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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Decorative Arts > Ceramics - Pottery and Porcelain

Enjoy our Ceramics Pottery and Porcelain Feature articles



1950s Tableware - With the ending of wartime austerity conditions, potters in the 1950s were free to indulge themselves in new shapes and colours for everyday wares.

Art Deco Coffee Sets
- Never a majority pleasure in Britain, coffee drinking attracted the wealthy and fashionable, whose demand for coffee sets in deco styles and finishes stimulated many top designers.

Art Deco European Figurines
- The porcelain figures made between the wars in continental Europe were greatly influenced by art deco in general and by bronzes and chryselephantine sculptures in particular.

Meissen porcelainArt Pottery
- Art pottery was made with the collector in mind. Much of it has been snapped up by museums and private collectors from the start. However, a lot of it was made, so it is still possible to discover neglected gems.

Wedgwood Black Basalte or Basalt
- he rich black stonewares perfected by Josiah Wedgwood in the 1770s caught the popular imagination and were widely copied by other Staffordshire factories.
Wedgewood Cream Ware (creamware)
- Many Staffordshire potters attempted to make earthenware that was cheap, robust and had the look of porcelain. The results would fall short of one of the three aims until 1761, when Josiah Wedgwood perfected creamware, a type of earthenware with a strong, near-white body and a thick, yellowish glaze.
Wedgwood Pearlware -
In 1779, Wedgwood marketed the results of his experiments as Pearl White ware, later known more simply as pearlware. The new ware was a first cousin to creamware; the only differences were that the body contained more white clay and flint, and was fired at a higher temperature, while a small amount of cobalt was added to give a hint of blue to the glaze.
Wedgewood Jasper Ware -
Jasper ware, in more or less continuous production from the 1770s to the present day, is so characteristic of the factory's output that to many people it is known simply as Wedgwood.

Biedermeier porcelain and ceramics
- With its simple, clean outlines and elegant neo classical decoration, Biedermeier porcelain graced the homes of the prosperous middle classes.

Victorian Breakfast China
- Breakfast was important to the Victorians, whose tables were covered with an array of delightful pottery created specially for the meal.

Breakfast China
- Decorative and often brightly coloured, collectible without being prohibitively expensive, serving china is an excellent subject for collection.

Mending Broken China -
Unsightly cracks in the glaze of old china can often be made less visible by careful cleaning, while less serious hairline cracks can also be repaired.Repairing Broken China
Fixing Broken China

Chamber Pots
- Most potteries manufactured chamber pots, and you can find examples by many notable factories, among them Ashworth's (manufacturers of Mason's Patent Ironstone), Minton, Royal Doulton, Spode and Wedgewood.

Character Jugs
- The success of the Royal Doulton factory's series of jugs moulded in the shape of famous faces is at the forefront of a lively collectors' market.
 * Toby Jugs
-  This particular Staffordshire England signed Toby is rare and worth $1,200!

Wedgewood late 18th C EARLY VICTORIAN JASPER CHEESE DISHCheese Dishes
- The Victorian passion for cheese was matched by their enthusiasm for decorative earthenware dishes in which to serve it.

Wedgwood tea cup and saucerIdentifying China
- A professional examining a piece will take in its body, what it is made of, the glaze, the style and quality of decoration and the overall look and feel of it, as well as whatever information can be gleaned from the marks, before passing judgement.
Identifying Pottery -
Types of earthenware are generally named for the different kinds of glazes, though in some, notably stoneware, a different manufacturing process is used.
Pottery Marks -
The marks stamped or printed on the underside of a piece of pottery can be a frap for the unwary but will usually yield some useful information about where and when it was made.

Oriental Porcelain
- The Orient was the birthplace of porcelain, and China and its neighbours had a virtual monopoly on its manufacture for around 1,000 years.
Chinese Porcelain
- Portuguese ships first brought Chinese porcelain to Europe in the 16th century. It came as a revelation to Europeans accustomed to thick pottery dishes and heavy silver, pewter or wood platters. Its whiteness, translucency and delicacy enchanted wealthy westerners.
Noritake China
- The enormously varied products of the Noritake factory, made exclusively for export, represent Japan's main contribution to the manufacture of 20th-century porcelain and are sought out by collectors all over the world.
Satsuma Pottery -
In Japan, the name Satsuma is applied only to pottery produced in the province. Much of this was made in the 17th and 18th centuries by Korean potters who were settled there after Japan invaded their homeland in 1592. They made simple earthenware vessels with thick, dark glazes.

Cow Creamers
- Choose a breed that appeals to you to collect. Staffordshire creamers were made in salt-glazed stoneware, creamware, glossy black 'Jackfield ware', pearlware and bone china. Some lustre glazes were used, but the commonest finish was tan dappled with green, black, yellow, blue or orange. The bases are usually green.

Cream Jugs
- Serving tea has long been a cherished part of British culture, and the excuse to show off some fancy china has spawned some highly collectable jugs.

Danish China - Royal Copenhagen Factory
- Though the Royal Copenhagen Blue-Fluted patternFactory is best known for its blue and white porcelain tableware, produced since the 18th century, it also produced ornamental pieces.
Danish Table China - Royal Copenhagen Factory
- The elegant shapes, hand-painted blue and white decorations and, from the 1880s, the distinctive lacework borders of Royal Danish tablewares have insured their popularity over more than two centuries.

Derby Figures - The high quality of potting and decoration has made Derby porcelain collectable from the very beginning.  Royal Crown Derby marks.

Jugendstil Pottery - Jugendstil work, like art nouveau, has long, sinuous lines and shapes and decc rations inspired by the natural world, particularly flowers and plants. A few later Jugendstil designers used abstract geometric decoration that looked ahead to art deco.

Willow Pattern China - Of all the chinoiserie designs that were produced in Britain in the middle years of the 18th century, none has had the same success and enduring appeal as Willow Pattern.


Click here to view the Royal Doulton site

English porcelain and ceramics - Tea and porcelain came together from China to Europe in the 16th century, and they have been closely associated ever since. Though the British climate won't grow tea, the country's continuing love affair with the beverage did much to stimulate its porcelain industry.
Conta and Boehme Fairings - Their fairings were made of solid soft paste porcelain, while their competitors made hollow models, which tended to be less well finished and painted.  German dominance meant that the trade in fairings ended at the start of World War 1.
Doulton Figures - Doulton of Lambeth began operations in the Regency period. At that time, the factory made only industrial stoneware, but in the second half of the 19th century, under the leadership of Sir Henry Doulton, it was a leader in the art pottery movement.
English Majolica ceramics - Thomas Minton was an engraver by trade; he is credited with creating the first Willow Pattern. In 1793 he set up a pottery in Stoke to make earthenware and, from the turn of the 19th century, bone china
Goss Ware ceramics - William Henry Goss was born in 1833. By the age of 25 he was chief designer at the Spode works in Stoke-in-Trent. At this point he struck out on his own. producing ornamental wares in terracotta and Parian, a type of unglazed, fine grained porcelain.
Martin Brothers Pottery - The West London pottery run by the four Martin brothers produced some of the most distinctive, and most collectable stonewares of its day.
Mason's Ironstone -
First sold in the Regency period as a robust alternative to porcelain, Mason's Ironstone China soon won customers with its attractive enamelled decoration, and is still widely appreciated today.
Staffordshire Figures - While pre-Victorian Staffordshire figures had been well crafted and highly coloured in an attempt to imitate porcelain, Victorian potters didn't have such lofty ambitions. They simply set out to give the public what it wanted as cheaply as possible.
Wade Whimsies -
Some of the miniature animal models made by the Wade Group of potteries were literally given away in the 1960s, but now attract a lot of interest from collectors.
West Country Art Pottery - Starting in the late 19th century, the new art potteries of the West Country turned out a wide range of boldly painted, individually crafted pieces which combined with place names, some far from Devon.
Worchester Porcelain - The Worcester factory was one of the first, probably the best, and certainly the most long-lived of the 18th-century porcelain makers. Pieces from its first 100 years are widely admired and collected.

French Sevres Porcelain -  The fortunes of the French porcelain factory, Sevres, in the 18th and 19th century followed those of the nation and produced two periods of great influence, the first under the Bourbon kings, and the second under Napoleon.
French Porcelain -
In Paris in particular, several factories opened in the 1770s, following the relaxation of laws giving Sevres a monopoly on porcelain manufacture. Sevres remained the dominant presence and the Paris factories were largely content to imitate its rather severe, rigid, neo-classical decorative styles; none developed a different, individual look of their own.
Sevres Porcelain -
 The fortunes of the French porcelain factory, Sevres, in the 18th and 19th century followed those of the nation and produced two periods of great influence, the first under the Bourbon kings, and the second under Napoleon.
Mantelpiece Garnitures -
The French term, garnitures de cheminee, means 'chimney decorations' and is used to describe sets of vases and similar ornaments that have been made to be placed on a mantelpiece.

Dinner Service -
The story of the dinner service - large and small plates, soup bowls, meat plate, vegetable tureens and comports - begins in the middle of the 18th century. Although plates, cups and dishes existed before this, the British pottery industry, localized and disorganized, did not make them to uniform designs.
Victorian Meat Plates -
Meat platters were not made to be sold individually; they were always part of a service. Full Victorian dinner services are a very rare find today. Most have been reduced by breakages or split by inheritances.
Collecting Salt and Pepper Shakers -
You can bring some fun to mealtimes and start an intriguing collection by specializing in novelty cruet sets. You can even join a club of like-minded enthusiasts.

Pot Pourri vases and jars -
The lavish tastes of Madame de Pompadour inspired such extravagant beauties as the vaissou a mat (ship with mast) vase, with scrolled legs and a lid shaped like stylized rigging of a ship, and the British royal family owns a wonderful collection of Sevres vases collected by George III.

Collecting Wall Plates -
The shape of a wall plate, one specifically designed to hang on a wall, is based on the old-fashioned charger - a meat dish that stood slightly raised from the table on a narrow foot-ring This foot-ring was often pierced by two holes so the plate could be suspended by picture wire from the picture rail.


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