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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Collecting Pottery:
Collecting Old Continental Pottery

Henri Deux Ware, Etc.
Palissy Ware
Paris And Its Environs
Glazed Pottery Of France

Stoneware Of Germany
German And Other Guilds

Stockholm, Rorstrand, and Marieberg

Delft: The Old Signs Of The Potters

Majolica And Luca Della Robia
Castel Durante
Naples, Rimini, Monte Feltro, And Forli
Siena, Monte Lupo, And Pisa
Fabriano, Viterbo, Rome
Venice, Treviso, Bassano, Milan, Etc.

Persia And Damascus
Persian And Other Tiles
Rhodes, Asiatic Turkey, Etc.

Hispano-Moresque Ware

The Glazed Pottery Of France

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

In England during the Tudor period, 1485-1603, drinking vessels, especially jugs, were made of a buff-coloured clay, fairly hard, covered nearly all over with a green glaze. These wares may be regarded as types of the glazed pieces, poteries vernissees, which were also manufactured in Western Europe about the close of the Middle Ages. Instead of an opaque coat, composed of elements in which tin held an important place, they received a glassy, transparent coating, in which the chief ingredient was lead. This glaze may be green or brown, it may be coloured with various metallic oxides; but, being transparent, the body of the ware beneath it can be seen, whilst its lustre often communicates to pieces to which it has been applied a charming softness, a striking effect which is seldom obtained from the enamelled pottery to which the name faience has been given. Perhaps the best definition of faience is that it is earthenware which is not white, like English earthenware now is, but which has a paste finer than ordinary pottery. The difference between the fine glazed pottery of France and its faience is exceedingly slight, when the pastes or clays are compared, so that the lead glaze of one distinguishes it from the tin glaze of the other. Recognising the extreme difficulty of making sharp differences between the fine and the coarse glazed pottery, we may assume that skilful decoration is the essential. Without that, the wares which the factories throughout Europe produced for domestic purposes would be valued perhaps for their age, and for their place in a historical series, but for little else, unless the shapes were especially good or unusually quaint, or the glazes mottled or lustred with uncommon effect.

All over France old potteries were working during many centuries. At Beauvais, fifty-four miles north of Paris, stoneware was made, which was much esteemed, from the commencement of the sixteenth century, and its glazed pottery was about as old. Covered with a green glaze, decorated with figures in relief and pierced with open work, its cannettes or bidons and jugs are fine examples of early ware, and the widemouthed four-handled ones, like some English tygs, are quite as curious.

Then at Saintes, on the river Charente, the scene of Bernard Palissy's early struggles, a jrabrique existed-again from the first years of the sixteenth century-which, towards the end of the next century, transferred its attention from glazed pottery to white faience decorated with designs in colours. The old ware was ornamented, in relief, with coats-of-arms, attributes, monograms, and inscriptions. The date 1511 was found on one specimen. In 1788 four factories were occupied in producing the white ware. Passing next to the south, we reach Avignon, which had a very ancient pottery, decorating its ware in relief. This ware was formed nearly always of a clay, slightly coloured, and covered with a rich brown glaze. Centre-pieces for the table, fountains, aiguieyes, and pierced baskets ingeniously worked were some of the objects produced, and marked by their elegance of form.. Though maintaining a decided originality, they resemble in their even coloration some of the pottery of the North of Italy and of Monte Lupo. In addition to the relief decoration and the brown glaze, other forms of decoration were applied, such as flowers, leaves, sprays, branches, fruits, and various ornaments in white on a brown ground, and, more rarely, in blue on a white ground. The last statement proves that the Avignon potters were not unfamiliar with enamelled faience, though most of their ware was light red and brown glazed. Apt has been noticed for its yellow glazed ware.

From Paris eastward to Epernay is just over seventy miles. There, too, glazed brown ware was made, resembling that of Avignon, for pieces of similar form were produced, as well as inkstands and salt-cellars, bearing occasionally a mark in the paste like this: Jean Montigny a Epernay 1716 le 7 decembre. Many really good examples of brown glazed ware can only be ascribed to districts such as Burgundy and I_orraine. Pieces commemorating the marriage of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, to Isabel of Portugal, in 1429, are Burgundian. They have applied moulded ornament, consisting of his coat-of-arms and the device which he then adopted: Tant q2ce vivrai aultye n'aure. Generally, however, the ware, like that of Lorraine, in the absence of ornament identified with the ruling Dukes, cannot be otherwise classified than as glazed ware of French origin, or of a district such as the Midi.

These remarks apply to other than brown wares, to some which have figures and ornament in relief in blue on a brown ground, to some which show a brown lustre, to some again which are decorated with flowers in colours, upon a brown ground, and to certain centre-pieces in glazed terra cotta, composed of groups of animals-the chase of the bull, the chase of the bear, of the wolf, and of the deer. Then there are many tiles and plaques for stoves, ornamented with remarkable bas-reliefs representing Victory, Air, Fire, etc., which still await identification.

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