The post medieval pottery covers a wide range of forms and decoration. Cups, bowls ,plates, dishes, serving dishes, drinking vessels, teapots, jugs and many more were produced in Britain as well as some imports.
The potters producing these wares were numerous and well known, those such as Wedgewood, Copeland, Worcester Porcelain, Spode, Masons Ironstone China, Crown Derby, Minton and many more and ranging in date from the 15th century onwards. Wares consisted of color painted wares also blue and white painted as well as transfer printed pottery items.
I will choose the most popular pottery manufacturers and my favorites for the beginner as stated in my previous posts about pottery, although previous ones were linked with archaeology. This post is more to do with antiques so may also encourage antique collecting as there are still some bargains out there if you know what to look for.
ROYAL WORCESTER (The Early Days )
In 1751 on the banks of the river seven in Worcestershire England Dr John Wall and a group of local businessmen established a porcelain manufactory. From this formation it took the Worcester Porcelain factory just thirty years to create wares to be easily distinguishable and so establish a superior quality.Worcester had obtained licences to mine soapstone in Cornwall and Worcester soapstone porcelain did not crack when boiling water was poured into it giving Worcester a significant advantage over other producers.
Dr Wall Period Tea bowl and Saucer (Bird in a Ring pattern)
Willow pattern Rose Water Bottle. c 1760
Hard paste porcelain is made of two ingredients- kaolin (clay) and petuntse (decomposed granite). European countries were unable to unlock the secret to the formula so they made their own first porcelain by substituting different materials. Kaolin instead of soapstone for instance. The soapstone made the porcelain withstand the heat of boiling water and produced tea services that were very much in demand.The earliest Worcester Porcelain was painted in blue under the glaze which proved to be the most popular ware throughout the first ten years. The art of painting on the glaze in enamel colors was also mastered.
A beautiful Dr Wall period painted vase.
The history of these early Dr Wall period Sauceboats
Sauceboats during this period were used for gravies made from roast beef much as we do today but flavored with wine ,citrus juices, and capers. Other sauces had a ‘ roux ‘ base made by combining butter or lard with flour and broth or milk, and flavored with parsley , onions, celery, anchovies, oysters , cockles or eggs. Butter sauces, served in smaller sauceboats or butter boats, frequently accompanied vegetables. A hot sauce of wine butter and sugar was the most common one for puddings.
Teapots are my favorite .This is of the Dr Wall period and painted with chinese figures c 1770
By 1756 Although the actual origin is controversial the engraver Robert Hancock working at the Worcester Porcelain is believed to have mastered the art of decoration by transfer printing. Towards the end of the 18th century The Worcester Porcelain was commissioned to make the first Royal service for the Duke of Gloucester and was painted with different groups of fruit on each piece.
At the retirement of Dr Wall in 1774 his partners continued production until Thomas Flight purchased the factory. The Flight and Barr periods in their various styles firmly established the factory as one of the leading porcelain manufacturers in Europe. In 1775 Thomas Turner left Worcester and set up a rival factory at Caughley in Shropshire, where he mass produced blue and white table wares in a similar style to those of Worcester.
The Flight Barr & Barr period Worcester Porcelain c 1815 Japan Pattern.
Caughley Pickle Leaf Dish c 1780-95 Under glaze blue Transfer print
Fisherman and Cormorant Pattern
Caughley Fluted Coffee Cup under glaze blue c 1785. The fluting is sometimes a way of recognizing Caughley wares.
By 1789 the quality of their work at Worcester was held in such high esteem that following a visit to the factory King George 111 granted the company the prestigious ‘ Royal Warrant ‘ as manufacturers to their Majesties. Thus the word ‘ Royal ‘ was added to the name. Indeed while its rivals of the period at Bow and Chelsea have long since disappeared, The Worcester Royal Porcelain Manufacturing became world famous and is now one of the largest manufacturers of fine bone china in England. This record is a tribute to the quality of the ware produced for two hundred and fifty years.
Below are some potters marks to help identify Early Worcester Porcelain
Because there is so much detail to enter onto my blog about post medieval pottery I will post them individually I hope you enjoyed my first which is my favorite The Worcester Porcelain Dr Wall Period.