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LLECTING
OLD

FRB WARB

r , BOS AN KG



LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF

CALIFORNIA

SAN DIEGO






THE COLLECTORS' POCKET SERIES

EDITED BY SIR JAMES YOXALL, M.P.



COLLECTING OLD
LUSTRE WARE



THE COLLECTORS' POCKET SERIES

EDITED BY SIR JAMES YOXALL, M.P.
Uniformly bound, price 2s. 6d. net
each volume

w/"

COLLECTING OLD GLASS

By J. H. YOXALL
COLLECTING OLD MINIATURES

By J. H. YOXALL

COLLECTING OLD LUSTRE WARE

By W. BOSANKO

COLLECTING OLD PEWTER

By H. J. L. J. MAKE

COLLECTING OLD PRINTS

By E. GRAY

COLLECTING OLD WATER-COLOURS
By R. W. HOWES

(Other Volumes in Preparation)
*s*

LONDON : WILLIAM HEINEMANN




SILVER LUSTRE TEAPOT
(Trial piece by John Hancock)

The original of the teapot shown above was presented by Mr.
W. H. Slater of Derby, who was a designer at Hanley Staffordshire
Potteries, to Mr. F. Lawden of Hanley, now at Boscombe, Bourne-
mouth. Mr. Lawden states that Mr. Slater was a distant relative
of the Hancocks of Worcester and of the John Hancock who invented
lustre, according to his own statement and also the statement of Shaw
the Staffordshire historian.

Mr. Slater assured Mr. Lawden that this was a trial pot by John
Hancock and had been in the family up to the time of his presenting
it to the recipient.

Mr. F. Lawden has been in possession of it for many years.

W. B.



COLLECTING OLD
LUSTRE WARE

By W. BOSANKO



With rosy lustre purpled o'er :
Pope, " Odyssey " ii.




LONDON

WILLIAM HEINEMANN



London: William Heine mann, igi6



EDITOR'S PREFACE

1 BELIEVE this to be the first book on old English
lustre ware ever published ; even in casual
articles or chapters of other books the information
available in print has hitherto been meagre. Yet there
are many collectors of old lustre ware ; it still abounds,
there is plenty of it to hunt for, and prices are not yet
excessive. By the aid of this informative book and
the study of museum examples a beginner may equip
himself well, and may take up this hobby hopefully,
certain of finding treasures of rejoicing for the eye.

The author of this very uncommon and useful book
is an enthusiast and an expert collector, resident in a
district which is traditionally associated with lustre
pottery. He has gone about his collecting in the spirit
of research ; he has not been content merely to amass,
he has sought to know all about his hobby ; and in
this book he compares, classifies, and arranges lustre
wares comprehensively, in a way that nobody else has
tried to do.

The illustrations, skilfully selected and finely rendered,
are almost an education in themselves, and they show
that the author has made of his collecting an art as
well as a science. I am happy in being able to add
this book to the Collectors' Pocket Series.

J. H. YOXALL

vii



AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION

SOME of the brilliant lustres produced by the
early Staffordshire potters notably during the
Wedgwood period have an exceptional interest,
and the history of the production of lustre ware at the
various centres of potting is as elusive as the rich bloom
for which the collector now seeks.

The absence of historical sequence, the paucity both
of data and marked examples, together with the erratic
manner in which the metallic glazes were associated
with the pottery and porcelain made in the English
factories at the beginning of the nineteenth century
and onwards, all tend to add fascination to the pursuit
of the finer specimens which have survived.

The following publications have been quoted or
otherwise made use of, particularly affecting the histori-
cal points :

" Handbook of English Earthenware " (South
Kensington), by Sir Arthur H. Church, K.C.V.O.,
F.R.S.

" Transfer Printing on English Pottery and Porce-
lains," by W. Turner, F.R.S.
The Connoisseur.

" Staffordshire Pots and Potters," by G. W. and
F. A. Rhead.

ix



AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION

" British Pottery Marks," by G. W. Rhead, R.E.

" Chats on English Earthenware," by A. Hayden.

Articles from London Opinion, by J. F. Blacker.

Mr. J. R. Kidson gave valuable help on Leeds wares.

In addition, thanks are also due to Mr. W. J. Pountney
who gave exceptional help respecting the early Bristol
Potteries and information about practical potting.

Thanks are hereby tendered to Dr. J. Maurice Harper
of Bath who supplied several interesting photographs
of specimens from his rich collection of Staffordshire
pottery, to Messrs. M. Cook, W. McClelland and A. T.
Jenkins for the loan of certain specimens, and to Mr. A.
Chambers of Buxton for a print in the Copper section.

W. B.
TREGADJACK,

KNOWLE, BRISTOL



CONTENTS

PAGE

PREFACE vii

ILLUSTRATIONS xiii

CHAPTER

I. (a) LUSTRE 1

(b) ENGLISH LUSTROUS WARES 3

II OLD RUBY LUSTRE (descri bed and illustrated) 9

III. OLD GOLD LUSTRE 15

IV. OLD COPPER LUSTRE 24
V. (a) BRONZED-GOLD PURPLE AND LILAC

LUSTRE (described and illustrated)

(b) PINK LUSTRE

(c) LIGHT GROUNDS (Lustre painting)

VI. (a) OLD STEEL LUSTRE (described and illustrated)

(b) OLD SILVER LUSTRE
VII. OLD RESIST LUSTRE
VIII. TRADITIONAL DECORATED LUSTRE OF

BRISTOL 81

SWANSEA GOLD AND SILVER LUSTRE 87

LIVERPOOL OLD LEEDS CASTLEFORD

DON POTTERY 91

NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE-SUNDERLAND 94

IX. NAMES OR INITIALS ON MARKED WARES 95
DECORATORS' MARKS-FIRMS WHO USED

LUSTROUS EFFECTS 97

X. BUSTS AND FIGURES WITH LUSTROUS

GLAZE 99

XI. ENGLISH PORCELAINS DECORATED WITH

LUSTROUS EFFECTS 106

INDEX 110



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



FIG.



Frontispiece.



1 . GOBLET.

2. GOBLET.



3. JUG.

4. JUG.

5. JUG.

6. GOBLET.

7. JUG.

8. JUG.

9. LOVING CUP.
10. JUG.*



11. JUG.

12. GOBLET.

13. MUG.
HA. JUG.
MB. JUG.

15. JUG.

16. GOBLET.

17. JUG.

18. JUG.



DESCRIPTION PAGE

OLD RUBY LUSTRE

OVERGLAZE DECORATION 12

OVERGLAZE WREATH 13

OLD GOLD LUSTRE

RELIEF PATTERN 16

WEDGWOOD MASK 17

DECORATED PANEL 18

VERTICAL FACETS 19

ORNAMENTED (WILSON SCHOOL) 20

DECORATED (SWANSEA ?) 21

DECORATED (SWANSEA ?) 22

EXOTIC BIRD AND FOLIAGE 23

OLD COPPER LUSTRE

BIRD HANDLE 27

LUSTRED FIGURES 28

CLASSIC RELIEFS 29

FARM AND FIELD SUBJECT 30

SPOTTED Docs IN RELIEF 31

WHITE SPRAY 32

VERTICAL RIBBING 33

HORIZONTAL RIBBING 33

PALE BLUE RELIEF 34

* Copper glaze.

xiii



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

OLD COPPER LUSTRE continued
FIG. DESCRIPTION

19. JUG. OVERGLAZE PRINT " CHARITY "

20. JUG. BLACK PRINT. VIEW NEAR BUXTON

21. GOBLET. DECORATED

22. JUG. CANARY GROUND. COLOURED PRINT

(MOTHER AMUSING CHILD)

23. CREAM JUG. DECORATED

BRONZED-GOLD LUSTRE, ETC.

24. JUG. PANEL VIEW IN COLOURS. " FAITH "

25. GOBLET. MOTTLED EFFECT



PAGE
34
35
38

40
41



46
47



PINK LUSTRE

26. JUG. MARINERS ARMS (SUNDERLAND) 49

LUSTRE PAINTING

27. JUG. LANDSCAPE WITH BIRD (SUNDERLAND) 50

28. JUG. DECORATED. CHINESE STYLE 51

OLD STEEL LUSTRE

29. GOBLET. PLAIN WITH FINE BEADING 53

OLD SILVER LUSTRE

30. JUG. HORSES, ETC., CREAM RELIEF ON SILVER 56

31. JUG. DIAMOND PATTERN 57

32. JUG. VERTICAL RIBBING 58

33. SUGAR-BOX. PATTERNED. BIRD HANDLES 59

OLD RESIST LUSTRE

34. JUG. GOLD SPRAYS ON WHITE 72

35. JUG. SILVER RESIST. ONE BIRD 73

36. MUG. SILVER RESIST. Two BIRDS 74

37. MUG. SILVER RESIST. " E. BEESTON ROBINSON " 75

38. JUG. SILVER RESIST. FLORAL SPRAYS 76

39. JUG. SILVER RESIST WITH HUNTING IN BLUE 77

PRINT



xiv



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

OLD RESIST LUSTRE continued
FIG. DESCRIPTION PAGE

40. JUG. SILVER RESIST WITH NAMES AND DATE 79

41. JUG. SILVER RESIST, COLOURED GROUND AND 79

DATED

42. JUG. SILVER RESIST, WITH VIOLET OVERGLAZE 80

PANEL

BRISTOL, SWANSEA, AND OTHER " LUSTRE "
POTTERIES

43. SPILL VASE. DECORATED, COLOURS, CHINESE STYLE 86

44. JUG. OVERGLAZE PANEL VIEW 90

BUSTS AND FIGURES WITH LUSTROUS
GLAZE

45. BUST. SILVER LUSTRE. GODDESS MINERVA 103

ENGLISH PORCELAINS WITH LUSTROUS

EFFECTS
46 PLATE.* FINE LILAC RESIST DECORATION 108

* Stone china.



xv



I. (A) LUSTRE

The name : Composition and appearance on
pottery. Origin : Persia : Spain : Italy.
English Lustre : Discovery in Staffordshire.

THE NAME

THE name " lustre " implies brightness or splen-
dour ; the subject of this book deals with
lustred or lustrous pottery. (The limpid spark-
ling lustre derived from cut glass is an altogether
different subject.)

THE COMPOSITION

Lustrous effects are produced on pottery or porcelain
by the application of an exceedingly thin glaze of metal
reduced by chemical agents to a condition of extreme
solubility which admits of its being easily and economic
cally applied to a prepared surface. The lustre, i.e.
the final glaze, may be composed of one or more metallic
ingredients.

THE APPEARANCE

The result of applying a thin solution of copper to
the prepared clay body gives a coating or glaze akin
to the sheen of copper or rich gold, after the solution
has been fired on a suitable dark clay. When the metal
is burnt on a white or cream ground a lilac or metallic

A 1



COLLECTING OLD LUSTRE WARE

pink is the resultant hue. In cases where more than
one ground colour is added, before the copper pre-
paration is used, a mottled or streaked effect is secured
according to the manner in which the ground colours
are arranged.

When solutions of platinum are used, the firing which
always releases certain impurities leaves a fast deposit
of uniform silver appearance.

ORIGIN PERSIA

The origin of this effective method of decoration is
exceedingly old, if not lost in antiquity.

The early Persians produced lustrous pottery of
wonderful delicacy and interest before the thirteenth
century, and possibly the workers copied the process
from the remnants of an earlier race.

SPAIN AND ITALY

Lustrous pottery is known to have been produced in
Spain circa A.D. 1 350, and a considerable quantity of this
styled " Hispano Mauro " has been brought to England.

Italy was renowned for its wonderful artistic de-
velopment long ago, and evolved a brilliant ruby lustrous
glaze ; the School of Italian lustre, especially in the
Gubbio style, has secured world- wide renown.

ENGLISH LUSTRE

Lustre of the English variety is the renaissance of what
had been produced in Spain and Italy centuries earlier
and probably originated from friendly English inter-
course and commercial dealings with Spain and Italy.

As the metallic solutions are in a great measure
2



ENGLISH LUSTROUS WARES

identical, the appearance on the English wares presents
many characteristics similar to the earlier lustre. The
difference in form, however, is considerable and this
also applies in regard to the designs. Admitting the
beauty of the work of the earlier masters of lustre,
many will be found who favour the handy little English
forms, eminently suitable for collectors' shelves.

DISCOVERY IN STAFFORDSHIRE

The process of applying to pottery a thin film or
coating of some metallic oxide is generally agreed to
have been rediscovered in the district known as the
Staffordshire Potteries. Neither documentary nor
traditional evidence is sufficiently exact to enable us
to name the potter who re-discovered the process ;
it may have originated in more than one quarter, but
the Staffordshire historian " Shaw " says it was dis-
covered by Hancock, and the latter confirmed it.

Many experiments were made by the renowned
potter Josiah Wedgwood about 1 776, and for some years
afterwards. It is perfectly clear that English wares
decorated with lustrous effects had been produced before
the beginning of the nineteenth century to some extent.

(B) ENGLISH LUSTROUS WARES

Process of manufacture : Varieties of lustrous
effects : Stencilling : Resist lustre : Self grounds.

PROCESS OF MANUFACTURE

SpC2 does not admit of a long explanation of the
methods by which the lustrous effects were produced..

3



COLLECTING OLD LUSTRE WARE
The clays were selected, matured, and levigated,
and considerable care was exercised during the process
for the better class wares.

Each potter doubtless guarded his methods closely
after making a useful discovery, owing to the com-
petitive spirit which prevailed and it has been stated
that some of the methods for producing lustre have
been lost, e.g., in connexion with the ruby tint, which
is presumed to have been produced by Wedgwood.

A large amount of genuine old Staffordshire ware is
exceedingly rough, and should not be refused when the
glaze is exceptionally brilliant.

VARIETIES OF LUSTROUS EFFECTS

A summary of the various shades on English lustrous
pottery especially of the copper shades can only
be given in general.

The shade of the final glaze is influenced by the
ground colour and the colour of the clay, by the in-
gredients forming the metallic solution, and possibly
by other factors. The final reduction of the metals
in the firing, under certain conditions left a rich bloom
sometimes described as a sub-oxide. In the experi-
mental lustre made by Wedgwood it is stated that a
bronze powder was dusted over the ware " before or
after " the firing. Examples of such original lustres
are exceedingly rare, yet this gives us a hint that the
earlier glazes were delicate.

RUBY

The ruby or plum shade of lustre is not a
durable glaze. It is only faintly observed on well-
4



ENGLISH LUSTROUS WARES

preserved pieces, when applied to dark clays. See
Chapter II.

GOLD

A clear shade doubtless derived from a pure solution
of copper, which after successful firing, chiefly on
brown clays, happens to look like gold. There may
be an infinitesimal quantity of gold in the glaze, but
it is of an entirely different effect to " gilding "
with leaf-gold as seen on the best of the old English
porcelains.

COPPER

The copper shades vary most considerably, merging
at times when a sub-oxide occurs into a tint of red-gold
or almost ruby. Copper lustre, in the best shades, is
an exceedingly rich and decorative colour.

In the case of an unsuitable body being used together
with an inferior glaze of metal, the result is corre-
spondingly inferior ; in some genuine old pieces it is
only a dead brown.

BRONZED PURPLE (See pages 43 and 44)

The most ordinary bronzed variety is associated with
relief ornaments in white, and panel views, or " Faith,
Hope, and Charity," and this general class of glaze
has an appearance best likened to a ripe blackberry.
There are, however, brilliant variants.

Note. The above shades can be picked out in a
collection on dark clays, but there is no precise de-
marcation.

5



COLLECTING OLD LUSTRE WARE

LILAC

This somewhat inferior shade of light purple can
be regarded as the most common colour on the lighter
grounds ; more detailed remarks appear on page 44
respecting it.

PINK

This is observed in varying shades on white or cream
grounds, in a distinct hue from its companion lilac.
It has not the undesirable blue tinge which occurs with
the lilac.

STEEL

This shade explains itself. An inferior silver glaze
looks like steel when applied to pottery. It is stated
to have been secured by the application of a solution
of platinum to the prepared earthenware. Being
excessively thin the glaze is not strong and often presents
blemishes.

SILVER

This lustrous effect is the potter's best attempt at
producing a silvered surface to imitate the actual silver
vessels, and it was secured by the application of a second
coating of platinum solution carefully treated.

Compared with steel, the true silver lustre variety
has an even mirror-like surface.

A comparison between the two metals, steel and
silver, will give an excellent demonstration of the
difference in those lustres termed " Steel " and " Silver."
6



ENGLISH LUSTROUS WARES

STENCILLING

The dictionary explains this as " to paint by a pattern
cut out and applied to the surface to be painted." It
would be a comparatively easy matter to prepare a
pattern on suitable paper, removing the outline of the
design with a knife or scissors. When moistened and
applied to the prepared ware, the perforated parts
would be covered with the liquid lustre by a brush.
This solution would set quickly, and when the stencif
was removed the ware would be fired and the process
completed. In addition to giving fairly accurate
outlines which, however, are sometimes a little ragged,
only a small quantity of the metallic solution would
thus be needed.

RESIST LUSTRE

The term is derived from the method adopted in
order to secure a white pattern or one of another colour,
such as blue, canary, &c., on a silver or copper lustrous
ground. A white surface or one of the other shades
(there are specimens with more than one ground shade)
is first laid on the clay body, the outline is painted or
stencilled on with a substance such as glycerine, or
some other preparation which would quickly become
detached in water. The whole pattern is " lustred "
over with the metallic solution and allowed partly to
dry. The ware is next washed in water, whereupon
the glycerine preparation covering the outline or
pattern washes off, but the metallic solution is not
affected by the bath, or in other words " it resists " the
water. The ware is next fired to complete the process.

7



COLLECTING OLD LUSTRE WARE
This method uses much more of the lustre, and would
doubtless occupy more time to accomplish, than the
process of stencilling, and it explains in a measure why
fine resist examples are expensive to purchase. On
the other hand it must not be overlooked that certain
varieties of lustre treated with fine stencilled designs
are also difficult to procure.

It will be noticed that the stencil leaves a lustre
pattern on the prepared ground, whilst the resist process
leaves a white or blue pattern on a gold or silver self
ground, according to the kind of metallic glaze em-
ployed.

SELF-GROUNDS

The term " self " ground probably calls for a word
of explanation.

For the purpose of lustre the self-ground refers to a
specimen on which the whole or greater part of the
surface is covered with the lustre itself : hence the
term " self " ground. Generally such wares command
higher prices when in a perfect state of preservation
and of good colour.



II. OLD RUBY LUSTRE (DESCRIBED
AND ILLUSTRATED)

" Old lustre " : Wedgivood Ruby glaze :
Body. Overglaze decoration-clay characterh-
tics : Probable maker. Fracture exposes paste :
Fluorescence from moisture : Mark discovered.

"OLD" LUSTRE

IN view of the obscurity which surrounds the earlier
manufacture, some reference to the term " old "
appears to be necessary before dealing with the
ruby or plum-coloured wares. Collectors in, e.g. 1860
who may have given some attention to English lustre
would not have felt much interest in regard to the wares
made in 1 840 or 1 850, yet the modem collector regards
many of these specimens as interesting and desirable,
and as a matter of fact a large quantity of excellent
lustre was probably made from 1840 to 1850.

WEDGWOOD

The rare pieces made experimentally by Wedgwood
about 1790, following the experiments stated to have
been commenced about 1780, would doubtless claim
the greatest attention of old collectors, and also perhaps
the brilliant pieces which may have been produced by
famous experimental potters, Enoch Wood and others
of Staffordshire. The scarcity of the dense clay, of an

9



COLLECT ING OLD LUSTRE WARE
early variety with a rich bloom perhaps marked with
the name of the potter will be realized more thoroughly
after years of searching than in any other way. The
term " old " is therefore used in a comparative sense :
the majority of the pieces to be found now were made
after 1 790, possibly much later ; in fact, the ordinary
copper specimens of 1 850 can be termed old by present-
day collectors, and in a considerable measure those wares
will be found to embody improvements and attractions
in colouring gained from the experience of earlier efforts
at manufacture.

The reader now may be prepared for a great diversity
of colour and decorative treatment, and a more pro-
gressive interest may be derived from a selection of
specimens described on the lines of a rough if artificial
classification, than from further general remarks.

THE RUBY GLAZE

Ruby glaze, as introducing the section of self ground
lustres, is not necessarily the first and oldest, though
there is some reason to think of it as that.

The " gold " lustre as it is termed, one of the results
of the Wedgwood experiments and produced about
1792 (?) is usually a mottled effect applied to a white
or cream ground. The application of the metallic
glaze to a dark surface yields a different effect, and whilst
there is uncertainty in regard to how the different
shades of copper lustre were secured, there appears
to have been an exceptional solution used to secure
the ruby sheen. Yet, on the other hand, it may have
been accidental, like a goodly proportion of the potters'
triumphs. The final reduction by firing leaves the
10



OLD RUBY LUSTRE

actual colour, and the presence of iron must be regarded
as a likely factor in the colouring.

On good copper varieties we sometimes get what is
termed a sub-oxide, i.e. a ruddy copper shade of great
beauty. Given one of those examples which occur
on a planed surface of red-brown body, and adding
to it an almost imperceptible dust, in certain lights
sparkling with a faint ruby tint (which seems to vanish
into the prevailing red-brown shade immediately we
observe it) we have a fair illustration of old ruby lustre
in its happiest combination. Some specimens in ex-
istence will doubtless bear comparison with moderate
examples from the Gubbio School.

THE BODY

If all Wedgwood productions were " marked," the
use of the preparation we have termed ruby cannot
have been confined to Etruria (Wedgwood). The toy
plate (page 46) and a complete dessert service once
seen by the writer, are marked with the impressed
name " WEDGWOOD " in the paste. The body used is
light, thin, and brittle, like the well-known early Queen's
ware of Wedgwood. The illustrated specimens which
follow these remarks are however lustred on a dark
brown clay of great density, with something of the
nature of black basalts in the polished texture from
which the ruby glaze acquires a deep brilliance. Both
are unmarked, with the exception described in the
text. This very dark brown body with its compact
texture is associated with many of the best characteris-
tics observed in English lustred pottery.

In the absence of a rare specimen of black basalts



COLLECTING OLD LUSTRE WARE

dusted with bronze powder, it seems best to consider
the other early features of the numerous wares, and with
some hesitation it is decided to produce Fig. 1 as
introductory. For it we can claim the beautiful finish
on the surface, allied to the fine hard texture of the
body, for which the better Staffordshire potters are
deservedly famous, and there is also an early sensitive

ruby (or plum) glaze, greatly
enhanced by the association
with the dark body.

OVERGLAZE DECORATION
From the figure it will be
seen that an overglaze sprig
decoration was applied to
the lustre glaze, a style
generally adopted in the
later examples. But we are
not without evidence that
early English pottery re-
ceived such treatment, and
the Staffordshire man was

often a copyist : the fuddling cup of buff ware in-
scribed I.M. and dated 1770 in the British Museum
illustrated on page 97 of " Staffordshire Pots and
Potters," by Messrs. Rhead, dealing with slip wares
on that page carries a slightly similar floral decoration.

CLAY CHARACTERISTICS

A large number of copper lustres were ornamented
with similar overglaze sprig patterns in a great variety
12




OLD RUBY LUSTRE



of shapes, but the clay characteristics are not always so
pronounced as in the example selected. This im-
portant base may be said to afford the most useful
indication of age, apart from the accident of glaze or
class of decoration, and in the absence of more exact
data associated with specimens of presumed early work.

PROBABLE MAKER

Enoch Wood (or Wood
and Caldwell as the firm
was named later) known to
be one of the earliest in
Staffordshire for the pro-
duction of lustrous effects on
pottery, may have manu-
factured the specimen illus-
trated.

FRACTURE EXPOSES
PASTE (Fig. 2)

A further illustration is
here afforded of a dense
clay carrying traces of the ruby glaze, and ornamented
with a floral wreath of considerable interest.

A faint chip not visible in the photograph enables
one to see the clay in fracture. The floral wreath is in
blue overglaze, a coloured pigment often associated


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