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Tin-glazed pottery is pottery covered in glaze containing tin oxide which is white, shiny and opaque. (See tin-glazing.) The pottery body is usually made of red or buff colored earthenware and the white glaze was often used to imitate Chinese porcelain. Tin-glazed pottery is usually decorated, the decoration applied to the unfired glaze surface by brush as metallic oxides, commonly cobalt oxide, copper oxide, iron oxide, manganese dioxide and antimony oxide. The makers of Italian tin-glazed pottery from the late Renaissance blended oxides to produce detailed and realistic polychrome paintings.
The earliest tin-glazed pottery appears to have been made in Iraq in the ninth century, the oldest fragments having been excavated during the First World War from the palace of Samarra about fifty miles north of Baghdad. From there it spread to Egypt, Persia and Spain before reaching Italy in the Renaissance, Holland in the 16th century and England, France and other European countries shortly after.
In the 18th century Josiah Wedgwood formulated a white earthenware body from which he could make light and durable tablewares. As these were almost as white as tin-glazed pottery and better in other ways, they replaced it in the 19th century.
There has been a revival in the twentieth century by studio potters. Some twentieth-century artists painted on tin-glazed pottery, for example, Picasso (1881–1973), who produced much work of this kind in the 1940s and 1950s.
Tin-glazed pottery of different periods and styles is known by different names. The pottery from Muslim Spain is known as Hispano-Moresque ware. The decorated tin-glaze of Renaissance Italy is called maiolica, sometimes pronounced majolica by English speakers. When the technique was taken up in the Netherlands it became known as delftware as much of it was made in the town of Delft. Dutch potters brought it to England in around 1600 and wares produced there are known as English delftware or galleyware. In France it was known as faience.
The word maiolica is thought to have come from the medieval Italian word for Majorca, an island on the route for ships that brought Hispano-Moresque wares to Italy from Valencia in the 15th and 16th centuries, or from the Spanish obra de Mallequa, the term for lustered ware made in Valencia under the influence of Moorish craftsmen from Malaga. During the Renaissance, the term maiolica was adopted for Italian-made luster pottery copying Spanish examples, and during the 16th century its meaning shifted to include all tin-glazed earthenware.
Because of their identical names, there has been some confusion between tin-glazed majolica/maiolica and the lead-glazed majolica made in England and America in the 19th century, but they are different in origin, technique, style and history. In the late 18th century, old Italian maiolica became popular among the British, who referred to it by the anglicized pronunciation majolica. The Minton pottery copied it and applied the term majolica ware to their product. At the Great Exhibition of 1851, Minton launched a colorful lead-glazed earthenware which they called Palissy ware. By the 1880s, the public was calling Palissy ware majolica, and the usage has stuck. "In the 1870s, the curators of the South Kensington Museum returned to the original Italian 'maiolica' with an 'i' to describe all Italian tin-glazed earthenware, doubtless to stress the Italian pronunciation and to avoid confusion with contemporary majolica."
- For the article about 19th century lead-glazed earthenware, see Victorian majolica
W.B.Honey (Keeper of Ceramics at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1938-1950), wrote of maiolica that, "By a convenient extension and limitation the name may be applied to all tin-glazed ware, of whatever nationality, made in the Italian tradition ... the name faïence (or the synonymous English 'delftware') being reserved for the later wares of the 17th Century onwards, either in original styles (as in the case of the French) or, more frequently, in the Dutch-Chinese (Delft) tradition." The term maiolica is sometimes applied to modern tin-glazed ware made by studio potters.
- Main article Hispano-Moresque ware.
The Moors introduced tin-glazed pottery to Spain after the conquest of 711. Valencia and Barcelona became important centers of Hispano-Moresque ware and in the 14th century, Málaga became celebrated for its gold lusterware.
Hispano-Moresque ware is generally distinguished from the pottery of Christendom by the Islamic character of its decoration, though as the dish illustrated shows, it was also made for the Christian market.
Hispano-Moresque shapes of the fifteenth century included the albarello (a tall jar), luster dishes with coats of arms, made for wealthy Italians and Spaniards, jugs, some on high feet (the citra and the grealet), a deep-sided dish (the lebrillo de alo) and the eared bowl (cuenco de oreja).
Although the Moors were expelled from Spain in the early seventeenth century, the Hispano-Moresque style survived in the province of Valencia. Later wares usually have a coarse reddish-buff body, dark blue decoration and luster.
- Main article Maiolica.
Refined production of tin-glazed earthenware made for more than local needs was concentrated in central Italy from the later thirteenth century, especially in the contada of Florence. The city itself declined in importance in the second half of the fifteenth century, perhaps because of local deforestation. Italian cities encouraged the start of a new pottery industry by offering tax relief, citizenship, monopoly rights and protection from outside imports. Production scattered among small communes and, after the mid-fifteenth century, at Faenza, Arezzo and Siena. Faenza, which gave its name to faience, was the only fair-sized city in which the ceramic industry became a major economic component. Bologna produced lead-glazed wares for export. Orvieto and Deruta both produced maioliche in the fifteenth century. In the sixteenth century, maiolica production was established at Castel Durante, Urbino, Gubbio and Pesaro. Some maiolica was produced as far north as Padua, Venice and Turin and as far south as Palermo and Caltagirone in Sicily. In the seventeenth century Savona began to be a prominent place of manufacture.
- Main article Delftware.
Delftware was made in the Netherlands and from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The main period of manufacture was 1640-1730.
The earliest tin-glazed pottery in the Netherlands was made in Antwerp in 1512. The manufacture of painted pottery may have spread from the south to the northern Netherlands in the 1560s. It was made in Middleburg and Haarlem in the 1570s and in Amsterdam in the 1580s. Much of the finer work was produced in Delft, but simple everyday tin-glazed pottery was made in places such as Gouda, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Dordrecht.
The Guild of St. Luke, to which painters in all media had to belong, admitted ten master potters in the thirty years between 1610 and 1640 and twenty in the nine years 1651 to 1660. In 1654 a gunpowder explosion in Delft destroyed many breweries and as the brewing industry was in decline they became available to pottery makers looking for larger premises.
From about 1615, the potters began to coat their pots completely in white tin glaze instead of covering only the painting surface and coating the rest with clear glaze. They then began to cover the tin glaze with a coat of clear glaze which gave depth to the fired surface and smoothness to cobalt blues, ultimately creating a good resemblance to porcelain.
Although Dutch potters did not immediately imitate Chinese porcelain, they began to do after the death of the Emperor Wan-Li in 1619, when the supply to Europe was interrupted. Delftware inspired by Chinese originals persisted from about 1630 to the mid-eighteenth century alongside European patterns.
Delftware ranged from simple household items to fancy artwork. Pictorial plates were made in abundance, illustrated with religious motifs, native Dutch scenes with windmills and fishing boats, hunting scenes, landscapes and seascapes. The Delft potters also made tiles in vast numbers (estimated at eight hundred million over a period of two hundred years); many Dutch houses still have tiles that were fixed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Delftware became popular, was widely exported in Europe and reached China and Japan. Chinese and Japanese potters made porcelain versions of Delftware for export to Europe.
By the late 18th century, Delftware potters had lost their market to British porcelain and the new white earthenware.
- Main article English Delftware.
English delftware was made in the British Isles between about 1550 and the late 1700s. The main centers of production were London, Bristol and Liverpool with smaller centers at Wincanton, Glasgow and Dublin.
John Stow's Survey of London (1598) records the arrival in 1567 of two Antwerp potters, Jasper Andries and Jacob Jansen, in Norwich, where they made "Gally Paving Tiles, and vessels for Apothecaries and others, very artificially". In 1579 Jansen applied to Queen Elizabeth I for the sole right to practice "galleypotting" in London and soon set up a workshop at Aldgate to the east of the city. There were already other Flemish potters in London, two of them in Southwark recorded in 1571 as "painters of pottes".
English delftware pottery and its painted decoration is similar in many respects to that from Holland, but its peculiarly English quality has been commented upon: ". . . there is a relaxed tone and a sprightliness which is preserved throughout the history of English delftware; the overriding mood is provincial and naive rather than urbane and sophisticated." Its methods and techniques were less sophisticated than those of its continental counterparts.
The earliest known piece with an English inscription is a dish dated 1600 in the London Museum. It is painted in blue, purple, green, orange and yellow and depicts the Tower of London and Old London Bridge, surrounded by the words, "THE ROSE IS RED THE LEAVES ARE GRENE GOD SAVE ELIZABETH OUR QUEENE" and an Italianate border of masks and leaves. The rim is decorated with dashes of blue and can be considered the first in series of large decorated dishes so painted and called blue-dash chargers. Blue-dash chargers, usually between about 25 and 35 cm in diameter with abstract, floral, religious, patriotic or topographical motifs, were produced in quantity by London and Bristol potters until the early 18th century. As they were kept for decoration on walls, dressers and side-tables, many have survived and they are well represented in museum collections.
Smaller and more everyday wares were also made: paving tiles, mugs, drug jars, dishes, wine bottles, posset pots, salt pots, candlesticks, fuddling cups, puzzle jugs, barber's bowls, pill slabs, bleeding bowls, porringers, and flower bricks.
Towards the end of the 17th century, changing taste led to the replacement of apothecary pots, paving tiles and large dishes by polite tablewares, delicate ornaments, punch bowls, teapots, cocoa pots and coffee-pots.
- Main article Faience.
The products of faience manufactories are identified by the usual methods of ceramic connoisseurship: the character of the clay body, the character and palette of the glaze, and the style of decoration, faïence blanche being left in its undecorated fired white slip. Faïence parlante bears mottoes often on decorative labels or banners. Apothecary wares, including albarellos, can bear the names of their intended contents, generally in Latin and often so abbreviated to be unrecognizable to the untutored eye. Mottoes of fellowships and associations became popular in the 18th century, leading to the faïence patriotique that was a specialty of the years of the French Revolution.
Modern revival EditarHaving been superseded in the pottery industry, tin-glazed ceramics were revived by artist potters in in the 19th and 20th centuries.
William de Morgan (1839–1917) re-discovered the technique of firing luster on tin-glaze "to an extraordinarily high standard". Roger Fry (1866–1934), Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) and Duncan Grant (1885–1978) decorated tin-glazed pottery for the Omega Workshops in the 1920s and 1930s. Picasso produced and designed much tin-glazed pottery at Vallauris in the south of France in the 1940s and 1950s. At the Central School of Arts and Crafts, Dora Billington (1890–1968) encouraged her students, including William Newland (1919–1998) and Alan Caiger-Smith, to experiment with tin-glaze decoration. In 'fifties Britain, Newland, Caiger-Smith, Margaret Hine, Nicholas Vergette, James Tower, Kenneth Clarke and the Rye Pottery were the only makers of tin-glazed pottery, going against the current of studio pottery which favoured high-fired stoneware. Caiger-Smith trained many potters at his Aldermaston Pottery and his influence can be seen in their work (e.g. Lawrence McGowan and Mohammed Hamid). Caiger-Smith's book Tin-glaze Pottery is an authoritative history of maiolica, delftware and faience in Europe and the Islamic world.
Daphne Carnegy's survey, Tin-glazed Earthenware, illustrates contemporary work by Gail Barwick (Australia), Bruce Cochrane (USA), Pippin Drysdale (Australia), Andrea Gill (USA), Morgen Hall (UK), Liza Katzenstein (UK), Margaret Linck (Switzerland), Agalis Manessi (UK), Walter Ostrom, (Canada), Matthias Ostermann (Canada), Jitka Palmer (UK), Alan Peascod (UK), Gilbert Portanier (France) and Terry Siebert (USA).
- Anscombe, Isabelle, Omega and After, (Thames and Hudson, 1981)
- Blake, Hugo, "The archaic maiolica of North-Central Italy: Montalcino, Assisi and Tolentino" in Faenza, 66 (1980) pp. 91–106
- Caiger-Smith, Alan, Lustre Pottery: Technique, Tradition and Innovation in Islam and the Western World (Faber and Faber, 1985) ISBN 0-571-13507-2
- Carnegy, Daphne, Tin-glazed Earthenware (A&C Black/Chilton Book Company, 1993) ISBN 0-7136-3718-8
- Cohen, David Harris, and Hess, Catherine, A Guide To Looking At Italian Ceramics (J. Paul Getty Museum in association with British Museum Press, 1993)
- Goldthwaite, Richard A., "The Economic and Social World of Italian Renaissance Maiolica", in Renaissance Quarterly, 42.1 (Spring 1989)
- Lister, Florence C. and Lister, Robert H. Lister, Sixteenth Century Maiolica Pottery in the Valley of Mexico (Tucson: Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona, 1982)
- McCully, Marylin (ed.), Picasso: Painter and Sculptor in Clay (Royal Academy of Arts, 1998) ISBN 0-900-94663-6
- Musacchio, Jacqueline Marie, Marvels of Maiolica: Italian Renaissance Ceramics from the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Bunker Hill Publishing, 2004)
- Piccolpasso, Cipriano, The Three Books of the Potter's Art (trans. A.Caiger Smith and R.Lightbown) (Scolar Press, 1980) ISBN 0-859-67452-5
- Whitehouse, David, "Proto-maiolica" in Faenza, 66 (1980), pp. 77–83
- ↑ 1,00 1,01 1,02 1,03 1,04 1,05 1,06 1,07 1,08 1,09 1,10 Caiger-Smith, Alan, Tin-glazed Pottery in Europe and the Islamic World: The Tradition of 1000 Years in Maiolica, Faience and Delftware (Faber and Faber, 1973) ISBN 0-571-09349-3
- ↑ Victoria and Albert Museum
- ↑ Victoria and Albert Museum, "Ceramics - M is for Maiolica/majolica"
- ↑ Honey, W.B., European Ceramic Art, 1952
- ↑ See, for example, The New Maiolica by Matthias Osterman
- ↑ Lister
- ↑ Goldthwaite, p.1
- ↑ Blake
- ↑ Whitehouse
- ↑ Galeazzo Cora (1973) noted kilns dispersed at Bacchereto (a center of production from the fourteenth century), Puntormo, Prato and Pistoia, none of them site-names that have circulated among connoisseurs and collectors.
- ↑ Goldthwaite p.14
- ↑ Rackham, p. 9
- ↑ Carnegy, p.51. Caiger-Smith describes its mood as "ingenuous, direct, sometimes eccentric", and Garner talks of its "quite distinctive character".
- ↑ Ale mugs joined in groups of three, four or five with connecting holes to confuse the drinker.
- ↑ Similar to fuddling cups,
- ↑ Carnegy, p.65
- ↑ Anscombe, p.136
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