Notebook, 1993-


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

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'Welsh' ware. Shallow meat dishes with feathered slip decoration, in form like a gardner's trug, commonly made in Staffordshire, Sunderland [Scot's 'Superior Fireproof'] and Isleworth, under this name.

Whieldon, Thomas [1719-95]. Potter of Fenton Low, Staffordshire, from 1740-80, and one of the foremost makers of his day, manufacturing all the known contemporary types of ware - [agate' and 'marbled', 'tortoiseshell', 'Astbury', and 'Jackfield' wares; earthenware with dappled coloured glazes, unglazed red stoneware and salt-glazed stoneware, sometimes with 'scratch-blue' patterns. [See also English pottery: eighteenth-century earthenware and stoneware; Wedgwood.]

'Whieldon' ware. Ware made in cream-coloured earthenware under a glaze splashed with metallic oxides to give tortoiseshell or mottled effects, made by Thomas Whieldon [1719-95] at Fenton, and others.

White porcelain. White porcelain was first made during the T'ang dynasty. To the Sung period belong the creamy-white Ting and bluish-tinged Ying Ch'ing wares, with their lively incised or impressed decoration. The Yüan shu fu ware marks the growing importance of the porcelain manufacture at Ching-tê Chên. Despite the Ming predilection for colour, excellent white wares were still made, notably during the fifteenth century, with an hua [secret] decoration. During the Ch'ing dynasty white was the colour of court mourning and not greatly employed. Decorated with incised designs and carved or applied relief work, wares are often reminiscent of the Sung and Ming. Much use was made of 'soft-paste' opaque glazes and painting in opaque white slip [pâte-sur-pâte], and small pieces were made with 'soft-paste body. The technique of pierced openwork [ling lung], as in the 'rice-grain' decoration, was employed with considerable ingenuity. Unglazed [bisquit] porcelain vases with landscapes or figures carved in relief are of Ch'ien Lung or later date. Wares with intentionally crackled glazes and the numerous blanc-de-Chine wares are discussed elsewhere.

'Willow pattern'. A blue-printed pseudo-Chinese design, traditionally acribed to T. Minton at Caughley, c. 1775-80. Many variants were made elsewhere.

Wincanton [delftware]. A pottery was run by the Ireson family between at least 1737 and 1748. Blue and manganese painting only are known. A powdered-manganese ground is characteristic.

Wirksworth. Wirksworth porcelain, probably made about 1800, remains unidentified. New Hall wares are often mistakenly attributed to Wirksworth.

'W' mark. See Worcester.

'W(***)' mark. See Wood, Enoch.

Wood, Aaron [1717-85]. The most renowned mould cutter for Staffordshire salt-glazed stoneware. [See Pew groups.]

Wood, Enoch [1759-1840]. Son of Aaron Wood. Modeller and potter of Burslem, in partnership with Ralph Wood, 1783-90, and with J. Caldwell, 1790-1818 ['Wood & Caldwell']; thereafter the firm was 'Enoch Wood & Sons'. Most of the current types of stoneware, earthenware, and probably also porcelain, were made; notably earthenware figures with enamelled decoration. MARKS: The various styles of the firm, and probably W(***) on porcelain, all impressed.

Wood, Ralph [1715-72] and his son Ralph Wood [1748-95]. Potters of Burselem. The elder Wood made slat-glazed stoneware from at least 1749 until 1770. Later productions were figures, reliefs, and Toby jugs in lead-glazed eathenware with soft colours. [p. 513] MARKS: R. Wood, FA. WOOD Impressed BURSLEM

Worcester [soft-paste porcelain].
'Dr. Wall' period [1751-83]
A factory was founded in 1751, and in 1752 incorporated the Bristol factory. The period 1751-83 is called after Dr. John Wall [d. 1776], a leading partner, although, in fact, William Davis [d. 1783] managed the factory. Soapstone was used in the porcelain, and is revealed on analysis by a high percentage of magnesia. The porcelain is greyish [greenish by transmitted light] with a thin, hard-looking, and 'close-fitting' glaze, which often shrinks away from the foot rim underneath. The potting is fine and 'crisp'. In the early period moulding, after silver models, was much used. The earliest painting, indistinguishable from the Bristol, is characterized by chinoiseries in polychrome enamels or underglaze blue. By about 1760 a distinctive Worcester style evolved, including European figure and landscape subjects, often in a soft purple monochrome; polychrome flower sprays and birds; fantastic Chinese landscapes in panels on a yellow ground; and pseudo-Chinese subjects painted in a thin linear style in black ['pencilled']. Transfer printing in overglaze black, lilac, and brownish red was much used from 1756/7 [see Hancock]; underglaze-blue printing was occasionally practised from 1759. The period about 1765-75 is characterized by the adaptation of Kakiemon and 'brocaded Imari' designs. In 1769 Chelsea painters migrated to Worcester and elaborate decoration in Sèvres style dates from this time, with figure subjects and particularly exotic birds, in panels on coloured [blue, claret, applegreen, turguoise, and lavender] grounds, which were frequently diapered, the commonest pattern being an imbricated dark-blue ground ['scale blue']. Fine, slightly dull gilding is characteristic, painted in lacy scrollwork designs. Much porcelain was decorated in the workshop of J. Giles. Towards 1780 neoclassical designs [urns, festoons, etc.] and modified Sèvres Louis XVI styles were introduced. Landscapes and classical figure subjects within medallions were favoured. A bright-blue enamel like that of Chelsea-Derby was used, and gilding was frequently employed alone in floral, etc., designs. Blue-and-white porcelain characterized by a deep indigo tone formed a large part of the output, whether painted or [from 1759] printed. Figures are exceptionally rare [a Turk, a Gardener, and a Sportsman, with their companions, and a Nurse and a Child]. Imitations are known both in soft and hard paste, and in Staffordshire earthenware. MARKS: 1 and 10 below [in red], 2-12 [in blue], probably workmenÍs marks, on Bristol or early Worcester [c. 1750-2]; 13, in red, 14-16 and 18, in blue, painters' marks, c. 1752-70, in blue, 19 in various colours [chiefly blue], much used to about 1795; 20, in blue, much used [1755-83]. [See also 'Scratch cross'.]

'Flight', 'Flight & Barr', etc. [1783- ]
In 1783 the Worcestor factory was bought by [p. 514] Thomas Flight. In 1792 Martin Barr was taken into partnership, and with the admission of other members of the family, the firm became successively 'Barr, Flight & Barr' [1807] and 'Flight, Barr and Barr' [1813-40]. The style of this period reflected the prevailing neoclassical taste, with areas of marbling and figures in panels, the best by James Pennington and Thomas Baxter. The gilding became brassy and unsympathetic. MARKS [apart from names written in fully]: 'B' or 'DB', incised [to 1809]; the initials of the partners, 'BFB' and 'BFF' under a crown, impressed.

In 1783 Robert Chamberlain left the Worcester factory and set up as a decorator. From about 1800, however, a greyish porcelain resembling Flight and Barr's was manufactured. Chamberlain's work reflects the contemporary styles, but is notable for profuse gilding, and the production of vases, etc., in the most florid 'Japanese' taste. MARKS: the name.

Thomas Grainger at first [1801] decorated porcelain obtained elsewhere, but lattery manufactured a fine white and translucent porcelain. MARKS: the name.

'Wreathing' . See Bristol.

Wrotham [Kent]. Slipware pottery [seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries]. [See Introduction, English pottery.]

Wu ts'ai [five-colour] wares . This generally implies the characteristic Wan Li period wares, painted in underglaze blue and enamel colours [red, green, yellow, and purple]. Some, however, date from Chia Ching; and they continue into K'ang Hsi's reign, when the famille verte was introduced.

Yang-yin. Symbol frequently used as part of porcelain decoration which represents the male-female principle in nature. It is circular in form, and resembles two tadpoles [one light, one dark] placed head to tail. It is often used in conjunction with the Eight Trigrams [q.v.]

Yellow. See Medium- and low-temperature glazes.

Yellow ware. Utility ware moulds [baking dishes, etc.] of cream or buff clays with transparent glaze ranging from pale straw colour to deep yellow; it became Rockingham [q.v.] when given a mottled brown-manganese colouring. Widely made c. 1830-1900.

Yi-Hsing ware. Red or brown unglazed stoneware made at Yi-Hsing [Kiangsi Province] from the latter years of the Ming dynasty onwards. Among its products in the seventeenth century were small spouted wine-pots which became popular with the Tea Masters of Japan, and they were also included with shipments of tea to the West as a convenient way of making the new drink, instead of making and storing large quantities to be reheated as required, as was at first the custom. These red ware teapots were equally popular in Europe, and they were copied by Arij de Milde in Holland, Dwight and the Elers brothers in England, and Böttger at Meissen. There is little definite information about the history of the Yi-Hsing kilns. The colour of the stoneware ranges from red, through buff, to brown, and there is sometimes more than one colour present in a single piece. Plain, almost undercoated, objects of simple form are among the best, but highly modeled objects based on natural forms, like the 'Buddha's hand' citron, are also to be found, and forms based on the bamboo are common. Incised inscriptions are fairly common, and calligraphy is sometimes the only decoration. The kilns are still working, and even imprecise dating is usually difficult. The best criterion of judgment is quality.

Ying Ch'ing wares. Ying Ch'ing is a Chinese dealer's term which means 'shadowy blue'. It is a thin, translucent porcelain which burns to a reddish colour where unglazed. The glaze is a faint blue in colour, the blue being deepest where the glaze is thickest. Like Ting-ware bowls, those of the Ying Ch'ing variety were fired mouth downwards, and the unglazed rim is usually bound by a copper band. Decoration is incised, moulded, and combed, as in the case of Ting wares, and, to some extent, Northern celadon, to both of which Ying Ch'ing bears a resemblance in certain particulars, especially decoration. The greater number of surviving specimens are bowls, ewers, and vases. Covered boxes are much rarer. The type appears to have been made at several places from the T'ang dynasty onwards, including Korea, and it has survived in relatively large quantities, although forgeries undoubtedly exist.

Yorkshire. Trailed and marbled slipwares were made at Howcans, Swill Hill, Burton-in-Lonsdale, Midhope [eighteenth century onwards]. [See also Leeds, Don Pottery, Castleword, Ferrybridge.]

Yüeh Ware. Celadon ware with grey porcellaneous body and thin, pale, greyish-green, or buff glaze, made in Chekiang Province from about the third to eleventh centuries. Early examples often borrowed forms and moulded decoration from bronze work. Later pieces may be delicately potted, with lobed sides and delicately incised designs.

Zaffer. Cobalt oxide in powder form, from which was made smalt [a powdered blue glass], the blue coloring used by potters. Bonnin & Morris in January 1771 wanted 'a quantity of Zaffre' for their blue-painted porcelains. The potter John Bell wrote to his brother Samuel in 1848 that 'graffree is calcined cobalt or fly stone which is the same thing', warning him that this 'colouring matter is rank poison'.

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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