain there; and how certain kinds of earth were collected, and, after being exposed to air and rains for thirty or forty years, were then fit to be made into cups and bowls. Great quantities were sold in the city. “For a Venetian groat you may purchase eight porcelain cups.”{180}

Beginning of course with useful articles simply, this manufacture progressed until pots and vases and dishes were made for purely decorative purposes.

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Fig. 98.Porcelain Bottle, from Egyptian Tomb.

As porcelain was introduced into Europe by the Portuguese about the year 1518, we are obliged to pierce into the dimness of the past with the aid of the Chinese themselves. M. Julien,[9] a Frenchman, has compiled from the Chinese writings mostly all we know, some parts of which may come into this chapter. Jacquemart, Marryat, Chaffers, Demmin, and others, have drawn from him.

As early as the Tchoin dynasty (about 583) fine qualities were produced, and the court of the emperors demanded it. Artists began to appear, and rare and rarer qualities were made. We find that different styles were sought for and were held in highest esteem; that “the Tsin held the blue china in high estimation;” the Soni or Sui (581 to 618) gave the preference to green. The Thang dynasty (618 to 907) required that it should be white; and in 621 Ho made porcelain for the emperor of a white ground, “brilliant as jade;” while the Emperor Tchi-tsong (954 to 959) gave his family name to a beautiful blue, the most highly esteemed of all the ancient porcelains of China.[10] How fine this was we cannot know, as it is not likely that any piece of it exists with us, even if among the Chinese. The production grew, until in 1369 in the city of King-te-chin, according to the statement of{181} Father d’Entrecolles, it was estimated at a million pieces a year. A vast and varied industry in making china was carried forward here, down even to the present times, when the Taiping rebels (who we are told were Christians) completely destroyed it.

From the accounts, mostly of the French missionaries, it seems that while the three thousand furnaces at King-te-chin baked the porcelain which was modeled there, it was taken to Nanking and Canton to be decorated; and, as far as we know, the painting of Nanking was superior to that of Canton. King-te-chin is swept away, and Nanking is almost destroyed; so that we can expect no more fine art-work in porcelain from China.

It is likely, however, that much decoration was done at the great city of King-te-chin; but what we know now as “the celestial” or Nanking blue was probably done at Nanking; of this more will be said in the progress of this chapter.

It is impossible here to dwell upon or to know much of the various descriptions of china made down to the period of the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1649). Upon the productions of this period the Chinese collectors and antiquaries place the highest value—in many cases much greater even than is now given to them in Europe.

Some examples of this period are to be seen in Europe and a few in America.

One of our commissioners, who met the Chinese and Japanese at the Vienna Exposition, was told by them that they were purchasing choice pieces of porcelain, intending to take them back to their countries, where they are more valuable than in Europe: for, from the earliest days, it seems that both the Chinese and Japanese have been keen critics and lovers of this most fascinating work.

Jacquemart and others have attempted to arrange the decorated work into groups as follows:

The Archaic—of which perhaps none exists.

The Chrysanthemo-Pæonienne.

The Famille-vert, or Green.

The Famille-rose, or Pink.

Besides these are many sub-varieties. These groups indicate the{182} style of decoration of which we shall attempt to give some sketches, although, as they want color, they must necessarily be faint.

The chrysanthemo-pæonienne exhibits the use in various ways of the chrysanthemum and peony. We give here examples to show the style of decoration, as far as we are able to do it without color.

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Fig. 99.Pot from Mrs. Burlingame’s Collection.

Fig. 99 is a pot from Mrs. Burlingame’s collection. It stands about twenty inches high, and is a fine example of the early style of work. The paste and glaze are not so good as in the rose family, but still all is excellent. The chrysanthemums are yellow, red, and black. This work is no doubt very old.

We give (Fig. 100) a sketch of a small snuff-bottle from the same collection, drawn the real size. It is a perfect piece of work: the paste{183}

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Fig. 100.From Mrs. Burlingame’s Collection.

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Fig. 101.From Mrs. Burlingame’s Collection.

is a fine white; the overturned preserve-pot is a clear lemon-yellow, with a little color in the rings; the grasshopper is alive and is brilliant with greens, blacks, and blues. The stopper is a bit of purple amethyst{184}. It is so complete that it fills the mind with satisfaction, more thorough than the sight of St. Peter’s can give.

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Fig. 102.Chinese Vase.

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Fig. 103.From Miss Wyman’s Collection.

The famille-vert, or green, is so called because a clear, brilliant green is the only or prevailing color.

{185}The plate here shown (Fig. 101) is also from Mrs. Burlingame’s collection. The paste is a brilliant white, the glaze perfect; and the dragons, in green, have all that freedom and fancy for which the early Chinese artists were remarkable.

The vase, Fig. 102, also belonging to the green-family, from Jacquemart, is a beautiful example of this style of work. The figures are most deftly drawn and colored. The subject we suppose to be historical.

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Fig. 104.From Mr. Wales’s Collection.

The famille-rose, or red, describes a group where the rose and ruby colors are the distinguishing ones. This fine color is produced from gold. Nearly all of this work shows the color in low-relief.

Three very fine examples are given of this rose-family.

Fig. 103 is an octagon plate, with an exquisitely flowered and diapered border, from the collection of Miss Wyman, of Cambridge.

Figs. 104 and 105 are equally good, from Mr. Wales’s collection. In this class rank the delicate egg-shell cups and saucers with “rose-backs,” in which Mr. Andrews’s collection at New York is so rich.

In these three divisions is contained much of the very best productions{186} of China. The chrysanthemum and peony decoration was probably most in use, and was made in greater quantities than any. Some of the older pieces of this show the chrysanthemum in black (Fig. 99), as well as in other colors. The body of this group is not so fine as the two later descriptions, but the decoration is full of beauty and variety. In the green and rose groups, the paste, the decoration, and the coloring, reached perfection; and it is impossible to surpass the best work of these classes.

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Fig. 105.From Mr. Wales’s Collection.

But in all this work there is no imitation, no absolute copying of the flower, the bud, the landscape, the lady.

The Chinese were fond of a symbolic or fabulous decoration. The engraving (Fig. 106) pictures a conflict going on between the spirits or demons of the water and the air; it is most free and effective. This vase belongs to the collection of Mrs. Burlingame.

I saw in England a small blue vase, at Mr. Talbert’s, upon which was shown the Trinity (three figures) in a sort of balcony in the sky; beneath them was a sea of fire, out of which appeared the dragon or{187} devil spitting venom at the Godhead, one of which was warding it off with a drawn sword. It was curious, if not true, and showed their notions of European beliefs, obtained, no doubt, from the early missionaries.

The Dog of Fo is one of the sacred symbolic animals, and was placed at the thresholds of temples to defend them from harm.

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Fig. 106.From Mrs. Burlingame’s Collection.

He has feet armed with claws, a great grinning face full of teeth, a curly mane, and might be supposed to be modeled, by an Oriental fancy, from the lion. Sometimes this creature has been described as a chimera.

The fong-hoang also is sometimes pictured. This is a strange and immortal bird, which descends from the regions of highest heaven to{188} bless mankind. It bears a fleshy head, soft silky feathers about its neck, the body ending with a tail combining the feathers of the peacock and the argus pheasant.

In very early centuries this bird was the symbol of royalty.

Other symbolic and sacred creatures are often pictured, among them the kylin, which was believed to foretell good fortune.

“Its body is covered with scales; its branched head represents that of the dragon; its four delicate feet are terminated by cloven hoofs, resembling those of a stag; it is so gentle and benevolent, notwithstanding its formidable aspect, that it avoids, in its light step, to tread under foot the smallest worm.”[11]

The dragon, symbol there of empire and power, is thus described:

“It is the largest of reptiles with feet and scales; it can make itself dark or luminous, subtile and thin, or heavy and thick; can shorten or lengthen itself at pleasure. In the spring it rises to the skies, in the autumn it plunges into the water. There are the scaly dragon, the winged dragon, the horned and the hornless dragon, and the dragon rolled within itself, which has not yet taken its flight into the upper regions.”[12]

The example (Fig. 101) shows this dragon as pictured by the Chinese.

The dragon is shown with five claws, for the imperial household; four claws, for a lower rank in China; while in Japan the creature is usually figured with but three claws. He appears to have been accepted as the symbol of power, much as the lion has been with Occidental nations.

The white stag, the axis deer, and the crane, express longevity; the mandarin duck, affection.

Symbolism also prevailed in the uses of colors and of flowers. Green and vermilion upon the walls of a house belonged only to the emperors.

The primary colors were applied in this way:

Red belonged to fire;{189}

Black to water;

Green to wood;

White to metal;

Earth was represented by a square;

Fire by a circle;

Water by a dragon;

Mountains by a hind.

Pots and vases were made for special occupations, such as those for soldiers, governors, writers, etc. Jacquemart describes a bowl in his collection:

“It is a cup of ‘the learned;’ at the bottom is seen the author, seated under a fir-tree, in deep meditation; his ssé, placed near him, permits him to modulate the songs he may have composed. On the exterior we see the scholar, with his elbows on the table, surrounded by his literary treasures. He reflects, and from his forehead, which he leans on his hand, issues a stroke which unrolls into a vast phylactery, upon which the painter has traced various scenes of the drama to which his genius is giving birth.” In Mr. Avery’s collection is an admirable example of this cup.

Vases, figures, etc., were made for religious uses, and upon the household altars were placed vases for burning perfumes, cups and bowls for wine, images of Fo and other representative deities.

Use was, at the beginning, the motive for the production of all fictile dishes; and china was at first, and it has always been, made for the purposes of the table. Twelve small dishes of fine porcelain were presented to Mrs. Burlingame while at Peking; and the high compliment was enhanced by the fact that they were sent to her unwashed after they had been eaten from by the Chinese owner. The paste and glaze are excellent, and the decoration of the outsides exquisite; but the insides show painting of a much commoner type.

A gift of this kind is considered the height of courtesy in China, where the visitor is treated as a friend.

In Chinese houses are found decorative pieces of the highest excellence and value. It is no uncommon thing for a piece of rare china to sell for a thousand dollars there.{190}

Many of them bear inscriptions, such as: “A precious thing to offer;” “Splendid, like the gold of the house of Jade;” “I am the friend of Yu-Tchouen.”

The chrysanthemo-pæonienne, the customary decoration, while most in use, is, so far as I know, never seen on dinner-services sent to us.

I may ask attention to a characteristic of all the best Oriental art: it is not imitative—not absolutely a copy.

The artist seizes the spirit, the action, the color, of a bird or flower, and, by a few fine, keen strokes, fastens them upon the china. No attempt is made to display a botanical or ornithological specimen. All is free, bold, effective—a sketch, but not a slovenly one. It is not easy for words to explain this.

Now, the methods of the Occidental and civilized peoples, as we call them, are the reverse of this. At Sèvres and Dresden, for example, is to be seen the most elaborate, careful, and detailed penciling or imitation of a flower, or a face, or a landscape, requiring extreme and persistent attention and labor.

This is copying—the spirit is rarely seized; the other is art, and is certainly the highest and the most satisfactory.

The Oriental feels;

The Occidental reasons.

The Oriental perceives and creates;

The Occidental criticises and copies.

Herein lies a supreme difference, sufficient to explain why so much of the Oriental china touches the imagination, and why the European china so rarely does.

The Oriental leads us away out of the region of the real and the commonplace, into a state of ideal and spiritual-sensuous art. He is never without body, the real part, the base of all life and art; but he has glorified it by a display of the fine and subtile essence which may be called its soul.

This is not always so. Often he is most clumsy and rude in form, and common in decoration; but, when he is an artist, he is the finest we know of.

It is probable that the Chinese had some blue equivalent to cobalt{191}

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Fig. 107.From Mrs. Burlingame’s Collection.

from an early day, but the real cobalt blue was introduced into China from Europe during the Ming period (about 1500). They at once seized it, and from it was produced that charming variety known as the “heavenly” or “celestial” blue; the glaze, the clay, and the color, are all perfect; and it certainly deserves its name of heavenly. A mania for it has existed, and continues to exist, in Europe. One of the finest collections in England—that of Mr. Rossetti, the poet—was recently sold. In America, Mr. Avery and Mr. Hoe, of New York, Mr. Wales, of Boston, and Mrs. Burlingame, of Cambridge, have many beautiful examples. Fine pieces of this blue sell for from twenty-five to{192}

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Fig. 108.Celestial Blue Teapot.

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Fig. 109.Celestial Blue Snuff-Bottle.

five hundred dollars. The color varies from light to dark; some collectors choose one, some the other. Some pieces are known as the “six-mark,” and many attach an added value to this evidence; but it does not seem to indicate greater perfection: many of the finest pieces{193} I have seen have no potter’s mark. Within the last twenty-five years a very active desire for these fine blues has broken out in England, which does not abate. It has not been so keen in France, and prices have not there gone so high.

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Fig. 110.Pot in Boston Art Museum.

This celestial blue was painted at Nanking, and is a wholly different thing from the ordinary Canton blue of trade. It is probable that some of this blue dates back to the Ming dynasty. The color was mostly painted under the glaze.

This luminous blue is nothing like the turquoise, which also the Chinese carried to great perfection. The turquoise was produced from copper, the celestial from cobalt.{194}

The pieces Figs. 107, 108, and 109 are excellent examples of the celestial blue. Fig. 107 is a large vase of Mrs. Burlingame’s, and has the stately palm which is much used in this color. The vase is some eighteen inches high. Fig. 108 is a delicately-formed teapot, with exquisite glaze and paste, the blue showing in the reserves and along the handle and spout. It was given to the writer by a gentleman in Holland. Fig. 109 is a most dainty bit, a small snuff-bottle. There are some few others in this country—two of them, mounted in silver, belong to Mr. Schlesinger, of Boston.

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Fig. 111.Incense-Pot, from Mr. Avery’s Collection.

The Art-Museum of Boston has now two exquisite pots of turquoise blue, bought at the sale of Mr. Heard’s collection for some six hundred dollars. We picture one of these to show the form, and the dragon which finishes the top (Fig. 110). The dragon is in dark red, the pot in turquoise blue; but this blue has another and a rare quality: it is covered all over with delicate spots or dots of the same color, what is called “soufflé”—this is said to be produced by blowing the color through a fine screen or gauze on to the clay.

The sea-greens (céladons) are among the rarest Chinese colors, and some pieces are thought to be among the oldest—dating back possibly one thousand years.

The violets and crimsons are also rare and beautiful; they are almost always applied to vases and bottles; and are often flamed, splashed, or clouded.{195}

The imperial yellow, some pieces of which are in the Green Vaults at Dresden, was never sold; it was made only for the royal family of Peking. I have not seen it, but it is described as a very clear and beautiful citron-color. Marryat mentions two pieces in Mr. Beckford’s collection as having been sold for their weight in gold; they would now sell for ten times that.

The small incense-pot (Fig. 111) is from Mr. Avery’s collection. It is a very pure lemon-yellow, and is quaint in form and peculiar in every way.

Nothing can be better here than the condensed information prepared for his catalogue by Mr. A. W. Franks. It is as follows:

“The tints are very numerous; we find, for instance, sea-green or céladon, yellow, red, blue, purple, brown, black, and several variegated hues. These glazes owe their color to various metallic oxides, of which an account may be found in the ‘History of King-te-chin,’ book vi., section xi. The exact tint must be in some measure due to the amount of firing which the vase has undergone, and the mottlings and other variations of color which they present must have been to a certain extent accidental.

“Among these simple colors the first place must be assigned to the bluish or sea-green tint, termed by the French céladon. It is probably of considerable antiquity; and it is remarkable that the earliest specimen of porcelain that can now be referred to as having been brought to England before the Reformation—the cup of Archbishop Warham, at New College, Oxford—is of this kind. By the Persians and Turks it is termed mertebani, and it is much valued by them as a detector of poisonous food. Specimens of this porcelain were sent to Lorenzo de’ Medici, in 1487, by the Sultan of Egypt. It owes its preservation, no doubt, to its great thickness. The surface is sometimes covered with impressed or engraved patterns filled in with the glaze.

“Yellow glazed porcelain is much valued by collectors, owing to the supposed scarcity of specimens of this color, it being the imperial color of the reigning dynasty. Many of them, however, bear dates of the Ming dynasty, when the imperial color was green, and can therefore have no relation to the emperor.{196}

“The red glaze is of considerable antiquity; some of the vases made under the Sung dynasty at Tsing-cheou are mentioned as resembling chiseled red jade. One tint, the sang de bœuf of French collectors, is much valued in China. Occasionally portions of red glazed vases appear purple, owing probably to a different chemical condition of the coloring-matter in those parts.

“Blue glazes must have come into use in very early times, as blue is stated to have been the color of the vases of the Tsin dynasty (A. D. 265 to 419). The tints appear to have varied greatly, one of the most celebrated being the blue of the sky after rain, which was the tint selected for the palace use by the Emperor Chi-tsung (954 to 959).

“The purple glaze is another beautiful variety. Specimens of this color are mentioned as early as the Sung dynasty (900 to 1279). The brown and coffee-colored glazes do not appear to be very ancient, as Père d’Entrecolles, writing in 1712, mentions them as recent inventions.

“A brilliant black glaze is by no means common, excepting where it is used in combination with gilding, and is probably not very ancient, as a brilliant black is said to have been invented under the reign of the Emperor Keen-lung (1736 to 1795).

“The variegated and mottled glazes may properly be included under this head, as they owe their appearance not so much to a difference in the coloring-matter as in the mode in which it is applied. They are called by the French flambé, and were no doubt originally accidentally produced. According to Père d’Entrecolles (second letter, section xi.), such vases are called Yao pien, or transmutation-vases.

“It is probable that many of the specimens which are covered with single glazes are of a coarse ware—rather a kind of stone-ware than true porcelain. Some of the glazes have been applied at a somewhat lower temperature, called by the French demi-grand feu.”

Porcelain-painting is done in two ways: under the glaze directly on the clay, or upon the glaze. Most of it is upon the glaze, into which it is melted by a mild heat. To show to the uninitiated what time, talent, and labor, are applied to pottery and porcelain, it may be well to state that fine work requires many firings, and that the delicate teacup, which fools hardly look at, passes through some seventy hands to{197} reach its perfectness! In some eyes a big thing (even if ugly) is admirable; a small thing, however beautiful, is contemptible. In the eye of God is anything small, anything large?

Enameling is a style of glaze mostly applied to a stronger, more opaque body, often not porcelain at all. The enamel, which is made from oxide of tin, may be applied in masses of color upon the glaze so as to produce the effect of slight relief, or cameo. Much of it is beautiful, but it often lacks the fineness and preciousness of china.

Of the EGG-SHELL china most have seen excellent examples brought from Japan, where it is now made. The cups are turned down to an extreme thinness, almost to that of thick writing-paper, before the last glaze is applied. The oldest egg-shell was a pure white; later, flowers in colors were applied.

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Fig. 112.Grains-of-Rice Pot.

The “reticulated” cups are very curious and interesting; the inner cup for holding the tea is surrounded by another pierced through its side with a variety of designs. It is difficult to see how these could have been baked together without fusing and fastening them.

The “grains-of-rice” cups are made by cutting the design through the body, which spaces are then filled with a translucent glaze; the cut spaces show when held up to the light, and resemble in most cases grains of rice. The engraving (Fig. 112) represents a pot in Mr. Avery’s collection.

Just when the “crackle” decoration was applied cannot well be known, but it was in vogue in the beginning of the Ming dynasty.

It seems that the purity of the paste was greater during this period{198} than later, and that the colors, therefore, became more brilliant. “Crackle” china has long been prized, and much sought for, especially the best specimens. This ware shows a network of veins covering the whole piece, the lines of which are sometimes filled with a color such as brown, black, green, etc. It remains a mystery to us how this effect is produced, though it is still made. Marryat seems to believe that the crackle is produced in the glaze, and possibly by subjecting it, when heated, to sudden cold, which causes the contraction and crackle; a close examination shows that the crackles are in the body itself, and are afterward covered with the glaze. This decoration is curious rather than beautiful. The crackles vary in size from a half-inch to a very fine network; and this last is most valued.

Mr. Franks gives the following as the result of his investigations:

“This is one of the most peculiar productions of the art of the Chinese potter, and has not been successfully imitated elsewhere. Occasionally European pieces assume a crackled appearance, but this has not been intentionally produced, and has been subsequent to the baking.

“There is a considerable variety in the colored glazes which are thus crackled. Some colors, such as turquoise-blue and apple-green, seem nearly always to assume a crackled appearance; others, such as the reds, are rarely affected. The color chiefly selected is a grayish white; the forms are archaic, and with ornaments in dark brown, occasionally gilt. The crackled appearance, though now always artificial, doubtless owes its origin in the first instance to accident, and at an early period. Some of the vases of the Sung dynasty (A. D. 960 to 1270) are noticed as being crackled. The productions of the two brothers Chang, who lived under that dynasty, were distinguished by one being crackled and the other not. Crackled vases were called ‘Tsui-khi-yao,’ under the southern Sung dynasty (1127 to 1279), and are thus described in the ‘History of King-te-chin:’ ‘The clay employed was coarse and compact, the vases were thick and heavy; some were of a rice-white, others pale blue. They used to take some Hoa-chi (steatite), powder it, and mix it with the glaze. The vases exhibited cracks running in every direction, as though broken into a thousand pieces. The cracks were rubbed over with Indian-ink or a red color, and the superfluity removed{199}. Then was seen a network of charming veins, red or black, imitating the cracks of ice. There were also vases on which blue flowers were painted on the crackled ground.’

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Fig. 113.Crackle Vase.

“A different mode of making the crackles is described in another Chinese work, and is as follows: ‘After covering the vases with glaze, they are exposed to a very hot sun, and, when they have become hot, they are plunged into cold water for a moment. On being baked, they appear covered with innumerable cracks.’ The way in which the size of the crackle is regulated seems to be indicated in one of the receipts for making crackle-vases, given in the ‘History of King-te-chin’ (page 214), from which we learn that the material of the glaze was to be finely or coarsely washed, according to the size of the crackle required.

“The difference between the paste and the thick glaze is well illustrated by fragments of ancient vases, some of which are exhibited. The interior is of a coarse paste, nearly resembling stone-ware, and of a buff{200} or even pale-red color. This is coated on both sides with a white material, in which alone the crackles appear. This illustrates a passage in the ‘History of King-te-chin,’ where porcelain is spoken of as having red bones. Such vases would not be transparent.”

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Fig. 114.From Mr. Avery’s Collection.

The Japanese now produce a crackle under the glaze, and also a very fine crackle in the glaze itself; which last is probably much the easiest to do.

Fig. 113, copied from M. Jacquemart’s work, represents a rather clumsily-shaped vase with the larger crackle, which is less prized. Fig. 114 is finely crackled, and is most subtile in form. It is in Mr. Avery’s collection.

At the end of this chapter will be found some of the most important marks for dates, etc.

These few are used by the Chinese as symbolic:

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Pearl.         Sonorous Stone.

The Pearl is the symbol of talent, and was sometimes used to mark pieces intended for poets and literary men; the Sonorous Stone was for high judicial functionaries; the Tablet of Honor for men in official positions; the Sacred Axe for warriors; the “Cockscomb” promised longevity; and the “Outang or Leaf,” the “Shell,” the{201} “Precious Articles,” had each a significance, and often indicate pieces of china intended as presents or as expressions of honor.

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Tablet of Honor.      Sacred Axe.      Cockscomb (flower).

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Outang.        Shell.        Precious Articles.

It is probable that many of the best examples of Chinese porcelain date from the Ming dynasty, some of which are to be found in our public and private collections. The history of the manufacture there since that time is thus summed up by Mr. Franks:

“The troubles of the later emperors of the Ming dynasty, who succeeded one another rapidly, and were constantly at war with the Tartars, probably caused the porcelain-works to fall into decay; we hear, at any rate, nothing of their productions, nor have any dated specimens been seen.

“With the accession of the Tsing dynasty of Tartars, still occupying the throne of China, a new period of activity commenced. Under Kang-he, the second emperor of the dynasty (1661 to 1722), a great impulse was given to the ceramic arts. The long and peaceful reign of this emperor, extending to sixty-one years, his great understanding, and the assistance perhaps of the Jesuit missionaries, led to many improvements in the porcelain-manufacture, and to the introduction of several new colors. It is probably to this reign that we may refer most of the old specimens of Chinese porcelain that are to be seen in collections, even when they bear earlier dates. The wares made under{202} his successor, Yung-ching (1723 to 1736), do not appear to have been remarkable.

“The fourth emperor, Keen-lung (1736 to 1795), reigned for sixty years, when he abdicated. A large quantity of fine china was made during his long reign, much of it exhibiting very rich and minute decoration. Under his successors the manufacture appears again to have diminished in excellence; and the destruction caused by the rebellion of the Taipings not only greatly interfered with the extent of production, but caused the downfall of the most celebrated of the fabrics—that of King-te-chin.

“As we have already said, however, the native accounts do not furnish much information that can be rendered available; but they show very clearly that at all times the porcelain-makers were in the habit of copying the works of their predecessors, and instances are given where they have even succeeded in imposing upon the best judges of their own country.

“The places at which manufactories of porcelain have existed or still exist in China are very numerous, no less than fifty-seven being recorded in the ‘History of King-te-chin.’ They extend to thirteen of the eighteen provinces into which the country is divided, but are especially numerous in Honan, Chihkiang, and Kiangsi, probably owing to the presence of the materials for the manufacture in these provinces. The following is a summary:



“Of all these manufactories, the most famous appears to be that of King-te-chin, in the province of Kiangsi. It has long been the site of a fabrique, as in A. D. 583 the then emperor ordered the inhabitants of the district now called King-te-chin to send him porcelain vases. The old name was Chang-nan-chin, and the present one was assumed in the period King-te (A. D. 1004 to 1007), whence its name. In 1712 Père d’Entrecolles states that there were three thousand porcelain furnaces in this town, which found employment for an immense multitude of people. The manufactory has suffered severely, as we have already stated, during the rebellion of the Taipings.

“Porcelain is termed by the Chinese Yao, a name which seems to have been brought into use at the commencement of the Tang dynasty (A. D. 618), before which it had been called Tao. The word ‘porcelain’ is European, possibly Italian, and is supposed to have been derived from the similarity of the glazed surface to that of the cowrie-shell (porcellana), which itself took its name from its form (porcella, a little pig). Marco Polo employs the word in both senses. In French mediæval inventories the word ‘pourcelaine’ is often found, and evidently denoted a substance which could be sculptured. M. de Laborde has collected a number of quotations, in the valuable ‘Glossaire’ appended to his catalogue, of the enamels in the Louvre, and has come to the conclusion that mother-of-pearl was intended; it will, however, be safer to consider that the word was used for any kind of shell, the cowrie and other shells being as well, or even better, adapted for carving than mother-of-pearl. In later inventories the word seems to have been used both for shell and Oriental porcelain.

“The claim of greatest antiquity that has been hitherto put forward for specimens found out of the limits of the Celestial Empire have been in favor of the little Chinese bottles, which were stated by Rossellini and others to have been found in undisturbed Egyptian tombs, dating from not less than 1800 years B. C. This claim has, however, been disallowed. The bottles are of good white porcelain, painted in colors, and bearing inscriptions. Now, we have seen that the Chinese themselves do not claim a greater antiquity for the invention of porcelain than between B. C. 206 and A. D. 87. Color-painting must have{204} been introduced at a much later date. The inscriptions are in the grass-character, which was not invented till B. C. 48, and contain passages from poems which were not written till the eighth century of our era. They are, in fact, identical with snuff-bottles still for sale in China. Their introduction, therefore, into Egyptian tombs must have been due to the fraud of Arab workmen. The whole subject has been gone into by M. Stanislas Julien, in the preface to the ‘History of King-te-chin,’ as well as by others.

“The next claim has been made on behalf of the murrhine vases of the ancients, which are described as ‘cooked in Parthian fires.’ Now, it is probable that, at the commencement of our era, Chinese porcelain was not far advanced beyond pottery or stone-ware, and little superior to the so-called Egyptian porcelain. No fragments of Chinese vases have been found with Greek or Roman antiquities, nor of imitations of them in other materials, so as to correspond with the false murrhine of the ancients. It is therefore far more probable, as has been suggested by Mr. Nesbitt, in his notes on the ‘History of Glass-making,’ that the murrhine vases were made of agates and other hard stones, of which the colors had been modified in the East by heating and staining. The false murrhines would then be the glass bowls imitating hard stones, but with various strange tints not to be found in natural stones.

“In 1171 we first find any distinct mention of porcelain out of China. In that year Saladin sent to Nur-ed-din various presents, among which were forty pieces of Chinese porcelain.

“Marco Polo, traveling in 1280, visited one of the sites of the porcelain manufacture, and mentions that it was exported all over the world. It is probable that he may have been the means of calling the attention of his countrymen to this production of the far East. Many other notices from travelers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries might be cited. It was probably through Egypt that it reached Europe; at any rate, a present of porcelain vases was sent by the Sultan of Egypt, in 1487, to Lorenzo de’ Medici. To the Portuguese is no doubt due the first direct importation of Chinese wares into Europe, in which they were followed by the various India companies of Holland, England, France, Sweden, etc.{205}

“It may be convenient shortly to describe the mode of making porcelain in China, as derived from the letters of Père d’Entrecolles (1712 to 1722), and the ‘History of King-te-chin,’ in which M. Julien has reproduced the Chinese plates illustrating the processes.

“Porcelain in China is usually formed of two materials: the one, termed in Chinese Pe-tun-tse, is a white, fusible material—a mixture of feldspar and quartz, obtained from a pounded rock by repeated washing, and formed into cakes or bricks, whence its Chinese name, ‘white-clay bricks;’ the other, termed Kaolin from its locality, is infusible, being a hydrated silicate of alumina, derived from the decomposed feldspar of granite; this is also formed into cakes. These two materials, having been thoroughly cleansed, are kneaded together in varying proportions, and form a clay ready for the potter. The wet clay is turned on the wheel or potter’s table, and, after passing through the hands of several workmen, who add handles and other accessories made in moulds, smooth the surface, etc., the vessel is put out to dry, the foot still remaining a solid mass; any decoration in blue, or other colors which require to be highly fired, is then added. The glaze is next applied, either by dipping, or by blowing it on with a tube. This strengthens the vessel sufficiently to enable the workmen to fashion the foot on the wheel, and to inscribe any mark; this being likewise coated with glaze, the vessel is ready for the furnace. The pieces of porcelain are packed in clay seggars to protect them from injury, and placed according to the degree of heat which each specimen requires. The furnace is then lighted, the entrance walled up, and it is kept supplied with wood during a night and a day, when it is allowed to cool and the porcelain removed. If enamel-colors are to be applied, it then passes into the hands of the painters, who are very numerous, and each confined to his own special detail; any gilding or silvering is added at this stage. It is then baked again, at a much lower temperature, in a small muffle or an open furnace. It should be mentioned that the glaze is formed of Pe-tun-tse, mixed with fern-ashes and lime, but other materials are occasionally used; for instance, Hwa-chi (steatite) is employed, sometimes mixed with the glaze, as well as sometimes with the paste of the porcelain. Any colors which will bear to be highly{206} fired, and are required to cover the whole surface, are mixed with the glaze before it is applied.

“There is considerable difficulty in distinguishing glazed vases of Chinese pottery from true porcelain, as the colored glaze in many cases conceals the material, and the thickness prevents their being translucent—a distinguishing quality of porcelain. The substance of many of the vases is coarse, sometimes gray or even red, and such as would, in European fabriques, be termed stone-ware. By Chinese writers, however, no distinction seems to be made, and even enamels on copper are included in the term they use for porcelain. It has, therefore, been thought best to class together glazed Chinese pottery and porcelain, though some of the specimens are undoubtedly stone-ware.”

The key to Oriental decoration may be expressed by the word individualism. The artist did draw from the “depths of his moral consciousness,” and did not copy blindly. He seems to have expressed what he felt, rather than what he saw. His perception and arrangement of color seem to have been inspired, not learned. He is daring; he does not hesitate to hang his ladies in a balcony up in the air above the procession passing beneath, as may be seen in a very ancient vase belonging to Mrs. Gridley Bryant, of Boston; he does not fear to put blue leaves to his trees, or to make a green horse; his butterfly is as large as a man, if he wishes to show a figure or a mass of color; his boats are smaller than the passenger, if that suits his fancy; he attempts little perspective, and it is, we may say, impossible on a china bowl; symmetry he abhors; pairs do not exist.

What is the result? We see it in the porcelain of China and Japan, the shawls and carpets of India, the pottery of the Persians and the Moors, the architecture of Karnak and the Alhambra, all of which are satisfying to the eye and to the taste.

I believe they had no schools of art; they were not taught to do what some one else had done, to copy a master or to copy Nature, or to think symmetry beauty, or the circle the perfect line.

The artist was, as he ought to be, a law to himself; he saw what he saw, and felt what he felt, and he expressed these in his own way; not in Titian’s way, or Rembrandt’s way, or Giorgione’s way. There is,{207} therefore, a freedom, a freshness, an abandon about this work that we find nowhere else, and a charm which never tires.

We are intellectualists rather than artists; and, moreover, we are ruined by cheap and incompetent criticism, the whole gospel of which is, “Always condemn, never praise.” Too much writing about art and too little doing it, is the fashion of to-day; and he who does least finds most fault with him who creates. The artist is the creator, the critic the destroyer; and yet the last values himself most! The “third estate” did not rule in China.

If we are to have a true and high artistic expression, our artists, must dare; and we must allow them to dare; we must encourage rather than discourage.

We must, above all, get rid of the base old notion that head-work is divine and “gentlemanly,” hand-work ignoble and vulgar: both are divine, and when the two are combined we shall see the finest possible man—an artist, whether he works with paint, marble, wood, clay, or metal.

Marks, etc.—The following copies of marks, as translated by Mr. Franks, will be found useful:

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1. A. D. 1721.
2. A. D. 1078 to 1086.
3. A. D. 1368 to 1399.
4. A. D. 1403 to 1425.
5. A. D. 1426 to 1436.
6. A. D. 1465 to 1488.
7. A. D. 1465 to 1488.
8. A. D. 1488 to 1506.


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  9. A. D. 1506 to 1522.
10. A. D. 1522 to 1567.
11. A. D. 1567 to 1573.
12. A. D. 1573 to 1620.
13. A. D. 1644 to 1661.
14. A. D. 1661 to 1722.
15. A. D. 1723 to 1736.
16. A. D. 1736 to 1795.
    17. A. D. 1796 to 1821.
18. A. D. 1821 to 1851.
19. A. D. 1851 to 1862.
20. A. D. 1862 to 1875.
21. A. D. 1875.
22. A. D. 1004 to 1097.
23. A. D. 1403 to 1425.


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24. A. D. 1426 to 1436.
25. A. D. 1723 to 1736.
26. A. D. 1736 to 1795.
27. A. D. 1736 to 1795.
    28. A. D. 1796 to 1821.
29. A. D. 1821 to 1851.
30. A. D. 1851 to 1862.
31. A. D. 1862 to 1875.




Corean Porcelain.—Katosiro-ouye-mon.—The Province of Idsoumi.—Styles prevailing in Japan.—Marks.—Japanese Blue.—Indian Porcelain.—Dutch East India Company.—Egg-shell and Crackle.—Mandarin China.—Kaga Ware.—Satsuma Ware.—Japanese Art.—The Philadelphia Exhibition.

OF porcelains from the island of Corea but little is known, and all our statements are made with doubt. It is believed by some that from Corea came the first porcelain-makers into Japan. In New York, Mr. Hoe and Mr. Avery have each pieces which are peculiar, being bolder in decoration and cruder in color than the Chinese or Japanese, but which may have been made in Japan.

So, too, with Persian porcelain: there is about it much vagueness and uncertainty. There seems to be testimony to prove that porcelain was made in that country.

In India, too, it has been now and then asserted that porcelain was made. But, as the Chinese and Japanese had much trade with those nations, and as they certainly did work from designs sent from other countries, it is most reasonable to believe that what some persons have supposed was Indian or Persian was really Chinese porcelain.

Japanese porcelain is a more difficult subject for study than the Chinese, owing to this circumstance: About the year 1211 or 1212, a Japanese artist crossed over to China, to study the processes by means of which the Chinese had reached such surprising excellence. His name, according to Dr. Hoffman, was Katosiro-ouye-mon. Through him the art received in Japan a new impulse, new knowledge, new methods{211}. It may be of service to us to know that the wonderful perfection achieved by the Japanese in this art was due not only to the skill of her artists, but also, and more, to the fact that the government gave direct, persistent, and liberal pecuniary aid to the industry.

Genius will, of course, work its miracles; but, if we in the United States are to reach excellence in art-work, it will be, must be, only fitful and short-lived, if it is to depend upon individual effort or chance patronage: only by means of the persistent and intelligent fostering of a state, whose life is perennial, can the greatest things be accomplished. There are fanatics who hold to free trade in poetry, invention, art, patent-right, copyright. No doubt they mean well, but the nation may beware of them.

The art-museums now being established cannot fail to do good; but they will fall lamentably short of their aims if they are not directly and powerfully aided by the state. To illustrate this, let me refer to the fine collections known as the Kensington Museum and the British Museum, in England. Both are the creations of the state, and both have been generously treated. It would have taken a hundred or a thousand years of individual contributions to accomplish what the Kensington Museum has done in twenty.

Already, it is a great and noble school—teaching by example—of art applied to the uses of life; and already it has placed some of the manufacturers of England in the first place of the world.

I wish, then, to repeat that the work which Katosiro did would not have been done—could not have been done—by his own individual effort.

He not only added vastly to the satisfaction and delight and riches of his own people, but he has given us cause to bless the Government of Japan for the satisfaction and delight we, too, are enabled to draw from his work.

Pennsylvania is taking the lead here. With a keen perception and a profound wisdom, that State, I am told, has united with the city of Philadelphia to found and maintain a school of applied art, which cannot fail to be an incalculable good to the industries and the happiness of her people.{212}

Depending upon individual contributions, Boston and New York must struggle far behind, and finally dwindle away.

We need, in every great industrial centre, a “Council on Instruction,” which shall provide models of art-work, and teaching enough to make these models plain to industrial seekers.

We have tried free schools, free trade, free press, and no one is happy. I pray we may for a century fairly and fully try household art: that is the art which shall make the home the most attractive place on this footstool of heaven.

In this work all sects and sexes may unite. Every man and woman can and will agree that his or her home shall be a page from the book of paradise; one on which they can write, and one from which all may read.

According to the best authorities we are able to get, we conclude that the Japanese have from the earliest days been great potters, and that the Chinese discovery of porcelain was carried to Japan probably in the century before our era.

It appears from the researches of Dr. Hoffman, of Holland, that in 662 a Buddhist monk introduced the secrets of translucent porcelain into the province of Idsoumi, and a village then became famous as To-ki-moura, “village for making porcelain.”

In the year 859 the two provinces of Idsoumi and Kavatsi went into a violent quarrel over a mountain which contained clay and firewood.

But the vast wants of such a tasteful and teeming people as the Japanese advanced this most useful and beautiful industry until the time of Katosiro (in the 1200’s), when it went forward to perfection, and rivaled or excelled the best work of China.

In later years the great centre of porcelain-production has been the island of Kiushiu.

Upon the Idsoumi-yoma (or Mountain of Springs), where was found the kaolinic clay, Dr. Hoffman numbers some five-and-twenty shops famous for porcelains.

From the recent work of Messrs. Audesley and Bowes, it seems that the province of Hizen has produced the finest examples of Japanese{213} porcelain. The first number of this work has just reached us, and gives great promise. The authors are Mr. George Ashdown Audesley, architect, and James Lord Bowes, President of the Liverpool Art Club. No work upon the ceramic art has appeared superior to this, especially in its decorations.

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Fig. 115.Japanese Vase.

While the fine, delicate perception and touch of the Japanese have given an added grace and finish to most of their work, as a whole their porcelain may be said to be a following (rather than a copying) of the Chinese: in China porcelain was indigenous; in Japan it was an importation. In China, then, we shall find more original invention and greater variety; in Japan, more finish. The best work of Japan is often superior in the paste and in the glaze to the Chinese. As to classification, it is found that the two styles of China porcelain called{214} “The Chrysanthemo-Pæonienne” and “The Famille-Rose” are the two which most prevail in Japan; and it is not easy to distinguish the fine work of the one country from that of the other.

In the rose family is to be found much of the best work of Japan. In Figs. 115 and 116 are two good examples of this work.

The “Famille-Vert,” or green, was not made there.

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Fig. 116.Tea-Caddy.

We cannot do better than to quote from Jacquemart:

“A radical difference separates the two countries as regards drawing. At Niphon the figures, though affected, and too much resembling each other not to be the produce of ‘pouncing,’ have a simple grace{215} and softness, the evident reflex of Oriental manners. Certainly, it is not an imitation of Nature; it is not art, such as we understand it, with its complex qualities; but it is a dreamy act, a first manifestation of thought under form. A scene of frequent occurrence represents two women standing, one upon a rose, the other upon a leaf, and thus floating upon the waves in an aureole of clouds: the first, elegantly attired, holds a sceptre; the second is her attendant, and carries a basket of flowers passed through a kind of lance or instrument for ploughing. According to the indications of the Japanese Pantheon, it is the goddess of the seas or patroness of fishermen. It matters little which it may be; but, by the modest grace of the attitude, the easy elegance of the draperies, this painting approaches the graceful vellums of our artists of the middle ages. The birds and plants partake of these merits, and are truthfully drawn, the details most delicately rendered. Nothing is more beautiful than these venerated silver pheasants, the proud-looking cocks perched upon the rocks or lost among the flowers; nothing more charming than certain crested blackbirds with rose-colored breasts, and other passerine birds of beautiful plumage.”

While it is true that the Japanese flower-painting approaches nearer to Nature than the Chinese, it does not seem correct to say that it approaches to, or is, a copy of Nature. It is difficult to see anything which is not treated freely and strongly rather than naturally.

Some of the decorations peculiar to Japan may be mentioned as follows:

The kiri, or flower of the paulownia.

The imperial three-clawed dragon.

The noble bird.

The sacred tortoise.

The pine, the bamboo, and

The crane.

The crane and the tortoise are emblems of longevity.

Two marks were the official signs of the Mikado: first, the kiri-mon, or flower of the paulownia; and, second, the guik-mon, or chrysanthemum; while to the temporal prince, or Siogoun, belonged the three-leaved mallow.{216}

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Kiri-mon.        Guik-mon.        Three-leaved Mallow.

The vase here given (Fig. 117), from Mr. Avery’s collection in the New York Museum of Art, is a good illustration of the way the Japanese used natural forms artistically rather than naturally.

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Fig. 117.From Mr. Avery’s Collection.


The description is as follows:

Vase, of elegant form, a ground of white, a branch of a tree in violet color running around the body, from which depend the fruit and flowers of the peach of longevity in rich colors. Storks delicately outlined in black, their bodies being filled in with dead-white enamel, peck at the fruit or blossoms, or disport through the air. The neck is ornamented with a band of yellow, scrolls, fruit, bats, and honorific designs.”

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Fig. 118.From Mr. Avery’s Collection.

We give in Fig. 118 a bottle of square form painted delicately on each side with groups of figures, most likely representing incidents in Japanese history. It is a fine example from Mr. Avery’s collection. The colors are green, blue, and yellow, and are very rich and harmonious.{218}

A style of decoration found among the Japanese rather than the Chinese might be described as a sort of medallion-painting: the round spaces are distributed over the pot regardless of symmetry, and the effect is charming. Fig. 119 shows one of these, belonging to Mrs. Rockwell, of Boston. It is modern work, and, while not expensive, is very satisfactory. An impression prevails that it is very creditable to pay dear for and to own antique work—not so modern work. But, if we are to do any good ourselves, we must believe in our own modern work when we can, and be glad to buy and pay for it. Also, we must praise our artists. Let us do so, and let us not forget that what is old and good now was once new and good; none the less good because it was new.

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Fig. 119.From Mrs. Rockwell’s Collection.

The Japanese blue is exquisite, certainly, but it lacks the deep vivid brilliancy of the Nanking. It is believed that the blue is applied over the glaze, and it has a melting softness which is most pleasing. Many of these pieces bear the six marks, as with the Chinese.{219}

Another blue, which is a deep or mazarin color incorrectly called “celestial,” is quite a different thing, but very choice and beautiful. The color is applied as an enamel, and in relief, and with wonderful skill. I have never seen any pieces of this which were supposed to date far back; and it is certain that it is among the fine productions of to-day, but none the less beautiful for that.

A porcelain with very marked decoration and coloring has been somewhat of a puzzle, and has been called Indian, being so very distinct from anything produced in China. Jacquemart thus describes it:

“A particular decoration which we call variegated-leaved is very brilliant, and might have found grace even in the eyes of the Puritan Wagenaar. The principal subject is a group of pointed leaves, some in blue under the glaze; others of a pale green, or of a pink and yellow enameled; at the base of the tuft expands a large ornamental flower, with notched pink petals lined with yellow; the heart, forming a centre, is yellow or greenish streaked with pink; notwithstanding the indentations which overload it, it is easy to recognize the flower as an anona or custard-apple. The leaves would lead one to suppose them, by their form and size, to be those of a chestnut-tree, while their color recalls the tricolor plane-tree so beloved by the Orientals, and which decks itself with tufts, varying from light green to red, passing through the intermediary tints. Behind these leaves, and upon the edge of the pieces, appear light and delicate small enameled flowers of iron-red, yellow, rose, or blue.” (Fig. 120.)

This porcelain was made in Japan, and was brought by the Dutch into Europe at a time when their trade was so great. The Dutch East India Company was formed in 1602. In the year 1664, forty-four thousand nine hundred and forty-three pieces of rare porcelain were carried into Holland from Japan, and sixteen thousand five hundred and eighty pieces of the same work were sent from Batavia.

In some way not known, this peculiar work has been called “Indian.” I found two pieces of it in Holland, one of which is in Mr. Wales’s collection, and one piece, my own, is figured here. It is not easy to see anything more perfect.

The Japanese have excelled also in the production of “crackle,”{220} also of the “egg-shell” porcelain, neither of which differs enough from the Chinese to need description.

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Fig. 120.Japanese Variegated-leaved Porcelain.

In the loan collection at New York is to be seen a crackled bottle, which has broad bands running around it, that are not crackled. More remarkable than this is a crackle vase belonging to Mr. H. Dwight Williams, which contains reclining figures delicately painted, that are not crackled. Technical skill can go no further, it would seem.

The Japanese lacquer far exceeds anything made in China, and is {221}among the most beautiful of human work. We know but little of the processes of its manufacture, and only introduce it here because the Japanese have applied it to the decoration of porcelain. Very charming and surprising effects are produced. The lacquer is laid on as a varnish made from some vegetable gum or gums, but in what way or how applied we know not. It is exceedingly hard and durable, and takes a variety of colors exquisitely. It is applied mostly to wood, sometimes to porcelain.

Mr. George James, of Nahant, has a very fine porcelain figure which is finished with lacquer.

Cloisonné” work applied to porcelain has been made in Japan. How the delicate metal lines can be fastened to the surface of the porcelain, and how the vitrifiable colors can be melted into the spaces with such perfection, can never fail to surprise. To see such perfect and delicate workmanship is a satisfaction: what pleasure must the artist himself not enjoy!

The “mandarin china” (Fig. 121), as it is termed, was made in Japan rather than in China. This term is applied to such vases and pieces as bear the figures of mandarins wearing the toque or cap topped with the button which marks their grade. It appears that the Thsing conquerors, when they overcame the Ming dynasty in China, attempted to efface the old customs and dress, and among other things they ordered was the adoption of the toque or cap. Hence, to protest against their conquerors, no such designs appear on the old Chinese porcelain; but only on the Japanese, which was carried to China and sold.[13]

This variety is not to be confounded with a gayly-colored kind of heavy porcelain made in China, which often goes under the name of mandarin.

On this Japanese mandarin-ware, gilding is likely to be found, and indeed the Japanese were much more inclined to its use than the Chinese.

European and Christian subjects were sometimes painted upon the{222} Japanese porcelain to meet the wants of the Dutch exporters. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York are some of these pieces belonging to Mr. Avery’s collection: one has a portrait of Luther; another has the baptism of Christ, another a Dutch landscape with figures. They are most curious, and upon the Scripture subjects hangs a tale:

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Fig. 121.Mandarin China.

As early as 1534 we know that the Portuguese had established a trade with Japan, and, with the aggressive spirit of all Occidentals,{223} had attempted to introduce their religion into Japan, against the usages and prejudices of the Japanese, which were potent then. They pushed it to an irritating point, and it is asserted that their meddling with the decorations in the porcelain factories at last led to their expulsion, and to the massacre and destruction of some forty thousand of their Christian converts in 1641.

The Dutch then persuaded the Japanese to allow them the privileges of trade, which they held for some two hundred years; and it is through them that most of our fine examples have been brought to Europe and here.

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Fig. 122.Example of Old Satsuma Ware.

Besides the porcelain productions of Japan are two varieties of pottery or faience, which are remarkable for richness of color and decoration: the one is called “Kaga Ware,” the other “Satsuma,” from the districts where they are produced. Most of the Kaga ware brought to us is of a thick, heavy body, and colored with a dark sort of Indian-red, touched with lines of gilding. Some of the finer specimens, however{224}, like the vases shown in the recent work of Messrs. Audesley and Bowes, are in polychrome, and very beautiful.

The Satsuma faience is made of a rich, creamy paste, and is thicker than most porcelain; but it is delicious in tone and delightful in decoration. There are a few pieces in this country; and more, but not large quantities, in Europe. Some of the finest pieces I have seen are in the collection of the eminent English artist, Mr. Frederick Leighton, whose house, as well as works, can only give pleasure.

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Fig. 123.Example of Modern Satsuma Ware.

The old Satsuma has peculiarities which, added to its rarity, make it exceedingly valuable and desirable.

Fig. 122 is one of the pieces pictured in the Audesley-Bowes book, as an example of the old Satsuma, and is very curious in form.

The modern Satsuma is much of it very beautiful, but of course it commands no such prices as the older. Most of it shows the glaze broken throughout into a most delicate network of crackle, which is peculiar and interesting.

The small teapot here shown is not only perfect in tone, glaze, and decoration, but also in form. It is modern work, and was imported by Mr. Briggs, of Boston. (Fig. 123.){225}

Mr. Franks thus writes: “The princes of Satsuma have founded a manufactory from which have issued some very remarkable products, much esteemed by collectors; the paste is of a pale yellowish tint, not unlike Wedgwood’s queen’s-ware in color, and is slightly crackled; over this are thrown sprays of plants, with rich diapered borders, the effect of which is enhanced by the delicacy of the colors and the richness of the gilding. This ware is probably not very ancient. Mr. A. B. Mitford has informed me that he does not remember seeing any specimens more than fifty years old, and that the oldest were undecorated.

“Another beautiful ware is that made near Kioto, in which the colors are much stronger, and the paste of a darker tint. Some of the specimens seem to be of considerable antiquity.

“At Kutani (the Nine Valleys), in the province of Kaga, is made another fine ware, some of which appears to be porcelain. The most characteristic products of this factory are bowls and dishes decorated only in red with gilding.

“Another peculiar fabric has produced very thin teapots of a gray stone-ware, showing the marks of the workman’s hands. Mr. Mitford has furnished me with the following note respecting them: ‘For some thirty years past a man named Banko Insetzu, of Kuana, in the province of Isé, has been famous for producing a curious kind of pottery, which, being finished off with the finger and thumb before being subjected to the fire, shows the lines of the skin of the hand upon its surface. No teapots equal those of Banko for producing a delicate infusion of tea, and all lovers of tea patronize them; they are fragile to a degree, the paste being as thin as a wafer.’ ”

The peach, or, as the Japanese term it, the “peach of longevity,” is a favorite decoration with the Japanese; we can appreciate its value, as one of the finest fruits of our temperate zone. We give here (Fig. 124) a teapot showing the fruit with some of the leaves. This is copied from Jacquemart; but the curious may see a better example at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, from Mr. Avery’s Oriental collection.

Japanese art is still more marked than the Chinese in that it is as free and yet more delicate. The artist clearly was a close observer of Nature, and saw and felt its infinite variety; saw, too, that Nature was{226} never square, or round, or double. Nothing in Nature need duplicate any other thing.

We Occidentals have delighted in the use of—

The square,

The circle, and

Of pairs, or a symmetrical arrangement of ornament, or of columns, or openings.

We have also found a crude satisfaction in the use of strong, glaring colors.

We have delighted to copy and to tell a common story in a common way in our decorations.

I believe this is wholly wrong. The Japanese artist never uses the square, or the circle, or the pair.

Nor does he use crude and glaring colors; always the most subtile and fascinating shades and vanishing tints.

He suggests the story; he never tells it as Watteau did.

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Fig. 124.Teapot with Peach Decoration.

A pair of vases belonging to Mrs. James, of Cambridge, have a picture of a gentleman and lady, above whose heads is seen a canopy or roof. The meaning is thus explained by a Japanese gentleman of this day, who was in Boston:{227}

The figures represented are a nobleman and his wife, one of the five hundred families of the flowery class; they are dressed in the ancient costume of Japan, now no longer worn.

The part of a tent or pavilion indicates that they are out-of-doors, at a picnic; the white blossoms of the cherry which surround them show a favorite tree in Japan; the color of this vase and the kind of crackle prove its age.

All is suggested; the imagination is spoken to, not the intellect; the artist feels, and makes us feel.

We are forcing ourselves and our civilization upon the Japanese who do not want us, and we curse them. We have attacked the simplicity of their lives, we shall increase their immorality, and we shall degrade their art. Twenty years hence, artistic and patient work will have disappeared from among them.

Good work has almost disappeared from among us, as well as from Europe: we do all in a hurry, all for cheapness, all for money. The artist, the workman, delight no more in perfect work, which is Godlike.

“Progress,” they tell us, requires us to force the Japanese to trade with us. It is a much-abused word; in the hands of plunderers and traders it means only—“You shall give us the opportunity to cheat you.” We have demanded that, and have succeeded; but we shall be none the better for it, and the Japanese will be the worse. They will learn, do learn fast, to cheat back; and already we see signs of it in their demoralized productions. They are already making copies—counterfeits of some of the high-priced porcelains of China—and putting on these the marks intended to deceive.

Fools say, “Trade is a blessing;” wise men, “It is oftener a curse.” Honest, faithful production is a blessing; juggling, barter, is always a curse.

In the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia the Japanese had the largest and the finest exhibit of porcelain. We were told by the officials that there are at Hizen some five factories of fictile wares; at Kioto, ten; at Owari, three; at Kaga, five; at Satsuma, one; at Banko, one; and at Tokio (Yedo), forty-three. This last statement was a surprise, but it was reiterated.{228}

The porcelains of Hizen rank first, and the exhibit from there was the largest. The two great vases, some eight feet high, of lacquer or porcelain, were the largest pieces of potter’s work we had ever seen, and they seemed cheap at twenty-five hundred dollars. In the middle part of the two great cases were two small tea-sets of some five pieces each, which were the finest of porcelain in all particulars, and yet no one bought them at one hundred and thirty dollars each; not even the Philadelphia Museum, which showed a marvelous skill in selecting the best. There were also quite a number of excellent pots and vases, from which Mr. Brown secured a very desirable pair, sage-green with white bands containing grotesque designs.

It was to be expected that the Chinese and the Japanese, if they made an exhibit at all, would take the places of honor. This they have done for quantity, and the Japanese do so for quality also.

The Owari porcelain is mostly the blue. The body or paste seemed clear, but there was a want of good form and superiority of coloring and decoration. Some excellent and striking pieces could be found here. But, so far as one visit could reveal, there was nothing equal to the old six-mark blue.

The Kioto is a faience of a weaker body than the Satsuma, and running more to a lemon-yellow. Its decoration is marked by a certain delicacy which in small articles is good, but which in large ones lacks strength. Shimzi, of Kioto, had a case of good pieces.

Meyagama, of Yokohama, had some delightful porcelain vases, decorated in relief with butterflies, plants, etc., which, it is satisfactory to know, were bought by our New York friends.

The case of old wares shown by Kiriu Kosho Kuwaisha, from Tokio, contained a collection which had a kind of mysterious fascination even to us “outside barbarians,” which we suppose might have become an intense desire to possess, could we have known anything about them.{229}



Dresden China.—Porcelain in Europe.—The Alchemists.—Augustus II.—Böttger.—Tschirnhaus.—Experiments.—Kaolin discovered.—Höroldt and Kändler.—Fine Art, or Decorative Art.—Lindenir.—Angelica Kauffmann.—Rococo-Work.—Collectors.—Marcolini.—Prices.—Marks.—Berlin.—The Seven Years’ War.—Frederick the Great.—Prices.—Marks.—Vienna.—Stenzel.—Maria Theresa.—Lamprecht.—Prices.—Marks.—Hungary.—Herend.—Fischer.—Marks.—Höchst, or Mayence.—Ringler.—Marks.—Frankenthal, or Bavarian.—Carl Theodor.—Melchior.—Prices.—Marks.—Fürstenburg, or Brunswick.—Von Lang.—Prices.—Marks.—Nymphenburg.—Heintzmann and Lindemann.—Prices.—Marks.—Ludwigsburg, or Kronenburg.—Fulda.—Hesse-Cassel.—Switzerland.—Marks.

IN this chapter I wish to give some comprehensive account of the famous porcelain of Dresden, which in Europe first came into prominence, and kept its place for so long a time. With this the other manufactories of Central and Eastern Europe will be grouped, for convenience rather than for the purposes of classification. We will take a comprehensive survey of—

1. Dresden, Meissen, or Saxony (it has all these names).

2. Berlin, or Prussian.

3. Vienna and Hungary.

4. Höchst, or Mayence.

5. Fürstenburg, or Brunswick.

6. Frankenthal, or the Palatinate.

7. Nymphenburg.

8. Kronenburg.

9. Fulda.

10. Limbach.

11. Switzerland, etc.{230}

We are apt to think that the mental force of Europe, down to very recent days quite into the last century, was directed almost wholly to the science and the practice of war. A great force certainly was so exhausted; but there was also, after the Renaissance (A. D. 1200 to 1300), a powerful stream turned upon literature, science, art, and religion. The alchemists, in their searchings for the secret of happiness—for the changing of baser things to gold—in their hunt for the fountain of perennial youth, were all chemists; and out of their (what we are pleased to term) “visionary notions” came many discoveries most curious and valuable to man.

When, in 1518, the Portuguese introduced fine Oriental porcelains into Europe, and, after them, the Dutch brought by ship-loads the beautiful productions of China and Japan, they were spread over Europe like water passing its dikes. Every king, every noble, every man of taste, was touched as by a fairy wand, and became inspired with a desire of possession, and also with a wish to create such articles of use and beauty. But the secrets of porcelain were locked in the souls of those keen Orientals, who would not part with their knowledge.

Still the chemists, the alchemists, of Europe were at work, peering with curious eyes into the composition of the most exquisite of fictile ware. The paste, the glaze, the ornament—all were of profound interest. Pottery of various kinds had been made in Europe from the earliest times, but no porcelain.

How could the superior European compete with or equal the inferior Mongol? A hard question.

For a long time it has been believed that the earliest European production of porcelain was in Saxony, about the years 1710 to 1715. But within a late period it has been found that porcelain—soft paste—was discovered and made in Florence as far back as 1575 to 1587, under the direction and patronage of Francesco I. (de’ Medici), the Grand-duke of Tuscany. No great quantities were made, and but few pieces of it exist now, of which we may treat hereafter.

The porcelain of Dresden is also called Saxon and Meissen; Dresden being the capital of Saxony, and Meissen the village, some twelve miles from Dresden, where the factories are established.{231}

How were they established, and why?

Augustus II., Elector of Saxony, and afterward by election King of Poland, born in 1670, was a man of expensive habits and luxurious tastes. While a young man he visited Italy and other countries, always indulging these tastes by the purchase of pictures and other works of art. The beautiful porcelains of China and Japan, then rare in Europe, interested him, and he became of course a collector; and so he continued through his luxurious and troublesome life. That I cannot write; it may only be said that he combined with Peter the Great and with Denmark to drive out and keep out of his part of Europe that enterprising and indefatigable fighter, Charles XII. of Sweden, and was himself utterly routed and driven from Poland in 1704. He still retained the throne of Saxony, to which his son succeeded. This elector inherited the tastes and habits of his father, and continued to encourage and support the manufactory of porcelain at Meissen, until, entangling himself with Maria Theresa of Austria in an alliance against Frederick the Great, that restless and irresistible king overran his country, and for a time destroyed the production of porcelain in Saxony (A. D. 1756).

In 1706 it appears that a Prussian named Böttger, an apothecary’s clerk, in danger of persecution as an alchemist, fled to Dresden for safety. The elector, believing or hoping that he knew the secret of making gold, sent for him, anxious to learn the secret, which Böttger denied that he possessed. The elector thought it best, nevertheless, to put him in charge, for safe-keeping, of his alchemist Tschirnhaus; and with him he worked on, seeking to discover the “philosopher’s stone.” That he did not discover—few have done so—but, in mixing clays and preparing crucibles, it so chanced that a hard and semi-vitreous pottery was produced, which at once excited attention and sharpened invention. Was it porcelain, or could it be worked into porcelain? From that day Böttger’s whole thought and ingenuity were at work to produce porcelain; the philosopher’s stone was forgotten, and he and Tschirnhaus worked at their new problem.

While the character of Böttger does not bear careful inspection, there is no question that he was a keen, dexterous, and daring man.{232} The picture we have of him indicates a man of executive force (Fig. 125).

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Fig. 125.Johann Friedrich Böttger.

In 1708 some ware was produced by him and Tschirnhaus which approached the characters of Oriental porcelain, but it was not white or translucent. A teapot of this ware in red unglazed, and one in black glazed, are in the valuable collection of W. C. Prime, Esq., of New York (Fig. 126, the two tall teapots on the right and left).

This was not white, nor was it true, porcelain. In 1710, however, they succeeded in making white porcelain of an inferior quality; it was “thick and muddy.” Nothing as yet was perfect. What they lacked was the two fine materials known to the Chinese as kaolin and pe-tun-tse.

Kaolin is a native clay, the result of decayed feldspar. It is found in Europe at Aue in Saxony, near St.-Yrieix-la-Perche in France, in Cornwall in England, and in Delaware in America.{233}

Pe-tun-tse is a siliceous stone found in China, and in Cornwall, England, is known as a granite. This last melts at a lower heat, and a mixture of kaolin is essential to give strength and hardness to the work.

Oriental china (and all true porcelain) has the quality of hardness, and, when held up to the light, of translucency.

European porcelains are known as hard and soft, the pâte dure and pâte tendre of the French. The Dresden china is hard.

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Fig. 126.Dresden.

In 1710 Böttger had not succeeded in making perfect porcelain. He had not yet the perfect clay. But the clay was found; and this, too, was accidental—so we now term it: once, a happy discovery was called “providential.” The discovery came at the right moment. It{234} seems that a rich iron-master of Saxony, when riding one day (1711), saw that his horse’s feet were held with tenacity in a soft white clay. It struck him that this white clay might be dried and made into hair-powder, then greatly in use. He tried it; it succeeded, and large quantities were sold. The hair-dresser of Böttger used it, and, when Böttger found it was heavy and a mineral, he at once applied it to the production of porcelain. “Eureka!” the secret was found!

It was kaolin, the great clay—the body or bones of porcelain. Doubt fled. Courage was assured.

Augustus at once built the great factory at Meissen, and in 1715 enough porcelain was produced to be offered for sale at the fair of Leipsic. The first ware made was white, and this was ornamented with vine-leaves and grapes in low-relief, or was pierced through the sides or borders. It is doubtful whether any of this white was sold, most of it being disposed of as presents.

The first color used was blue, probably in imitation of the Nanking ware.

Böttger, who appears to have been a sort of artistic scamp, died in 1719, at the age of thirty-seven, a victim of his own vices; but his work was carried onward by others.

The news of this successful discovery spread, like fire on a prairie, throughout Europe, and every device was resorted to to get at the secrets, which were closely guarded at Meissen. Every director and officer was monthly sworn to secrecy; every workman had before his eyes, “Be secret to death!” and it was well known that any traitor would be punished with imprisonment, or worse.

The works were continued, after the death of Böttger, under Höroldt’s direction; and it was during this time that the decorations swung clear of Oriental imitation. Painting in colors, and gilding, were employed; vases, dishes, services, were made; delicate copies of paintings were produced; also birds, insects, animals, flowers, etc.

A sculptor named Kändler was employed from 1731 to 1763, and under him figures of many sorts were produced, some of them still quite famous—“The Tailor and his Wife” riding on goats, figures of the Carnival of Venice, figurines of Cupids, of lawyers, doctors, and{235} many professions and trades. He also modeled animals and birds, the twelve Apostles, of life-size, etc.

Chaffers quotes from the London Magazine of 1753: “This fabric, which brings annually great sums of money into the country, is daily increasing in reputation, and is carried to all the courts of Europe. Even the Turks come from Constantinople to purchase it, and the rarest pieces that are made are carried thither to embellish the grand-seignior’s and his great officers’ houses and seraglios.”

Let us quote further from the same: “The sets of porcelain for tea, coffee, or chocolate, may be had for fifteen to sixty guineas. There is one particular kind from which they will abate nothing of one hundred guineas the set; this is a double porcelain, not made at once, but a second layer added to the first form, resembling a honey-comb on the outside, which is of a pale-brown color, the letts or cavities being all painted, as well as the bottoms of the insides of the cups and dishes. This, as all other sorts, may be had painted with landscapes and figures, birds, insects, fruits, flowers: the first being the dearer; the latter, the best executed, being almost equal to Nature in beauty and liveliness of the colors. The grounds of all these different sorts of porcelain are various, some being painted on white, others on pink; some in compartments, others without. The spaces between are sometimes of a white, yellow, or pea-green color; or the whole ground is white, with running flowers. This sort and the pea-green in compartments are the newest made and in the most elegant taste.”

Table-services at this time cost from one hundred to one thousand guineas each, according to the number of pieces and the elaborateness of the decoration.

The figure-pieces, some fifteen inches high, were sold at from sixteen to twenty guineas; and the smaller figurines, five or six inches high, for as many pounds.

These Dresden figures of this early period now sell for very high prices, and are much sought for, as are also the figure-pieces of the Höchst and Chelsea factories.

But let us ask ourselves, “Why should we pay such great prices for work which, as art, has but a reflected value?” I am sure that no{236} great sculptor will apply his best work to china, or to any material which is so liable to be spoiled in the baking, and to one which, after all, is not suited to what we term high or fine art.

These figures are of value, of course, as illustrations of the possibilities, and also as historical illustrations, of the growth and development of the fictile art. No man will wish to have an Ariadne in china made by an excellent artist, if he can have the same work of the same artist in marble.

We have the same feeling in regard to a fine painting: would any one wish to exchange the Dresden Madonna of Raphael on the canvas for a perfect copy in mosaic, or in the most exquisite Gobelin tapestry? None. And yet the mosaic or the tapestry has cost ten times more of human labor.

The artificialities of life come to be supreme at times, and the human mind, in some stages of development, loses all sense of what is good or bad, in an exaggerated appreciation of what is difficult or uncommon; and, in many cases, a fashion or whim of the hour rides down a sound judgment. Among the more intellectual peoples this prevails.

Assuming that the Orientals are races who perceive or feel, rather than reason—while the reverse of this is true of Europeans and Americans—we find our art often losing its way, which that of the Orientals seldom does. The natural or instinctive soul, by its native sense, is guided in matters of color and decoration more truly than we who attempt to reason out these things. Now, applying this to the facts of fictile art, we find that the Chinese and Japanese never attempted figure-work in porcelain, except in some few cases of burlesques, or of animals and birds. Their work was applied to that which comes into the uses of life—for the table first and mostly; after that for vases, which became works of pure ornament, but yet behind which lay the motive of use. In all this, it seems to me, the Orientals were right, and the Saxons wrong.

I believe, then, that the best and purest art will be found in porcelain when applied to the decoration of dinner and tea services, of vases, and of articles which do not attempt to rival sculpture or high art; and those may reach perfection, while the porcelain sculptures will not.{237}

I believe, too, that the best style of decoration for porcelain is not imitative, but suggestive—that is, an elaborate and careful copy of a flower or a figure upon the clay is not so appropriate or so satisfactory as a free translation of the sentiment of the flower or the figure, which suggests it to the soul rather than tickles the eye.

It is not appropriate, so it seems to me, that a delicate painting of a beautiful girl should be made on the dinner-plate upon which you are to put your squash or your pudding; such delicate penciling should be devoted to art pure and simple—to “fine art,” as it is called. Such paintings on china cannot be put to use; they are too costly, and therefore they fail to be either useful art or fine art.

Now, the tendency of European porcelain-decoration is always in this “fine-art” direction, and is always false; that of Oriental porcelain is always in the useful-art direction, and therefore true.

The pure white porcelain of Meissen was not at first sold, but was reserved for the king’s use, or for presents to distinguished personages. In later times it was sold, and is still; and the pieces so disposed of have a scratch cut across the mark, to indicate that they were not painted in the factory.

The works at Meissen grew in importance and in public favor up to the time of the Seven Years’ War (1756 to 1763), when Frederick the Great overran Saxony, broke up the Meissen factory, and removed the workmen to Berlin, where he established the Prussian potteries, which afterward came to be of great consequence.

An English merchant visited the works at Meissen in 1750, and found “about seven hundred men employed, most of whom have not above ten German crowns a month, and the highest wages are forty, so that the annual expense is not estimated above eighty thousand crowns. This manufactory being entirely for the king’s account, he sells yearly to the value of one hundred and fifty thousand crowns, and sometimes two hundred thousand crowns (thirty-five thousand pounds sterling[14]), besides the magnificent presents he occasionally makes, and the great quantity he preserves for his own use.”{238}

The best period of Dresden production is estimated as being from about 1730 to 1756. During this period the works of Kändler were made, and also the paintings of Lindenir, which are much valued. In Fig. 126 is to be seen a fine plate with a pierced border, in the centre of which are painted birds, in the style introduced by Lindenir. The other pieces shown in Fig. 126 are excellent examples of good Meissen porcelain; the cup and saucer, showing Cupids, is most delicately and elaborately painted. Among those who painted somewhat upon the Dresden china was Angelica Kauffmann, whose figures are pervaded with a certain grace and refinement always charming.

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Fig. 127.Dresden.

Fig. 127 shows some choice small pieces from Mr. Wales’s collection The centre flower-dish is very finely painted with birds, and the meandering lip, intended to confine the flowers, is peculiar.

The two cups and saucers on the right are very richly gilded, the compartments containing delicate flower-painting.

The cup and saucer on the left is one of the best examples of the Marcolini period; the gilded edges are exquisitely done, and the flowers, painted in tender browns and greens—not in high colors or in the colors of Nature—are charming.

{239}Many pieces of the old Dresden porcelain (and of modern work

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Fig. 128.Dresden Vase.

also) are elaborately decorated with rococo scrolls and flower-work in relief, applied upon candelabra, chandeliers, vases, cups, etc. Unsympathetic buyers will be apt to seize upon these pieces, and they are most{240} common in ordinary collections; but they are very far from being the best or the most interesting. This style of work was introduced and practised by Kändler (1731 to 1763) at the period when the best works were produced; but this style of work is not itself the best, though it may be the most costly.

In Fig. 128 we present one of the most elaborate and magnificent examples of this excessive decoration. Nothing is spared; the painting is most delicate, the flowers most intricate, the figures all most perfectly modeled; and yet upon one it produces satiety. It is overdone. Like an overdressed woman, we have lost the divine creation in her clothes.

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Fig. 129.Dresden.

In Fig. 129 may be seen a style of Dresden work which has had much popularity; it is costly, for it shows great difficulties well surmounted. But do you care for it as you would for a fine plate or an ample punch-bowl?

It is a candelabrum sold at the Bernal collection, and is thus described:{241} “A pair of superb candelabra, each formed of a female draped figure bearing scroll-branches for five lights, seated on pedestals, round which Cupids are supporting shields-of-arms. These magnificent objects of decoration are twenty-four inches high.”

The price was two hundred and thirty-one pounds sterling (eleven hundred and fifty-five dollars).

It may not be amiss to hint to incipient collectors that not all Dresden porcelain is equally beautiful or desirable—which is true of the paintings of Raphael or Murillo—and that every collector should consider the intrinsic excellence of each piece, rather than the mark or name of the factory.

The productions of the Dresden factory have continued down to the present time, but the periods of greatest excellence have been from 1731 to 1756, and from 1763 to 1814.

In 1796 Count Marcolini was made director, and under him was produced some of the finest flower-painting; he also introduced the classic shapes and decorations into the vases; which style of decoration came into wide fashion during the days of Napoleon I., who was an imitator of Cæsar, and of the work of Cæsar’s day.

Some idea of the values of pieces of Dresden china may be of use, and I take a few from the great Bernal sale made in London in 1855:

A scalloped cup and saucer, with minute landscapes

£1 14s.  $8 50

A pair of cups and saucers, with buildings on gold ground

77s.  36 75

A coffee-pot, crimson ground, with landscape

95s.  46 00

A small oval pierced tray, with two figures in green; and a small coffee-pot, with figures after Watteau,

198s. 6d.100 00

Marks for Dresden porcelain:

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Augustus Rex,
1709 to 1712.
The Caduceus,
about 1712 to 1720.
about 1718.
about 1718.
Imitation of Oriental,
about 1718.


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Höroldt, manager, about 1720. About 1726. About 1730. About 1739. Bruhl, manager,
about 1750.
Bruhl, manager, about 1750. Meissen Porzellan-Manufactur. Early Mark. About 1750. Königlichen
About 1770. Marcolini, manager,
about 1796.
A small engraved cut across the swords was placed on white pieces for sale. When there are TWO engraved cuts, it means the pieces are not wholly perfect.

The crossed swords are still used.

We often meet with pieces of Dresden china which have an engraved cut or scratch across the swords, which indicates, as before said, that the pieces have been painted outside the factory.

The beds of fine clay in Saxony are much deteriorated; and the productions at Meissen no longer hold so high a place as they once did.

Berlin Porcelain—Hard Paste.—It was not until 1751 that attempts were made to produce porcelain in Prussia. This was a private enterprise undertaken by a Mr. Wegeley. The Gentleman’s Magazine of 1753 spoke of him in this way: “There has been discovered here at Berlin the whole art of making china-ware, without any particular kind of earth, from a kind of stone which is common enough everywhere,” etc.

Wegeley worked on for eight years, but could not make the production pay, and abandoned it; when it was taken up by a banker{243} named Gottskowski (1762), who, having capital, pushed it toward success. In 1763 the establishment was bought by Frederick the Great, who made it a royal manufactory, and forced a success.

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Fig. 130.Berlin Porcelain.

When Frederick took Dresden, the porcelain-works at Meissen were temporarily suspended. He had an eye to understand the value of the porcelain industries, and he took measures to grace his capital and increase the wealth of Prussia by establishing a great manufactory at Berlin. He carried off from Meissen some of the best examples of the porcelain collection, transported to Berlin tons of the fine clay, and borrowed the best workmen and the most distinguished artists for his new factory; among these the names of Meyer, Klipsel, and Böhme, are mentioned.{244}

The Berlin productions soon rose into fame and obtained a wide circulation. Not only did the king spread the work abroad by means of exquisite presents; he also took measures at home to secure a market. He ordered that no Jew should marry until he had provided himself a sufficient outfit of porcelain from the royal manufactory. Now, the Jew does not like to waste his money, and he at once sought a market for the wares he had been forced to buy. All this advertised and spread abroad the excellent work.

During the collapse of Meissen, Russia became a large customer for Berlin; and its finished and elegant dinner-services went into her palaces and mansions. The best work of Berlin equals the best work of Dresden; its paste is more creamy, and some of its painters were not excelled. A favorite decoration at Berlin was the small Watteau figure-pieces, painted in medallions or reserves. Its examples of pierced or open-worked border plates are excellent.

In Fig. 130 are two examples of these, from Mr. Prime’s collection, which are perfectly painted in the naturalistic way. So, too, is the tureen, which has finely-modeled heads for handles, which yet are unsatisfactory. This is one piece of a large dinner-service.

Berlin porcelain ranks high, and good specimens bring good prices.

Two factories continue to produce fine porcelain—one at Berlin, and one at Charlottenberg, which was founded in 1790—and both are under the direction of the state.

The Berlin factory grew to such importance in the last century that it employed seven hundred workmen.

The prices paid for some pieces of Berlin porcelain at the Bernal sale were as follows:

A Berlin coffee-pot, with river-scene and landscape

£5    $25 00

A plate, with Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, gold border,

13 10s. 67 00

A cup and saucer, deep blue, with female busts in red, on gold ground

4 10s. 22 00

A cup and saucer, with pink festoon border and exotic birds

1 10s.7 50

A cup, cover, and stand, pink, with black medallions of the Princess de Lamballe and her cipher

5 15s. 29 00


Marks of Berlin porcelain:

[image not available]
This indicates Wegeley, and was
in use about 1751 to 1761.
The mark of the sceptre was
afterward used in various forms.
Another form of sceptre.
The globe and cross-mark are
found on a few pieces, about 1830.
1833. Sometimes these are painted
over the sceptre.

Since 1833 the mark has been a double eagle, surrounded by the words “Porzellan-Manufactur, Königl.

The mark of Charlottenburg has been the double eagle crowned, holding a sceptre in one hand, a globe in the other.

Vienna Porcelain—Hard Paste.—The Vienna manufactory was started about 1717 to 1720, and was a private enterprise. The principal man was Stenzel, who had escaped from Meissen, and was warmly welcomed at Vienna. He possessed the Meissen secrets, and was able to give character and value to the Vienna ware. The early examples were thicker and coarser than that of Dresden, and the paste was grayer and less pure. It was not till 1744, when Maria Theresa purchased the works, that Vienna porcelain rose to its best estate. This beautiful and capable woman for a long time was a prominent figure in the politics of Europe. Her father, the Emperor Charles VI. of Hapsburg, during his life secured to her the succession of the Austrian throne, by an agreement with the other powers called the “Pragmatic Sanction,” which, however, proved a treacherous security, so that wars and rumors of wars followed her.{246}

The porcelain-works were, however, not neglected, and the patronage of the court, and the fashion the courtiers made, secured a good success; so that, in 1785, more than five hundred workmen were employed.

Not only were the products largely used in Austria, but there came a great demand from Turkey. The first work was, of course, a following of Dresden. The best painters possible were engaged, and animals, landscapes, and figures, were applied.

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Fig. 131.Vienna and Herend Porcelain.

About 1796 a painter named Lamprecht painted excellent animals, and his pieces bear his name; they are rare. Some of the other painters were Perger, Furstler, Wech, and Varsanni. Nigg was a painter of rare flower-pieces.

The Turkish demand caused the production at Vienna, and also in Hungary, of what may be called Oriental or Asiatic styles of decorations. Figures, of course, gave way to arabesques—for no true Moslem copies the human figure—and more and richer colors were used.

The best work was made during the latter part of the last century, when a style of decoration of burnished gold in relief upon dead gold{247} was used, which is now much prized. The work went on, with varying success and at great cost, till 1856, when it was given up.

Some of the pieces at the Bernal sale were as follows:

A plate with green border and white stars, with flowers

£22s.$10 50

One with brown and gold border, with flowers

11s.5 00

A plate with lilac border, and friezes, from gems in Indian-ink

3716s.189 00

A cup and saucer, beautifully painted, with Venus and Cupid, after Sir Joshua Reynolds

815s.44 00

The teapot and cup and saucer in Fig. 131 are Vienna work, and are excellent examples both of paste and coloring.

The three lower pieces in Fig. 131 are Hungarian; the bowl and sugar-bowl are highly colored, and are very Oriental in both color and decoration. The plate with fish is a direct imitation of the Chinese.

Marks for Vienna porcelain:

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This shield varies in shape and size. It has been in use since 1744.

Hungary.—Toward the end of the last century a porcelain-factory was at work in Herend, at which porcelain of an Oriental character and much richness was made. This was doubtless intended for the Turkish and Asiatic markets. A piece bought in Ispahan, as Oriental, is now pronounced to be Herend, and was purchased by the South Kensington Museum in 1863.

Some pieces figured on the lower line of the engraving (Fig. 131) show the Oriental character of the decorations, but not the bright and rich colors.

The word “Herend” is found impressed on the ware; sometimes in incised letters.

In 1839 Fischer established a porcelain-manufactory, which, I believe, is still at work. Sometimes he used the shield of the arms of Austria{248} for a mark, and at others his own initials, MF (Morris Fischer), combined.

Höchst (or Mayence) Porcelain—Hard Paste.—Mayence, or Mainz, was once a small state or duchy, presided over by the elector, who was archbishop of the state. Pottery had been made there for many years; and at last, in 1740, an escaped workman from Vienna, named Ringler, taught them the secrets of porcelain. He seems to have been a man of force—one who worked for excellence—and under his direction some of the best porcelain was made. When the manufactory became a state establishment, the services of an artist named Melchior were secured as modeler and decorator. He was one of those rare men who have an innate sense of the beauties of form and proportion, which study had made more keen and true.

His figures and small groups rank highest of any for their spirit, grace, and delicacy, and command to-day extreme prices. The letter “M” is engraved on the bottom of many of Melchior’s productions, in addition to the wheel, or wheel and crown, which was the common mark for the factory.

The vases and table-ware partake of the general character of the Dresden, which led all the rest; it had a good sale, and, being never produced in great quantities, the pieces are not now very common. They are desired in all good collections, and the prices are high.

One day, when Ringler had taken too much wine, his workmen stole from his pocket the secret for mixing the paste, and from this many of the smaller manufactories of Germany took their start. The factory was destroyed by the French in 1794.

The mark of the Höchst ware was a wheel, with or without the crown.

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The wheel was sometimes in gold, then in red, then in blue. Demmin thinks these indicate their respective periods since 1720.


Frankenthal, (or Bavarian) Porcelain—Hard Paste.—Hannong, a Strasburg potter, having discovered the secret of porcelain, and being forbidden to use it in France, sought work in the palatinate at a town called Frankenthal in the year 1754. Soon after this, Ringler, who had had the care of the works at Höchst, having had his secrets stolen, left that place in disgust, and offered his services to Hannong at Frankenthal, and was gladly received. Together they at once brought their productions to a point of great excellence; and when, in 1761, the Elector Palatine, Carl Theodor, purchased the works, and made them a state establishment, they grew into great fame.

Melchior, whose figures had made the work of Höchst so famous, was induced to come to Frankenthal, where his skill and taste were made most useful.

Examples of this porcelain are much sought for.

The excellence of the work declined afterward; and about the year 1800, the country being overrun by French armies, the works were ruined and the tools were sold.

The prices at the Bernal sale were about the same as the best Dresden.

We give some form-marks supposed to belong to Frankenthal:

[image not available]
Crest of the Palatinate. Mark of Joseph Adam Hannong. The Crown.

The first, the crest of the palatinate, was used from 1755 to 1761.

PH combined, sometimes found on this porcelain, marks the work of Hannong.

The crown, with the letters C. T. (Carl Theodor), indicates the late period from 1762 to 1798.

Fürstenburg (or Brunswick) Porcelain.—The interest excited by the production of porcelain at Dresden, Vienna, and Höchst, inspired{250} many of the rulers of states with a desire to establish manufactories of the beautiful wares in their own dominions; among whom was Charles, Duke of Brunswick (1750). One of the Höchst workmen was secured to superintend the works at Fürstenburg; but he soon died, when Baron von Lang was placed in charge. He was an accomplished chemist, and his skill, with the funds put at his disposal by the duke, enabled him to produce work equal in decoration to that at Dresden, though the paste is not considered so fine. Fine vases, groups, and dinner and tea services, were the result, which are now much prized.

At the Bernal sale a Fürstenburg cup, cover, and stand, painted with flowers and surmounted by a flame, sold for six pounds ten shillings sterling (thirty-two dollars).

The mark is a cursive letter F more or less rudely done in blue.

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Fig. 132.Fürstenberg.

In Fig. 132 is seen a basket from Mr. Wales’s collection, made at Fürstenburg, which is carefully modeled, though it bears very little decoration.

Nymphenburg, in Bavaria, had a small porcelain-manufactory as early as 1746 or 1747, but it seems to have had only a fitful and uncertain existence until after the death of Carl Theodor, when the Frankenthal workmen were taken to Nymphenburg, carrying with them skill, taste, and knowledge. The manufactory received many favors, and much good work was done. Among the known artists employed were Heintzmann, who painted landscapes; Adler, who did the figures; and Lindemann. Some of the white pieces made at Nymphenburg bear the impressed stamp of the factory, and painters’ marks also, when decorated outside the walls of the manufactory.

The establishment is said to be still in existence. Nymphenburg was once a royal palace, a few miles from Munich.{251}

At the Bernal sale some pieces sold as follows:

A Nymphenburg basin with an elaborate painting of a battle, in Indian-ink

£10    $50 00

A cup and saucer with figures, in Indian-ink and gold

2    10 00

A basin with figures and scrolls, in Indian-ink and gold

2 12s. 6d.13 00

A basin with medallions in Indian-ink, figures in colors, and gold scrolls

14    70 00

A basin with three landscapes

4    20 00

The marks of the Nymphenburg are—

[image not available]
The shield of the arms of Bavaria.
A section of this was sometimes used.
The double triangle, with numerals
and letters.

Besides these more important manufactories of porcelain were a number of less note, which sprang up during this period of active interest; such as those of Ludwigsburg, or Kronenburg, Fulda, Hesse-Cassel, etc.

In Thuringia, also, were a number of small establishments, many of which produced fine work.

Marks of Ludwigsburg, or Kronenburg:

[image not available]
From 1758.      Sometimes without the crown.


Mark of Fulda, in Hesse (1763 to 1780):

[image not available]

Signifying the Prince of Fulda.

Marks of Limbach, in Saxe-Meiningen (about 1760):

[image not available]

Sometimes this was a script L.      Another mark.

In Switzerland, at Nyon and at Zurich, small factories went to work, whose productions are sought for by collectors; but they do not reach the importance of the leading German establishments. The manufactory at Nyon (1712) had sometimes a fish, and sometimes a painter’s name in script-letters, as Guide, or G.

[image not available]

Nyon-mark.      The mark of Zurich (1755).




Hard and Soft Porcelain.—Discovery of Kaolin.—St.-Cloud.—Pâte Tendre.—Marks.—Rouen.—Small Manufactories.—Marks of same.—Chantilly.—Sceaux-Penthièvre.—Niderviller.—Marks.—Limoges.—Sèvres.—Flower-Work.—Hard Porcelain, Pâte Dure.—The Grand Monarque.—Florid Taste.—Boucher.—Vieux Sèvres.—Three Vases.—Greek Vases.—Prices at Bernal Sale.—Chemists.—Colors used.—Collections.—Art Museums.—Alexandre Brongniart.—Marks and Dates.

THE porcelain of Sèvres is probably better known than any other by name, if not by sight. The production has been steadily under the protection of the state since 1760, when the crown became sole owner of the works. Time, thought, skill, talent, ingenuity, and money, have been spent upon this work unceasingly for more than a century; and some of the most elaborate, most finished, and most costly pieces of porcelain which the world has anywhere seen, have come out of the small town of Sèvres.

Kings, nobles, poets, painters, have recognized the beauty and value of this work, and have given of their strength to help it onward toward perfection.

The history of the manufactory at Sèvres might fill a book: here we are limited to a brief space, which may suffice for most readers.

Some experts hold that true porcelain is only what is known as hard porcelain, called pâte dure by the French. Such is always the porcelain of China and Japan; such is that of Dresden and the centre of Europe.

This hard porcelain has always the two qualities of hardness and translucency. We have elsewhere explained to what these qualities are due, and how and when they were brought to perfection in Europe, first at Dresden or Meissen (see Dresden porcelain).{254}

France lacked the peculiar clay necessary for making hard porcelain till the year 1765, when chance discovered the magic earth at St.-Yrieix; after which time its manufacture was brought to a high pitch of excellence at Sèvres.

The soft porcelain, or pâte tendre, can be made without the admixture of the clay called by the Chinese kaolin. It has the quality of translucency, but lacks hardness and strength. It melts at a lower heat, and, while very delicate and beautiful, it is not so enduring as the pâte dure. Experts can distinguish the two at sight; but there are some signs which will help the uninitiated. The soft porcelain is likely to be more creamy, and softer to the eye and touch, than the hard; the painting blends more into the glaze; the bottoms of the pieces or the rims are covered with the glaze; while, in the hard porcelain, these rims, from standing on the sanded floor of the furnaces, show no glaze. The painting on the hard porcelain is likely to be sharper, and more on the surface, than that on the soft, into which it seems to melt.

St.-Cloud.—Before the discovery of kaolin in Europe, as early as 1695, soft porcelain, or pâte tendre, was made at St.-Cloud in great variety and of considerable excellence; and the story of French porcelain, begun there, may be divided into two parts: 1. Soft porcelain, begun at St.-Cloud in 1695, continued there, and afterward at Chantilly; then at Vincennes, in 1745; still later at Sèvres, in 1756. The production of soft porcelain, or pâte tendre, continued at Sèvres, in company with that of the pâte dure, until 1804. 2. The hard porcelain, or pâte dure of the French; which was made after the discovery of the kaolin of St.-Yrieix, at Sèvres.

Marks used at St.-Cloud:

[image not available]

The mark of the Sun.      Another one.


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The fleur-de-lis, sometimes impressed.      This mark indicated the factory and the name of the director (Trou) from 1730 to 1762.

The early porcelain made at St.-Cloud is said to have been quite coarse and unsatisfactory. Examples of it are very scarce. That made later was better, but a long way behind what was made afterward at Sèvres.

At Rouen, in France, porcelain appears to have been made, but it never proceeded so far as to be a business.

At Menecy-Villeroy, about 1735, soft paste was made; and later there were various limited efforts at Brancas-Lauraguais, at Arras, at Vincennes, at Boulogne, at Étoilles, at Bourg-la-Reine, at Clignancourt, at Orleans, at Luneville, at Bordeaux, at Valenciennes, at Limoges, at Sarreguemines, at Strasbourg; at Paris, a great number, some of the products of which are still in existence.

We give the marks of some of the most important.

Marks of Clignancourt:

[image not available]
A windmill in blue.   Another form.
This varies a good deal (1775). Monograms of Louis Stanislas Xavier, Count de Provence. Porcelaine de Monsieur (1780).


Marks of Orleans:

[image not available]
A label (lambel d’Orléans). A label (lambel d’Orléans). A label (lambel d’Orléans).
Monogram of Benoist le Brun, the director.   Monogram of Benoist le Brun, the director.

Marks of Valenciennes:

[image not available]
The letter V, for Valenciennes, combined with L, the name of the wife of the director. The letter V, for Valenciennes, combined with L, the name of the wife of the director. The letter V, for Valenciennes, combined with L, the name of the wife of the director.

Marks of Strasbourg:

[image not available]

Either of these marks indicates the name of Hannong, the founder.

Mark of Marseilles:

[image not available]

This letter indicates M. Robert, the founder (1766).


The Paris marks are so manifold that the student must refer to some manual of marks, such as are mentioned in the list of books at the end of the volume.

Besides the smaller factories first mentioned, a few words may be well upon some factories whose productions are now and then offered for sale.

Chantilly.—As early as 1725 this factory produced a great variety of articles of soft paste, which were and are highly esteemed. A design used there—a small blue flower upon the white—called Barbeau, was much in fashion.

The workmen at Chantilly were afterward engaged at Vincennes. The mark is a hunting-horn, sometimes impressed, sometimes painted on.

[image not available]


Sceaux (sometimes Sceaux-Penthièvre) was a small factory near Paris, begun in 1750, where, for some twenty or thirty years, very delicate soft-paste porcelain was made. The marks were sometimes the letters S X or S P, and the anchor.

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Sceaux-Penthièvre (about 1750 to 1760). The anchor in blue (1751 to 1792).

At Niderviller, near Strasbourg, in 1760, a factory was established by Baron de Beyerlé, which afterward (about 1780) went into the possession of General de Custine, whose head was cut off during the French Revolution. Both soft and hard porcelain were made here, and some of the biscuit figures are of great excellence.

The marks most known are these; but the letter N in script is sometimes found on pieces of this work.{258}

Marks of Niderviller:

[image not available]
Baron de Beyerlé, the founder (1760).   General de Custine (1786).
Another variety. Monogram of F. C. Lanfray, director. Lanfray, director.

At Limoges, in 1773, soft porcelain was made; later, hard paste was made. The old mark was C. D. At the present time a number of factories are busily at work there, among which is that of Haviland and Company, whose faience will be mentioned elsewhere.

Sèvres.—We cannot to-day appreciate the enthusiasm which existed at this period (1750) in France, as well as in many other states of Europe, upon the subject of porcelain manufacture. Among royal and noble people it was peculiarly strong. The kings of France were always open to the projects of experts, who promised to produce wonderful results; and, in 1745, when the company was formed to produce porcelain at Vincennes, the king, Louis XV., contributed to the capital the sum of one hundred thousand livres.

Madame de Pompadour, at this period the most beautiful woman and the most influential personage in France, was an eager patron of the ceramic arts, and gave all her influence to promote their development; the queen, too, was greatly interested; we may be sure that all good courtiers followed their lead. About this time (1740 to 1750) a wonderful production of porcelain flowers was in vogue at Vincennes, and the most elaborate work was done there, so that two bouquets made for the king and dauphine cost them the great sum of three thousand livres (francs) each; which was a great deal more than three thousand francs is now. A single order given by the king amounted to the sum of{259} eight hundred thousand livres. This attempt to imitate flowers in colored porcelain we now consider foolish, as well as false art; and very properly it has passed away as one of the whimsies of the time. Some of these flowers, such as double ranunculuses, orange-flowers, anemones, etc., still remain, wonders of fictile work, in the Musée Céramique, at Sèvres.

But the porcelain-works at St.-Cloud and Vincennes, the avant couriers of Sèvres, produced many other and more legitimate objects of use as well as art. The dinner and tea services made here were most elaborate and costly; one made for the Empress of Russia was decorated with paintings of antique cameos, and the cost was some three hundred and sixty thousand livres, a vast sum surely.

At certain seasons the courtiers were expected to purchase the work of the royal factory, and presents were sent hither and thither; so that for a time the manufactory not only enjoyed the favor of the king, but also the sunshine of the court.

In 1748 a superb vase was made and presented to the queen. It stood on a bronze pedestal, and was about three feet high. The marvelous part of it was the great bouquet it contained, which consisted of four hundred and eighty porcelain flowers exquisitely modeled and colored after Nature.

The mark used at Vincennes will be given with those of Sèvres.

In 1756 the porcelain-works of Vincennes were removed to Sèvres, and from that period everything possible was concentrated there; and in 1759 or 1760 the whole came under the control and direction of the king. We see, therefore, how out of the efforts at St.-Cloud and Chantilly and Vincennes the works at Sèvres at last grew up. All was now combined at Sèvres.

The production of hard porcelain at this period had become a matter of importance; for it was well known that at Dresden most finished work of this kind had for a long time been made. Soft porcelain, though equally or more beautiful, was difficult to make, was then expensive, and lacked the strength and durability of the hard. Hard porcelain or pâte dure, was the one thing desired. But this could not{260} be made without the peculiar clay called kaolin, which the Saxons had, but which they would not allow the French to get. This was not obtained, as has been said, till 1765, and from that time Sèvres entered upon a period of production which has had no equal in Europe.

The buildings were ample, the gardens were pleasant, and the interest in the production of the royal works may be appreciated from the fact that the king, accompanied by Madame de Pompadour, made weekly visits, to see that all went well. And all did go will. No money was wanting; artists of the highest rank were enlisted; skilled men of every kind contributed their knowledge and keenness to bring the delicate work to perfection.

Madame de Pompadour, herself an artist in her way, not only came weekly to enjoy the work of others, but she often applied her own hands to making designs, or to touching or perfecting what fine thing might be going forward. Under such stimulus as this it was inevitable that every modeler, every artist, every colorist, should be inspired to do his best. They were patronized by royal hands which disposed of all the glory and wealth of France.

Painters having a wonderful technical skill were eagerly engaged, and much of the work done has the merit—not the highest one, certainly—of being most delicately and elaborately penciled. No work of this kind ever has surpassed what was done on the vases, teacups, écuelles, etc., made at Sèvres. The variety of decoration upon these elaborate pieces was great, comprising among others, birds, flowers in wreaths and garlands, and bouquets, landscapes, figures, arabesques, Cupids, emblems, cameos, masks, miniatures, Watteau pictures, children, pastoral subjects, Chinese and Japanese imitations, butterflies, medallions, sea-pieces, insects, etc.: the whole of Nature and art was ransacked for interesting and attractive material.

Almost or quite all of this may be characterized as most clever imitation, exquisitely painted. Even the artists who were inspired by love of Oriental work seem to have imitated or copied that; they did not learn by it how to express Occidental life and growth, in their own individual way, and with that piquant fresh touch which{261} marks so much of the best Oriental work. Nevertheless, it is exquisite, and conveys a sense of satisfaction and completeness because of that, even to those who do not approve of it as the best decorative art.

It is safe to say that the Grand Monarque, Louis XIV., was the greatest affliction which the kingdom of France was ever called upon to endure. His reign was unfortunately long—1643 to 1715. It was marked by a false splendor of success, by luxury such as the world had not seen since the days of the decline and fall of Rome, by the most venal public service except that which his successor permitted, by the most unblushing corruption in private life, among men and women both; and by a general degradation of all the standards of frugality, sincerity, honor, and nobleness, in public and in private life. Was it possible for art to escape this contamination? Impossible!

The florid and foolish taste of the perruquier prevails everywhere, in architecture, in painting, in sculpture, in dress; all is tainted with the showy and the shallow. The flowing scroll appears in all its splendor, decoration is piled in meaningless profusion, and talent and taste, heart, mind, hand, and gold, are lavished in folly and vice, which finally culminated in the social and political Revolution of Louis XVI., when king and noble, lord and lady, went under in a sanguinary flood of anarchy and ruin.

Could the taste and the art which prevailed at Sèvres escape this? It could not, and it did not.

While, therefore, we cannot but admire the care, the pains, the skill, of the workmen and the artists, let us not be misled by the false glamour of that time, so as to learn to love or to imitate their florid and extravagant tastes in architecture, in furniture, in dress, or in porcelain.

Chaffers, in his work upon “Pottery and Porcelain,” gives the private marks of some one hundred and twenty-six painters, who were employed at Sèvres before 1800, and quite a number who have painted there since. Among these are some who reached a European reputation: of these Boucher is perhaps most famous; his medallions are sought for, and highly valued.{262}

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Fig. 133.Enameled Sèvres Vase, called “Vase Genicault.”

A distinction is sometimes made between old Sèvres and modern Sèvres. The old—vieux Sèvres—comes down to the year 1800; after that it is designated as modern, for convenience. It does not intend to{263} exalt one and condemn the other, as too many now are apt to think, the truth being that equally good work has been done since that time as before it.

Indeed, within this year I have seen some pieces of Sèvres painting, such as I fancy have never been done there before, and which can hardly be excelled; in which the artist ceases to be a copyist, abandons himself to the imagination, and produces work which gratifies the highest faculty. Somebody, then, has broken away from traditions and academic rules.

Not only were the early painters ranked as artists, but designers and modelers of vases and other pieces had high rank and high pay, so much so that their names were and are attached to their productions; as, for example, vase Clodion, vase Duplessis, vase Falconnet, etc. I may say here that elaborate and beautiful as many of them certainly are, the Sèvres vases, inspired as they too often are by that expression of art so acceptable to Louis XIV. and XV., are so decorated, scrolled, and worked, that they create a sense of surfeit in many minds.

In Figs. 133, 134, and 135, we have three excellent examples of this work which may really be called magnificent. They have all the qualities which characterize the elaborate work of Sèvres. The size and elaborateness of these force them into the collections of emperors and kings, and here and there into the fine museums of the world, where they are to be seen of all men.

Fig. 133 is a superb covered vase, enameled most elaborately and exquisitely, in the best of what may be termed a Renaissance decoration, which had its birth in Italy. The masks and floating figures suggest a delicate reminiscence of Pompeii and the luxury and decadence of those Greek Romans, which there reached a full development, and which remain to us when all of Rome is in ruin, preserved by the ashes of Vesuvius through these nineteen centuries.

The vase, Fig. 134, is the largest of all, reaching some forty inches in height.

Fig. 135 shows us a superb vase, called “Cuve ovale Ducereau.” In this vase the artist has closely approximated to the form of some{264} of the old Greek vases, but the decoration is more striking and elaborate.

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Fig. 134.Sèvres Vase, called Vase Etrusque Carafe.


A perception of this excessive ornamentation came to somebody about the year 1785, for in that year Louis XVI. bought from M. Denon a collection of Greek vases, “to serve as models of pure and simple forms, and thus change the exaggerated, exuberant contours given to porcelain in the preceding reign.”

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Fig. 135.Sèvres Vase, called “Cuve Ovale Ducereau.”

The wonderful virtue of simplicity which the Greeks at their best fully valued, seems to have fled from France during the times of Louis XIV. and XV. This, in a degree, was restored by the purer and better tastes of the time of Louis XVI., when there was a reaction toward the classic in both literature and art.

In Fig. 136 we have engraved a vase of the time of Louis XVI., which indicates the improvements made at that time, both in form and decoration. It approaches the classic forms of Greece, and is a step away from that excessive and meretricious decoration which marked the times of Louis XIV. and XV. It was sold at the Bernal sale, and is{266} thus described: “A magnificent centre vase and cover, gros bleu, with upright handles of foliage, a festoon of leaves, raised gilt, encircling the vase and falling over the handles, the lower part fluted with pendant lines of leaves; in the centre is a most exquisite painting of a peasant and two girls gathering cherries, a donkey with panniers filled with cherries at their side, a group of flowers on the reverse—on square plinth, eighteen inches high. Sold to the Marquis of Hertford for eight hundred and seventy-one pounds ten shillings sterling (four thousand three hundred and fifty-five dollars).

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Fig. 136.Sèvres Vase.

I have spoken of the many styles of painting applied at Sèvres, and also of the great carefulness and elaborateness of the modeling. Another skilled body of men was called upon to contribute toward the perfection at which they all aimed; these were the chemists. To devise, to combine, and to adapt many and more and more beautiful colors than any in use, which could be applied to porcelain and would stand supreme heat, required the aid of science. This the chemists gave; and the result has been such rich, such subtile, such brilliant colors as no other manufactory has reached. Some of these{267} colors have become well and widely known under the following names:

Bleu de roi, made from cobalt; a deep lapis lazuli, sometimes veined and sown with gold. Gros bleu, a deeper color of the same.

Bleu céleste, a turquoise blue, from copper.

Rose Pompadour, improperly called Rose du Barri in England.

Violet pensée, a rare and beautiful violet.

Jonquille, a rich canary.

Vert pomme, a delicious apple-green.

Vert pré, a bright grass-green.

Rouge de fer, a brilliant red.

These are among the most famous colors used to cover the ground or body of the finest vases, the reserved spaces being filled with the rarest paintings. In addition to these perfect colors, gilding of the heaviest kind was used—often too freely. To glorify the work still more, what are termed jewels were applied in rows, or singly, of many colors; but pearls and rubies were most in use.

The rose Pompadour, or rose du Barri, has, within the last twenty years, become most in vogue, so that at the Bernal sale, in 1856, a pair of vases of this color, painted with groups of Cupids in medallions, was purchased by the Marquis of Bath at eighteen hundred and fifty guineas. An English collector, of moderate views, told me he proposed to purchase a pair of vases of this color, some twelve inches high, at a sale at Christie’s, some five years since, if he could do so for, say, one hundred pounds sterling. The first bid was one thousand pounds, and they were knocked down at sixteen hundred and fifty guineas.

The variety and splendor of these vases de luxe are great. They are to be seen in most of the collections of Europe, and, to some extent, in America; but their great cost, and the fact that they are so rarely offered for sale here, make them quite uncommon in the United States.

Visitors to Europe should see those in the Kensington Museum, and in private galleries; such as that of M. Rothschild, whose collection is worth millions.{268}

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Fig. 137.Sèvres.

It is a singular thing that during that fearful tempest known as the French Revolution, when almost everything which had a suspicion{269} of royalty or luxury was swept away, the works at Sèvres were not destroyed, but were carefully guarded and supported by the republican Directory.

Besides these “articles of luxury,” the Sèvres works have always made a large number of services for household use, which, however, must always be costly. Some of these are in this country; also a good many single pieces, particularly from the collections of Louis Philippe, which were large, and which were scattered at the time of the Revolution of 1848. Quite a goodly number were in the sale of Mr. Lyons’s collection, in 1876.

Some of these dinner-services were of course very elaborate and some intended for royal houses were finished in the rich and heavy colors, such as the bleu de roi, which for myself I would never desire; but most of them were decorated with edges of very rich gold, and bands or bouquets of flowers painted on the white.

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Fig. 138.Sèvres, White and Gold.

In Fig. 137 we present some pieces from a handsome service belonging to W. C. Prime, Esq., of New York. The forms as well as the decoration are perfect; the dark bands are a rich yellow, and the edges are finished with heavy gold leafage and lines. This is a large and complete set.

The single plate shown in the picture, containing the portrait of Montaigne, of course does not belong to the service. It is an admirable piece of the miniature work done at Sèvres, and must find its place as a picture does on the walls of the house. Plates, however, as valuable as this should have the protection of a frame.

Fig. 138 is from a part of a tea or breakfast service belonging{270} to the collection of George W. Wales, Esq., of Boston. It is clear and brilliant, being wholly of white and gold, and is really surprisingly attractive, partly from its simplicity, and more from its perfectness.

Some of the finest pieces of Sèvres porcelain in our country are to be found in the collections I have already mentioned. There are also fine examples in possession of Mr. Barlow, Mr. Belmont, and Mr. Matthews, of New York; of Dr. Mitchell, and other connoisseurs, at Philadelphia. Mr. J. V. L. Pruyn, of Albany, has one large and beautiful dinner-service of the white and gold Sèvres, and one made for Louis Philippe, having bands in colors. In his collection are two plates jeweled—one bearing the portrait of the Princess Lamballe, painted by Le Guay; and the other, that of Gabrielle d’Estrées—which are of the highest class.

The knowledge of and love for good examples of fine porcelain are on the increase, and no doubt in a few years we shall be able to see and enjoy fine work, without the disagreeable experience of crossing the implacable ocean.

Our art-museums will also give to thousands the opportunity of seeing and studying these things which no private collections can so well do.

The name of Alexandre Brongniart (Fig. 139) is now identified with the best period of Sèvres porcelain, and its high reputation and great success are due more to him than to any one man. Not only did he aim for excellence himself, he also insisted that others should do likewise. He gave tone and character to what was done there. Nothing having any flaw or blemish was allowed to go from the works; and in that way the standard was kept high in the minds of artists and workmen as well as in those of amateurs. Prices, too, were kept at such a point that more and more could be attempted and accomplished. To Brongniart is due the Musée Céramique at Sèvres. In this museum are examples of all or nearly all the famous work ever done there, as well as a great number of examples of both porcelain and faience made elsewhere. This museum is still receiving constant additions.

Before his appointment Brongniart was ranked as a savant in other{271} branches. He was known among the most eminent of geologists, and in conjunction with Cuvier he made a careful examination of the geology of the neighborhood of Paris, and wrote upon it a learned essay. He was also a student of chemistry, and this knowledge was most valuable after he became director at Sèvres. For some fifty years after 1800 he held that post, and during the time he gave his soul to the work he had in hand; he encouraged the mature and he brought forward the young. His work “Traité des Arts Céramiques” is most valuable, and is looked upon as an authority to-day.

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Fig. 139.Portrait of Alexandre Brongniart.

Since his day the works have been in careful and competent hands, and admirable porcelain is still produced in many styles.

Marks.—The Vincennes mark used from 1745 to 1753 was the interlaced L’s without any inclosed letter, like the first mark of Sèvres.{272}

Beginning at 1753 the Sèvres mark was the interlaced L’s inclosing the letter A. The marks at Sèvres changed many times, so that it is necessary to give quite a list of them as well as a table showing how the letters of the alphabet indicate the year when the piece was made.

The following table will help to explain the use of the letters of the alphabet when placed in the interlaced L’s:

A. . . . 1753 V. . . . 1774 RR . . . . 1795
B. . . .1754X. . . .1775T9*. . . . 1801
C. . . .1755Y. . . .1776X* . . . .1802
D. . . .1756Z. . . .177711* . . . .1803
E. . . .1757AA. . . .1778—\\—. . . . 1804
F. . . .1758BB. . . .1779/\ . . . .1805
G. . . .1759CC. . . .1780==:=== . . . .1806
H. . . .1760DD. . . .17817 . . . .1807
I. . . .1761EE. . . .17828 . . . .1808
J. . . .1762FF. . . .17839 . . . .1809
K. . . .1763GG. . . .178410 . . . .1810
L. . . .1764HH. . . .1785o.z. (onze). . . . 1811
M. . . .1765II. . . .1786d.z. (douze) . . . .1812
N. . . .1766JJ. . . .1787t.z. (treize). . . . 1813
O. . . .1767KK. . . .1788q.z. (quatorze) . . . .1814
P. . . .1768LL. . . .1789q.n. (quinze). . . . 1815
Q. . . .1769MM. . . .1790s.z. (seize) . . . .1816
R. . . .1770NN. . . .1791d.-s. (dix-sept) . . . .1817
S. . . .1771OO. . . .179218. . . . 1818
T. . . .1772PP. . . .179319 . . . .1819
U. . . .1773QQ. . . .1794 Etc., etc.

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A comet was sometimes used as a mark in the year 1769.


Marks used at Sèvres:

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The royal period, sometimes with a crown (1753). Hard paste first made (1768).
Republic (1792 to 1798).
Republic (1792). Consular period (1803).
Imperial manufactory (1804 to 1809). Imperial manufactory (1810 to 1814). Louis XVIII., and the year (1814 to 1824). Charles X. (1824 to 1829).
On plain ware (1829 and 1830). On decorated ware (1829 and 1830). Louis Philippe (August to December, 1830). Louis Philippe (1831 to November, 1834).
Louis Philippe (November, 1834, to July, 1845). Louis Philippe (1837). Louis Philippe (1845 to 1848). On white porcelain (1833 to present time).
Republic (1848 to 1851). Napoleon III., emperor (1852). Napoleon III., emperor (1854 and after). Present mark—the cut shows pieces sold in the white (1861).




Florentine, or Medicean.—Is it a True Porcelain?—The House of Medici.—Marks.—Doccia Porcelain.—The Marquis Ginori.—Beccheroni.—Present Work.—Marks.—Venice.—Vezzi.—Cozzi.—Marks.—Turin.—Gioanetti.—Marks.—Nove.—Terraglia.—Marks.—Capo di Monte.—Naples.—In Relief.—Marks.—Spanish Porcelain.—Buen Retiro.—Marks.—Portugal.

FLORENTINE (or Medicean) Porcelain.—In the time of the 1700’s, after the discovery of kaolin in Saxony, kings and princes were eager to signalize themselves by establishing porcelain-works in their states, and upon these they spent much money. It has come to light within a few years that the merchant-princes of the house of Medici enlisted in the same cause, and were the first to establish a porcelain-factory in Europe; this discovery, made by Dr. Foresi, of Florence, has been confirmed by various others. The question only is, “Is it porcelain?” Mr. J. C. Robinson, a distinguished English writer, says:

“A discovery of some curiosity and interest in connection with the history of the manufacture of porcelain in Southern Europe has recently been made by the acumen of Dr. Foresi, of Florence, and which has the effect of antedating the manufacture by at least a century. Before this discovery the fabrique at St.-Cloud, in France, was the earliest that could be authenticated. This was about the year 1695; but the facts now brought forward prove the existence of a factory for the manufacture of a true porcelain at Florence, under the patronage of the Grand-duke Francis I., about the years 1580 to 1590. For some time the doctor had observed a peculiar ancient porcelain of a fine body and{275} glaze, and covered with an arabesque ornament in blue, which, while it generally resembled Oriental porcelain, showed unmistakable features of European design. It was also marked in a peculiar manner, and, as one mark consisted of the well-known pellets of the Medici family arms, he was induced to search the records of the house, and, to his surprise, found—what had been overlooked by all historians of the potter’s art—that the duke above named had attached to his well-known laboratory in the Boboli Gardens a small manufactory of porcelain. By continuing his researches he at last exhumed a manuscript from the Magliabecchian Library, which had been compiled by some person employed by the duke, and which also detailed the facts connected with the composition of the ware.”

This manufacture continued from 1575 to 1587.

The Medici.—The history of this remarkable family of the Medici can never fail to interest. Roscoe has presented it well in his “Life of Lorenzo the Magnificent,” etc. The origin of the family is very vague; but the fact is well known that the founder of its greatness was Giovanni de’ Medici (he died 1429), who, instead of grasping states and principalities with one hand, while the other held the glittering sword, as had for so long a time been the fashion, seized upon the great trade which then had sprung up between the Occident and the Orient, and which became vast and profitable in the hands of the merchants of Florence, Genoa, and Venice.

This trade poured ducats into his coffers like the flow of a river, and when he died he left vast stores of gold to his sons Cosmo and Lorenzo.

Cosmo, instead of degenerating into a “rich man’s son,” went on with the work which his father had begun; but he conducted it as a great man should, not as a great miser would. This was true of his successors, who continued to be merchants and bankers, even after they had come to be grand-dukes and rulers of the Florentine state. This wealth was used, of course, to push their own fortunes and ambitions, but it was used in a ducal way, not only in the building of palaces and galleries, but in the encouragement of the arts and of letters, all of which increased his own glory, while it ministered to the magnificence of{276} the state. The Medici had ceased to be merchants long before the time of Francis, but it is easy to believe that the traditions of his family ran in his veins, and that he should have been ready to attempt the production of porcelain in his city, when the love for it and the desire for it had grown to be an influence in Europe, as it had in the seventeenth century. Nineteen specimens only are known of this earliest porcelain, and these are in the hands of museums and of private collectors. Examples may be seen in the Sèvres and Kensington Museums.

It seems that the best quality was made for the family of the founder, and this bears the mark of six pellets, each with a letter and one with a fleur-de-lis. These letters, F. M. M. E. D. II., mean Franciscus Medici Magnus Etruriæ Dux Secundus.

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Fig. 140.Medicean Porcelain.

We engrave here (Fig. 140) a beautiful bocca, or pitcher, fifteen inches high, of this porcelain, which is in the collection of the Baron de Rothschild. The decoration resembles the style of maiolica known{277} as Raffaelesque; the body is white and the painting of a light blue. The handle is a crown, formed by uniting those of the Medici and of Austria. The less beautiful pieces are described as “coarse, opaque, and of a bluish gray, the glaze thick and vitreous.” This china was something between hard and soft.

Whether this production of Italy is really porcelain, is open to doubt. M. Demmin, who is certainly entitled to great consideration, denies it very plainly. He states that the vase exhibited by M. Rothschild, in 1865, showed a break at the neck, and that the body was not porcelain, but a white clay—terre de pipe. He states, also, that the five pieces in the museum of Sèvres are not translucid, and have no signs such as mark the pâte tendre of France or Italy. English writers choose to class this under the head of porcelain, which seems, at least, to be very questionable. The two marks are:

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The Duomo of Florence and the six pellets of the Medici.

Doccia (near Florence)—Hard and Soft Paste.—In the beginning of the last century there existed in the north of Italy families who had inherited wealth and honor, and who still retained their vigor. They may not have been many, but among them the Ginori were numbered. Italy has been living in the luminous glories of the art of the Renaissance these five centuries, and the light, as it seems to us, grows dim rather than glowing. Neither painting, sculpture, nor architecture, seems to-day to have more than a thin flavor of that past, when Church and state, noble and simple, combined to welcome the advent of a new artist. The production of porcelain belongs to the later time; but it certainly, in a limited way, shows signs of life and of originality more than any art of the later time, except, perhaps, music. To-day it is not so.{278}

The productions of the south—Capo di Monte—I have elsewhere spoken of as not being servile imitations of anything, and as possessing much merit and originality. Of the productions at Doccia I have seen none, and the descriptions in books do not enable me to form any judgment. Of the maiolicas of Italy, now being reproduced largely at Doccia, I shall write hereafter.

The Marquis Ginori founded a manufactory near Florence in 1735, which is in a flourishing condition to-day. Inspired with the desire to produce work of a high character, he spared neither trouble nor cost, and sent a ship to China to procure there the clays which had secured the Chinese porcelain its peculiar character and its great excellence. Not only were services for the table and other articles for social use produced by the workmen and artists under the direction of the marquis, but almost immediately they were engaged in the production of statues and groups, in great variety, and some of which were half the size of life; many were modeled from fine work of the Greek sculptors.

The paste is said to have been of a high grade, but the glaze was then lacking in the finest effects of the Chinese potters. Having seen none of it, I am unable to say more than that.

A pair of vases from this factory, in Walpole’s collection at Strawberry Hill, are described as “vases with blue and white oblique flutes; they are of coarse workmanship, although the form is good.”

Forsyth, an English traveler who visited the factory in 1802, speaks of the works and the work very disparagingly, and says the latter was then much inferior to that of England, as it doubtless was.

In 1821, when the Capo di Monte factory, at Naples, was discontinued, the moulds were bought and taken to the Doccia works, and are still owned there. The peculiar work in relief, which will be spoken of under the head of “Capo di Monte,” is now made there, and is sold in considerable quantities, and often for the genuine Capo di Monte, from which, of course, it is not easy to distinguish it. Marryat states that this was made at Doccia, in the last century, probably from moulds procured then at Naples.

Sèvres shapes and designs were imitated at Doccia, and a large production is now going on of the maiolica vases and dishes of the sixteenth{279} and seventeenth centuries, which are sold all over Europe and in America. In Paris are produced copies of these, not only in design, but also with marks to indicate age, intended to deceive the unwary. We do not believe this of the works at Doccia. Still, one can but regret that the public demand for these copies should be so great as to forbid original work there.

The artist most praised is Beccheroni, and his painting of miniatures is spoken of as “exquisite.” Baldassini and Tuppi are also mentioned in terms of high praise.

A note in Marryat’s volume says: “The manufactory now employs two thousand persons. Attached to the establishment are a fine park and farm, schools for the children, an academy of music for the workmen, a savings-bank, and everything that can be devised to promote the moral improvement of its occupants. In the chapel annexed are monuments in porcelain of the deceased marquises; and in the adjacent parochial church the high altar, torchères, candlesticks, ciborium, etc., are all in porcelain—an offering of the Ginori family.”

Some of the ware made here is stamped Ginori; others bear some one of the following three marks.

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Doccia marks.

Venice—Hard and Soft Paste.—Pottery had been made at Venice from an early day, at least as far back as 1515. But, after the production of true porcelain at Dresden, it seems that a rich merchant of Venice, named Vezzi, in company with some others, engaged in the production of porcelain there, getting his clay from Saxony. Various articles were made, and their production probably continued till about 1740. But it was not a success, owing, besides other causes, to the fact that the clay had to be transported so far. It could not, of course,{280} compete with the works at Dresden. Some few examples of this exist, but very few.

The mark of Vezzi’s factory was the letters, painted or stamped, Vena, a contraction for Venezia.

Later, about 1753, a German named Hewelcke made some attempts at Venice, with no practical result.

Cozzi’s productions were of more importance.

Chaffers quotes from an official report as follows: “Concerning the manufactory of Japanese porcelain, it was commenced only in 1765, your excellencies were eye-witnesses of its rapid progress and therefore deservedly protected and assisted him. He now works with three furnaces, and has erected a fourth, a very large one, for the manufacture of dishes. He has constantly in his employ forty-five workmen, including the six apprentices whom he has undertaken to educate, and from the date of his privilege, in August, 1765, down to the middle of December, 1766, has disposed of sixteen thousand ducats’ worth of manufactured goods, etc., so that it may be fairly inferred that he will yet continue to make greater progress both in quantity and quality.”

At these works, for about fifty years, a great variety was made, such as vases, statuettes, both white and colored, plates, dishes, services, etc.

The imitations of Chinese work were so good as to deceive many. The designs of Dresden, Sèvres, and the English workmen, were also produced here with great skill.

Some excellent vases made at Venice are to be found in the collections in Europe. In New York, Mr. Barlow and Mr. Prime have some pieces which may be of Venice, or they may be of Chelsea, as the paste and the mark are almost identical. The marks of the Vezzi and the Cozzi wares are as follows:

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Marks of the Vezzi and the Cozzi wares. The anchor-mark was used at Chelsea.


At Turin and Treviso porcelain was made in the last century; as to the latter but little is to be said. Some pieces are known, upon which is the mark G. A. F. F. and the name Treviso in script.

Near Turin, at Vineuf, a manufactory was established about 1770 by a physician named Gioanetti. “It was noted for its fine grain and the whiteness of its glaze,” says Chaffers; while Marryat says, “The glaze, however, is wavy and yellowish.”

It was sometimes marked with a simple +, at others with a V under the cross, and again as shown here:

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Meaning Vineuf, Dr. Gioanetti.

Nove—Hard Paste.—Porcelain seems to have been attempted at Nove, near Bassano, in Italy, about 1752, by a man named Antonibon, who with his son afterward continued it till 1781 or later. Some elaborate pieces were made here, one of which we have taken from Marryat’s book, because it seems to possess, what so few do, excellence and originality. It is in the Reynolds collection in England, and is some twenty-seven and a half inches high—a superb piece of work (Fig. 141). The business passed into other hands, and after 1800 it gradually went to decay.

In 1825 it was revived by some descendants of the first Antonibon, who struggled on for ten years, but they could not sustain themselves against the capital, the clay, the brains, and skill of Saxony and Sèvres. They still make there, as they always did, maiolica, fine and common, and terraglia faience, in considerable quantities and of much excellence, called in France terre de pipe. This terraglia, it may be said, is a sort of demi-porcelain, being made of a mixture of the true porcelain clay and the native potter’s clay. It is susceptible of great precision of modeling and of a high finish, and some beautiful work has been done in it in Italy.{282}

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Fig. 141.Nove Porcelain Vase.

The marks of Nove were usually a star or asterisk, with six rays; sometimes the letter N, or the word Nove, was added.

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Marks of Nove.

Capo di Monte—Soft Paste.—This beautiful porcelain was made first at Naples in 1736, under the direct patronage of the king, Charles{283} IV., afterward Charles III. of Spain. The king was an enthusiast, and sometimes worked in the factory himself, and under this inspiration it is not surprising that excellent work was done. But, besides this, very common services and figures were made later, many of which bear the mark of the fleur-de-lis, so that all Capo di Monte is not equally good or equally valuable. And the same may be said of the productions of any man or any manufactory.

A letter written to Lord Chatham in 1760 says of this King Charles: “He is particularly fond of the china-manufacture at Capo di Monte. During a fair held annually in the square before his palace at Naples, there is a shop solely for the sale of a part of this china, and a note was daily brought to the king of what was sold, together with the names of those who bought; and it is said he looked often favorably upon the persons who made any purchases.”

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Fig. 142.Capo di Monte.

The king, being of a Spanish family, succeeded to the crown of Spain in 1759, when he carried with him many of the workmen and his own tastes, and established there the manufactory of Buen Retiro, of which is a brief account hereafter. After his departure the factory languished, lacking his interested inspiration.

The marked originality of the Capo di Monte porcelain is the{284} designs in relief which were impressed upon the plaques, and also upon teacups, vases, etc. These were very delicately and carefully stippled in colors, and this distinguishes them from imitations and reproductions which have been made in great numbers at Florence, and which are sold at very much smaller prices.

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Fig. 143.Capo di Monte.

Not only were these articles in relief and of great beauty made here, but also very excellent, creamy, soft porcelain painted on the flat, and exquisitely painted, too. The specimens I have seen have a character of their own, which has the great merit of being indigenous and not an imitation. The tea-services, of which we now and then see single pieces, are lovely.{285}

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Fig. 144.Capo di Monte.

Mr. Prime has some excellent pieces, of both styles; as has Mr. Wales, from whose collection we have engraved our illustrations.

The three pieces marked Fig. 142, 143, and 144, are painted on the glaze, and are exquisite both for design and color.

The single vase (Fig. 145) has two bands, most delicately modeled and painted in relief.

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Fig. 145.Capo di Monte.


Work was continued with more or less success until 1821, when the moulds were sold to the Doccia manufactory, at Florence; but after 1780 hard paste was made at this factory, under the patronage of King Ferdinand.

The marks used are here given; the earliest was a ruder form of fleur-de-lis. This fleur-de-lis mark was also used at Madrid, and, as the work was almost identical, it is not easy to distinguish them.

Demmin says the marks on the hard porcelain were a crown, under which were sometimes the locked letters RE or FK.

Marks of Capo di Monte:

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About 1786. About 1759. About 1759. Ferdinandus Rex (1780).

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Fig. 146.Buen Retiro.

Spanish Porcelain—Buen Retiro.—When Charles III. came to the throne of Spain in 1759, from Naples he brought with him many of the workmen and much of the skill which had produced the beautiful china at Naples. These he established near his palace of El Buen Retiro, at Madrid, and here his experiments and the manufacture were{287} carried on with great secrecy and much care. A letter from Spain, written in 1777, quoted by Marryat, says: “In the gardens of Buen Retiro the monarch has established a china manufactory, which strangers have not hitherto been permitted to examine. It is undoubtedly intended that experiments shall be secretly made, and the manufacture brought to some perfection before it be exposed to the eyes of the curious. Its productions are to be seen nowhere except in the palace of the sovereign, or in some Italian courts, to which they have been sent as presents,” etc. During the Napoleonic wars, when Spain was overrun with troops, the factory was destroyed (1812), and it has not been restored.

The single illustration (Fig. 146) is a very beautiful small vase, from Mr. Wales’s collection. It is exquisitely painted, and closely resembles the porcelain of Capo di Monte.

Marks supposed to have been used at Buen Retiro:

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The same as Ludwigsburg.       The same as Capo di Monte.

Some porcelain has been, and I believe still is, made at Alcora.

In Portugal, at Oporto, porcelain has been made since 1790, of no supreme qualities.

It is rather singular that the people who first introduced the fine porcelains of China and Japan into Europe, who, for some two centuries, had almost uninterrupted control of the commerce, who brought it by ship-loads to all the countries of Europe, should apparently have had less interest in the subject than any other, should have less of it to show to-day than most others, should have made less effort to produce it in the past, and should be doing almost nothing to-day.

But countries, like men, have their manhood and their dotage, and then they pass out of the active life of the world: such seems to be the condition of Portugal to-day.{288}



Bow.—Chelsea.—Derby.—Chelsea-Derby.—Lowestoft.—Worcester.—Chamberlains.—Plymouth.—Bristol.—Pinxton.—Nantgaraw.—Swansea.—Turners.—Coalport.—Coalbrookdale.—Herculaneum.—Shelton, New Hall.—Rockingham.—Spode, Copeland.—Place.—Daniell.—Minton.—Prices and Marks.

IN England, following the discovery and production of porcelain in Saxony, there sprang up a very wide interest in the art. It was not an interest which enlisted all classes there—as, indeed, it did not anywhere in Europe; but among persons of taste and wealth it became of such importance as to be a “fashion.”

The discovery of kaolin-clay in Saxony stimulated enterprising men to seek for it elsewhere.

There is much doubt yet, and there has been a vast amount of time spent upon the question in England, as to when and where the production of china first took place in that country. It is not for me, here in America, to make any attempts to solve it. What I may do is to try to present to our own people, in some compact and readable form, what Marryat, Chaffers, and others in England, have arrived at after much patient research and comparison. Some of the most useful and most important works on pottery and porcelain—of which enough have been written to form a library of themselves—will be mentioned at the end of this book; for in all of them much is to be found of value to those who care to go into this curious and interesting branch of art-production more fully than any one volume will enable them to do.

From these facts—that many of the manufactories in England had{289} but a short career; and that the work produced, in many cases, had no marks, or had a great variety of marks; that in some cases but little work was made, and that of that little much has disappeared—a surprising interest has come to be attached to that which remains; and in some cases surprising prices have been paid for it, and are now paid.

It is for these reasons, rather than for its intrinsic beauty, that most English porcelain is so eagerly desired. It is not generally remarkable for perfection of form or of paste, or for originality or beauty of color and ornament; but in some cases all of these are to be found. The early paste of the older factories, such as Bow and Chelsea, is considered inferior to the best Chinese and Japanese, and to the early Dresden and Sèvres. Afterward the paste was greatly improved, until now that made at the porcelain-works at Worcester, and at some other of the English factories, is not surpassed anywhere. It seems to me that the English modelers have not cultivated that sense of perfection of form and grace of line which was so wonderful in Greece, and in which the French modelers excel the English. It may be that the desire for strength, which seems to inspire most English porcelain, has demanded the sacrifice of that delicacy, thinness, and niceness, which have for a long time prevailed in France. But the English porcelain is noted for its strength and wearing quality; it is certainly superior in this respect to most of the French work.

Whoever has interest enough in the subject should visit, when in England, the porcelain-works at Worcester, now conducted by Mr. Binns. Here he can see all the processes going on, by means of which the teacup and the dinner-plate are brought to perfection. It is not a simple matter. Several kinds of clays are to be got together—some from England; some, perhaps, from elsewhere. These are ground to such an impalpable fineness that they are floated away in water, and are allowed to settle into tanks, from which, when in the right condition, they are taken to the moulder for use. The collecting, the mixing, the grinding of these clays is the result of much brain and hand work—a great deal more than most men are obliged to use in getting into Congress or Parliament, or in writing a book.

As the dexterous potter moulds upon his wheel the forms of the{290} Greek amphora or the Chinese teacup, they seem to spring under his hand as if touched by the fairy’s wand.

I think no one can see this work grow without a feeling of surprised pleasure; and, after witnessing it, no one can fail to have a greater satisfaction at seeing and using the various objects of use and beauty, to be found now in every house—a satisfaction increased by knowledge. Even in the ordinary mug or jug which costs a sixpence, are often to be detected great knowledge, much art. We do not give the workman half his due when we fail to feel how much we owe to him. An eye to see the beautiful, the good, the true, is to be prayed for.

When the turner and modeler has perfected his pot, it has to go through its firings, glazings, paintings, until it comes to us a perfected work, which we too often hardly look at. It is only a jug!

There is more than the money’s worth in every good piece of cabinet-work, iron-work, woven fabric, etc.; for with every honest workman’s hand goes a part of his soul: he gives it willingly, gladly.

Bow—Soft Paste.—The small village of Stratford-le-Bow, in Middlesex, now, I think, a part of London, is believed to be the place where a china-factory was first established in England, and some suppose it may have been as early as 1730, though 1744 is the earliest authentic date mentioned. Mr. Chaffers[15] says—and it has some interest to us Americans, as perhaps showing whence the old and great England drew its first porcelain life—“William Cookeworthy, of Plymouth, writing to a friend in 1745, says: ‘I had lately with me the person who has discovered the china-earth. He had with him several samples of the china-ware, which I think were equal to the Asiatic. It was found on the back of Virginia, where he was in quest of mines; and having read Du Halde, he discovered both the petunze and kaolin. It is this latter earth which he says is essential to the success of the manufacture. He is gone for a cargo of it, having bought from the Indians the whole country where it rises. They can import it for thirteen pounds sterling the ton,’ ” etc.{291}

It seems probable or possible that this earth was used to some extent in the earlier productions at Bow, as it is mentioned in the application of the company for patents, and as it appears that some hard porcelain is found among the earlier examples existing, in which this kaolin was perhaps used—called by the natives “unaker.”

The enterprise at Bow was purely a private one, originating with Edward Heylin, a merchant, and Thomas Frye, a painter. Unlike the works at Meissen, Sèvres, and indeed many others on the Continent, none of the factories in England had the assistance of the Government. The Bow works were afterward carried on by Crowther and Weatherby. In the British Museum is a large punch-bowl, made at Bow and painted by Thomas Craft, which is accompanied with his certificate. This statement shows that the works at Bow at that time (1760) had become extensive, if not profitable, for he mentions, “They employed there three hundred persons; about ninety painters (of whom I was one), and about two hundred turners, throwers, etc.”

The examples existing, and recently-discovered documents, go to show that the paste or body at Bow was not of supreme excellence, and not at all equal to that made on the Continent at that time. The painting was in a variety of designs, as appears by some memorandum-books, still existing: “Blue Newark pattern,” “sets of blue teas,” “a dinner-service,” “blue and pale as you please.” Tea-sets were evidently much made, and “white bud-sprigs,” “sprigged tea-sets,” and “Dresden sprigs,” are mentioned.

While all the first work at Bow was hand-painted, it appears that later, about 1756, printed or transfer work was used there; this, of course, secured cheaper sets.

A great variety and number of figures, such as shepherdesses, birds, animals, hunters, Chinese figures, etc., were made at Bow as well as at Chelsea, which, of course, have been much sought for, and have sold at high prices. Though these figures are not desirable as pieces of sculpture, many of them are interesting as showing the dresses of the day, especially such figures as Woodward the actor, and Mistress Kitty Clive, who were modeled at Bow.

Much confusion exists as to what is Bow and what is Chelsea, as{292} the styles of work run much together. Many pieces of each factory bore no mark. Some of the best-known marks will be given at the end of this account; but it may be well to say that the incised triangle, which for a long time was supposed to be a sure indication of Bow, is now placed with Chelsea. Some pieces marked “New Canton” are known to be Bow.

It is curious to note that he who would be a good salesman in those “good old times,” must do what salesmen in these later and baser times are sometimes tempted to do. Let me explain.

Mr. Bowcocke was a manager or salesman at Bow, and he kept a note-book, in which are written down his doings with Mrs. McNally, a good customer of the wares:

Oct. 16.Bought a china figure for Mrs. McNally    4s.
Painting 1s. 3d.
Treating Mrs. McNally, wine1s.
Went to see her home from the play1s.
Paid 2d.

If that were the only transaction, think of it!

Sales5s. 3d.
Expenses of same    2s. 4d.

Not lucrative to the Bow salesman!

The Bow works continued with varied success until about 1775 to 1776, when the moulds, implements, etc., were sold to Mr. Duesbury, who transferred and merged all into the greater works at Derby. (See Derby.)

Marks on Bow porcelain:

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These are found on some pieces.


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Positions vary. The triangle now is given to Chelsea, possibly to Derby, not to Bow.

Chelsea—Soft Paste.—The porcelain-works at Chelsea, near London, were begun before the year 1747, by some workmen brought from Burslem and elsewhere; a little later, in 1748 to 1749, they were more firmly established, under the direction of a foreigner named Sprimont, or Spremont. The works were carried on by him until about the year 1769, when they were advertised for sale, and he retired from the business.

Some very expensive, elaborate, and beautiful vases were made by him, of which two in the possession of Earl Dudley are said to be hardly surpassed by anything made at Dresden or Sèvres. The price paid for one of them, in 1868, was two thousand pounds sterling.

The first work made seems to have been in imitation of Chinese porcelain, and it is doubtful if much original designing was done at Chelsea. Chaffers says: “The fine vases in the French style, in imitation of Sèvres, with gros bleu, crimson, turquoise, and apple-green, were made from about 1760 to 1765.”

The illustration given (Fig. 147) is one of their most highly-decorated vases, and is unquestionably brilliant. But it has the vice, as it seems to me, of over-decoration; there is no restraint, none of the delicacy of true art. The form, too, lacks perfectness in many ways.

The want of invention or original design in England would seem to indicate that porcelain was not a natural or spontaneous art there. In France and in Saxony, on the contrary, while much of the taste is questionable, and some of it bad, many original and peculiar works were designed and executed. This was not the case in England; and, indeed, excepting Wedgwood, we can hardly point to any conspicuous{294} examples of creative power. Here the god of Trade comes in, for it pays better to copy than to create.

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Fig. 147.Fine Chelsea Vase.

About 1769 the Chelsea works went into the hands of Duesbury, of Derby, who carried them on in connection with his Derby works until about 1784, when all were transferred to Derby.

The paste or body used at Chelsea was so soft and tender that it was nearly valueless for works of use. It was therefore confined to articles of beauty and luxury, such as vases, bowls, dishes, cups, and tea-services; also to figures in great variety, like those made at Bow.{295} These are much, sought for, and command high prices. They have been counterfeited to some extent.

One very curious incident is quoted by Marryat, from Faulkner’s “History of Chelsea:” “Mr. H. Stephens was told by the foreman of the china-factory (then in the workhouse of St. Luke’s, Middlesex), that Dr. Johnson had conceived a notion that he was capable of improving on the manufacture of china.” He visited the factory with his house-keeper, had access to the various mixing-rooms, made his own composition, had them baked, etc., but always “completely failed.” The doctor retired in disgust.

That the brain of the purblind, the prejudiced, the arrogant British philosopher should have thought of many things, and should have believed himself capable of any and all things, is not surprising; but the sight of him in a porcelain-factory might well enough have originated the stories in history of “the bull in a china-shop.”

One might be pardoned for paying a “good penny” for a teacup modeled by the dexterous hands of Dr. Johnson.

Another curious fact which may interest and encourage us in these “trading-times” is, that the proprietors of the Chelsea works were then obliged to protest and petition against the smuggling of French and Dresden porcelain into England for sale in quantities, under the cover of the ministers’ privilege to import for their own use. So, if all the men in the days of our fathers were brave, they certainly were not all honest.

At the sale of the Bernal[16] collection, in 1855, some Chelsea china sold as follows:

A pair of beautiful globular scalloped vases and covers, deep blue, painted with exotic buds, with pierced borders and covers of the highest quality


A cup and saucer, with festoons in raised white (chipped)


Another, with flowers and crimson drapery edges


A beautiful two-handled cup and saucer, with medallions of Cupids in pink, and striped gold sides



Mr. Marryat mentions the sale of some “Chelsea” in 1865:

At Lord Cardogan’s sale, a pair of vases, painted with exotic buds on gold ground


A two-handled vase, open-work back and cover painted with flowers, on a gold ground, seventeen inches high


A fine figure of a female holding a branch, a lion at her feet, penciled in gold


Fifteen plates of old Chelsea, blue and gold, fetched


There are but few examples of Bow and Chelsea in this country. Mr. Prime, and Mr. Barlow, of New York, I am told, have some pieces. Mr. Wales has a bowl, and cup and saucer, in very rich, warm colors, being designs from china, which are no doubt Chelsea, and excellent work. They are shown in Fig. 148, on the right-hand corner, but this cannot, of course, give any idea of the fine coloring.

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Fig. 148.English Porcelain.


Marks of Chelsea porcelain:

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Derby—Soft Paste.—The Derby china—and the “Crown Derby,” now most known—was famous in its day—from about 1750 to the end of the century—and from Derby, in England, it was sold to a very wide extent over Europe. Specimens are met with in Holland, Italy, Spain, etc. The factory was established by William Duesbury, and was, after his death, carried on by his son; by a Mr. Reeve, who married the widow; and, in 1815, it went into the possession of Robert Bloor. The works were not finally closed till 1848. Duesbury, who purchased the moulds and property of both the Bow and the Chelsea factories, carried on the works at Derby and at Chelsea for some time; and much of the porcelain made at that time is called Chelsea-Derby. The early mark of the Derby was a capital D, and the Chelsea-Derby mark is the same D, with the Chelsea anchor in its middle. The crown with the anchor, or with crossed lines and dots, and sometimes with the D under it, was used after the patronage of George III. had been extended to the works (about 1777), and is now most commonly found upon the best work of this factory. After 1815 “Bloor’s” name is found upon the work.

During the best portion of Duesbury’s time, dinner, dessert, breakfast, and tea services, of great richness and splendor, were made; and at that time the patronage of nobility and gentry was more generous than it had been to any other English factory. Duesbury carried to great perfection the combination of a rich blue with gold, not only in{298} his vases, urns, etc., but also as edges to his dinner and tea services. “He has brought the gold and blue to a degree of beauty never before obtained in England, and the drawing and coloring of the flowers are truly elegant,” writes a tourist in 1777.

In the examples I have had an opportunity of seeing, this is true; but one is obliged to feel in this, as in almost all the fine china of England, a lack of perfection and delicacy in form and modeling.

Groups and figures were made in great variety and number at Derby, upon which no splendor or expense of gold and color was spared. These are found in nearly all the good collections of England and the Continent. At this time—the end of the last century—it was much the fashion for ladies to paint, for their own use and for gifts, single pieces, and indeed whole sets; and the white china of Derby was often sold for that purpose. These amateur productions occasionally find their way into the shops, and naturally perplex the collector.

Duesbury’s prices were not high. In an invoice extant we find:

Pair of knotting figures, finely enameled and gilt


Twenty-four dessert-plates, in medallions and grapes, each


Three large punch-bowls, painted, ye allusion of stag-hunting, hare-hunting, and fishing; each


Great care was taken that nothing but perfect work went from, the factory; this kept the character of the Derby works high. But it filled their shops with many “seconds.” When Mr. Bloor came into possession, of the factory, these seconds were sold by auction in various parts of England; and this greatly injured the name and fame of “Derby,” from which it did not recover.

The Bernal sale records of Chelsea-Derby and Derby:

Five old Derby plates, with Cupids in pink and flower borders


Three of Derby-Chelsea, with bases and deep-blue borders


A two-handled cup, cover, and saucer, with landscapes and roses on a yellow ground


None of these were the best work, and brought but corresponding prices.{299}

Marks used on Derby porcelain:

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Duesbury (1756). Derby-Chelsea (1770). First in lilac, then in red.
Crown Derby (1780). Sometimes D is in old English—D (1780). Imitation of Sèvres (1798).
Imitation of Chinese. Probably workman’s mark. Sometimes in oval (about 1830).

Lowestoft—Soft and mostly Hard Paste.—Much uncertainty, discussion, and perplexity, have prevailed concerning the porcelain made at Lowestoft, on the eastern coast of England, near Yarmouth.

About 1756, as is agreed to by both Marryat and Chaffers, a gentleman named Luson attempted a manufactory of pottery and porcelain there, which was not successful. Shortly after another was attempted, which for a time succeeded well; in this Mr. Robert Browne was the principal man. Pottery and porcelain were made here in great variety and in considerable quantities—much of it for exportation, and especially for the Turkish markets; and some of it appears to have been marked with a crescent, like that made at Worcester. But, as a rule, no marks, either of the factory or the painter, were used at Lowestoft.

Not only was pottery, or earthenware, made here, but the early porcelain was soft ware. Mr. Chaffers states that, about 1775, hard{300} paste was made there in close imitation of Chinese. He states, also, that some of the heavier pieces, like tureens and punch-bowls, had a sort of uneven surface, as if it had been patted into shape by the hand or a tool. This patted or uneven surface is a defect; but as this is found also in heavy pieces of porcelain, which are Chinese beyond question, it ceases to be a distinguishing mark of Lowestoft work—if, indeed, it is a mark of it at all, which one may be permitted still to doubt.

Some of the work reached great perfection, and the egg-shell cups, etc., made there are said to be equal to any others made in Europe. Among the peculiar decorations were hares’ heads for handles, fruits for knobs of covers, doubled handles to mugs, braided or crossed, which are asserted to be quite distinct from Oriental designs.

“Another striking variety is the fan and feather pattern, in imitation of Capo di Monte, painted in purple, blue, and red, in the form of basins and ewers. Many of these vases are elaborately painted, with diaper-work in gold, and colors, and escutcheons of flowers, and small landscapes. Among all the flowers and exquisite floral patterns the rose predominates, and it is remarkable how easily the peculiar touch of the artist—whose name was Rose—can be detected. Another style of decoration peculiar to Lowestoft is a rococo scroll or running border of flowers, slightly raised upon the plain surface in opaque white enamel.”

In the collection of Mr. J. V. L. Pruyn, at Albany, is quite a large dinner-service with the rose-decoration, which we can easily believe to be true Lowestoft. The colors are not brilliant, nor is the glaze perfect. The paste lacks the whiteness of the best Chinese, and is lighter than any true Chinese porcelain I have seen. Some persons in this country think that many or most of the dinner and tea services ordered in the United States during the last century, and which it was supposed were made in China, really came from Lowestoft through Liverpool or Bristol; among them those sets which bore initials in a sort of shield, and were finished on the edges with a deep-blue band studded with gold stars. It seems certain that this kind of decoration was done at Lowestoft; it is equally certain that it was also done in{301} China, from designs sent out there. I have myself some pieces so decorated, which were imported direct from China to New Haven about the end of the last century.

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Fig. 149.Lowestoft Porcelain.

The perplexity and discussion existing as to the hard-paste porcelain made at Lowestoft have been increased by the statements made by Mr. Marryat and Mr. Jewett, in England, that much white undecorated porcelain was imported into Lowestoft from China, and was painted in England. Some of the forms and decorations made at Lowestoft are so like those made in China that it has been almost impossible to distinguish them. To a person not interested, this will seem a matter of the very slightest consequence; to a china-fancier quite the contrary. Sydney Smith, you will remember, said it was strange, but quite true, that “there were persons living who spoke disrespectfully of the equator, but we should bear with them and pity them.” This advice we must apply to those who care nothing about porcelain.{302}

Mr. Chaffers, in his work, “Marks and Monograms on Pottery and Porcelain,” presents very strong and varied testimony to show that no white porcelain was imported from China and painted at Lowestoft; that the hard paste made at Lowestoft is quite different, and not so hard as that made in China, and need not be confounded with it. My own belief is that much of what is called “Lowestoft,” both in England and in the United States, was made in China.

We engrave (Fig. 149) a pretty tea-service from Mr. Wales’s collection, which will recall to many of our readers what they have seen on their grandmothers’ tables any time in this century. It is a style of decoration which was done at Lowestoft, and also in China.

No marks were used on the Lowestoft.

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Fig. 150.Lowestoft Plate.

The next illustration (Fig. 150), from the collection of John V. L. Pruyn, Esq., of Albany, is characteristic as showing the use of the rose at Lowestoft. No better example of it probably exists in this country. The paste is peculiar, and not like much which is called Lowestoft. The plate is sixteen and a half inches in diameter, the colors are good, and the painting is carefully done.{303}

Worcester—Soft Paste.—At Worcester, in the year 1751, the Worcester Porcelain Company was formed, which has continued from that day to this. Dr. Wall, a physician and chemist, has the credit of being the originator of this the largest and most enduring of English porcelain-works. The clergy of the cathedral were greatly interested, and had much to do with the success of the company.

In the beginning, it seems, there was a large production of tea and breakfast services for domestic use; and much of this was like the Chinese blue and white, copied from Oriental designs. Afterward a trade sprung up with Turkey, and much china was made for that market. Many of the early marks, and particularly upon the Oriental designs, were copies of those found upon pieces of Chinese porcelain; among which the square seal-mark (given further on) is most often met with. The crescent, which is a well-known Worcester mark, most likely came into use when the production of porcelain for the Saracen markets became an important business. It is curious to note how very large a demand for fine china came from Turkey at that day, and it exists still. It is now some four years ago that I found, in Holland, a large selection of high-priced china had just been made for Constantinople, and I was told then that there was always a good demand there, and at good prices. The Turk is not altogether abominable, though he is a most disturbing quantity in the politics of Europe (1876 to 1878).

The blue, so much in use in the early decoration, was not a good color, being inclined toward black; but afterward this was greatly improved—approaching the fine cobalt color, though it never reached the exquisite “celestial blue” of Nanking.

A very large production at Worcester was in making copies of vases and other work done at Dresden, upon which birds, insects, and flowers, were painted with great care; so much so that, if the paste were not different, it might not be easy to distinguish them from the Dresden. The crossed swords and caduceus (see Dresden marks) were also used as marks on these.

It is quite clear that those things which imitated what other nations did, sold best at that time in England; and this, more than poverty of invention, we may suppose induced those excellent English artists to{304} copy rather than create. Chaffers mentions the following as the most noted painters at Worcester: Pennington, figures; Astle, flowers; Davis, exotic birds; Webster, landscapes and flowers; Barber, shells; Brewer, landscapes; Baxter, Lowe, and Cole, figure-subjects; Billingsly, flowers.

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Fig. 151.Royal Worcester Porcelain.

Printing in black upon the porcelain was practised at Worcester to a considerable extent; and mugs with pictures of Frederick the Great seem to have been popular at that day, and are much sought for now. The portraits of George II. and III. were also in demand, as well as many others.

The flower-painting upon this, as upon all other European porcelain, was naturalistic—copied, as nearly as possible, from Nature. Good as much of it is beyond question, it fails to give to most persons the{305} gratification which comes from the Oriental treatment. The last is decoration, the first is imitation.

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Fig. 152.Worcester and Spode Porcelain.

The rich dark blues, lighted up with much gilding, is a characteristic of some of the best Worcester work, as well as that made at Derby.

Without reaching the fine translucency of the Dresden and Sèvres paste or body, that at Worcester was a great advance upon the other{306} English factories, inasmuch as it was strong and durable; and the glaze was also better; it did not “craze”—shoot into cracks—like much of that made at Derby.

In 1783 the works went into the possession of the Messrs. Flight. In 1793 they were carried on by Flight and Barr. In 1840 they were controlled by Chamberlain; and at the present time (1876) they are in charge of Mr. K. W. Binns, who employs a great force, and produces much excellent work, and some which may be called exquisite. His imitations of Limoges enamels and Chinese ivory-work are perfect; as it seems to me, quite too good. I should like to see such perfection applied to genuine work and to original design. He has also made a specialty of reproducing curious examples of Japanese, Chinese, and Corean porcelain, sometimes identically and sometimes in modified forms. We engrave (Fig. 151) a fine example of the latter from the collection of Messrs. Tiffany and Company, of New York.

Among our illustrations (see Fig. 148) are two plates containing portraits of Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Dürer. The colors are red, brown, and gold; also a teacup and saucer, most delightfully and richly painted. These are in the possession of G. W. Wales, Esq., of Boston. In Fig. 152 is a teapot in rich blue and gold, part of a set belonging to Mr. W. C. Prime. This has the mark + of Bristol, but, as it is soft paste, it is probably Worcester.

Marks of Worcester porcelain:

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Worcester crescent (1755). Used down to 1793. Used by Dr. Wall.
Imitation Chinese. Imitation Oriental. Imitation Oriental.


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Imitation Dresden.
Messrs. Flight (1783 to 1788). Flight and Barr (1793 to 1807). Barr (1793 to 1803). Barr, Flight and Barr (1807 to 1818).

The marks used at the present time at Worcester (1876) are as follows:

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In use since 1852.      In use since 1857.

Chamberlain’s—Worcester.—In 1786 Robert and Humphrey Chamberlain began a porcelain-factory at Worcester. Robert had learned the business in the old Worcester works, and was an accomplished man. Some splendidly-decorated porcelain was made by them; and a breakfast-set, made for Lord Nelson, is quite famous. Pieces of it are found in collections. The Chamberlains employed the best painters, and paid high wages. Their expensive work was made rich with much gold.

A dessert-service in the possession of Mr. W. C. Prime, of New York, shows this, and is brilliant and effective. We engrave one of the plates (Fig. 152). The birds are tropical, and fine in color, and the plants are bordered with gold. The Chamberlains’ factories are now incorporated with the “Worcester Company,” under the charge of Mr. Binns.

The Chamberlains’ first mark was the name “Chamberlain,” written{308} with a brush in a running hand. Afterward a stamp was used, containing a crown and the names “Chamberlain and Company,” and Worcester. Then the names simply of


Marks of Chamberlain porcelain:

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Plymouth—Hard Porcelain.—The first true or hard-paste porcelain made in England was made by William Cookworthy, who, being greatly interested in porcelain-making, established a factory at Plymouth about 1760. He seems to have discovered the true kaolin clays in Cornwall, the beds from which so much of the English clays are now taken. He took out patents for “a kind of porcelain newly invented, composed of Moorstone or growan, and growan clay,” found in Devon and Cornwall. He advertised for painters, and a Frenchman named Soqui seems to have been very skillful. Bone, also, was one of his best painters. The ware made was perfect hard porcelain, but it was much more costly than the ordinary soft porcelain of England, and could not compete with it for price. Many of the pieces were warped or crazed in the strong heat necessarily used, and the loss in this way was great. Besides this, the good public did not care to pay high for what then had no prestige, and was really no more beautiful than the soft-paste porcelain of England. As the first hard-paste porcelain made in England, and as but little of it was made, it is now valued by china-collectors, and it sells for high prices.

Some highly-finished dinner and tea services made there, like the Nanking blue, are excellent, and are much valued. Vases and other pieces painted in colors, with birds and other highly-colored designs, were also produced in the same styles as those made on the Continent. Figures, also, then much in fashion, were modeled here, like those made at Chelsea and elsewhere.{309}

Cookworthy spent much money, and made none, and he came to his end. At last, in 1774, he sold his interests and patents to Champion, of Bristol, and the work ceased.

The mark used was the sign of the planet Jupiter—very nearly the figure 4. It was somewhat varied.

Marks used on Plymouth porcelain:

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Marks used on Plymouth porcelain

Bristol—Hard Paste.—The production at Bristol grew out of that at Plymouth, of which we have given a brief account. Richard Champion, merchant, of Bristol, was a man of much activity and ability. He took up the making of porcelain with eagerness, and is said to have produced both soft and hard china at his factory. The hard paste was used after his purchase of the patents, etc., of the Plymouth factory in 1774. Besides some very indifferent porcelain, some very beautiful work was made at Bristol; and for two or three years there was much activity there. But Champion, having no technical knowledge or skill, and but insufficient capital, soon failed, and the work ceased in 1777. He emigrated to South Carolina, where he died in 1791.

So little of this Bristol hard porcelain was made that it now brings great prices.

Blue and white tea and dessert services, in the style of the Chinese, were made there, as were many articles decorated with flowers. Walpole mentions, in his list of prices, “a cup and saucer, white, with green festoons of flowers, of Bristol porcelain.”

Marryat refers to a fine tea and coffee service made for Edmund Burke in 1774, who presented it to a Mrs. Smith, who had entertained him during his election. He says: “The china is rich in gilding, the design elegant, and the execution good.”

Mrs. James, of Cambridge, has one or two cups and saucers of blue{310} hard paste marked with the + in gold—not in blue, which was the usual mark of Bristol; but there is little doubt that these are true Bristol.

Marks found on Bristol porcelain:

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About 1773. Imitation of Oriental.
The cross is impressed. Crossed swords of Dresden. Supposed to be the name of
Tebo, a modeler.

Pinxton, Derbyshire—Soft Paste.—About 1793 to 1794 a small manufactory of porcelain was started at Pinxton by John Coke and William Billingsly. This last had been a practical potter and an excellent painter of flowers at Derby. He had some secrets for mixing his paste, which secured great translucency, but it was very tender, and easily damaged or destroyed in the kiln. This peculiar paste made by him at Pinxton, afterward at Nantgarw or Nantgarow, and at Swansea, breaks with a granulated fracture, and is quite different in this respect from any other. A favorite decoration was what was termed the “French sprig,” composed of forget-me-nots and gold sprigs scattered over the plate. Flowers and landscapes also were painted, and the dishes were usually finished with a blue or a gold edge. No marks were used, though a letter P is sometimes attributed to this factory.

Nantgarw—Hard Porcelain.—This porcelain-factory in Glamorganshire was started in 1813 by the same Billingsly. He made a clear and beautiful paste, and his productions, whether made at Pinxton, Nantgarw, or Swansea, are highly valued.

The mark was nearly always Nantgarw, impressed.{311}

Swansea.—Earthen-ware was made at Swansea as early as 1750 in considerable quantities. But it was not till near the end of the century that porcelain was produced there by Messrs. Haines and Company.

The porcelain subsequently made (about 1814, and later) is now much prized. About 1820 the Swansea works were purchased by Mr. Rose, and all was concentrated at Coalport.

Both at Nantgarw and Swansea very free and finely-colored roses appear on the work, probably done by Billingsly. But little of either of these factories exists.

Marks used on Swansea porcelain:

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Turner (Thomas) erected a porcelain-factory at Caughley, near Bridgnorth, in 1775. The Caughley works were commenced in 1751 by Mr. Browne, of Caughley Hall, in a small way, for earthen-ware, and reached little distinction until they came into the hands of Turner. Turner made excellent porcelain, and has the credit of introducing the famous “Willow-pattern”—copied from the Nanking blue; also the “blue Dragon”—into England. The principal marks are as follows.

Marks of Caughley and of Turner:

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Used in 1750. Used in 1772. Used by Rose in 1799.
Various Marks.


Coalport, in Colebrook Dale, Shropshire.—Works were established here by Mr. John Rose, about 1780 to 1790. The Caughley works were subsequently incorporated with these, as were the Swansea and Nantgarw works. The factory is still in operation at Coalport, where fine porcelain is produced.

Marks used at Coalport:

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About 1787.

Herculaneum.—This pottery was established near Liverpool in 1790, by Richard Abbey; about 1796 it went into the hands of Messrs. Worthington, Humble, and Holland. Porcelain was made here, though earthen-ware was the principal production. On nearly all the porcelain the name “Herculaneum” is either printed or stamped. The works ceased wholly about the year 1841, having passed through a number of hands. The site is now occupied by the Herculaneum Dock, at Liverpool.

Shelton, or New Hall—Hard Paste.—A small factory of porcelain grew up at Shelton, out of the wreck of Champion’s works at Bristol. Champion appears to have sold his patents and good-will to a partnership of potters about 1777, and Champion himself became their superintendent for a time at Tunstall. Afterward the works were removed to the New Hall, at Shelton.

The work done was hard paste, and much like that made at Bristol, the same workmen and processes being employed. At first hard porcelain was made, which was stamped with an “N.” After 1810 soft paste was used, and the mark then was “New Hall,” in a circle.

The factory went out of existence in 1825.

Rockingham.—Some admirable porcelain was made at the Swinton pottery, under the patronage of the Marquis of Rockingham, upon whose estate the factory stood. About 1807 the works went into the{313} hands of the two Bramelds, who made porcelain of the best description, sparing no pains or cost to bring it to perfection. Of course, they could make no money—it is not easy when one gives more than one gets. Some of the pieces of “Rockingham” rank as high as any made in England. Specimens are rare in England, and I know of none in this country. The works ceased in 1842.

The mark was a griffin, the Rockingham crest:

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Spode.—Some of the richest and most beautiful English porcelain I have ever seen is marked “Spode.” A tea-set, in Fig. 152 (cup and saucer, and sugar-bowl), is perfect in form, paste, and decoration; the bands are in high colors, and the flowers, which appear black in the engraving, are of a subtile blue.

The sugar-bowl on the right, in the same plate (Fig. 152), is highly and richly colored. No black-and-white print can give anything of the splendor of color of some pieces of Spode I saw in England, or of the piece here figured, which is from Mr. Prime’s collection.

There seems to have been no fashion or “rage” for this delightful work in England—just why, it is not easy to explain; consequently, prices have not risen beyond the means of ordinary mortals.

The first “ ‘Siah Spode” worked as an apprentice with Mr. Whieldon, of Fenton, in 1749, at 2s. 3d. or 2s. 6d. per week, “if he deserved it.” When he became his own man, in 1754, he got 7s. 6d. per week—quite a different wages-tale from what is now told at Worcester.

His son, Josiah Spode, began the porcelain fabric about the year 1800, at Stoke, under the firm-name of Spode, Son, and Copeland. He is said to have introduced bones into the paste—now in general use in soft porcelain.{314}

In 1833 the works were purchased by Alderman W. T. Copeland. In 1843 the firm-name was Copeland and Garrett. Afterward, Alderman Copeland alone was again the proprietor. His mark was two crossed C’s, with the name Copeland beneath:

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The works are now conducted under the name of W. T. Copeland and Sons, and the mark is nearly the same, the only difference being that the crossed C’s are ornamented.

The Copelands are noted for the excellence of the style and finish of their higher grades of porcelain, in which they are surpassed by no other English house. One of their specialties is jeweled porcelain, in which jewels are represented by colored enamels with fine effect. We give an example of this in Fig. 153, from the collection of Messrs. Tiffany and Company.

Mr. Francis Place, a gentleman of Yorkshire, made porcelain late in the 1600’s or early in the 1700’s. A few examples of it only are known to exist, and it probably was made rather as an experiment, and did not reach a commercial circulation.

H. and R. Daniell, of Stoke and Shelton, made fine porcelain and stoneware as early as 1826. Some of this porcelain is highly praised by Chaffers. It is doubtful if we have any of it in the United States.

Wedgwoods.—The old house of Wedgwood, founded by Josiah—of whom I speak in another place—is still in active service, and has in these later years produced porcelain of great excellence.

Minton’s works, at Stoke-upon-Trent, are now very extensive. Not only is porcelain made there in great variety, but earthen-ware and tiles largely.

The factory was established in 1791, by Thomas Minton. Some of{315} the most elaborate pieces of porcelain-work are now made there. The mark is “Minton,” stamped on the pieces.

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Fig. 153.Copeland’s Jeweled Porcelain.

Among the principal artists in the Messrs. Mintons’ employ is M. Solon, formerly of Sèvres, who has produced some exquisite vases in pâte-sur-pâte—a method which consists in working, upon a dark body or paste, designs in a white or lighter paste. This, being semi-transparent, admits of delicate shading and modeling. This fascinating and finished style of work originated, so far as we know, in France, where some admirable pieces have been made, more perfect even than those by M. Solon. The vases by him, which were exhibited in Philadelphia in 1876, and which were sold to Sir Richard Wallace for six hundred guineas, have a deep olive-green body, upon which the figures seem floating, as if they had just appeared from the dark, or might at any moment sink into it. The mystery and strength of color no one can fathom or explain, nor can one at all put into words the ineffable satisfaction which one receives from such work as this. It is gratifying to know that two pairs of these vases were bought in this country—one{316} by the Philadelphia Industrial Museum, and one by Henry Gibson, Esq., of that city.

The example which we engrave (Fig. 154) is from the collection of Messrs. Tiffany and Company, of New York. The ground is a luminous blue, the figures in a delicate white.

Although M. Solon has transferred his labors to England, he must be regarded as the outcome rather of the French than of the English soil.

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Fig. 154.Vase in Pâte-sur-Pâte, by Solon.

Another feature of the Minton productions is the imitation of cloisonné work, using porcelain instead of metal, and painting on it with colors mixed with opaque enamels, as is practised also in China. We give a fine representation in Fig. 155.{317}

The technical excellence of the modern English porcelain is very great, but it is not remarkable for originality of design. The tea and dinner services shown at the Philadelphia Exhibition were great in number, variety, and excellence. We give illustrations of some pieces made by Messrs. Brown-Westhead, Moore and Company (Figs. 156 and Fig. 157), which were satisfactory.

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Fig. 155.Bottle, in Cloisonné.

Messrs. Bromfield and Son also had some excellent examples of dinner-porcelain. The excellence of the paste and the finish were notable in all of the displays by the many English exhibitors.

In such an exhibition one looks, of course, for pieces made specially to catch the eye and excite surprise, which might be called the gymnastics{318} of art; and one is usually gratified. The exhibition was rich with them, and, of course, they demanded attention, and achieved their purpose.

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Fig. 156.Porcelain of Brown-Westhead, Moore and Company.

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Fig. 157.Porcelain of Brown-Westhead, Moore and Company.

The largest and most varied exhibition was made by Messrs. Daniells and Son, of London; and they had collected their work from many potters, some of them among the most distinguished of England at the present time.{319}



Holland and Belgium.—Oriental Trade.—Weesp.—Marks.—Loosdrecht.—Amstel, Old and New.—Marks.—The Hague.—Marks.—Lille.—Mark.—Tournay.—Marks.—Sweden.—Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII.—Marieberg.—Rörstrand.—Marks.—Denmark.—Copenhagen.—Marks.—Russia.—Peter the Great.—Catherine II.—Marks.—Tver.—Gardner.—Moscow.—Popoff.—Gulena.—Mark.—Poland.—Korzec.

HOLLAND and Belgium.—It may be said that long before Holland attempted the production of porcelain she had been making faience or earthen-ware, which is now well known under the name of delft, of which I have given a condensed account elsewhere.

When one remembers that Holland has long winters and cool summers; that her people have not only had to fight their fellow-men, but have had to snatch from the cruel sea a considerable portion of what is now dry land; that she has had to build two hundred miles of broad and strong dikes, and to see that they are always strong and safe; and, added to this, has had to draw forth from the soil and the sea the food to feed her millions—when one remembers these things, one well may wonder that there has grown up there such a love for art as has produced the most interesting school of painters in all the world; that all over this hollow land are well-built cities and most comfortable houses, and that in these houses are probably more fine porcelains and curious clocks, pictures, and tapestries, than in any other land, one wonders still more.

The two secrets which help to explain this singular success are these: This necessary warfare with Nature has made a hardy, a patient, and a frugal people. Not only has this people conquered and subdued the land—it has also conquered and subdued the sea, and has{320} drawn stores of wealth from both. So it has come to pass that one hundred thousand men were engaged, in the last century, in the fisheries, and a common saw was that “the foundations of Amsterdam were laid on herring-bones.”

But these fisheries created a class of men who were ready to rove the ocean in search of good or gold. Her daring navigators soon followed Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope, and in due time succeeded to the trade of the East, which she held for over two centuries, and out of which she gained untold wealth; with which she built cities and castles and churches; with which she paid artists; with which she stocked her houses with the finest porcelains of the East.

Thus, from that early day, a great love for fine porcelain has existed in the “Low Countries”—what we now know as Holland and Belgium. At the present time no field bears a better yield for the gleaner who seeks fine examples of old porcelain, and especially of the Oriental, than these countries. Thousands upon thousands of porcelains were imported into Holland after the year 1640, whence they were distributed over Europe. But Holland could not hold her monopoly of trade; France and England sought to grasp it, too, and England succeeded. During the last century England has steadily drawn the trade of the East to herself, and Holland has lost what England has gained.

In the many changes consequent upon this, many stores of good porcelain gathered in Holland have gradually come to be sold to persons who wanted them more than the Dutch did.

Out of this great trade with the Orientals it is easy to see that the Dutch should come to be connoisseurs and lovers of porcelain. It is also easy to see that a sufficient interest should spring up there, after the discovery of true porcelain at Dresden, to induce persons to attempt the manufacture in Holland. This was stimulated during the Seven Years’ War, when the works at Meissen (Dresden) were closed, and for a time broken up. Then in Holland, as well as in other countries of Europe, there was an opportunity. The love for porcelain had grown great after the discoveries at Dresden, and the demand for it was vastly increased. The disturbances in Saxony, amounting to prohibition of the manufacture, gave other countries a possible chance to{321} compete with the advantages of Saxony, which otherwise were overwhelming. Still, in Holland no great commercial success was reached. In none of these northern countries has the making of fine porcelain been an assured success. This is owing to many causes, among which we may point to—

1. The genius of the people does not impel them.

2. The clay and the wood and the coal are not at their doors.

3. Other nations have taken the lead and driven them from the markets of the world, sometimes from their own.

In the Low Countries we may mention as places where the manufacture was attempted—with, however, only a fictile life: Weesp, Loosdrecht, Arnheim, Amsterdam, Amstel—old and new—The Hague, Tournay, Brussels, Luxemburg, Lille (now in France).

Weesp—Hard Paste.—The first effort was made at Weesp, not far from Amsterdam, about 1764, during the Seven Years’ War. For a short time, until 1771, fine and white porcelain was made here, but not in great quantities, and the attempt was not a commercial success.

The marks were:

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At Loosdrecht (Hard Paste), not far from Utrecht, De Moll began a small factory in 1772. He made a fine quality of china, closely following the Dresden. It had but a short existence. His mark was “M o L.,” meaning Manufactur oude Loosdrecht.

Amstel (Oude), near Amsterdam, made the next essay (1782), and produced good porcelain; but it could not hold its own against that which the English were now sending forth into the markets of the world—patriotism was not equal to cope with cheapness.

The mark was the letters A and D combined, in script.{322}

At New Amstel, nearer to Amsterdam, the attempt was also made, which continued through 1808 to 1810, when it too died. The mark here was also in script.

Marks used at Amsterdam:

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Fig. 158.Porcelain of The Hague.

At The Hague, about 1775, both hard and soft porcelain was made, and of great excellence. More was done here than at Amsterdam, and the work was of superior quality. Some of the painting was excellent—equal to that done at Dresden. Tea and dinner services of great beauty were made, which are now and then to be bought in{323} Europe. The examples shown in Fig. 158 are a plate, and cup and saucer, from Mr. Wales’s collection.

The mark was a stork holding a fish, the symbol of the town.

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At Lille (Soft Porcelain), Sieurs Dorez and Pelissier, uncle and nephew, were granted privileges for making porcelain as early as 1711, and this with that at St.-Cloud were the only factories at that time in Europe. But little is known of this ware, except that it resembled that made at St.-Cloud, and that it had no distinctive mark. Hard porcelain was afterward made there (1784) by one Durot, which showed great excellence, the decoration being mostly flowers and gold. These pieces are quite rare.

The mark was a crowned dolphin.

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At Tournay (Doornick) soft-paste porcelain was made in 1750, and a very large business was done at one time, as many as two hundred workmen being employed in 1762. Chaffers says this factory is still at work, and that pâte tendre is still made there, which is in close imitation of that once made at Sèvres.

The mark of the tower is sometimes referred to Tournay, and sometimes to the porcelain made at Vincennes. It is in doubt. The other mark in gold indicates best; in blue or red, second-best. The marks “To” and “Ty” are supposed to be old marks of Tournay.{324}

The marks used:

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Sweden.—That the coldest and most savage country of Europe should be rich in anything except men and women is strange. And is it? According to the standards of England or America, we may say, No. And yet travelers tell us that in the towns and on the country estates are houses rich with works of art, and filled with books. So far as these go they indicate wealth and leisure. But the best sign of a prosperous people is not pictures; neither is it books. Is it not that more than one-half her people own their lands and raise the food they eat? Is it not that the greedy cormorant called “Trade” has not shut up most of her people in those Bastiles called factories, and thus degraded body and soul to the verge of, if not into, the gulf of pauperism and vice?

This helps to explain the general well-being which is still to be found in those northern countries of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark; but it does not fully explain whence came the first flow of wealth and the first gatherings of art into Sweden. I believe they came from the great and successful wars of Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII.

By no possibility can war be careful of the rights of man. War is intended to hurt, to exhaust, to consume other nations. War not only takes food and munitions in the conquered country; it takes whatever it wants and can take, whether of necessaries, luxuries, gold, or art. War, we know, enabled the first and great Napoleon to enrich his palaces and the museums of Paris with the finest works of art found in the countries he overran. War, I do not doubt, brought into Sweden the beginnings of those collections which now count many of the fine pictures of Guido and Raphael, of Teniers and Douw. Frugality and general well-doing have done the rest; so that all through the south{325} of Sweden, and less in Norway, are to be found delightful houses and cultivated people. But neither Sweden nor Norway has made Art the first business or first glory of life; and well for her that they have not. This is the ornament and finish of the structure, not its body or soul.

We do not look, therefore, to find here any such institutions as those of Meissen or Sèvres.

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Fig. 159.Marieberg Porcelain and Faience.

At Marieberg, near Stockholm, in 1759, porcelain of a good quality was made, and continued to be made in a small way for some twenty years. Before this, faience or pottery was made there, and at Rörstrand, as early as 1727. Some good examples were at the Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876. Of the work of Marieberg I know of none{326} in this country, except that in Mr. Wales’s collection, at Boston, consisting of some small porcelain custard-cups and a very beautiful faience vase, both of which we have had engraved (Fig. 159).

The mark used:

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The three crowns and the letters MB are sometimes followed by the private marks of the painters, as in the above.

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Fig. 160.Porcelain of Denmark.

Denmark.—Porcelain, it is believed, was made at Copenhagen as early as 1760; but it did not continue for a long time. Few specimens of this early work are believed to exist. A hard-paste factory{327} was begun in 1772, by Müller, who, with the aid of the Baron von Lang, made a company, by which the capital was raised. It did not pay, and in 1775 it became a royal factory, and the Government paid its annual deficit. Excellent work was made here, the great aim being to equal the production at Dresden. It was up-hill work and a costly whim. Within a short time (1876) the works are said to have gone into private hands, who are prosecuting the business with vigor and skill. Certainly a very creditable display was made by some three or four firms of Copenhagen at the Philadelphia Exhibition in 1876. In faience and terra-cotta they have arrived at great excellence. The Greek vase has been there revived, and copied with much precision. Seipsius and Ruch are mentioned by Marryat as the leading painters at the royal works at Copenhagen in the last century. Our illustration, from Mr. Wales’s collection, is good work, and follows the lead of the Dresden painters (Fig. 160).

In the “Manual of Marks,” by Hooper and Phillips, are two marks—given here—but the “three wavy lines” is the mark almost universally known. They indicate the waters of the Sound and Great and Little Belts.

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Russian Porcelain—Hard Paste.—When Peter Alexeyevitch, called Peter the Great—that shrewd savage—undertook to make his kingdom a power in Europe, he soon saw that he must create among his people wants which then did not exist. In 1697 he made his first pilgrimage to the dock-yards of Saardam and the quays of London, to see for himself what those nations did to make themselves rich and strong, feared if not loved. He found ships, trade, factories. He went back to his barbarians, and forced them to build a new port—St. Petersburg (1703); set them to work to make dock-yards, to build ships, to organize{328} factories; he forced upon them new wants and new industries. If he did not make them happier, he certainly made them stronger. He organized them, combined them, so that they moved at his own powerful will. His successors, following his example, have made Russia the second power of Europe. When, in 1716, Peter visited Paris, he carried back to his capital great store of works of art—not that he cared for works of art, but his savage shrewdness told him these were the things which the growing and grasping nations of Western Europe valued; and so he would have them, too. But Art has had but an imitative life in Russia, even to this present time. Now, her silversmiths, and at least one artist, a worker of bronze named Lanceray, have made such exquisite work, and shown it at the Philadelphia Exhibition in 1876, that one begins to believe that Art in this savage Russia may not forever be content to copy what some one else has done. As to porcelain, Russia has not done much, but yet something.

The Government of Russia, inspired, like the rest, after the success at Dresden, with the desire to produce fine works, at once made efforts to secure the services of accomplished men to establish a porcelain-manufactory. This appears to have been done in the year 1744, by the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, when good porcelain was produced, probably in small amount. In 1765, however, the Empress Catherine II., with her accustomed restless energy, threw herself into the competition. She enlarged the works and secured whatever was possible of artists and workmen, and produced some of the finest porcelains of Europe. The clays used appear to have been wholly Russian, and her market was mostly with the rich nobility of her own kingdom. Still the china-fanciers of all Europe, then even more eager than now, purchased the Russian work; and it is found in good collections, though but little of it is offered for sale.

M. Demmin quotes from a Russian work of 1773: “Il existe une fabrique de porcelaine, située sur la Néva, route de Schlüsselburg, à quatorze versts de Pétersbourg. Elle fabrique des porcelaines tellement belles et fines, qu’elles ne le cèdent en rien à la porcelaine de Saxe, soit pour la blancheur et la finesse de l’émail, soit pour la beauté du décor. Sa blancheur est même supérieure à celle de Meissen. Le directeur{329}, l’inspecteur, tous les maîtres et ouvriers sont à la solde de la cour,” etc.

The porcelain has a fine glaze, the paste being hard and slightly bluish; the decorations usually highly finished in the styles prevailing at Dresden.

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Fig. 161.Russian Porcelain.

The piece shown in Fig. 161 is a teapot, of superior glaze and finish, from Mr. Wales’s collection; the handle and spout are peculiar, finishing, as they do, with the neck and head of a bird, ending at the base of the spout in a small wing-decoration. The paste, the glaze, and the painting of the teapot and the cup and saucer are excellent.

The Russian marks most used are:

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A mark in blue, supposed to be an early one. The Empress Catherine II.’s mark (1762 to 1796). The Emperor Paul’s mark (1796 to 1801).
The Emperor Alexander I.’s mark (1801 to 1825). The Emperor Nicholas’s mark (1825 to 1855). The mark now is a crown, with the letter A in script, Alexander II.


Tver.—About 1787 an Englishman named Gardner made some porcelain at Tver, of which so little is to be obtained that it is hardly known in collections. His mark seems to have been [image of symbol not available], the monogram in Russian letters of A. Gardner, and sometimes the full name in Russian characters.

Moscow.—In 1830 some porcelain was made at Moscow by A. Popoff, a piece of which is in the South Kensington Museum, marked with his name in Russian characters. There seems also to have been porcelain made at Moscow by M. Gulena, of which little is known. His mark was the initial letters of Fabrica Gospodina, and his own name, in Russian characters.

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Poland.—At Korzec, in Poland, in 1803, a Frenchman named Mérault, from Sèvres, made porcelain for a few years, probably in small quantity; and a mark upon some pieces of his is a triangle containing an eye.{331}



The First Porcelain made here.—Bonnin and Morris.—Franklin Institute.—William Ellis Tucker.—Tucker and Hemphill.—Thomas Tucker.—General Tyndale.—Porcelain of T. C. Smith and Sons.—Early Advertisements.—Josiah Wedgwood.—Lord Sheffield’s Report.—Alexander Hamilton’s Report.—History of Norwich.—Samuel Dennis, New Haven.—Isaac Hanford, Hartford.—Gallatin’s Report.—The “Washington Pitchers.”—Lyman and Fenton, Vermont.—Rouse and Turner, New Jersey.—Potteries at Trenton.—In Ohio.—The Centennial Exhibition.

DOUBTS have been expressed whether Porcelain was made in the United States as early as 1770; though there was no question as to the existence of the true china-clays, and that Wedgwood and other potters in England knew of them and had used them. More, they were fearful that they would be put to use in this country, to the injury of their trade.

The investigations of Charles Henry Hart, Esq., of Philadelphia, seem to remove the doubt as to the making of porcelain in that city as early as 1769 or 1770. Looking over the newspapers, he finds, under date of December 29, 1769, an advertisement as follows:

“NEW CHINA-WARE.—Notwithstanding the various difficulties and disadvantages which usually attend the introduction of any important manufacture into a new country, the proprietors of the china-works now erecting in Southwark have the pleasure to acquaint the public that they have proved to a certainty that the clays of America are productive of as good PORCELAIN as any heretofore manufactured at the famous factory in Bow, near London,” etc.

Subsequently other advertisements appeared for apprentices, etc., signed by G. Bonnin and G. A. Morris. This would seem conclusive.{332} Mr. Hart also states that some specimens of the work then made are deposited in the Franklin Institute of his city.

It is not likely that the work reached a commercial success, or that it was long continued.

Subsequently porcelain was made and decorated in that city by Messrs. Tucker and Hemphill, as will clearly appear from the following communications.

Mr. Thomas Tucker prepared for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, in 1868, this brief statement:

“William Ellis Tucker, my brother, was the first to make porcelain in the United States. My father, Benjamin Tucker, had a china-store in Market Street, in the city of Philadelphia, in the year 1816. He built a kiln for William in the yard back of the store, where he painted in the white china, and burnt it on in the kiln, which gave him a taste for that kind of work.

“After that he commenced experimenting with the different kinds of clays, to see if he could not make the ware. He succeeded in making a very good opaque ware, called ‘queen’s-ware.’ He then commenced experimenting with feldspar and kaolin to make porcelain, and, after much labor, he succeeded in making a few small articles of very good porcelain. He then obtained the old water-works at the northwest corner of Schuylkill Front and Chestnut Streets, where he erected a large glazing-kiln, enameling-kiln, mills, etc.

“He burnt kiln after kiln, with very poor success. The glazing would crack and the body would blister; and, besides, we discovered that we had a man who placed the ware in the kiln, who was employed by some interested parties in England to impede our success.

“Most of the handles were found in the bottom of the seggars[17] after the kiln was burnt. We could not account for it until a deaf-and-dumb man in our employment detected him running his knife around each handle as he placed them in the kiln.

“At another time every piece of china had to be broken before it could be taken out of the seggar. We always washed the round O’s—{333}the article in which the china was placed in the kiln—with silex, but this man had washed them with feldspar, which, of course, melted, and fastened every article to the bottom; but William discharged him, and we got over that difficulty.

“In the year 1827 my brother received a silver medal from the Franklin Institute of Pennsylvania, and in 1831 received one from the Institute in New York. In 1828 I commenced to learn the different branches of the business.

“On the 22d of August, 1832, my brother William died. Some time before, he connected himself with the late Judge Hemphill. They purchased the property at the southwest corner of Schuylkill Sixth and Chestnut Streets, where they built a large store-house and factory, which they filled with porcelain. After the death of my brother, Judge Hemphill and myself continued the working of porcelain for some years, until he sold out his interest to a company of Eastern gentlemen; but, being unfortunate in their other operations, they were not able to give the porcelain attention. In the year 1837 I undertook to carry it on alone, and did so for about one year, making a large quantity of very fine porcelain, many pieces of which I still have.

“The gilding and painting are now as perfect as when first done.”

Mr. Tucker presented at this time a piece of the work, which is now in the collection at Philadelphia.

In addition to this I give a communication from General Hector Tyndale, which adds confirmation to the above:

“About the years 1760 to 1770 potteries were established in the United States—notably at Philadelphia—of which few records now remain. But they attracted the attention of the English potters, as may be seen by a letter from Josiah Wedgwood (page 367, Meteyard’s ‘Life of Wedgwood,’ London, 1865), wherein he expressed apprehension of the effect of these upon British ‘trade and prosperity.’

“Porcelain-works, to which Mr. Elliott alludes, were established in Philadelphia (corner of Schuylkill Sixth and Chestnut Streets) about the year 1830, Judge Hemphill being among the most prominent of the founders of them. The wares made were of very good, and, in some respects, of excellent qualities. The products were white and{334} decorated table and tea services, and decorative wares. The ‘body’ was very good, being hard, dense, tough, and translucent, quite vitreous, with sharp and clear ring, and withstanding great and rapid changes of temperature. In appearance it somewhat resembled the French (Limoges) porcelain of that day, and, in durability and use, that of Berlin, and quite equal to either. The glaze was good, and well adapted to receive colors. The forms were copies of the French and English of the time, and these were almost always bad. The ornamentation was generally poorly copied from the English or French, or, if original, was decidedly worse. English, French, and German artisans were imported, but whatever skill these may have had was soon lost, owing perhaps to the want of comparative and competitive productions, and also to the want of taste among the general buyers and the public. So far as ornament was concerned, and a knowledge of æsthetic rules or a prevailing sense of beauty and fitness were involved, this attempt at manufacture was premature. These works continued, with a diminishing success, for several years; and the founders, who lost much money in the establishment, deserve much credit for their serious and wellnigh successful effort.

“At present there are porcelain-works near New York—at Greenpoint, and perhaps elsewhere—making very good and enduring wares, of excellent ‘body’ and glaze, but of coarse and inartistic form and ornament.”

The porcelain-factory last spoken of is that of T. C. Smith and Sons, which, at the Centennial Exhibition, made a creditable display.

Through the courtesy of Mr. Prime, editor of the “Hand-Book of the New York Museum of Art,” I am able to give some extracts essential to this brief history:

“When Delft pottery began to be used for table and household purposes in England, it is probable that small quantities found their way to this country, but neither crockery nor porcelain took the place of pewter and wood on American tables, and the importations increased but slowly with the increase of population and wealth. Wooden trenchers, pewter dishes, mugs, water-pitchers, etc., continued in general use until the present century. By an examination of early newspapers{335} we are enabled to learn much of the character of the table-furniture which dealers advertised for sale, and these were probably alike in all parts of the country. We find pewter always prominent. In the New Haven Gazette of September 30, 1784, a druggist advertises Wedgwood mortars and pestles. In the same paper, October 21st, a dealer advertises ‘blue and white stone-ware, consisting of butter-pots, jars, and cans;’ also ‘quart, pint, and half-pint water-flasks; matted ditto; spaw ditto; Bristol ditto.’ In the same paper, November 25th, a dealer advertises ‘queen’s-ware in small crates, well assorted,’ which had been imported direct to New Haven; and, December 2d, he advertises ‘English china cups and saucers.’ On November 4, 1784, the same dealer advertised ‘a large assortment of coarse stone-ware in crates, large round bottles holding nearly two quarts, in small, convenient hampers, and quart, pint, and half-pint flasks,’ with a discount to those who buy large quantities. This last advertisement may refer to wares made in America. In 1785 we find advertised ‘Nottingham, queen’s, china, and glass ware.’ ‘Nottingham ware’ had long been a popular name in England for brown potteries, originally made at Nottingham, and the name continued in use here until a very recent date.

“Bricks and ruder forms of pottery were made in New England in the eighteenth, and possibly in the seventeenth, century. Investigations in progress may elicit information now wanting on this subject. Josiah Wedgwood, in a letter written in 1765, speaks of a pottery then projected in the Carolinas of whose work he had great apprehensions, and seems to desire some government interference to prevent the colonies from making their own pottery and thus injuring the home business. Before the end of the eighteenth century many potteries were established in various parts of the country, but, so far as is now known, no articles were produced except the ordinary coarser kinds of household utensils.

“ ‘A Brief Examination of Lord Sheffield’s Observations on the Commerce of the United States,’ by Matthew Carey, was printed in successive numbers of the American Museum, in 1791, and was collected in a volume, printed the same year at Philadelphia, with a supplementary note on ‘The Present State of American Manufactures,’ etc.{336} On pages 126 and 127 he has the following observations: ‘Manufactures of glass, of earthen-ware, and of stone, mixed with clay, are all in an infant state. From the quantity and variety of the materials which must have been deposited by Nature in so extensive a region as the United States, from the abundance of fuel which they contain, from the expense of importation, and loss by fracture, which falls on glass and earthen wares, from the simplicity of many of these manufactures, and from the great consumption of them, impressions of surprise at this state of them, and a firm persuasion that they will receive the early attention of foreign or American capitalists, are at one produced. Coarse tiles, and bricks of an excellent quality, potter’s wares, all in quantities beyond the home consumption, a few ordinary vessels and utensils of stone mixed with clay, some mustard and snuff bottles, a few flasks or flagons, a small quantity of sheet-glass and of vessels for family use, generally of the inferior kinds, are all that are now made.’

“Hamilton’s return of exports of the United States from August, 1789, to September, 1790, printed in the appendix to Carey’s book, gives, for earthen and glass ware, nineteen hundred and ninety dollars.

“In Miss Caulkins’s ‘History of Norwich,’ Chapter XLIX., it is stated that in 1796 ‘a pottery for the manufacture of stone-ware was established at Bean Hill, which continued in operation far into the present century, seldom, however, employing more than four or five hands.’ In Morse’s ‘Gazetteer,’ 1797, we read, under Norwich, that the inhabitants manufacture ‘stone and earthen ware.’ In the Norwich (Connecticut) Gazette, September 15, 1796, we find this advertisement of a pottery, which appears to have been in operation by a Mr. Lathrop prior to 1796, and is, without doubt, the one referred to by Miss Caulkins and Dr. Morse:

“ ‘C. POTTS & SON, informs the Public, that they have lately established a Manufactory of EARTHEN WARE at the shop formerly improved by Mr. Charles Lathrop, where all kinds of said Ware is made and sold, either in large or small quantities, and warranted good.’

“A memorial of Samuel Dennis, dated New Haven, October 9, 1789, to the General Assembly of Connecticut, shows ‘that he is{337} acquainted with the potter’s business, and is about to erect a stone-pottery; and there is in this country a plenty of clay which he presumes of the same kind with that from which the queen’s-ware of Staffordshire is usually made; and that he wishes to erect a pottery for the purpose of manufacturing the finer kinds of ware usually made in Staffordshire, particularly the queen’s-ware,’ and he asks the aid of the State in founding the works. His memorial was negatived, and it does not appear whether he went on with his project.

“Isaac Hanford, of Hartford, Connecticut, took out a patent, January 20, 1800, for a new method of making bricks, tiles, and pottery-ware in general, and of discharging the moulds. Nothing further is known of his work; but coarse pottery has, from the beginning of the century, been made in Hartford. Prior to 1800 a pottery was in existence at Stonington, Connecticut, managed by Adam States, who was succeeded in the business, after 1804, by his sons, Adam and Joseph. They made jugs, butter-pots, jars of all sizes, and some small wares with handles, uniformly of soft pottery, usually gray in color, with salt-glaze. Contemporary with this was a pottery at Norwalk, Connecticut, which made red wares of soft pottery in many forms. We learn from a lady, whose memory extends back to 1804, that it made jars and pots of all sizes, teapots, mugs, and large milk-pans, then in common use among the farmers in Connecticut, glazed with a lead-glaze, the color deep red with flashes of black, probably caused by smoke in the firing. Other potteries produced wares similar to the Stonington and Norwalk.

“From a report of the Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Gallatin), made in 1810, it appears that the exports of ‘coarse earthen-ware’ exceeded the imports. In this report the secretary says that progress has been made in the manufacture of ‘queen’s and other earthen ware,’ and that ‘a sufficient quantity of the coarser species of pottery was made everywhere. Four manufactories of a finer kind had lately been established which made ware resembling that of Staffordshire.’ Dr. Dwight, in his ‘Travels’ (1822), after quoting the above, states that he had gained access to the reports from Massachusetts and Connecticut, upon which the secretary’s report had been founded, and gives{338} among the manufactures of Connecticut for the year, potteries, twelve; ‘value of earthen and stone ware, thirty thousand seven hundred and forty dollars;’ and for Massachusetts, ‘earthen-ware, eighteen thousand seven hundred dollars.’

“Before the end of the last century direct trade had been established between the United States and China, and Oriental porcelain began to make its appearance in America. The English trade increased rapidly in the early part of the present century, and English manufacturers had begun to decorate pottery with American subjects for the American market. Porcelain seems to have been decorated at Lowestoft with American designs, for special orders, before 1800.

“From 1810 to 1830 great quantities of English pottery, especially blue and white wares, were imported. Much of this was decorated with American views, buildings, landscapes, and pictures of public events, the principal exporters in England being J. and R. Clews, of Cobridge, and the Ridgways, of Shelton.”

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Fig. 162.The “Washington Pitchers.”

The “Washington Pitchers” were made at this period by the English potters, and were shipped here and sold in great numbers. They are now much prized, but are not uncommon. Few of them have any{339} merit as works of art, being intended only to please the patriotic sentiment of the country.

The smaller one of our illustration (Fig. 162) contains the best picture of Washington of any I have seen painted upon porcelain, and is really an excellent engraving after Stuart’s great picture.

It is said to have been made in England, by order of a Philadelphia dealer, in 1801. Both of these pitchers are in the Historical Society of Philadelphia.

The larger one is more patriotic and less artistic. Around the portrait are entwined the names of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Vermont, Kentucky—fifteen States, and fifteen stars.

On the front is the eagle, and the patriotic Latin, E pluribus unum. Also the name of the owner, James Taylor, M. D. On the other side, in an oval, is some poetry, made in England for our use, as follows:

“As he tills your rich glebe the old peasant shall tell,
While his bosom with Liberty glows,
How your Warren expired, how Montgomery fell,
And how Washington humbled your foes.”

The intentions of the poet we may accept as good, even if slightly mercenary.

One more brief extract will complete this history:

“In 1847 a factory was established in Bennington, Vermont, by Messrs. Lyman and Fenton, and continued in operation till about 1860. Pottery was made in various forms, with good enamel; bisque or Parian wares were produced, and soft-paste porcelain of good quality, well decorated. So far as is at present known, this was the first American factory which has attempted to make figures of men and animals. A peculiar enamel seems to have been patented by Mr. Fenton, of this firm, which was used on some of the pottery. The impressed mark on pottery of this class was arranged in a circle, ‘Lyman, Fenton and Co., Fenton’s Enamel, Patented 1849, Bennington, Vermont.’{340}

“Some time prior to 1829 a factory was established in Jersey City, New Jersey, by persons not now known (said to be French), which made porcelain. No mark was used, but we are indebted to Messrs. Rouse and Turner, the present proprietors, for fragments of the porcelain made prior to 1829, which is hard paste of fair quality. The enterprise was not successful, and in 1829 David Henderson and Co. bought the works, and carried them on under the name of the American Pottery Company. They made white and brown potteries, decorating the former with prints, and the latter with colored enamels and raised work; and also a translucent pottery, which is apparently a natural soft-paste porcelain. Their mark was ‘American Pottery Company, Jersey City, New Jersey,’ in a circle, stamped in the paste. They executed work for druggists and other dealers in New York, printing labels on their jars, boxes, etc. A favorite pattern was a brown pottery pitcher, the handle a hound, the surface covered with a raised representation of a hunt. It was made in various sizes, and is still produced, with a changed form of the same decoration. In 1855 Messrs. Rouse and Turner became proprietors of the factory, and have since carried it on with much success, producing granite, Rockingham, and stone wares, plain and decorated, for table and general use. They use clay obtained from Woodbridge, New Jersey, and another clay from Bath, South Carolina; and occasionally a clay from Glen Cove, Long Island, which contains silex. Their stone-wares are made by the mixing of certain clays, without the addition of other substances. They use no mark on their fabrics.

“Important works are now in operation at Baltimore, Maryland, and at Trenton, New Jersey, making varieties of pottery, plain and decorated, and stone-wares of excellent quality.”

At the Exhibition at Philadelphia good exhibitions were made by Messrs. Otto and Brewer, Mercer Pottery Company, James Moses and Isaac Davis, of Trenton; also by Laughlin Brothers, of East Liverpool, Ohio.

Some twenty firms, mostly from Trenton, were collected in the southeast corner of the Main Building, where they made a creditable display of what is known as the “white granite” ware, so useful and{341} so detestable; thick, that it may resist the hostility of the Milesian maiden, clumsy because of that, without color or decoration of any kind, and cheap: can we expect or demand much? Looking more carefully, we found in Otto and Brewer’s exhibit a modeler named Broome, who had made some base-ball players which were full of life and spirit; also some unglazed vases which had excellence of form and precision of modeling and decoration, showing that good things may be done here. In Fig. 163 we show one of the Parian vases designed by Broome, who only needs encouragement to develop into excellence. James Moses, too, had some white-and-gold work which was good. Isaac Davis, one of these granite-potters, had ventured to turn his cups with a sense of good form, and with a thin lip from which one might drink without being reminded of the horse-trough; he must beware lest it should not pay!

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Fig. 163.Parian Vase.


Laughlin Brothers, of Ohio, had a good show of the same kind of wares, and they had also a decorated dinner-set which was good. They had more than this, in that they promised us something. They are using feldspars, kaolins, clays, silexes, from various parts of the United States, and believe we have the best and the greatest variety to be found in any country; but besides these a new clay or mineral, as they think, has been found in Missouri, which promises to be of infinite value. It is cheap, is easily ground and mixed, and imparts to the body a creamy softness and a beauty which add much to the production. That this is true was shown in some of the cups made with it. Moreover, as Mr. Laughlin states, several of the best porcelain-makers of Europe are seriously contemplating the propriety of establishing themselves on this shore of the sea, and putting to use these kaolinic treasures. And why not? With cheap clays, cheap fuels, cheap foods, may we not begin to supply ourselves, if not some of the rest of the world, with the finest productions of the potter’s wheel? And it would seem a good thing for us to do.{343}



The following synopsis of works on “pottery and porcelain,” for which we are indebted to Mr. G. W. Wales, will be found useful and interesting:

General Historical Treatises.—Jacquemart, “History of the Ceramic Art”—a descriptive philosophical study of the pottery of all ages and nations, profusely illustrated in aquatint and woodcut, and containing one thousand marks and monograms; Semper, “Der Stil in den Künsten,” in the second volume treats of ceramics, and is a well-illustrated, comprehensive, and useful hand-book; Mareschal, “La Faïence Populaire au 18me Siècle,” has one hundred and twelve colored plates, mostly of French and Delft porcelain; Maze, “Recherches sur la Céramique” is illustrated by photographs, and has a list of marks and monograms; Burty, “Chefs-d’Œuvre des Arts Industriels,” gives a popular account of ceramics, well illustrated (there is a translation by Chaffers); Stallknecht’s papers on “Artistic Pottery and Porcelain” give also an account of the articles in the Vienna Exposition of 1875; Treadwell’s “Manual” is a brief popular work; Hall, “Bric-à-brac Hunter.” One of the best works in English is Marryat’s “History,” well illustrated, in colors. So also is Graesse’s “Guide de l’Amateur,” a very complete collection, in fac-simile, of marks and monograms. Chaffers’s “Keramic Gallery,” besides historical notices and descriptions, gives several hundred photographs of rare and curious specimens of these arts.

Besides these works, devoted especially to ceramics, it will be well to refer to the following, selected out of many books treating generally of the arts of the middle ages, most of them illustrated in the best style, in which may be found chapters or short treatises on pottery and porcelain, with admirable illustrations adapted for use as designs for decoration: Sommerard’s “Arts au Moyen Âge,” plates; Villemin,{344} “Monumens Français;” Lenoir, “Musée des Monumens Français;” Lacroix, “Arts of the Middle Ages;” Louandre, “Arts Somptuaires;” “Instrumenta Ecclesiastica;” Racinet, “L’Ornement Polychrome;” Jones, “Grammar of Ornament;” Bedford, “Treasury of Ornamental Art;” Newbery, “Gleanings from Ornamental Art;” Chenavard, “Album de l’Ornamentiste;” “Tradesman’s Book of Ornamental Designs;” Wyatt, “Industrial Arts of the Nineteenth Century;” Durand, “Recueil et Parallèles des Edifices de tout Genre;” South Kensington Museum, “Industrial Arts;” “Photographs from the British Museum;” Labarte, “Arts Industriels au Moyen Âge;” Zahn, “Ornamentmalerei.”

Manufacture.—The following books treat more particularly of the processes of manufacture of pottery and porcelain, only incidentally touching the artistic history. They are mostly in French, viz.: Brongniart, “Traité des Arts Céramiques,” two volumes of text and one of plates. This is well illustrated, and cited by all writers on the subject as high authority. Figuier, in the first volume of the “Merveilles de l’Industrie,” which treats both sides of the subject, is very fully illustrated as regards both the manufacture and the art-history of glass, pottery, and porcelain. Other briefer treatises are those by Guillery, Bastenaire-Daudenart, Boyer, and a treatise on pottery (Paris, 1772), in volume ii. of the “Description des Arts et Métiers.” In English: Tomlinson’s “Brief History,” from the “Encyclopædia Britannica;” and Arnoux, in volume iii. of Bevans’s “British Manufacturing Industries.” See also Turgau, “Les Grandes Usines de France,” for history of the Sèvres porcelain; Denistoun, “Dukes of Urbino,” volume iii., page 382, for an account of the manufacture of maiolica in the duchy of Urbino; Rosina, “Memoria sulle Stoviglie,” on manufacture of utensils and analysis of clays in the Lombardo-Venetian territory.

The following books give some practical instructions on painting, enameling, etc.: Tilton, “Designs and Instructions for decorating Pottery;” Snell, “Practical Instructions;” “Art Recreations;” Gessart, “Art of Enameling;” Sutherland, “Practical Guide;” Reboulleau.

Marks and Monograms.—Chaffers’s “Marks and Monograms,” which contains also an historical essay on English pottery, with illustrations; also his “Collector’s Hand-book”—a concisely-arranged volume of fac-similes of marks, a supplement to the work just named; Mareschal, “Iconographie de la Faïence”—a dictionary of ceramic artists and marks, with colored illustrations of the different styles; Hooper and Phillips, “Manual”—a dictionary of easy reference; Demmin, “Guide de l’Amateur de Faïences” (two volumes)—a comprehensive, illustrated work of high authority; Bohn’s “Guide to Knowledge of Pottery and Porcelain,” containing also a priced catalogue of the Bernal collection, and an essay; Maze, “Recherches,” illustrated by photographs; Meteyard’s “Wedgwood Hand-book”—a thorough history of this exquisite ware. See also a work by the same author, for admirable photographs of Wedgwood’s principal works, and Fortnum’s “Catalogue of Maiolica.”{345}

The following books treat of the history of pottery and porcelain of different countries and periods:

England.—For a sketch of the art of pottery in England, see the introductory chapters of volume i. of Eliza Meteyard’s “Life of Josiah Wedgwood;” her “Wedgwood Hand-book,” which gives marks, monograms, priced catalogues, and a glossary of technical terms. The same author has recently (1876) published “Wedgwood and his Works,” admirably illustrated with photographs of his more important works; also “Wedgwood Memorial,” likewise beautifully illustrated. Prefixed to Chaffers’s “Marks and Monograms” is an Essay on the Vasa Fictilia of England;” Jewitt’s “Life of Wedgwood” contains also a “History of the Early Potteries of Staffordshire,” well illustrated; Haslem’s “Old Derby China,” illustrated in color, gives a full account of this ware and of the principal workmen, with marks and price-lists; Binns’s “Century of Potting in Worcester” gives in an appendix a sketch of Celtic, Roman, and Mediæval pottery in Worcestershire. See also “Wedgwood, an Address by W. E. Gladstone” (1863); Boyer, “Traité sur l’Origine, les Progrès et l’État actuel des Manufactures de Porcelaine et de Faïence en Angleterre”—one of the excellent Roret manuals of arts and trades.

France.—Mareschal, “Faïence Populaire au 18me Siècle,” with one hundred and twelve finely-colored plates, mostly of French and Delft ware (Paris, 1872); Pottier, “Histoire de la Faïence de Rouen” (1870), two volumes, quarto—an elaborate and finely-illustrated treatise; Pouy, “Les Faïences d’Origine Picarde” (1872), with colored plates and marks; Forestié, “Les Anciennes Faienceries de Montauban,” and other places in the department of Tarn-et-Garonne. On the pottery of the Gauls, see Du Cleuzion, “Poterie Gauloise.” A publication by the Arundel Society gives fine photographs of twenty examples of “Henri-Deux ware” from the South Kensington Museum.

Italy, Germany, Spain, etc.—On “maiolica,” see the history by Passeri, treating of the products of Pesaro and Urbino, and of the works of Giorgio da Gubbio. On “maiolica and Italian faience,” see the splendidly-illustrated works by Delange and Sauzay, “Monographe de l’Œuvre de Bernard Palissy” (Paris, 1872); and the “Recueil de Faïences Italiennes” of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries (Paris, 1869), by Delanges, Darcel, and Bornemann. Fortnum’s “Maiolica;” also his “Catalogue of Maiolica, Hispano-Moresco, Persian, Damascus, and Rhodian wares in the South Kensington Museum,” finely illustrated in color, and giving marks and monograms; “Centennial Exposition Catalogue of the Castellani Collection;” Beckwith’s “Majolica and Fayence” (New York, 1877) is a concise and useful general treatise on ceramics, containing much information in small space, with numerous photo-engraved illustrations; Drake’s “Notes on Venetian Ceramics;” Riaño, “Catalogue of Art Objects of Spanish Production in the South Kensington Museum;” De Jorio, “Galleria de’ Vasi, Real Museo Borbonico;” “Le Secret des{346} Vraies Porcelaines de la Chine et de Saxe” (1752); Robinson, “Catalogue of the Soulages Collection.” Asselineau, “Meubles et Objets divers du Moyen Âge” gives specimens of Palissy and Flemish ware. Lazari, “Notizie della raccolta Correr di Venezia.”

Oriental and Savage Races.—Alabaster, “Chinese Art Objects in South Kensington Museum;” Audsley and Bowes, “Keramic Art,” now in course of publication, splendidly illustrated with colored plates by Racinet; Jarves, “Glimpse at the Art of Japan;” Schweinfurth, “Artes Africanæ;” Hartt, “Manufacture of Pottery among Savage Races.” On the cloisonné enamels of China, see appendix to Julien’s “Industries de l’Empire Chinois.” On “Chinese porcelain decoration,” consult “Owen Jones’s Examples of Chinese Ornament,” giving one hundred fine colored plates, from examples at South Kensington.

Tiles.—Nichols’s “Examples of Decorative Tiles, in fac-simile, chiefly in Original Size;” chapter entitled “Céramique,” by Riocreux and Jacquemart, in volume iv. of Lacroix’s “Moyen Âge et la Renaissance,” which contains a bibliography of ceramics.

Ancient Pottery.—Birch’s “History of Ancient Pottery” treats of Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Celtic, Teutonic, and Scandinavian pottery, and is fully illustrated. It contains also a list of the principal collections of ancient pottery. One of the best works is Millingen’s “Ancient Unedited Monuments,” giving excellent colored illustrations of painted Greek vases. Other valuable works are those of Inghirami, “Pitture di Vasi Etrusche,” four volumes quarto, with fine outlines of Greek vase-decoration, some in color; a very beautifully-illustrated work (in color) is that of the Count of Syracuse, “Notizia dei Vasi dipinti rinvenuti a Cuma;” see also Lucien Bonaparte’s “Museum Étrusque;” Donati, “Della Maniera d’interpretare le Pitture ne’ Vasi fittili antichi;” “Description of the Ancient Terra-Cottas in the British Museum,” illustrated by line-engravings; Stackelberg, “Die Gräber der Hellenen,” giving plates of urns, vases, bass-reliefs, etc.; Dumont, “Inscriptions Céramiques de Grèce;” Fabroni, “Vasi fittili aretini;” Kramer, “Ueber den Styl und die Herkunft der bemalten griechischen Thongefässe;” De Sanctis, “Vasi antichi della Collezione Hamilton,” with outline illustrations; G. Gerhard, “Vases Grecs relatifs aux Mystères,” outline illustrations; Gerhard, “Etruskische und kampanische Vasenbilder” (Berlin, 1843), with finely-colored illustrations of vases; Gerhard, “Auserlesene griechische Vasenbilder” (Berlin, 1856), two volumes text, two volumes plates, quarto, also admirably illustrated; Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, part iii., “Fictile Vases;” Schliemann, “Trojanische Alterthümer;” “British Museum Catalogue of Greek and Etruscan Vases,” with outlines; “Catalogue of the St. Petersburg Imperial Collection of Vases in the Ermitage,” with sixteen plates of outlines; Inghirami, “Etrusco Museo Chinsino,” copperplate outlines; “Engravings of Ancient Vases in the Collection of Sir William Hamilton” (Naples, 1791), three volumes folio.{347}

On Egyptian pottery consult Wilkinson’s “Ancient Egyptians;” and the splendid illustrated volumes of Champollion, Lepsius, and Belzoni, for illustrations from the monuments.

Biography.—Jouveaux, “Histoire de trois Potiers Celèbres,” biographical sketches of Palissy, Wedgwood, and Böttger; “Lessons from Noble Lives” (Palissy); see C. C. Perkins’s “Tuscan Sculptors,” volume i., for a chapter on “Luca della Robbia,” also in Vasari; Vasari, volume xiii., page 72, “Vita di Battista Franco.” For a list of books of reference on “ceramics,” see Chaffers’s “Marks and Monograms.”




A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Z

Abbey, Richard, Potter, 312
Abderrahman III., 83
African Pottery, 65
Alabastron, 47
A la corne, 146
Alchemists, The, 230
Alcora Porcelain, 287
Alexander Severus, Emperor, 172
Alhambra, The, 83
—— Vase of the, 84
Amateur Painters, 298
Amatorii, 104
American Pottery, 23
Amphora, 18, 40, 46
Amstel Porcelain, 321
Andreoli, Maestro Giorgio, 113
Andrews, W. L., 185
Antonibon, Potter, 281
Apostle Mugs, 75
Arabic Pottery, 90
Arabs of Spain, The, 72, 81
Arcesilaus, Cup of, 51
Archaic Man, 14
—— Style, 41
Arezzo, 27
Art in Decoration, 236
—— Japanese, 225
—— Oriental, Character of, 190, 206
Aryballos, 35, 46
Aspasia, House of, 45, 58
Assyrians, Glazed Ware of, 70
Athenian Prize-Vase, 49
Augustus II., Elector of Saxony, 231
Avery, S.P., 92. 189, 195, 200, 210, 216, 222
Aztec Civilization, 21

Baireuth, 75
Baldassini, Painter, 279
Balearic Islands, 95
Bamboo, Wedgwood’s, 168
Banko Ware, 225
Barberini Vase, 171
Barbizôt, M., 149
Barlow, S. L. M., 270, 296
Basalt, Wedgwood’s, 168, 171
Bavarian Porcelain, 249
Beauvais Pottery, 141
Beccheroni, Painter, 279
Beckford, Mr., 195
Belgium, 319
Bellarmine, Cardinal, 76
Bellarmins, 76
Belleek, 149
Belmont, A., 270
Bennington Potteries, 339
Bentley, Mr., 167
Berlin Porcelain, 242
Bernal Sale, The, 131, 141, 240, 244, 247, 250, 251, 295, 298
Betts, F. J., 76
Billingsly, Potter, 310
Binns, R. W., Potter, 289, 306{350}
Birch, Mr., 41, 70
Bloor, Potter, 297
Blue, Celestial, 181, 193
—— Cobalt, 190
—— Dragon Decoration, 311
—— Japanese, 218
Bonnin, Potter, 331
Boston Museum of Arts, 86
Böttger, J., 231
Boucher, Painter, 261
Bow and Chelsea, Confusion between, 292
—— Porcelain, 290
Bramelds, The, Potters, 313
Breslau, Pottery Monument in, 80
Brianchon, M., 149
Bricks, Glazed, 70
Bristol Porcelain, 309
British Museum, 211
Broeck, Village of, 159
Bromfield and Son, Potters, 317
Brongniart, Alexandre, 41, 270
Bronze Age, 16
Brown-Westhead, Moore and Co., Potters, 317
Brunswick Porcelain, 249
Bryant, Mr., 30
Buen Retiro Porcelain, 286
Burke, Edmund, 309
Burlingame, Mrs. Anson, 182, 184, 186, 189

Caistre, 26
Calle, Raffaelle del, 104
Calpis, 46
Cameos, Wedgwood’s, 168
Campanienne Vase, 49
Cantheros, 46
Capo di Monte Porcelain, 282
Carl Theodor, Elector Palatine, 249
Castel-Durante, 116
Catherine II. of Russia, 166
Caughley Porcelain, 311
Caulkins’s History of Norwich, 336
Céladon, The Color, 195
Celestial-Blue Porcelain, 181, 193
Centennial Exhibition, 22, 25, 63, 130, 227, 340
Ceramicus, The, 32
Cesnola Collection, 24
Chaffers, G. W., 136, 161, 235, 290, 299, 302
Chamberlain, Potter, 307
Champion, Potter, 309
Chantilly Porcelain, 257
Chapelet, M., 149
Charles, Duke of Brunswick, 250
Charles IV., King, 283
Charlotte, Queen, 166
Charlottenburg, 244
Cheap Work, 164
Chelsea Porcelain, 293
China, Egg-shell, 197, 220
—— Mandarin, 221
Chinese Porcelain, 175
Classification of Greek Pottery, 41
Clay Figures, 63
Clays, American, 340
—— Cornwall, 308
Clerissy, Antoine, 146
Cleuziou, M., 27
Cloisonné Work, 221, 316
Coalport Porcelain, 312
Coblentz, 77
Coffee-pots, 158
Coke, Potter, 310
Collections of Pottery, 53
Collinot, M., 149
Colors, Chemical, 266
Connecticut Potteries, Early, 338
Conrad, 139
Content, The God of, 176
Cooking Animal, Man a, 14
Cookworthy, Potter, 308
Copelands, The, Potters, 313
Copenhagen Porcelain, 326
Corean Porcelain, 210
Cornwall Clays, 308
Cortez, 20
Cotyle, 46
Counterfeit Chinese Porcelain, 300{351}
Counterfeit Maiolica, 119
—— Porcelain, 227
Couthon, 51
Couverte, 69
Cozzi, Potter, 280
Crackle, 197, 219
Craft, Painter, 291
Crater, 47
Cruche, 47
Crusades, Effects of, 96
Cup of Arcesilaus, 51
—— of Samos, 26
Custode, Pierre, 139
Cyathos, 46
Cylix, 47
Cyrenaica, 37
Cyrene, 51

Damascus Pottery, 89
Daniell, H. and R., Potters, 314
Daniell, Thomas, Painter, 166
Daniells and Son, Potters, 318
Danish Pottery, 67
Dark Ages, The, 96
Decadence Style, 41
Deck, M., 152
Decoration, Early, 18, 23
—— Japanese, 215
—— Sèvres, 260
—— Symbolic, 186
Delft, 97, 153
Della Robbia, Andrea, 101
—— Luca, 93, 99
Demmin, M., 41, 126, 155, 328
Denmark, Porcelain of, 326
Dennis, Potter, 336
Derby Porcelain, 297
Dinner-Service, Remarkable, 166
Dinner-Services, Delft, 157
Diogenes, Tub of, 62
Dixwell, J. J., 62
Doccia Porcelain, 277
Dog of Fo, The, 187
Doulton Stone-ware, 77
Dragon, The, 188
Dresden Figure-pieces, 235
—— Porcelain, 230
Dress, Greek, 56
Drinking-Cups, Inscriptions on, 27
Druggists’ Pots, 117
Duesbury, Potter, 294, 297
Dutch Pottery, 153
—— Trade with Japan, 223
Dwight, Dr., 337

Earthen-ware, 97
—— English, 161
Edgeworth, Maria, 162
Egg-shell China, 197
Egyptian Art, 33
—— Red Ware, 65
—— Tombs, Porcelain in, 179, 203
—— Water-Colors, 63
—— Glazed Ware of, 70
Elers, Messrs., 162
Elizabethan Ware, 162
Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress, 328
Enamel, 69
Enameling, 197
En camaïeu, 146
England, Porcelains of, 288
—— Want of Invention in, 293
English Pottery, 67, 161
Engobe, 52, 73, 98
Entrecolles, Père d’, 205
Etruscan Vases, 37, 62
Exhibition, Philadelphia, 22, 25, 63

Factories, Japanese Porcelain, 227
Faenza, 117
Faience, 97, 117
—— d’Oiron, 131{352}
Faience, Japanese, 223
Figuier, M., 28
Figures, Porcelain, 283, 291, 308, 339
Figurines attributed to Palissy, 129
Fine Style, The, 41
Fischer, Potter, 247
Flandre, Grès de, 73
Flaxman, 168
Fleur-de-Lis Mark, 283, 286
Flight and Barr, Potters, 306
Florentine Porcelain, 274
Flowers, Porcelain, 258
Fong-hoang, The, 187
Fontana Family, 108
—— Orazio, 104, 109
Foresi, Dr., 274
Fortnum, Mr., 88
France, Porcelain of, 253
Franco, Battista, 104
Frankenthal Porcelain, 249
Franks, A. W., 195, 201, 207
Frederick the Great, 231
Free-Trade Fanaticism, 211
French Faience, 138
French Sprig Decoration, 310
Fulham Pottery, 162
Fürstenburg Porcelain, 249
Furstler, Painter, 246

Gallatin, Secretary, 337
Gallic Pottery, 28
Gardner, Potter, 330
German Pottery, 28, 74
—— Glazed Pottery, 78
—— Tribes, The, 78
—— Work, Lack of Taste in, 163
Gibson, Henry, Mr., 316
Ginori, Factory of, 112
—— The, 277
Gioanetti, Potter, 281
Giorgio, Maestro, 113
Giustiniani, Factory of, 112
Gladstone, Mr., 173
Glaze, Definition of, 69
—— Value of, 72
Glazed Bricks, 70
—— Pottery, 78, 81
Glazes in Porcelain, 195
Gouffier, Claude, 135
Grains-of-rice Cups, 197
Granada, 83
Graybeards, 76
Greek Dress, 56
—— Fret, 18, 47
—— House, The, 30, 54
—— Man, The, 60
—— Pottery, Classification of, 41
—— Vase, The, 29
—— Vases, Varnish of, 71
—— Woman, The, 54
Greenpoint Porcelain, 334
Grès de Flandre, 73
Grinnell, Mrs. R. M., 100
Gubbio Maiolica, 112, 113
Gulena, 330

Haarlem, 154
Hague, Porcelain of The, 322
Haguenau Pottery, 148
Haines and Co., Potters, 311
Hanford, Potter, 337
Hangest, Madame Hélène de, 133
Hannong, Potter, 148, 249
Hart, Charles Henry, 331
Hartford Pottery, 337
Haviland, Messrs, 150
Heard, Mr., 194
Henderson and Co., Potters, 340
Henri-Deux Ware, 131, 136
Henry III. of France, 124
Herculaneum, 59
—— Porcelain, 312
Herend Porcelain, 247
Hetairai, The, 57{353}
Hewelcke, Potter, 280
Hirschvogel, 80
Hispano-Moresque Ware, 86
Hizen, Porcelains of, 228
Höchst Porcelain, 248
Hoe, Robert, Jr., 191, 210
Holland, 319
Holland, Importation of Porcelain to, 219
Homer’s Heroes, Palaces of, 30
Höroldt, 234
House, The Greek, 30, 54
Huguenots, 123
Hungarian Porcelain, 247
Hydria, 47

Idols, Mexican, 20
Italian Maiolicas at the Philadelphia Exhibition, 121
Italian Porcelain, 274
—— Renaissance, 96
Ives, Mrs. Moses, 146

Japanese Art, 214, 225
—— Figures, 64
—— Porcelain, 210
Jasper, Wedgwood’s, 168
Jewels in Decoration, 267
Jewett, Mr., 173
Johnson, Dr., 295
Julia Mammæa, 172

Kaga Ware, 223, 228
Kalpis, 47
Kändler, 234
Kantharos, 46
Kaolin, 78, 178, 205, 232, 234
Katosiro-ouyi-mon, 210
Kauffmann, Angelica, 238
Kelebe, 46
Kensington Museum, 211
Keramicus, The, 32
King-te-Chin, City of, 180, 203
Kioto Ware, 225, 228
Korzic Porcelain, 330
Kotyle, 47
Krater, 47
Kruche, 47
Kyathos, 47
Kylin, The, 188
Kylix, 47

Lacquer, Japanese, 220
Lacustrine Dwellings, 15
Lafon, M., 151
Lake-Dwellers, 15
Lambeth Pottery, 162
Lamprecht, Painter, 246
Lanceray, Bronze-founder, 328
Lang, Baron von, 327
Laughlin Brothers, Potters, 342
Laurin, M., 149
Layard, 70
Leighton, Frederick, 88, 94, 224
Lekythos, 47, 50
Lille Porcelain, 323
Limoges Porcelain, 258
—— Pottery, 150
Lindencher, M., 151
Lindus Pottery, 89
Longbeards, 76
Louis Philippe, 269
Louis XIV, 143, 261
Lowestoft Porcelain, 299
Luson, Potter, 299
Lustres, 83, 114, 116
Lyman and Fenton, Potters, 339
Lyons, Mr., 269

Madrid Porcelain, 286
Maiolica, 87, 95, 97{354}
Majorca, 87
Malaga, 85
Man, The Greek, 60
Mandarin China, 221
Marcolini, Count, 241
Marco Polo, 179, 204
Maria Theresa, 245
Marks, Alcora, 287
—— Amstel, 322
—— Berlin, 245
—— Bow, 292
—— Bristol, 310
—— Capo di Monte, 286
—— Caughley, 311
—— Chamberlain’s, 308
—— Chantilly, 257
—— Chelsea, 297
—— Chinese, 207
—— Clignancourt, 255
—— Copeland, 314
—— Copenhagen, 327
—— on Delft, 160
—— Derby, 299
—— Dresden, 241
—— Frankenthal, 249
—— Fulda, 252
—— Fürstenburg, 250
—— Höchst, 248
—— Japanese Symbolic, 215
—— Kronenburg, 251
—— Lille, 323
—— Limbach, 252
—— Limoges, 258
—— Ludwigsburg, 251
—— Maiolica, 119
—— Marieberg, 326
—— Marseilles, 256
—— Moscow, 330
—— Nantgarw, 310
—— New Hall, 312
—— Niderviller, 257
—— Nove, 282
—— Nymphenburg, 251
—— Nyon, 252
—— Orleans, 256
—— Paris, 257
—— Plymouth, 309
—— Porcelain, 325
—— Rockingham, 313
—— Russian, 329
—— Sceaux-Penthièvre, 257
—— Sèvres, 272
—— St.-Cloud, 254
—— Strasbourg, 256
—— Swansea, 311
—— Symbolic, 200
—— The Hague, 323
—— Tournay, 324
—— Turin, 281
—— Turner, 311
—— Valenciennes, 256
—— of Vezzi and Cozzi, 280
—— Vienna, 247
—— Vincennes, 271
—— Weesp, 321
—— Worcester, 306
—— Zurich, 252
Marryat, Mr., 155, 174, 301
Marseilles Pottery, 148
Massachusetts Potteries, Early, 338
Matthews, Mr., 270
Mayence Porcelain, 248
Medicean Porcelain, 274
Medici, Lorenzo de’, 195, 204
—— The, 275
Meissen Porcelain, 230
Melchior, Painter, 249
Menecy-Villeroy Porcelain, 255
Meteyard, Miss, 168, 172
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 24, 121, 222
Mexican Pottery, 20, 66
Mezza-Maiolica, 98
Mintons, The, Potters, 314
Mitchell, Dr., 270
Monument of Pottery, 80
Moorish Pottery, 72
Moors in Spain, 82
Morris, Potter, 331{355}
Moscow Porcelain, 330
Mosque of Omar, 89
Mounds, Western, 22
Moustiers Pottery, 146
Müller, Potter, 327
Murrhine Vases, Ancient, 204
Musée Céramique at Sèvres, 270
Museum of Arts, Boston, 86, 120

Nacre, 149
Nanking-Blue Porcelain, 181
Nanking Tower, 177
Nantgarw Porcelain, 310
Naples, Pottery from, 64
Napoleon I., 324
Nelson, Lord, 307
Nevers Faience, 139
New Hall Porcelain, 312
New Jersey Potteries, Early, 340
Niderviller Porcelain, 257
Nigg, Painter, 246
Nimrúd, Palace at, 70
Northern Europe, Porcelains of, 319
Norwalk Pottery, 337
Norwich Pottery, 336
Nottingham Ware, 335
Nove Porcelain, 281
Nymphenburg Porcelain, 250

Œnochoe, 47
Olery, Maître, 146
Olpe, 46
Omar, Mosque of, 89
Onyx, Wedgwood’s, 168
Oporto Porcelain, 287
Oriental Art, Character of, 190, 206, 236
Ornaments of Delft-ware, 158
Owari Porcelain, 228
Oxybaphon, 46

Painters, Amateur, 298
—— at Worcester, 304
Palaces of Homer’s Heroes, 30
Palissy, Bernard, 123
Panathenaic Festival, 149
Pâte dure, 233, 253
Pâte tendre, 233, 253
Pâte-sur-pâte, 315
Peabody Museum, 22
Peach Decoration, Japanese, 225
Pelice, 45
Pellipario Family, 109
Pepys’s Diary, 158, 161
Perger, Painter, 246
Pericles, 58
Persian Pottery, 90
Peruvian Pottery, 22
Pesaro, 98
Peter the Great, 327
—— the Hermit, 96
Pe-tun-tse, 178, 205, 233
Phallus, 23
Pharmaceutical Emblems, 118
Phiale, 46
Philadelphia Art School, 211
—— Exhibition, 22, 25, 63, 130, 227, 340
—— Industrial Museum, 316
—— Porcelain, 331
Piccolpasso, Book of, 116
Pindar, 40
Pinxton Porcelain, 310
Pipe Clay, 134
Pithos, 62
Pizarro, 22
Place, Francis, Potter, 314
Plumbiferous Glaze, 98, 161
Plymouth Porcelain, 308
Poland, Porcelain of, 330
Pompadour, Madame de, 258
Pompeii, 59
Popoff, Potter, 330
Porcelain Biscuit, Wedgwood’s, 168{356}
Porcelain, Céladon, 195
—— of Central Europe, 229
—— of China, 175
—— Chrysanthemo-Pæonienne, 182
—— Colors of, 180, 194
—— Discovery of, 178
—— Earliest European, 230
—— in Egyptian Tombs, 179, 203
—— of England, 288
—— Famille-rose, 185
—— Famille-vert, 184
—— Flowers, 258
—— of France, 253
—— Imperial Yellow, 195
—— Importation of Chinese, 204
—— Japanese, 210, 227
—— Manufacture, Sites of, 202
—— Manufacture in China, 201
—— Mode of making in China, 205
—— of Northern Europe, 319
—— Painting, 196
—— Origin of Word, 203
—— of Southern Europe, 274
—— Styles of Japanese, 214
—— Tower at Nanking, 177
—— of the United States, 331
—— Variegated-leaved, 219
—— Varieties of Chinese, 181
Portland Vase, 171
Portuguese Trade with Japan, 222
Potteries, Greek, 53
Potter’s Art, Antiquity of, 13
—— Wheel, 19, 34
Pottery, Chinese, 178
—— Monument of, 80
Pottier, M. André, 132
Pottle-pot, 77
Poutai, Chinese God, 64, 176
Prices of Henri-Deux Ware, 136
—— of Wedgwood Ware, 174
Prime, William C., 76, 89, 92, 100, 282, 244, 285, 287, 296, 306, 307, 334
Prizes for Victors, 48
Prize Vase, Athenian, 49
Prochoos, 46
Protestant Persecutions in France, 123
Pruyn, J. V. L., 270, 300, 302

Queen Elizabeth’s Housekeeping, 161
Queen’s Ware, Wedgwood’s, 166

Raffaelle Ware, 106
Reindeer Age, 15
Reticulated Cups, 197
Rhode Island, Rouen Pottery in, 146
Rhodian Pottery, 87
Rhyton, 47
Ringler, Potter, 249
Ritter, 99
Robinson, Mr. J. C., 133
Rockingham Porcelain, 312
Rockwell, Mrs., 218
Roman Pottery, 124, 27, 161
Rörstrand, 325
Rose, John, Potter, 312
Rose, Painter, 300
Rothschild, Baron, 267, 276
Rouen Pottery, 142, 255
Rouse and Turner, Potters, 340
Roux, Maître, 146
Rovigo, Francisco Xanto Avelli da, 104, 108
Ruch, Painter, 327
Ruel, Durand, M., 149
Russia, Porcelain of, 327

Saladin, Porcelain sent by, 204
Salt-glaze, 73, 162
Salzmann, Mr., 89
Samian Ware, 25
Samos, Cup of, 26
Sappho, 57
Sarcophagus of Pottery, 80{357}
Sarreguemines Pottery, 149
Satsuma Ware, 224, 228
Saxon Porcelain, 230
Sceaux-Penthièvre, 257
—— Marks, 257
School Education, 163
Ségange, M. Broc de, 139
Seipsius, Painter, 327
Sèvres Marks, 273
—— Porcelain, 258
Sgraffiato Ware, 119
Sheffield, Lord, 335
Shelton Porcelain, 312
Simplicity, Greek, 265
Six-mark Porcelain, 192
Skyphos, 46
Slip, 98
Smith and Sons, Potters, 334
Socrates, 61
Solon, Painter, 315
Spanish Pottery, 64
Spode, Josiah, Potter, 313
—— Porcelain, 313
Sprimont, Potter, 293
Staffordshire Potteries, 174
Stamnos, 45
Stanniferous Glaze, 72, 83, 93, 98
States, Potter, 337
St.-Cloud Porcelain, 254
Steel, Daniel, 166
Steen, Jan, 155
Stenzel, 245
Stoke-upon-Trent, 162
Stone Age, 15
Stone-ware, 161
Stonington Pottery, 337
St. Petersburg, 327
Strasbourg Pottery, 148
Stratford-le-Bow, 290
Swansea Porcelain, 311
Sweden, Porcelain of, 324
Symbolic Animals, Chinese, 187
—— Colors, Chinese, 188
—— Marks, 200

Table-Furniture, Early American, 334
Taiping Rebels, 178, 181
Tea and Teapots, 158
Tea-Services, Delft, 157
Terra-Cotta, Wedgwood’s, 167
Terraglia Faience, 281
Terre de Pipe, 73, 134
Tiffany and Co., 306, 316
Tiles, Dutch, 160
—— Moorish, 83
—— Persian or Arabic, 92
Toltecs, 21
Tombs, Egyptian, 71
—— Relics from, 31
Tournay Porcelain, 323
Trenton Potteries, 341
Treviso Porcelain, 281
Tripods, 70
Tschirnhaus, 231
Tucker and Hemphill, Potters, 332
Tuppi, Painter, 279
Turin Porcelain, 281
Turkey, Porcelain sold in, 246, 299, 303
Turkish Pottery, 65
Turner, Thomas, Potter, 311
Turquoise-Blue Porcelain, 193
Tver Porcelain, 330
Tyg, 162

Unglazed Pottery, 63
United States, Pottery and Porcelain of the, 331
Urban VIII., Pope, 172
Urbino, 102

Valencia, 86
Van der Meer, 155
Vandervelde, William, 155
Variegated-leaved Porcelain, 219{358}
Varnish, 69
Varsanni, Painter, 246
Vase, Alhambra, 84
—— Etruscan, 62
—— Great Numbers of, 53
—— Greek, 29
—— Pictures on, 61
—— Sèvres, 263
Venice Porcelain, 279
Vermont Potteries, Early, 339
Vezzi, Potter, 279
Vienna Exposition, 181
—— Porcelain, 245
Vincennes Porcelain, 259
Violins, Delft, 157
Virginia Clays, 290

Wales, George W., 90, 94, 146, 185, 238, 269, 285, 296, 302, 306, 326
Wall, Dr., 303
Wallace, Sir Richard, 112, 315
Washington Pitchers, 338
Watcombe Pottery, 67
Water-Coolers, 63
Wech, Painter, 246
Wedgwood, Josiah, 163, 333
Wedgwoods, The, Potters, 314
Wedgwood Ware, Prices of, 174
Weesp Porcelain, 321
Wegeley, Mr., 242
Wheel, Potter’s, 19
Wilkinson, Sir Gardiner, 70
Williams, H. D., 220
Willow-Pattern, 311
Woman, The Greek, 54
Worcester Porcelain, 303
Wyman, Miss, 185

Xantippe, 61
Xanto, 104, 108

Zeuxis, 44

THE END.{359}




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The Art Journal is a quarto monthly publication, superbly illustrated and printed, and specially devoted to the world of Art—Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Decoration, Engraving, Etching, Enameling, and Designing in all its branches—having in view the double purpose of supplying a complete illustrated record of progress in the Arts, and of affording a means for the cultivation of Art-taste among the people. Each number is richly and abundantly illustrated on both steel and wood, and no pains are spared to render this “Art Journal” the most valuable publication of the kind in the world. It contains the Steel Plates and Illustrations of the London Art Journal, a publication of world-wide fame (the exclusive right of which, for Canada and the United States, has been purchased by the publishers); with extensive additions devoted principally to American Art and American topics. Published monthly. Sold only by Subscription. Price, 75 Cents per Number; $9.00 per Annum, postage prepaid.

Subscriptions received by the Publishers, or their Agents. Agencies: 22 Hawley St., Boston; 922 Chestnut St., Philadelphia; 22 Post-Office Avenue, Baltimore; 53 Ninth St., Pittsburg; 100 State St., Albany; 42 State St., Rochester; 103 State St, Chicago; 30 W. 4th St., Cincinnati; 305 Locust St., St. Louis; 20 St. Charles St., New Orleans; 230 Sutter St., San Francisco.

D. APPLETON & CO., Publishers, 549 & 551 Broadway, N. Y.



[1] See Demmin, “Guide,” etc., p. 130.

[2] “La Poterie Gauloise, Description de la Collection Charvet,” par Henri du Cleuziou, Paris, 1872.

[3] Birch’s “History of Ancient Pottery.”

[4] “Guide de l’Amateur de Faïences et Porcelaines.”

[5] “Traité des Arts céramiques.”

[6] Published at Nevers in 1863.

[7] Demmin says that MM. Jauffret et Mouton are at work there still.

[8] Earthen-ware.

[9] “Histoire de la Porcelaine Chinoise.”

[10] Marryat, “Pottery and Porcelain.”

[11] Jacquemart.

[12] From a Chinese dictionary quoted by Jacquemart.

[13] This mandarin porcelain Mr. A. W. Franks, the latest writer on the subject, believes was made in China; and thus he differs from Jacquemart.

[14] The crown thus becomes three shillings and sixpence sterling.

[15] “Marks and Monographs of Pottery and Porcelain,” G. W. Chaffers.

[16] Bohn’s Catalogue.

[17] An article made of fire-clay, to place the china in when being burnt.

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:
and and that time=> and that time {pg 7}
Louis Phillippe=> Louis Philippe, {pg 269}

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times down to the Philadelphia ex, by Charles Wyllys Elliott


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