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Pottery & Porcelain (A) - Encyclopedia Of Antiques

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ABORIGINAL POTTERY: There were, roughly, three groups of pre-Columbian pottery produced in this country; that of the Atlantic Slope, Indian, that of the Mississippi Valley, the Mound Builders, and that of the house building tribes of the far West.

ABRUZZI WARE: The kind of majolica which is known as Abruzzi is not the production of any particular factory, but the term is applied to specimens which it is difficult to assign to any of the more distinguished Italian factories.

ADAMS WARE: One of the oldest names in the Staffordshire potteries is that of Adams. William Adams (1745-1805) of Tunstall (Greenfield) was perhaps the best potter of that family. The foundation of the firm dates from 1657. Their product has always been of excellent quality. Their specialties have been Adams jasper, Egyptian black, Imperial stoneware, Etruscan ware and vitreous stoneware. In the first half of the 19th century they produced blue-printed ware with American and English views which are much sought for by collectors. The firm of William Adams & Co. is still in existence making earthenware of a high grade of excellence.

AGATE WARE: Earthenware made either solid or in surface decoration to resemble the veinings of agate or other natural stones. If solid, it is produced by layers of different colored clays twisted together and then cut transversely with wire. Pieces of a small size only were made of these mixed bodies. The surface ware is splashed and grained on an ordinary cream body. The former method was never made to the same extent as marbling on the surface.

ALCOCK (S.) & COMPANY: A pottery established in Burslem in works formerly operated by Ralph Wood. Molded figures in relief were a notable product. The company was succeeded by the Hill Top Pottery in 1867. Samuel Alcock had been a figure painter at Copeland's.

ALCORA WARE: A Spanish factory established in 1727 and continuing through the 18th century, producing at first a fine faience and later a soft porcelain. Experienced workmen from France, Italy and Holland were at first employed and they taught the Spanish potters the latest methods in modeling and decorating.

AMERICAN ENCAUSTIC TILING CO.: Factory at Zanesville, Ohio, began making glazed flooring tiles in 1880. They also made relief tiles, imitation mosaic tiles, embossed damask-finished tiles and an unglazed floor tiling by the name of "Alhambra," by means of which soft, beautiful effects in carpet patterns have been obtained on a vitreous body of great hardness.


AMERICAN PORCELAIN COMPANY: Name given to a company succeeding the American China Manufactory at Philadelphia, but it does not appear to have operated under that name.



AMPHORA: The name of a vase with two handles used by the ancient Greeks for wine and for domestic purposes.,/p>

AMSTEL PORCELAIN: Factory near Amsterdam, the first in Holland, began producing a hard-paste porcelain in 1764. It had a fine white body closely resembling the body of Dresden china with landscape and figure decorations. Factory was discontinued in 1810.

ANGOULEME PORCELAIN: A French hard-paste porcelain of excellent quality made at Paris from 1780 to 1829 in one of the smaller factories. It successfully reproduced all the underglaze colored grounds used at Sevres and all the colors for on-glaze painting.

ARRAS PORCELAIN: Pas-de-Calais, France. Although this factory was in existence from 1770 to 1790, there were but four years (17821786) when the soft-paste porcelain was of excellent quality, rivaling Sevres. The ordinary production was inferior and of little importance.

ASH-FIELD (Mass.) POTTERY: Stoneware of ordinary quality made from clay brought from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, was made at Ashfield about the middle of the 19th century.

ASTBURY: A generic term applying to stoneware pottery with raised floral decoration of white on a colored, unglazed body, then glazed. It derives its name from John Astbury and Thomas, his son, potters in Staffordshire in the 18th century, and it was imitated by other potters in Staffordshire as well as those of Liverpool. The ware is of red, black, chocolate and fawn in color and similar to the Elers ware (q.v.) although not so sharp in its details. Devon pipe clay was used for ornamentation. Astbury first introduced ground flint into pottery about 1720, and he was constantly making experiments in methods of improving his product.