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Pottery & Porcelain (M) - Encyclopedia Of Antiques

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MAASTRICHT POTTERY: Holland pottery established in 1834 by P. Regout. As a potter, he followed English methods, probably employing skilled workmen from England and the production was designed to compete with English earthenware which had become very common in Holland.

MADELEY PORCELAIN: Made at a factory in Shropshire from about 1827 to 1840 by Thomas Martin Randall, who was a chemist and a good decorator of china. The body was of soft paste, closely resembling the best old Sevres, creamy in tone and very translucent. Tableware and decorative accessories were the principal products. The decoration was in the typical French 18th-century manner. The ware was not marked. This was the last soft-paste porcelain made in England and was the nearest approach to old Sevres ever made.

MAJOLICA: The name is derived from the island of Majorca, off the coast of Spain, and the chief center of the Hispano-Moresque pottery (q.v.) trade with Italy. At first the term was restricted to tin-enameled wares decorated with metallic lustres. The body, usually buff in color and porous, was dipped in the liquid enamel preparation, and after drying the decoration was painted on the absorbent surface. The ware was then covered with the glaze and fired, which fixed the colors. The earliest example of this ware that is known was executed by Luca della Robbia in 1438. Strictly speaking the term should only be applied to Italian wares, although it is often used to describe other wares decorated in the Italian manner. The best known of the old Italian factories are Gubbio (q.v.), Faenza (q.v.), and Urbino (q.v.), with many others of good reputation.

MARKS: On earthenware the marks, if any, are made either with a metal stamp, impressed in the ware while in a plastic state, or by painted or printed marks. Both methods may be regarded as genuine "marks" on old pieces, provided they are under the glaze. The classification of English porcelain of the 18th century is made difficult by frequent absence of factory marks, and by evidence that the marks of the larger factories were often copied by their minor rivals. According to Litchfield an exaggerated value is placed upon the "mark." This should be used as a confirmation of other points of evidence that the piece is genuine, rather than the evidence itself. No marks whatever were used on early American pottery. It was not until early in the 19th century that wares of some of the potters were marked, and until Barber compiled a partial list in his Pottery and Porcelain of the United States, no attempt was made to record them.

MARL: A term loosely applied to mixtures of clay and limestone. Much used in the early composition of earthenware.

MARSEILLES WARE: As early as 1607-10 Marseilles became an important center, noted for its manufacture of faience. It is distinguished for its graceful shapes and artistic modeling. There are still potteries in the vicinity. A hard-paste porcelain factory was started about 1776 but it was discontinued in 1793. The production of the later years had a white body, a good, clear glaze and was well decorated with flowers in the manner of Mennecy and Sevres.

MASON WARE: Produced at a factory established at Lane Delph, Staffordshire, by Miles Mason in the 18th century and continued by his son, Charles Mason. The ware is generally in the character of Oriental ,,)orcelain although the paste bears no relemblance. The coloring was in reds and blues, and some enriched with gilding. The factory also produced printed ware and excellent enameled ware. See IRONSTONE CHINA.

MAZARINE BLUE: The origin of the name is doubtful. There may be a disputed connection of Cardinal Mazarin with it. It is the "gros-bleu" of Sevres and the dark blue of Chelsea, and resembles the "powdered" blue of Oriental porcelain, although the ground is solid. Powdered blue is blown, not brushed, upon the body of the piece, before glazing and firing, leaving a mottled appearance.


MEHWALDT WARE: An American pottery located at Bergholtz, near Niagara Falls, established about 1851 by Charles Mehwaldt, a German who came to this country because of the political unrest in Germany at that time. Mehwaldt was a master potter and he came of a long line of potters. The ware was of a reddish-brown color mottled with dark spots, leadglazed, and somewhat resembles the ware of the Bennington potteries, although it lacks the hard metallic glaze of Bennington; it is of same coloring. The production was chiefly ware for domestic use. The works were destroyed following Mehwaldt's death in 1887.


MENNECY PORCELAIN: A factory producing porcelain or soft paste, established about 1735, famous for its production of small objects such as figurines, animals, toilet boxes and cream pots. The paste is of a creamy color, the glaze and potting both good. The decorations were in landscapes, birds and flowers. Borders were in blue instead of gold. Specimens are among the rarest of the early French porcelains. Factory was closed about 1774.


MINTON WARE: Made at a pottery started in 1798 at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, by Thomas Minton. At first he made only earthenware and his blue and white ware in imitation of Nankin porcelain was very popular. True porcelain was not made here until 1821, although a semi-translucent ware had been produced about twenty years earlier. The paste of the porcelainwas soft and white and the work was always refined, sometimes beautiful. Parian ware (q.v.), a feature of the Copeland (Spode) factories, also of Bennington in this country, is said to have been an invention of the Minton potteries. Thomas Minton died in 1836 and the works were then carried on by his son Herbert. The most marked improvement in Minton porcelain dates from 1851 under the management of Campbell, a nephew of Herbert Minton, and Arnoux, the art director. A new body of special softness and whiteness was introduced and the decoration was in the style of Sevres. In 1870, M. L. Solon went from Sevres to the Minton factory where under his direction the pate-sur-pate form of decoration was perfected. The factory is still in existence.

MOLDS: Molds of plaster of Paris were introduced into the potteries in 1743 by Ralph Daniel of Cobridge. They have since been used in the manufacture of all wares except such as are "thrown."

MUFFLE: A small enclosed kiln for trial purposes for firing enamel colors at a temperature insufficient to disturb the first painting.

MUSKINGUM COUNTY (OHIO) POTTERS: Numerous small potteries were included in this district early in the 19th century, and the following years, producing red, brown and yellow earthenware for domestic use. Experienced potters from Staffordshire reproduced the forms familiar in England. None of these potteries used identifying marks.