Dating staffordshire pottery
The new middle classes were eager to emulate their betters by decorating their homes with objects similar to costly Meissen and Chelsea figures, and Staffordshire potters obliged by turning out painted and glazed pottery sheep dogs, cattle and more exotic animals such as zebra and elephants.Figures of gods and goddesses, examples drawn from literature, famous political and military men and above all, representations of royalty, all found homes in England and America.Princes and Princesses were shown on horses and on goats or rams.Royalty of her European countries were represented, as well as American presidents and occasional female figures, such as Florence Nightingale.Potters copied figures and even produced variants of the same figure.
If you are interested in collecting these charming pieces, buy from a reputable dealer or study a number of examples before you take the plunge.
Before this discovery, there were no colours that could stand the high temperatures of the glazing kilns.
Prior to this discovery, only overglaze enamel colours, applied after glazing, were used on figures, a method that was to continue alongside the use of cobalt blue.
The gilding used is also a good guide to dating; the early form of gilding is called "best gold", a softly coloured gold, applied at the same time as the overglaze enamels; later gilding, "bright gold", is harsher and shinier. Flatback Staffordshire figures crowned their fireplace mantels; transferware dishes lined plate racks and sideboards in their large dining rooms.
If the figure is dirty, stand it in a plastic bowl of warm soapy water and use a small sponge or soft toothbrush to clean the crevices. On every table stood figures, animals, vases, and other ornaments produced in the thousands by the Staffordshire potteries.
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Thousands of transferware patterns printed on dinnerware poured out of factories and across the Atlantic to eager American buyers.