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Collecting Old Continental Pottery
Henri Deux Ware, Etc.
Paris And Its Environs
Glazed Pottery Of France
Stoneware Of Germany
German And Other Guilds
SWEDEN, DENMARK, SWITZERLAND:
Stockholm, Rorstrand, and Marieberg
Delft: The Old Signs Of The Potters
Majolica And Luca Della Robia
Naples, Rimini, Monte Feltro, And Forli
Siena, Monte Lupo, And Pisa
Fabriano, Viterbo, Rome
Venice, Treviso, Bassano, Milan, Etc.
PERSIA AND DAMASCUS:
Persia And Damascus
Persian And Other Tiles
Rhodes, Asiatic Turkey, Etc.
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Charles Francois Hannong, whose name is prominent amongst the old French potters of Alsace, now a German province, was, about 1709, a pipe-maker in Strasburg, where his family had before time confined their attention to the production of enamelled earthenware stoves. Towards 1720 we find him engaged, with one Wackenfeld, in perfecting such stoves and in making experiments in porcelain, in which they attained a certain success, great improvements being effected by succeeding members of the Hannong family. This applies also to the faience, which in 1724 was so important a manufacture that Charles founded another factory at Haguenau, about eighteen miles north of Strasburg ; but eight years later he retired from the business, on account of age, and left it to his two sons, Paul Antoine and Balthasar, receiving from them an annual payment during his life, which terminated in 1739.
Two years before this happened Balthasar left his brother and devoted himself to the Haguenau concern, whilst that at Strasburg reached onwards to perfection and prosperity, producing faience of fine quality painted with flowers and insects upon a white enamel of singular purity. The decoration was improved in 1744, when Paul discovered the method of applying gilding. Ten years passed in which the pursuit of hard porcelain went on side by side with the making of faience, and when his success led him to apply for a licence to manufacture this porcelain, the director of the royal factory refused it and compelled him to close his works, which he transferred to Frankenthal. Probably Boileau, who was appointed director of Sevres in 1759, was in office at Vincennes, the manufacture royale de Poycelaine de France, in 1754, when the Strasburg factory was shut up, but only for a time, for, in 1760, after Paul's death, his son Pierre Antoine succeeded to it, whilst another son, Joseph Adam, inherited that at Frankenthal, and yet another copied Strasburg ware at Vincennes in 1767.
Pierre was not persevering like his father. After selling the secret of the porcelain to Sevres, he leased his pottery to Widow Lowenfinck, and later he handed it over to his brother Joseph, who resumed the making of faience. By the decree of 1766 permission was given to the French potters to make porcelain, with this limitation: the decoration was to be in blue or in camaieu-that is, only a single colour, or, at the most, simple colours, not seeking to imitate those of nature. Joseph seized this opportunity, and continuing his faience, he commenced to produce all kinds of wares in porcelain, painted with animals, bouquets, etc., in camaieu. Monetary difficulties, taxes, and debts ruined him, for being unable to repay the Prince-Bishop of Strasburg, who had financed him, he was thrown into prison, the factory was seized and sold, and in spite of all his efforts, on his release, to re-establish his credit, he failed, and fled to Germany, where he died. The history of old Strasburg faience ends with 1780.
About sixty years, then, cover the period in which much remarkable ware was made, having a body of fine, wellworked clay, often overspread with ornament in relief, disposed with considerable skill, avoiding the heaviness usually associated with this form of decoration. Indeed, its lightness was in contrast to the usual French faience, which is more or less thick. The enamel and the painting were excellent, especially upon the surtouts de table or centre-pieces, painted with subjects after Baptiste, or more frequently with lovely bouquets in colours on a white ground ; elegant forms, too, of jardinieres, cafetieres, and many other objects which were most meritorious during Paul Hannong's direction. Naturally, the productions varied with the care bestowed upon them, and Paul was devotion personified.
The classification of Strasburg faience is simplified because of the monograms which are found on specimens made by various members of the family. Dishes, clocks, openwork baskets, etc., are signed on the reverse with sufficient frequency as to be a safe guide, though the form of the signature may vary, or it may be accompanied by artists' initials or by numbers. The fundamental letter is, of course, H. Then we have C.H., P.H., A.H., J.H., sometimes in separate letters, but usually joined or coupled in different ways, some of which are shown amongst the marks.
With regard to the Haguenau fabrique, owing to the absence of such signatures the wares remain uncertain, but we may believe they were very like those of Strasburg. Balthasar Hannong possibly used the letters ascribed to him -H.B. in a monogram. Considering the close union between the two factories, it is probable that many examples, even those which are signed and assigned to Strasburg, were pro duced at Haguenau. After the death of Paul, Xavier Hallez was associated with the Hannong management; then the pottery was transferred to Widow Anstette, whose sons, Barth and Vollet, were in possession in 1786, beyond which year the records fail.
Some of the other French fabriques copied the Strasburg style and endeavoured to reach its excellence. The bouquets, flowers, masks, and animals' heads in relief, and the baskets of fruit and flowers in high relief, were imitated just as much as the painted decoration of bouquets of flowers in colours on a white ground. And the plates with open-work borders, latticed or trellised, were made not only in France, but in Sweden, where these productions of the Rorstrand factory, established in 1727, near Stockholm, attained a close likeness to the wares of the Alsatian potters, whose genre de Strasbourg, having its decoration upon a base of tin enamel, cuit or fired, was the starting-point of several other kinds of decoration which aimed to reproduce upon faience polychrome painting as it was applied upon porcelain. The competition was beneficial to both.