Notebook

Notebook, 1993-

DECORATIVE ARTS AND ANTIQUES

POTTERY AND PORCELAIN - Glossary - A List of Museums and Galleries - Ceramics - [A materials resource site with links]

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G l o s s a r y - Pottery & Porcelain
A-Cd - Ce-Der - Dev-In - Ir-Me - Mi-Roc - Roo-Wed - Wel-Z


Iron-red. Chinese - fan hung. One of the principal Chinese enamel colours which first appears towards the end of the Sung Dynasty. During the reign of Chia Ching [1522-66] it replaced underglaze copper red, and it was also employed as a ground colour. An iron red ground decorated with lotuses in gold was much prized by the Japanese and referred to by them as Kinrandé. Iron-red when used as part of painted decoration, during the Ming period causes a 'halo' to develop on teh surface of the glaze immediately surrounding it. Whilst it is not invariably present on genuine examples, it never occurs on later copies.

'Ironstone china'. Variety of 'stone china' [q.v.] [see Mason]. Produced experimentally 1740-3 by Andrew Duché at Savannah. Wares of heavy grade similar to the Mason ironstone were a staple of American makers from 1860 to 1900 under such names as white granite, opaque porcelain, flint china, with so-called hotel china and semi-porcelain appearing about 1885.

Isleworth [Middlesex]. Pottery run by Joseph Shore and R. and W. Goulding, making Staffordshire-type pottery, late 18th c. Relief-decorated tea pots, etc., marked 'S. & G.' and some Worcester blue-and-white porcelain have been wrongly attributed to Isleworth.

'Istoriato' painting [ Italian 'storied']. It is especially associated with Urbino, though not invented there. Essentially pictorial, it frequently covers a whole plate or dish, leaving no border.

Italian Comedy figures. Characters from the Italian Comedy were popular as porcelain models, mid-eighteenth century, chiefly Pantaloon, Isabella, Cynthio, Pierrot, Harlequin, Columbine, Captain, Doctor, Advocate.

Jackfield [Shropshire]. Old-established pottery, making [c. 1750-75] black-glazed earthenware, usually decorated with unfired painting and gilding.

'Japan' patterns. Term indiscriminately used of both Chinese and Japanese designs in the eighteenth century. Chinese famille verte and famille rose patterns were copied, as well as the Arita wares known as Imari [often with sumptuous floral and 'brocaded' designs in underglaze blue, enamels, and gilding] and kakiemon [enameled in red, green, blue, turquoise, and yellow].

Jasper dip and Jasperware. A fine-grained unglazed stoneware perfected by Wedgwood in 1775. Normally white, it could be stained with different metallic colours [chiefly blue, lilac, sage green, and black]. From about 1780 this colouring could be superficial only ['jasper dip']. Wedgwood's jasper-ware was much copied elsewhere.

'Jesuit' china. Porcelains of the first half of the eighteenth century painted with Christian subjects supplied by Jesuit missionaries, principally in black monochrome or famille rose enamels. The Jesuits brought to bear the first Western influence on the Chinese potters and painters. They first came to reside in the country towards the end of the sixteenth century.

Johanneum. The Dresden building containing the porcelain collection started by Augustus the Strong. Inventory marks, begun 1721, engraved on the wheel and coloured black, show numbers and letters to classify the type of porcelain, including Chinese and Japanese export ware.

Joney or joney grig. A dialect term for a chimney ornament in the form of a dog. A well-known Burslem pottery in the nineteenth century was known as a 'doll and jona' [figure and dog] works.

Ju-i. A sceptre with cloud-scroll head, emblem of fulfilled wishes.

Ju ware. One of the six classic wares of the Sung dynasty which was made in the Imperial kilns at Ju Chou [Honan Province]. For many years Ju ware was known only from often conflicting literary references, some of which were obviously inaccurate. A ritual disc acquired by Sir Percival David refers to the opening of the kiln in 1107, and it is known that it closed in 1127. Specimens are exceedingly rare.

Kakiemon III. Japanese potter of Arita, credited with the first application of enamelling to Japanese porcelain [c. 1660]. A class of Japanese ware with subtle asymmetrical decoration, named after him, and much copied in Europe during the eighteenth century, particularly at Meissen, Chantilly, and Chelsea.

Kaolin. See China Clay.

'Keep within compass'. A popular 'morality' used as decoration for earthenware by John Aynsley [1752-1829], showing the rewards of virtue and the punishments of sin.

Kiln. Used to fire body and glaze of hard-paste porcelain at about 1,200-1,400┴ C. [grand feu].

'Kinuta' celadon. See Celadon.

Ko ware. See Kuan ware.

Kuan ware. One of the classic glazes of the Sung dynasty. The name means 'Imperial' ware, and it was made for Court use, at first at K'ai-fêng in Honan Province and, after 1127, at Hang Chou. It has a greenish-grey glaze with a well-marked crackle which is virtually opaque, and it resembles, to some extent, a type of ware known as Ko, which has a greyish-white glaze, also with a well-marked crackle accentuated by red and black pigment. By tradition Ko ware was made by the elder of two brothers named Chang, Ko meaning 'elder brother', but the brothers Chang may well be legendary. Despite the resemblance there is no relationship otherwise between Kuan and Ko, the latter being made at Lung Ch'uan. [See Crackle.]

Kuan-yin. A Buddhist Goddess, originally the Indian Avalokiteshvara who changed sex when translated to China. The change seems to date from the Sung dynasty. As the Goddess or Mercy, Kuan -yin was widely popular throughout China and the subject of innumerable figures in the white porcelain of Tê Hua. She is sometimes depicted caring a child, and in this form has been confused with a Chinese version of the Virgin Mary.

Ku Yüeh Hsüan. The name means 'Ancient Moon Pavilion' and is derived from an inscription which occurs on some examples. It is applied to small pieces made towards the middle of the 18th c. and decorated with enamel colours in a similar technique to that employed by contemporary European factories. The technique was first employed for glass painting.

Kylin. More correctly, ch'i-lin. A term often erroneously applied to the Dog [or lion] of Fo [Buddha]. The ch'i-lin has the head of a dragon, a scaly body, deer's hooves, a bushy tail, and a single horn. Its appearance always portended some auspicious event. Despite its appearance it was too gentle even to tread on living grass. The ch'i-lin occurs comparatively rarely in either painted or modelled form.

Lambeth [delftware]. 'Lambeth' is often used to denote the London delftware potteries generally, namely: Aldgate [1571-c. 1780], Southwark [Pickleherring Quay, c. 1620-1770, and St. Saviour's, c. 1630-c. 1760], Vauxhall [perhaps late 17th c.-c. 1800], and Lambeth [Howard House, Church Street, C. 1665-1770, and Fore Street, first half of 18th c.-late 18th c.]. Characteristic of Lambeth are [17th c.] porringers with oval handles having a central oval hole or heart-shaped perforations; posset pots with curved profile; plates [c. 1690 onwards] having a sloping rim, and almost vertical sides curving into a flat base; [18th-c.] flat-based flower 'bricks' perforated with round holes; puzzle jugs with narrow in-curved necks, often with V-shaped perforations; wall pockets somewhat resembling a rain-water drainhead; trinket trays of one central star-shaped and five outer lobed compartments. The Lambeth bianco-sopra-bianco design usually includes flattened spirals.

lambrequins. Originally applied to drapery, but later extended to all forms of pendant, lace-like [vandyked] decoration.

Lead. Was employed for lead glazing either as a dry powder [galena, native lead sulphide] or a liquid [litharge, lead oxide]. 'Baron' Stiegel the glass maker was buying 'Litterage' for lead glass in 1772. In scarce times one Ohio potter obtained lead by collecting and burning the lead foil with which Chinese tea was packaged.

Le Compte, Père Louis. A Jesuit missionary who published in Amsterdam in 1697 Memoirs and Observations made in a late Journey through China. The book was issued in translation in London in the same year. Le Compte devotes several pages to porcelain and mentions that blue-and-white was the principal product. He adds that the European merchants foolishly bought anything that the Chinese were willing to sell.

Leeds [ Yorkshire]. A pottery was founded about 1760 by two brothers Green. Fine creamware, frequently enameled outside the factory, was a specialty. Pierced Decoration was common. Most of the late eighteenth-c. Staffordshire-type wares, including a few simple figures, were made. MARKS: HARTLEY GREENS & CO. and LEEDS POTTERY, either alone or repeated in a cross. The old moulds were re-used at Slee's pottery [Leeds] from 1888, and were marked like the original wares. [p. 497]

Leeds horse. Large model of horse on a rectangular plinth made specially at Leeds, and probably used as the sign of a horse leech.

Limehouse. A short-lived porcelain factory before 1750. Its productions are unidentified.

Ling lung. Pierced openwork, as found on some seventeenth- to eighteenth-century blue-and-white porcelain bowls, and on elaborate vases of Ch'ien Lung and later date.

Lions [Dogs] of Fo [Buddha]. These lions were originally temple guardians. They are often miscalled 'dogs', and they are also sometimes confused with the much rarer Kylin [q.v.]. They were made in pairs, the male playing with a ball and the female with her cub. They occur as painted decorations and also as figures from the Ming dynasty onwards, in a variety of bodies and glazes. The best are enamelled on biscuit. Most specimens belong to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and many are completely modern.

Littler, W. See Longton Hall.

Liverpool [creamware]. A pottery, founded 1793-4, and in 1796 renamed 'Herculaneum', made cream-ware, often transfer-printed in blue or black, and other Staffordshire-type wares. MARK; HERCULANEUM [impressed]. In U.S. Liverpool was a generic name given to creamware made 1780-1825 by Liverpool but also certain Staffordshire potters, especially in jugs black transfer-printed with American-historical subjects.

Liverpool [delftware]. Delftware began in Liverpool in 1710 and was thereafter manufactured at numerous potteries [eight in 1750 and twelve by 1760], including some making porcelain. After about 1770 the industry declined, until by 1780 there were only three potteries. Liverpool delftware is often indistinguishable from Lambeth and Bristol. Typical of Liverpool is a foxy red, often used, together with blue, yellow, and green, in designs of flowers and Chinese lattice fences ['Fazackerley' colours]. Red was also frequently used to edge rims. The Liverpool blue sometimes tends to cause a depression in the glaze. Liverpool bianco-sopra-bianco borders consist of rosettes separated by curved sprays of leaves. Characteristic Liverpool shapes are: plates with sides forming an obtuse angle with the bottom; mugs, both bell-shaped and cylindrical, with a spreading foot; bottles with a distinct foot-rim; large vases painted in blue; puzzle jugs with neck perforations of rosettes with heart-shaped petals; cornucopia wall-pockets [p. 498] for flowers; trinket trays, some with dishes fitting into an outer lobed tray; flower bricks with large, round [sometimes square] holes on top and a waved edge below or four solid ball feet; round dishes with low vertical rims painted with fishes ['charpots']; bowls decorated with ships. Liverpool delftware was occasionally decorated in overglaze enamels and gilt. Transfer-printing was also employed, particularly on tiles.

Liverpool [soft-paste porcelain]. [1] Richard Chaffers [1731-65] from at latest 1756 made porcelain of Worcester type, a common form being a bulbous mug with an incised cordon above the foot, enamelled with a Chinese scene in polychrome. Chaffers was succeeded by Philip Christian. [2] Seth, James, and John Pennington made porcelain, especially bowls, painted in a bright 'sticky' blue. [3] To Zachariah Barnes are traditionally ascribed pieces roughly printed in a smudgy dark blue. [4] Samuel Gilbody was making porcelain by 1761 at latest, and [5] W. Reid, by 1756. In general, Liverpool porcelain is characterized by foot-rims vertical or undercut on the inner surface; flat bases to mugs; areas of blue ground marbled in gold; a blued glaze giving a ´thundercloud═ effect where thick under the base.

'L' mark. See Worcester, Longton Hall.

'Long elizas'. A corruption of the Dutch 'lange lijzen' the gawky ladies often depicted on K'ang Hsi blue-and-white.

Longton Hall [soft-paste porcelain]. Excavations on the site of this factory, together with documents traced by Dr Bernard Watney, prove that it was founded 1749-50 by William Jenkinson, who, in 1751, took into partnership William Nicklin and William Littler. Nicklin took no part in the work of the factory, which was managed throughout by Littler. In 1755 Jenkinson sold the majority of his shares to Nathaniel Fermin, who died soon afterwards. Robert Charlesworth also became a partner in this year, obtaining a major financial interest in the establishment. He dissolved the partnership in 1760, causing the factory to close down. Dr Watney's discoveries show that the wares thought typical of Longton Hall, including the 'snowman' family, were in fact made there, while many of its useful wares have been wrongly attributed to other factories. Characteristic of Longton Hall porcelain are a rich blue used as a coloured ground, sometimes over-painted in opaque-white enamel; vessels simulating melons or formed of overlapping leaves; a distinctive yellowish green; painting with roses delineated by a trembling outline; and a relief border-design of strawberries and leaves. The porcelain is commonly heavy and glassy, with a palish-green translucency betraying large bright flecks and frequent imperfections. The Longton Hall figures have been identified in a class characterized by poses half-turned to right or left; scrolled bases, often picked out in red; costume diapered with stars and small formal motifs, rather than flowers; and outlining of eye-lashes, often in red. The rare gilding is usually poor. MARK: As diagram in blue. [See also 'Snowman' family.]

Lotusware. See Belleek.

'Lowdin's' factory. See Bristol.

Lowestoft [soft-paste porcelain]. This factory [1775-c. 1802] specialized in table- and teawares, usually decorated with Chinese derived patterns in underglaze blue or enamels. There is a strong affinity with Bow, their blue-and-white porcelain being sometimes almost indistinguishable. Both used bone ash. The Chinese and rococo styles persisted longer at Lowestoft than normally elsewhere, but towards 1800 slight 'spring' patterns became popular. Primitive underglaze-blue printing was done. Lowestoft characteristics ware wedge-shaped foot rims, and workmen's marks in blue inside them. There was no recognized factory mark, but [e.g.] Meissen and Worcester marks were copied. The very rare Lowestoft figures include swans, sheep, cats and putti. Paris fakes of Lowestoft and genuine pieces redecorated are occasionally found.

'Lowestoft' china. Chinese porcelain of the eighteenth century with European-style decoration, once mistakenly attributed to this English factory.

'Lund's' factory. See Bristol.

Lung Ch'üan celadon. See Celadon.

Lustre. A sheeny surface film deposited on pottery or porcelain by firing metallic pigments in a 'reducing' [smoky] atmosphere [early nineteenth c.]. 'Silver' lustre was made with platinum and pink and mauve lustre with gold, which on a red body also produced copper. Lustre could be either applied in 'solid' areas or used for painting, often combined with printing. Alternatively, designs were painted in a glycerine or shellac medium and the piece dipped in lustre mixture. On removal of the medium, the pattern remained in negative on a lustre ground ['resist' process].

Lustre colour. A pale mother-of-pearl shade containing some red, found on early Meissen porcelain, used either as background colour, for painted designs, or for overglaze marks. Probably the outcome of one of Böttger's experiments in search of the Chinese underglaze red. [p. 499]

Majolica [from maiolica], the name first used in Italy to describe the lustred wares of Valencia. It was later extended to all varieties of Italian tin-glazed earthenware. By a futher extension, it was applied to the pottery of other countries, painted in the traditional colours. Majolica is a nineteenth-c. English name for lead-glazed pottery of sixteenth-c. French style. Enormous quantities were distributed as premiums in the 1880s in America.

Manchu dynasty. The Ch'ing dynasty [1644-1912].

Mandarin Late eighteenth-c. decoration of groups wearing official dress, painted in panels within borders of elaborate diaper and other patterns.

Mandarin porcelain. Chinese porcelain made for export towards the end of the eighteenth c. and thereafter. Panels of figures and floral subjects in a rose-verte palette are framed with borders in underglaze blue; gilding is the rule. Most of the designs are debased and overcrowded, and the glaze on later examples is often lumpy and uneven. Today most Mandarin porcelainis bought for interior decoration. It is of small interest to the serious collector.

'Marbled ware'. See agateware.

Marks. Signs of origin on porcelain, applied either in underglaze blue, impressed, incised or painted above the glaze. Marks are usually applied beneath the base, though occasionally, as for instance on Nymphenburg figures, they may form part of the decoration. Generally they indicate the factory, but marks can also refer to a painter or 'repairer', some are factory assemblée or warehouse signs for the convenience of workers, as are the early Herold period lustre marks; or else they may help to control gold supplies handed to individual decorators, as do gold numerals on tea services with chinoiserie decoration.

Martabani ware. Chinese celadon transhipped at the port of Moulmein on the Gulf of Martaban. Copies of celadons made in Persia in earthnware were later sometimes thus called.

Martha Gunn. Female Toby jug modelled in the likeness of Martha Gunn [1727-1815], the Brighton bathing woman.

Mason. Potters of Lane Delph [Staffordshire and Liverpool]. Miles Mason [d. 1822] made porcelain. His son, C.J. Mason, patented 'Ironstone China' in 1813, commonly blue-printed or painted with 'Japan' patterns. MARKS: usualy the name in full.

'Mazarin' blue. See Chelsea.

Medium- and Low-temperature glazes. Certian coloured glazes are applied yo the already baked biscuit porcelain, which is then refired at 'medium' temperature. Such were the glazes of the Ming 'three-colour' class; monochromes, among which the yellow and turgouise blue were especially popular; and bowls and dishes with coloured glazes covering incised designs of dragons, flower sprays, etc., which were still made throughout the following dynasty. The K'ang Hsi, Yung Chêng, and Ch'en Lung monochromes are remarkable for their wide range of rich, luminous colours and fine shapes. Turquoises are particularly distinguished from the Ming and more modern pieces by their clear brilliance. Greens include a leaf colour, dark green, olive green, and speckled cucumber green, as well as the much-prized apple green, which is applied over a crackled white glaze. Various light yellows are distinguishable, and one with a deeper, brownish tint. A deep purple and paler, brownish aubergine were produced with the aid of manganese. Occasionally glazes are splashed with two colours--e.g. turguoise with purple, and green with yellow [tiger skin or 'egg-and-spinach']. Low-temperature glazes are the familiar enamels of overglaze painting, and were fired in the muffle kiln. Very various in shade, they include most of the colours of the famille verte and famille rose, and are often opaque. A mustard yellow and opague light green, for example, resemble colours found on Chi'ien Lung painted wares. The opaque, mottled 'robin's egg' blue, spotted with lavender and crimson, is one much revived during the nineteenth c. In dating these wares shape and finish, especially of the foot, should be carefully considered: for the same quality is not achieved in nineteenth-c. and later pieces.

Mei Ping. A vase having a very short, narrow neck with an outcurvng rim and a bulbous body at the top which curves inwards to a base of smaller diameter. The Mei-Ping vase was intended to hold a single spray of prunus blossom. The shape first appears during the Sung dynasty and was subsequently made in China, Korea and Japan.

'Merry man' plates. Delftware plates, usually simply decorated, forming a series of six, normally inscribed: [1] 'What is a merry man'; [2] 'Let him do what he can'; [3] 'To entertain his guests'; [4] 'With wine and merry jests'; [5] 'But if his wife do frown'; [6] 'All merriment goes down'. Late seventeenth and first half of eighteenth century.

'Metropolitan' slipware. Lead-glaze red-bodied earthenware with white slip decoration [inscriptions, simple rosettes, stars, coils, etc.], made in the London area about 1630-70.



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NOTE: References to MARKS may refer to illustrations of these marks which are not included in this document.
NOTE: * represents a configuration not available on the computer

[L. G. G. Ramsey, F.S.A., ed. The Complete Color Encyclopedia of Antiques. Preface by Bevis Hillier, Editor of The Connoisseur. Compiled by The Connoisseur, London. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc. 1962. Revised and Expanded Edition.]




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