N Hudson. Mrs Moore.

The old china book, including Staffordshire, Wedgwood, lustre, and other English pottery and porcelain; online

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Online LibraryN Hudson. Mrs MooreThe old china book, including Staffordshire, Wedgwood, lustre, and other English pottery and porcelain; → online text (page 1 of 20)
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Fig. 24. ALMSHOUSE, NEW YORK. A. Stevenson.

Fig. 25. COLUMBIA COLLEGE. A. Slevensor..











^'i*iiiiZ::oi3 t.?j t„PT.

Copyright, 1903,
By Frederick A. Stukes Company.

Rriittc'fl in the United States of America


This little book has been compiled to meet the
wants (expressed in hundreds of letters) of those who
own old china, particularly old English china, and
would like to know more about it, and to stimulate
others to whom the fascinations of china collecting are
as yet unknown.

There are many more to whom we hope to appeal : —
those who are interested in their country's history
during that strenuous time when the colony cast aside
its mother's hand and took its first steps alone.
It may well stir our patriotism to look on the plain
buildings our ancestors were content to view as
" Beauties " ; to note the primitive methods of trans-
portation both on land and sea ; to revise our know-
ledge of such famous victories as McDonough's, or
Bunker Hill, and to study the rugged features of those
who worked and died to make our country what she is.
All this and more may be found within the limits of a
collection of " Old Blue."

Quite apart from the peculiar interest of the Staf-
fordshire wares are those lovely English porcelains
and pottery of the late eighteenth century. They well
repay study, and many of us may rejoice to find that
we are harbouring angels unawares.

Some of the illustrations have been used in articles
on this subject, and thanks are due to the DelineatoTy
House Beautiful, and the Ledger Mo7ithly for permis-
sion to reproduce them.




To the editors of " Old China " the writer is indebted
for a number of cuts, particularly the fine English
views, which are being eagerly sought. Numerous
photographs were taken expressly for this book, and
obligations are expressed to the Boston Museum of
Fine Arts, Concord Antiquarian Society, to Mrs.
Frederick Yates, Mrs. A. K. Davis Anthony Killgore,
Esq., Mr. William M. Hoyt, and many others, who
kindly put their private collections at the writer's



1. Salt glaze plate.

2. Tortoise-shell covered mug.

3. Queen's ware jug.

4. Willow pattern platter.


5. View of City of Albany.

6. " Chief Justice Marshall '' (steamboat).

7. "Cadmus."

8. Wood and Caldwell jug.

9. Catskill. N, Y.

10. Lake George, N. Y.

11. Castle Garden and Battery, N. Y.

12. West Point, Newburg, Catskill Mt. House.

13. Landing of the Pilgrims.

14. Landing of Pilgrims pitcher.

15. Erie Canal plates.

16. Table Rock, Niagara.

17. Falls of Montmorency.

18. Woman of Samaria.

19. Marine Hospital, Ky.

20. Limehouse Dock.

21. Warwick Castle,

22. Ely.

23. Mill at Charenton.

24. Columbia College.

25. Almshouse, N. Y.

26. New York from Brooklyn Heights.

27. New York from Brooklyn Heights (platter).

28. Landing of Lafayette.

29. States platter.


30. Pittsfield Elm.

31. Syntax tray. Advertisement for a Wife,

32. Syntax plate. Bluestocking Beauty,

33. The Valentine. Wilkie design.

34. Lumley Castle, Durham.

35. Boston State House.

36. Nahant.


37. Capitol at Washington.

38. Almshouse, N. Y.

39. Boston Hospital.

40. Capitol at Washington (Fish tray).

41. Octagon Church, Boston.

42. Mount Vernon and two cup-plates.

43. All Soul's College and St. Mary's Church, Oxford.

44. Battery.

45. Battle of Bunker Hill.

46. Lawrence Mansion, Boston.

47. So called — Lawrence Mansion.

48. Capitol, Washington.

49. City Hotel, N. Y.

50. Scudder's American Museum.

51. Harvard College.

52. Columbia College.

53. Harewood House.

54. Franklin's Tomb (cup and saucer).


55. Arms of Rhode Island.

56. Arms of Pennsylvania.

57. Arms of New York.

58. Arms of Delaware.

59. Tomb (sugar bowl).

60. Mitchell & Freeman's China House.

61. Columbus plate.

62. St. George's Chapel.

63. Branxholm Castle.



Hancock House.


State House, Boston.


U. S. Hotel, Philadelphia.


Richard Jordan's residence.


Louisville, Ky.


Sandusky, Ohio.


Albany, N. Y.


Baltimore Almshouse.


Fulton steamboat.


Eulogy plate.


Utica inscription.


Lovejoy plate.


Burning of Merchant's Exchange, N. Y.



Medallion pitcher.


St. Paul's Chapel.


Windsor Castle.


Jefferson and Clinton, Boston Hospital











Butcher's Arms pitcher.


Butchers Arms pitcher. Reverse side.


Black-printed ware.


Apotheosis jug.


Washington map jug.


Washington jug.


Monument jug.


Washington jug.


Masonic jug.


Death of Wolfe.


Commodore Preble pitcher.


Sunderland jugs.


Printed tea-set.


98. Bow pickle leaf and creamer,

99. Chelsea.

100. Crown-Derby, Falstaff.

loi. Bristol, Flora.

102. Bristol pottery.

103. Leed's ware.

104. Old Worcester cup and saucer,

105. Old Worcester plate.

106. Plymouth, Harlequin.

107. Corner cupboard of Lowestoft.

108. Rose-sprigged Lowestoft.

109. Blue-banded Lowestoft.
no. Certified Lowestoft.

111. Spode.

112. Mason's stone.

113. Herculaneum porcelain.


114. Black basaltes tea-set.

115. Nelson teapot.

116. Silver lustre tea-set.

117. Silver lustre cake-basket and vase*.

118. Group of jugs.

119. Lustre mug and goblets.

120. Group of lustre jugs.

121. Cornwallis.

122. Lafayette.

123. Cups and saucers, lustre decoration.

124. Castleford teapot.


125. Cream ware, teapot.

126. Basaltes medallion.

127. Basaltes tea-set.

128. Basaltes vase.

129. Jasper flower-holder.


130. Jasper vase, blue and white.

131. Jasper vase, lilac and white.

132. Flower-pot.

133. Lustre candlesticks.

134. Wedgwood's patterns.


135. Toby, etc.

136. Lavender porcelain jug.

137. Davenport jug.

138. Newburg jug. Clews.

139. Minster jug.

140. Ariadne jug.

141. Alcock jugs.

142. Eagle and Silenus jugs.

143. Toby jugs.

144. Group of teapots, printed wares.

145. Groups of teapots, lustre decorations.

146. Group of teapots, painted wares.

147. "Lion Slayer."

148. Pepper-pot.

149. Nottingham Bear.

150. Cow and Calf.



Preface v

List of Illustrations vii

I. Early Pottery i

II. Staffordshire Wares 12

III. Staffordshire Wares, Continued . . 38

IV. Staffordshire Wares, Continued . . 61

V. Portrait Pieces 86

VI. Liverpool and Other Printed Wares . 100

VII. English Porcelain and Pottery . . 124

VIII. Basaltes, Lustres, White Ware, Etc., . 166

IX. Wedgwood and His Wares . . . .185

X. Jugs, Teapots and Animals . . .234

List of Views *54

Works on Pottery and Porcelain Con-
sulted 284

Index 285


CHAPTER I.^ . .,..,.,..


To-DAY, when our watchword seems to be " rush,"
when people who would like to pause and bide awhile
are swept along with the multitude, the thoughtful
person is likely to ask " How can I best withstand the
pressure? "

The device which is of the greatest use is the culti-
vation of a hobby, an intense interest in some particu-
lar subject, let it be birds, butterflies or beetles, old
laces, engravings, or china.

To be able to throw your mind into the contempla-
tion of a subject which is of such interest to you that
workaday worries are crowded out is not only a rest
but a pleasure, and though you may have started on
your gatherings without either thought or desire for im-
provement, insensibly you will find yourself drawn into
new fields, into by-paths leading off from the main
road, where you will find much to surprise and interest

It is not necessary to mention the shining lights of
past and present times who have found pleasure in
the gathering of china. I am sometimes asked if it is
not a very costly pleasure. It may be, yet within my


own experience have come the following ardent col-
lectors of " old blue " : a busy doctor, a woman who is
a cook in a restaurant, an editor, a butcher, an actor,
a school teacher, and dozens of women of leisure, some
with wealth and some with none, some owning
dozens, even hundreds, of pieces, some less than a
score, yet all fejoicing in the cultivation of an interest,
" a new interest in life," as many of them say, which
provides agreeable food for reflection, and which
stimulates as well as rests.

The making of pottery is one of the oldest arts,
practised even by prehistoric races, with the exception
of the cave dwellers of the Drift period. The sepul-
chral barrows of Great Britain have yielded many
specimens of this work, and to-day the attention of
most collectors centers on the pottery of England,
particularly that made in the eighteenth and the first
quarter of the nineteenth centuries.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth there were
imported from Germany numbers of stoneware jugs,
generally called Bellarmines, which superseded for
drinking purposes home-made vessels. Not only these
German vessels but Delft ware and occasional pieces
of Oriental ware and Italian faience also crept into
England, were eagerly sought, and brought good
prices. This stimulated the potters of England, who
had at their command, right at hand, the necessary
materials in great variety and abundance.

From this period, about 1560, may be dated the use
of the potter's art in England, and many utensils were
made which were not lacking in artistic feeling and
suitability for the purposes for which they were used.
Fifty years later the mugs and jugs with many handles.


the posset-pots and flagons were turned in a superior
style of material, design and workmanship. During
the second half of the seventeenth century many pot-
teries started up all over England, most of them being
content to imitate German stoneware or the Dutch
Delft. There were a few potters who were progressive
enough to try and improve their old-fashioned earthen-
ware, and of all these early wares dated specimens are
still to be found in England. Such as are in this coun-
try are museum specimens, so we need not go into fur-
ther description.

As early as i68o glazing by means of salt (a process
which had been known in Germany for many years)
became common, and superseded the coarse glaze
hitherto known, which was called " lead glaze" and
was opaque. Eventually this salt glazing was im-
proved upon, and the ware to which it was applied
was called " Crouch-Ware" (FiG.i). Even at its best
all this pottery was but rude ware, and the nobility
and gentry still clung to plate and pewter, and even
to wooden trenchers.

The chartering of the East India Trading Company
in 1600, for carrying on business in the East Indies,
is one of the chapters in English history that makes
interesting reading. It was, perhaps, the first great
trust or " combine " of which we have record, and its
rapacities became so great that, finally, about the
middle of the nineteenth century, the Crown was
obliged to step in and take away its charter. It was,
however, to this company that England was indebted
for the introduction of porcelain from the Orient.
To be sure a few pieces had been brought in prior to
1600, but even Queen Bess regarded highly her two


cups. One was a porringer of "white porselyn," gar-
nished with gold, a gift from Lord Burleigh, and the
other a cup of " grene pursselyn," given by Robert
Cecil. We may be very sure that the canny queen
would have gathered in more specimens if her loyal
subjects had possessed much of this " pursselyn," for at
New Year's time she had the habit of demanding gifts
from rich and poor alike, even ginger from the crossing-
sweeper was not too small an offering for her gracious
acceptance, and she " sware right lustily " if the gifts
were not forthcoming on time. By 163 1 the trading
company had thrown out several tentacles, and with
other spoils from the East began to bring in porcelain.
The company suffered greatly because its officers en-
gaged in smuggling " certain wares and merchandise."
A long list of articles was drawn up which the officers
were forbidden to bring in, but they were allowed to
bring home as much china and " purslanes " as they

On September 25, 1660, Pepys (whose sprightly
diary is a record of all that was doing about town in
those days), says, " I did send for a cup of tee (a
China drink), of which I never drank before." So it
seems as if some cups and bowls came in before the
beverage for which they were ultimately used. Tea
was then so scarce in England that the infusion of it
in water was taxed by the gallon in common with
chocolate and sherbet. Two pounds and two ounces
were, in the same year, 1659, formally presented to
the king by the East India Company as a most valua-
ble oblation.

Now at this time the vessel known as a teapot had
not been invented. Even in the land of the tea plant






the almond-eyed celestial brewed his tea by pouring
hot water over the leaves in a bowl. It was left to
more recent times and more civilized nations to use
such a utensil as we call teapot, and to boil out all the
injurious qualities from this cheering plant. With
these facts in mind a letter which lies before me seems
a little startling. It says " This teapot has been in
our family two hundred and fifty years. It is red and
yellow, and is decorated with the coat of arms of
England. Can you tell me who made it ? " This has
happened scores of times to me. People of upright
and sterling character, many of them possessed of
New England consciences, write me such letters. They
have no scruple in adding a hundred or more years to
the age of a bit of china, while they might fairly hesi-
tate in taking off ten or twenty years of their own
age in the presence of the census-taker. It is well to
fix in your mind the date, 1660, as the approximate
time when porcelain from the Orient, in plates, cups
and bowls, first began to appear in England. There
were few teapots until nearly half a hundred years

Although, during recent years, England may well be
proud of her porcelain products, she has equal reason
to uphold the fame of her pioneer potters, when
among them may be found such names as Adams,
Elers, Mason, Mayer, Meigh, Ridgway, Wedgwood
and Wood.

The term " pottery," in its widest sense, includes all
objects made of clay, moulded into shape while in a
moist state, and then hardened -by fire. In ordinary
wares, pottery and semi-china, clay was used which
had impurities, while the paste of porcelain is of a


purer silicate of alumina. The essential difference in
appearance between pottery and porcelain is that the
latter is whiter, harder and slightly translucent. The
use of pounded flint was the cause of great improve-
ments in earthenware. The material was mixed
with sand and pipeclay, and coloured with oxide of
copper and manganese, making the agate, or combed,
or tortoise-shell ware which became very popular.
(Fig. 2.) This particular tortoise-shell mug, with its
graceful cover, is in the Concord Museum of Antiqui-
ties. It is very light in weight, rich in colour, and ab-
solutely perfect. Pasted in the cover is the following
legend — "Jonas Potter, born Feby 6, 1740. Married
Dec. 30, 1766, died, March 7, 182 1." It is the record
of a whole life, and the monument to this unknown
Jonas, one frail mug, has outlived him more than
three-quarters of a century. It is undoubtedly made
by Wheildon, who never identified his pieces by any
mark or name ; but their workmanship is so superior
that they cannot be mistaken, for no imitator ever
approached their perfection. The choicest pieces of
these wares were probably made between 1752 and


The cream-coloured wares followed the tortoise-shell,
and were named in honour of Queen Anne, who ad-
mired them. They were usually decorated with orna-
ments in low relief, copied from the forms of silverware
of the period (FiG. 3). After the plain coloured wares
came those printed and painted, and this pottery was
by no means lacking in beauty of form or design. To
the collector the " feel " of a piece of china is almost
as great a guide as its looks. The old china had a
lightness, you almost may say a softness (which


modern wares lack), particularly that old English ware
known as semi-china.

The word porcelain comes from the Italian word
porcellana, meaning cowry-shell, and we commonly
call porcelain ware china, because it was first made by
the Chinese. Porcelain is made of a certain kind of
clay, which is purified and then baked, producing a
hard, translucent material, the transparency of which
is regulated by its thickness.

Paste is the body or substance of which the article
is made, and may be either hard or soft. Hard paste
is made of the natural clay, and appears, when broken,
sparkling, fine grained and vitreous. Soft paste is
more porous and dull, and is made of artificial clays.
You may only distinguish the hardness or softness of
the paste where there is a clean chip, but it is well to
remember that all modern china is hard paste.

Glaze is the shiny material which covers the paste.
Hard glaze is colourless and thin, making the object
cold to the hands. Soft glaze is somewhat gummy to
the touch, without the hard cold feeling which dis-
tinguishes hard glaze, and may be scratched with a
knife. The rims or little rings on which pieces of
hard paste porcelain rest are left unglazed. This is an
easy method of distinguishing hard from soft paste

All Oriental china is hard paste. Hard-glaze porce-
lain was made at Plymouth, Bristol and Liverpool.
Soft glaze manufactories were at Bow, Chelsea, Derby,
Worcester, and also at Liverpool and Rockingham.
The Staffordshire porcelain was soft glaze, but had
feldspar added.

Biscuit is the technical term applied to both pottery


and porcelain before they are enamelled or glazed. It
is a dead white, and does not receive well colours
which need a glaze to bring out their beauty.

Faience is a French word which is applied to every
kind of glazed earthenware, but does not include
porcelain. Majolica, as the term is commonly used,
means about the same thing as faience, but formerly
it meant exclusively Italian decorated pottery of the
fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth cen-
turies, made in the old Italian style.

Stoneware is seldom glazed by a " dip," the glazing
and firing usually being done at one time by the in-
troduction of salt in the kiln.

Semi-china is made with a large admixture of feld-
spar, and is almost as translucent as porcelain. The
main differences in the manufacture of earthenware,
stoneware and porcelain are due to a few minor in-
gredients, to the way they are prepared, and to the
degree of heat to which they are subjected.

There is one mark which appears on new, old and
middle-aged china that causes much perturbation of
spirit. As many correspondents say it " is not in the
books." This mark is somewhat diamond-shaped, with
a capital R in the middle, and figures in the angles.
It simply means "registered," showing that the pat-
tern is registered.

On almost every piece of this old china ware, particu-
larly " flat " or table ware, you will find on the face of
the piece three rough marks in the glaze. On the
back of each piece will also be found rough marks,
three in a group, and three groups at equal distances.
These are caused by the " stilts," or little tripods
which were put between the pieces to keep them


separate when they were fired in the kiln. They are
a very good test that the china is old. When it is
said that a piece is in "proof condition," it means
that it is without crackor chip, fine in colour and print-
ing, and not greased or scratched. A piece may be
called perfect, and yet have some tiny surface crack, or
may show signs of wear, like knife scratches, but other-
wise be in perfect condition. A crack detracts from
the value more than a chip or nick, even if the latter
be on the face of the china. The term "greased " is
applied, when, by much use, grease has penetrated
the glaze, and spoiled the colour.

The making of pottery took rapid strides after the
opening of the eighteenth century, and in the period
between 1722 and 1749 no less than nine patents were
taken out. Among the earliest pieces made for domes-
tic uses were the Bellarmines, already spoken of,
copied from the German stoneware, ale jugs and
various drinking vessels, mugs and posset-pots.

The name "mug" was singularly derived from the
fact that these drinking cups were generally decorated
with a rude, or grotesque face, or " mug." Posset-
pots were in popular use for supper on Chrismas eve.
In the tasty drink, with its spices and sippets of toast,
were dropped the wedding ring of the hostess and a
bit of silver money. Each guest fished in turn after
taking a drink. The one Avho succeeded in rescuing
the ring was assured a speedy and happy marriage,
while the one who got the coin was equally certain to
have good luck for the year. These pots, seldom used
during the year but on this single occasion, were
handed down in families, and may still be found in
Great Britain.


The taste for collecting china began very early in
England, but it was Oriental china that filled the
cabinets, with sometimes a few pieces of Delft, decor-
ated in Chinese fashion. Before 1694 Queen Mary
had quite a number of vases in which she delighted,
and " on which houses, trees, bridges and mandarins
were depicted in outrageous defiance of all laws of
perspective." It is a matter of speculation if the vases
thus described had on them designs similar to what we
now know as the " willow-pattern," and which every
English potter turned his attention to at one time or
another. They are to be found all over this country,
in every shade of blue and every degree of workman-
ship. Fig. 4 shows a very fine example of this pat-

The china mania in England reached its greatest
height in the eighteenth century, and all who could
filled their houses with jars and vases, cups and saucers,
and "loves of monsters," without use or beauty.

Of all collectors Horace Walpole was the prince,
and of him it was written :

" China's the passion of his soul ;
A cup, a plate, a dish, a bowl,
Can kindle wishes in his breast,
Inflame with joy or break his rest."

He was so fond of his brittle treasures that he
even washed them himself, though his poor hands
were swollen and knotted with gout. His collection
was, perhaps, the largest ever made by an individual.
It was all gathered between 1753 and 1776, and was
kept at his Gothic villa at Strawberry Hill.

This priceless collection was sold in 1842 by Lord
Waldegrave who inherited the property, and it took


twenty-seven days to dispose of all the treasures at
auction. It is a pity that it could not have been left
to the nation, like the unrivalled Wallace collection
of pictures, which was begun by the third Marquis of
Hertford at about the end of the eighteenth century.



England is not a very large section of the globe,
but the history of the villages and hamlets which com-
prise that district in Staffordshire known as the "pot-
teries" would fill a large volume. The potting dis-
trict was over ten miles long and comprised Stoke-on-
Trent, Hanley, Cobridge, Etruria, Burslem, Fenton,
Tunstall, Longport, Shelton, Lane End, and some
lesser known works.

Ralph Shaw, in 1733, patented a salt-glazed ware,
brown and white outside and white within. The
patent did not hold, however, and his rivals copied
and improved on his ware with great rapidity. Wedg-
wood has always been a famous name among potters,

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