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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article


WIRKSWORTH CHINA - C. 1759-1777

HISTORY. In the second half of the eighteenth century soft paste porcelain was made at the Holland Manor House, at Wirksworth in Derbyshire. Although the his tory of the factory is obscure, there seems to be reason to believe that it was established about 1759, that one Gill was connected with it, and that it continued in operation till about 1777. It is believed that pottery was first made at Wirksworth and that porcelain making was a subsequent venture; in what year the manufacture of porcelain began, it is impossible to say. From about 1777 till after the beginning of the nineteenth century there was apparently a cessation of work. Then, sometime subsequent to 1804, it is said that Billingsley revived the Wirksworth establishment for a brief period.

The paste, not of the softest variety, was of good quality, fairly translucent, smooth of texture and of a slightly warm-grey tinge. The products appear to have been chiefly tea equipage, dessert services and the usual sorts of tableware.

Bemrose mentions the similarity of the decorations to those in general use at Lowestoft, while the coloring was strong though not crude.A good deal of delicately moulded ornament in low relief was used-daisies, honeysuckle, roses and leaves. The subjects of decoration were chiefly flowers such as roses, pinks, cornflowers and bluebells, in small scattered sprigs and sprays, in knots an d garlands attached with bows of ribbon or with rows of dots, and also occasionally in the form of larger blooms. The tasselled ornament to be found on Lowestoft borders was often employed, as well as dots, and the panels cr cartouches for borders filled in with scale or diaper designs. The colours most used were crimson, pink, a reddish brown, puce, blue, green and yellow.



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