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History Of Pottery And Porcelain:
Pottery And Porcelain Defined
History Of Pottery
Forms Employed By The Italians
Holland - Delft
Introduction To Porcelain
Oriental Porcelain China
Pottery And Porcelain
Clocks And Watches
( Originally Published Late 1800's )
We enter upon what in Christian nations is a comparatively modern art. The Orient claims it far back in those ages when the arts and industries of the Occident were only "just escaping from barbarous-effort," and with that singular selfishness which characterizes nations refusing intercourse with races distinct from themselves, the Oriental people refused to transmit to others the secret of porcelain manufacture.
Christendom has the credit of discovering, through its own superior intelligence, most of the arts employed by the ancients of pre-christian times, thus giving us two initial points for almost every industry. In ceramic gradation, porcelain occupies the intermediate position between pottery and glass. Pottery is opaque and non-vitreous; it is sometimes with, sometimes without, a vitreous glaze. Porcelain, being made from fusible material, is vitrified and translucent. Thus, by fusing pottery, or reducing glass to semiopacity, we obtain porcelain. In experimenting for the discovery of porcelain, both methods were tried, but the former proved most successful.
The infusible ingredients of pottery combined with the fusible ingredients of glass produce porcelain. Porcelain is divided into two classes, and distinguished by a variation in the glazing.
HARD PASTE (pate dure) is the form in which we ordinarily meet it; this will not yield to the knife.
SOFT PASTE (pate tendre) is easily scratched by the knife, and it also has a waxy feeling; this last form is most generally employed upon pieces of lavish decoration. A knowledge of these two classes is utterly indispensable to the connoisseur or expert.