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DAVENPORT WARE: In a factory established in 1793 at Longport in Staffordshire, John Davenport made both earthenware and porcelain domestic ware of excellent quality with colors and designs following the Derby style. Great use was made of ground colors for rich decorations, an apple-green being particularly favored. The factory was in operation until 1886 and much porcelain with their mark has survived, and fine examples are now much sought after.
DEDHAM POTTERY: To Hugh Robertson is given the credit by French and German ceramists of note for producing ware at the Dedham potteries "forty to sixty years ahead of public appreciation," after he had spent more than twenty years in such work at the Chelsea Keramic Art Works (q.v.). In 1895 a new pottery was built at Dedham where Chinese "crackle" ware and high-fired vases were produced. These vases were self-colored red, green, yellow and slate, all simple and heavy to withstand the strain of high-firing. They equaled any of the finer Oriental wares.
DELFTWARE: A pottery made first in Delft, Holland, early in the 17th century of a soft reddish clay, containing an unusual quantity of lime, after a method of the Italian majolicists of the 15th and 16th centuries. In the biscuit form delft was coated with an opaque white tin-enamel slip, and then while the enamel was still wet the colors were applied and the enamel was liquefied and the colors fixed at one firing. Blue was the earliest color used in imitation of the more costly porcelain which had been brought from the Far East, followed by the polychrome colors. A great variety of ware was made including tiles. Later delft is glazed with lead.
English delft was first made at the Lambeth potteries about the middle of the 17th century, followed later by those at Bristol and Liverpool. In Liverpool it was the principal industry of the town for many years. English delft is of a much harder body base and the painting is more coarse than the Dutch examples, and is mostly under the glaze in blue, yellow or dull purple.
DERBY PORCELAIN: Although the factory was established about 1750, little is known at the present time of the early production before the time of William Duesbury in 1756. The porcelain made after that is white, fine and soft and the "'biscuit" is worthy of special notice, rivaling in many respects the biscuit of Sevres. Bisque figures were often modeled from drawings by Angelica Kaufmann. Its finest work is regarded as that done in the Chelsea Derby period 1770-75 and the Crown Derby period 1785-90. The paste and decorations of these periods may be compared in every way to good Sevres china. Crown Derby is lighter in weight than any other ceramic, and although very thin, it is strong. After about 1811 the product of the factory deteriorated rapidly and the works were closed in 1848. The present Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company was formed about 1875. It is not a lineal descendant of the earlier company. Although the products of this company are very decorative, but little attempt is made to copy the old models. Beauty of form, purity of body, excellence of gilding and delicacy of painting distinguish the work of the present company.
DERBY WARE: Derby earthenware is worth considering from a collector's point of view. Slip ware was made in the earlier days, also delft. Later, cream ware was produced, although not equal to the Staffordshire products. The Cock Pit Hill pottery made a slip ware with the design raised from the surface, and, between, slips of several colors were poured, a distinctive style of decoration.
DERUTA WARE: The monumental decorative style of early Renaissance majolica was crowned with the achievement reached by the Deruta ware early in the 16th century. The product is equaled only by the Hispano'Moresque lustre plates.
DOCCIA PORCELAIN: Made at a factory near Florence, Italy, where it was established in 1735 by the Marchese Carlo Ginori and is still in operation. Doccia china is generally found in parts of table services, rarely in vases. The earlier productions are well worth acquiring. Of the early production the body was of semi-hard paste and the glaze soft, sometimes with a tendency to run. In the later production both the body and glaze are perfect. The decoration followed Oriental and European motifs. Capo di Monte molds were obtained by the Doccia factory in 1834 and copies of that porcelain were made, also majolica, of good quality.
DON WARE: The factory at Swinton, Yorkshire, founded in 1790 by John Green made ware similar to Leeds, and when unmarked it is difficult to distinguish between them. The pottery passed through various vicissitudes of fortune and in 1834 was purchased by Samuel Barker, and it remained in the Barker family for about fifty years. They made the usual varieties of the common classes of earthenware, some of it decorated with enamel colors, gilt or lustre.
DOULTON WARE: John Doulton established a stoneware factory first at Vauxhall, afterwards transferred to Lambeth, early in the 19th century, and under the name of Doulton a large variety of wares were made differing greatly in design and decoration, as well as in the material itself. The works are still in existence producing Doulton ware, Lambeth faience and Ilnpasto. The first is decorated while in the "biscuit" state and then placed in the kiln, receiving but one firing. The appearance of this ware is very similar to Gres de Flandres (Cologne) of which its production is really a revival. It is a salt-glazed stoneware impervious to the action of acids and when made thin it is semi-translucent.
The faience is hand-painted and requires more than one firing. It is entirely different from the Doulton ware in body and decoration. The glaze of this class is somewhat duller, too. Impasto consists of an application of colored clays to the surface, leaving the design in slight relief and very effective. One peculiarity of this production is that they do not print their designs and so rarely, if ever, repeat the pattern of even the most inexpensive articles.
DRESDEN PORCELAIN: A factory was established at Dresden, Saxony, in 1709, under the patronage of August II, Elector, where a hard stoneware resembling porcelain was produced by a process discovered by Johann Friedrich Bottger. Later the factory was removed to Meissen, near Dresden, where it has flourished since under state control. Really fine porcelain was produced about 1715 by means of using kaolin (white clay). The early productions (prior to 1720) were made in white in imitation of blanc-de-Chine. Gradually, the secret for making this porcelain spread to France and England and the models of Meissen were copied by Sevres, Worcester, Bow, Chelsea and Derby.
After the Death of Bottger in 1719 Herold became the master painter, and in 1731 Kandler the modeler, who became famous. Painted figure subjects were introduced and relief ornament became a leading feature. Figures were also made for mounting in ormolu, then fashionable in Europe. It was previous to 1740 that the beautiful ground colors in canary yellow, apple green, lilac, maroon or claret and blue were introduced. Vases, table services and other ware of this period command the admiration of collectors. During the socalled King's period, 1778-1796, the reputation of Dresden porcelain became world-wide. The true Meissen is strong and serviceable, the glaze is even and brilliant, the colors are sharp and bright, while the painting is for fineness and finish unsurpassed. Owing to the high value of old Dresden (Meissen) ware, many imitations have been made to impose on inexperienced collectors. During the 19th century Dresden ware has not equaled its earlier product.