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THE HAGUE CHINA - 1775-1785 (?)

HISTORY. The hard paste porcelain factory established at The Hague in 1775 by the Viennese Anton Leichner had only a short life, but during its career produced some very excellent work. Not only did this factory decorate its own ware, but it also decorated a great deal of the soft paste porcelain made at Tournai. This circumstance has sometimes led to the impression that The Hague factory made both hard and soft paste. Only hard paste was made at The Hague. The factory was given up at the end of about ten years.

THE BODY. The body was a fine, white hard paste of unexceptionable quality, produced according to the traditions of Dresden and Vienna and was virtually identical with them in character.

THE GLAZE. The glaze was also clear, even and brilliant like the glazes of Dresden and Vienna.

ARTICLES MADE AND CONTOUR. The preponderance of china produced consisted of tableware and the more usual objects of household adornment. There were,however,some elaborate vases made. There was no figure modelling and very little moulding in low relief was done, the china commonly presenting a perfectly plain, smooth surface. Energies were chiefly concentrated upon painted decoration which was of an high order. There were some late Rococo contours but most of the shapes were those of the Neo-Classic type.

TYPES OF DECORATION. Flowers in polychrome were, perhaps, the most usual decorative motifs employed at The Hague, but there were also "Boucher" children and cupids, with surrounding foliage and attributes, en camaieu; birds of multi-coloured plumage; monochrome landscapes, sometimes in grisaille; and antique heads in profile, set in medallions with a pale pink ground. This last form of decoration was rendered with peculiar success.

THE MARKS. The mark was the city emblem-a stork holding a fish in its beak. This mark was painted in underglaze blue on the hard paste china made at The Hague; it was painted in on-glaze blue on the soft paste china made at Tournai but decorated at The Hague.

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