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Title: A Book of Porcelain - Fine examples in the Victoria & Albert Museum
Author: Rackham, Bernard
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration]



    A BOOK OF PORCELAIN

    FINE EXAMPLES IN THE

    VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM



AGENTS


    AMERICA          THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                       64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

    AUSTRALASIA      THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
                       205 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE

    CANADA           THE MACMILLAN COMPANY OF CANADA, LTD.
                       ST. MARTIN’S HOUSE, 70 BOND STREET, TORONTO

    INDIA            MACMILLAN & COMPANY, LTD.
                       MACMILLAN BUILDING, BOMBAY
                       309 BOW BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA


PLATE 1

  Jar, Chinese, period of the Ming dynasty, decorated in colours
  of the _demi-grand feu_, with chased brass cover of Persian
  workmanship. Height. 15¼ in.

No. 1730-1876. See p. 14.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]



    A · BOOK · OF
    PORCELAIN

    _FINE EXAMPLES IN THE
    VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM_


    PAINTED BY WILLIAM GIBB

    WITH TEXT BY

    BERNARD RACKHAM, M.A.


    ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK
    SOHO SQUARE · LONDON · MCMX



    DEDICATED

    BY PERMISSION

    TO

    H.M. QUEEN ALEXANDRA



PREFACE


_The twenty-eight water-colour drawings reproduced in this volume
have been made from specimens of porcelain in the collections of the
Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, many of which have
never been published before, while others have not hitherto been
reproduced in colours. The selection has been made not merely of those
pieces in their several classes which have a high sale-room value;
due consideration has been given to those which by their aesthetic
qualities appealed to the sympathies of the artist, while at the same
time an effort has been made to include objects having some particular
historical or personal interest, or important as documents in the
history of ceramics. In this connection it should be explained that the
drawings were made before Mr. George Salting’s unrivalled collection of
Oriental porcelain passed by his death into the hands of the nation._

_The text does not pretend to be a general treatise on porcelain, or
even an exhaustive summary of its history. The aim of the writer has
been to record everything that is noteworthy with regard to the several
pieces represented in the drawings, and at the same time to lay stress
on the particular aspects of the subject which these examples serve to
elucidate, taking them as the theme for a discussion of various phases
in the evolution of the art._

_Anything in the nature of a bibliography of works consulted by the
author would be out of place in a publication of this kind, but
acknowledgment must be made of his indebtedness, in the sphere of
Oriental ceramics, to the writings of Dr. Bushell, Captain Brinkley,
Dr. Otto Kümmel_ (_in_ Geschichte des Kunstgewerbes), _and Mr. R. L.
Hobson. For English porcelain reference has been made, in addition
to older authorities, to the works of Mr. William Burton; while the
chief authorities consulted on the subject of Continental factories
are Dr. Brinckmann, Dr. Berling, Dr. Bertold Pfeiffer, Signor
Corona, M. le Baron Davillier, M. le Comte X. de Chavagnac, and M.
Lechevallier-Chevignard. The author desires to express his gratefulness
for various information and personal assistance afforded him by Mr.
M. Yeats Brown, Mr. H. P. Mitchell, M. le Comte X. de Chavagnac, M.
Émile Auscher, and the Friherrinna Julia Marks von Würtemberg. Thanks
are also due to Mr. J. H. Fitzhenry for kind permission to reproduce a
Ludwigsburg coffee-pot in his collection._

    _BERNARD RACKHAM._

    LONDON, _October 1910_.



CONTENTS


                              PAGE
       PREFACE                 vii

       INTRODUCTORY           xiii

    I. CHINESE PORCELAIN         1

   II. JAPANESE PORCELAIN       29

  III. ITALIAN PORCELAIN        37

   IV. FRENCH PORCELAIN         47

    V. GERMAN PORCELAIN         63

   VI. ENGLISH PORCELAIN        73

       INDEX                    89



LIST OF PLATES IN COLOUR

BY WILLIAM GIBB


   1. Jar, Ming Dynasty. Chinese, with Persian Brass Cover.
        (_Frontispiece._)

   2. Jar, Chinese, Early Ming Dynasty.

   3. Bowl, Period of Chia Ching, and Plate, Period of Yung Chêng.
        Chinese.

   4. Ewer, Period of Wan Li. Chinese, with Augsburg Mount.

   5. Vase, Chinese Celadon Ware with Louis XVI. Ormolu Mount.

   6. Vase, Fuchien Porcelain, with Louis XIV. Silver-gilt Mount.

   7. Jar, “Blue and White.” Chinese, Period of K’ang Hsi.

   8. Vase, _famille verte_. Chinese, Period of K’ang Hsi.

   9. Vase in Archaic Style. Chinese, Period of Yung Chêng.

  10. Bottle, Medici Porcelain. Florentine.

  11. Bowl, probably made at Pisa, dated 1638.

  12. Toilette-pot, St. Cloud, with Ormolu Mount.

  13. Toilette-pot, Chantilly, with Japanese Design.

  14. Vase, Sèvres, _rose Pompadour_.

  15. Ewer and Basin, Sèvres, yellow ground.

  16. Écuelle and Stand, Sèvres, Turquoise-blue, with Panels after
        Boucher.

  17. Jug, Sèvres, _bleu de roi_.

  18. Vase, Sèvres, green ground.

  19. Vase, Sèvres, _bleu de roi_, given by Gustavus III. to
        Catherine II.

  20. Vase, Meissen, Marcolini Period.

  21. Coffee-pot, Ludwigsburg.

  22. Figure of a Shepherdess, Chelsea.

  23. Jar, Chelsea, in Japanese Style.

  24. Vase, Chelsea, Mazarine Blue.

  25. Teapot, Chelsea, Claret-colour, with Figures after Watteau.

  26. Vase, Chelsea-Derby, with Biscuit Handles.

  27. Vase, Worcester, with Japanese Pattern.

  28. Vase, Bristol, with Exotic Birds.



INTRODUCTORY


It is the experience probably of most Western amateurs of porcelain
to pass through three successive stages of development in their
appreciation of an art which, even for the uninitiated,--for those
who have no knowledge of its history and little understanding of its
technical aspects,--is not lacking in charm and fascination. For,
indeed, there is about most porcelain, of whatever kind, some quality
of alluring grace, a daintiness of material, or a pleasing play
of colour, which makes an appeal at first sight to the eye of all
lovers of things beautiful. Mere casual pleasure in its superficial
attractiveness will not fail to give place to an ever-deepening
interest for those who will take the pains to learn its inner secrets,
to discover in it, expressed in enduring form, the creative power
of a craftsman’s soul, nay more, a reflection of the very spirit of
humanity in its changing moods, varying in conformity with racial
differences or environment of time and place. This wondrous product
of human skill,--as it were a new stone of rare value added to those
which nature has given us,--will assuredly kindle in the hearts of its
admirers a desire to learn something of its story. They will find, in
their endeavours to understand its mysteries, that their interest is
aroused in the first place by the porcelain of their own country,
reflecting as it does a culture in the midst of which they have
themselves been born and bred.

The English amateur will naturally seek a field for his first studies
in English porcelain. It wears a certain air of homeliness which
endears it to his heart; its uses and forms are those which are
familiar in the daily life of his countrymen; its decoration as a
rule makes no exacting demands on his erudition in order to be fully
understood. After English porcelain, the collector’s attention will
most readily be turned to that of the continent of Europe.

His apprenticeship, the first of the three stages to which allusion
has been made above, is thus spent in the study of the Western
manifestations of the art. As yet he does not understand, and cannot
appreciate at their true value, the Eastern wares from which the
European trace their descent. In the course of his researches a
curiosity can scarcely fail to be stirred in him to know more of these
Oriental precursors. His curiosity deepens; his desire to satisfy it
brings him at last under a new spell, and the second stage is reached.
His enthusiasm is now all for the Chinese; its perfection of material
and form, its dazzling beauty of colour, the artistic fitness of
its decoration, engage his admiration more and more. Alien to his
imagination as it is in conception, it nevertheless fascinates him ever
more surely as he grows more familiar with it. The European china of
his early collecting days pleases him no longer.

But there will follow a third stage, in which a more catholic taste
is developed. The student of the Oriental can understand much in the
Western wares that was meaningless so long as he was ignorant of the
sources from which they were derived. His appreciation of the high
artistic worth of the Chinese is undiminished, but his sympathy is now
again awakened by the more humane qualities of the European, appealing
as they do to kindred instincts in his own Western nature. He has now
reached the point at which he is able to give its true value to all
good work, whatever its origin may be. The excellences of the Eastern
do not blind him to the merits of the Western; all alike in their
several types of beauty are a joy to his soul.


PLATE 9

  Vase, Chinese, period of Yung Chêng (1723-1735), with “five colour”
  design of archaistic style. Height, 18 in.

No. 3022-1853. See p. 26.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]



I

CHINESE PORCELAIN


PLATE 5

  Vase, Chinese celadon porcelain, decorated in slip under the glaze,
  with French ormolu mount of the period of Louis XVI. Height, 17 in.
  Jones Collection.

No. 817-1882. See p. 16.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

The very name by which porcelain is commonly known suggests, to those
in whom it arouses an interest beyond the mere aesthetic pleasure
to be got from its outward beauty of appearance, that if they would
understand it rightly, they must turn their attention first to the land
of its origin. To the Chinese the world owes a material as lovely as
any ever fashioned by the hand of man, and some account of the growth
of this art in Chinese hands is a necessary prelude to any study alike
of the Chinese ware itself and of the European imitations of it.

The first beginnings of this wonderful art must be sought in pottery
of humble material. The rough but dignified earthenware of the HAN
DYNASTY, contemporaneous approximately with the opening of the
Christian era, signalises the first appearance in China of pottery of
an artistic nature. The green-glazed vessels of this period, imitating
the shapes and outward texture of bronze, have become only in recent
times familiar objects on the shelves of our museums. From them we can
trace the porcelain of later times, by which the Chinese have proved
themselves the master-potters of the world, excelling and giving
the lead to the ceramists of every other race. Yet it is strange
to reflect how late in history their skill has been learned, and to
remember that Persians, Egyptians, Greeks and other Western races
were masters of the potter’s craft many centuries before the Chinese
achieved their earliest artistic wares. Coming late into the field,
they evolved in a comparatively short span of time a material which
placed them ahead of every rival.

       *       *       *       *       *

The SUNG DYNASTY, which occupied the throne of China for more than
three hundred years beginning towards the end of the tenth century,
witnessed the first emergence of a true ceramic style. The potters
of earlier times had been content to follow the forms set by the
bronze-founder, but their successors of the Sung period set forth on
purely ceramic lines and arrived at a great variety of wares which
are recorded in Chinese literature. To identify these among surviving
specimens that may be attributed to this period is a formidable task
for the antiquarian. The problem need not be discussed here, as most
of these wares cannot be classed as porcelain in the ordinary sense
of the word; but it is interesting to note briefly those types which
foreshadow the developments of later times.

The emancipation of the potter to a position of independence is well
shown by a small vase in the Victoria and Albert Museum of the type
known as “_Chün yao_,” made from the earliest years of the Sung period
at Chün-chou, in the province of Honan. The vase is of ovoid form
with a lizard-like dragon coiled round it in relief; the surface is
covered with a thick lavender-blue glaze on which is a splash of strong
crimson. Though the body is porcellanous, the freedom of the modelling
marks a distinct advance from the imitative bronze vessels of earlier
times, while the brilliancy of the colouring anticipates the pure
and gorgeous hues which were among the triumphs of the golden age of
porcelain.

The discovery during this period of the properties of kaolin and the
effort to imitate by artificial means the luminous beauties of jade,
pointed the way to the evolution of a white translucent porcelain
body. The cream-coloured Ting ware, made at Ting-chou in the province
of Chihli, stand, among the relics of these far-off times which have
escaped destruction, as the first achievements in this direction.
The beauty and dignity of this ware is well exemplified by the two
quadrangular vases at South Kensington, formerly in Dr. Bushell’s
collection. The delicate floral or diaper ornament incised under the
soft ivory-toned glaze gives promise of the skilful handiwork of the
golden age of the art. One distinctive characteristic of porcelain, the
quality of translucency, is still absent in most wares of this order,
but pieces of smaller size, such as an exquisitely fashioned little box
and cover at Kensington, show a warm glow through their thinner parts
when held to the light.

Another class of ware to which reference must here be made is the
celebrated celadon ware of Lung-ch’üan, in the province of Chekiang,
which was first produced during this dynasty in the effort to imitate
green jade. This ware was widely exported over land and sea, and is met
with in remote and unexpected corners of the Old World. A well-known
specimen of it, Archbishop Warham’s cup, preserved at New College,
Oxford, is the first piece of Chinese ware recorded to have reached
this country. Though it has the nature rather of fine stoneware than
of porcelain, it is to be noted as the forerunner of a large class of
porcelain of later times.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was not until the period of the MING DYNASTY that the ware usually
associated in Europe with the term “porcelain” first began to be made,
that is, a ware with a hard, pure white body, more or less translucent.
The beginning of the same period witnessed the emergence to a position
of ascendancy of the imperial factory at Ching-tê-chên, in the province
of Kiangsi. The factory was rebuilt in 1869 by Hung Wu, the first
of the Ming emperors, and remained henceforward the chief centre
of the porcelain industry in China. The subsequent achievements of
Ching-tê-chên have never been surpassed in the whole history of ceramic
art.

The Ming dynasty productions have a certain well-marked _cachet_,
which distinguishes them clearly in their several classes alike from
the wares of earlier times and from the porcelain made under the
later Ch’ing emperors. There is a notable predominance of vessels of
large size, formed of heavy material, displaying a massiveness and
bold simplicity in their contours and decorated with designs, whether
modelled or painted, of vigorous conception and of free, even rough
execution. The potter addresses himself with energy to his task, and is
no longer limited either to the imitative work of the Han dynasty, or
to the more restrained, often delicate performances of the intervening
age. At the same time, he has not yet gained the mastery of hand or
the familiarity with the powers of the kiln which made possible the
artistic and technical refinements of his successors.


PLATE 8

  Vase, Chinese, period of K’ang Hsi (1662-1722), with enamel
  painting of the _famille verte_. Height, 18 in.

No. 276-1864. See p. 21.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

We are probably right in recognising as the earliest productions in
pure white-bodied porcelain that have come down to us, a group, of
which there are several fine examples in the Victoria and Albert
Museum; one of these has been chosen for illustration in Plate 2.
The class is characterised by a dense heavy body, massive form, and
decoration, executed by means of coloured glazes, which are applied and
fixed at a lower temperature after the first firing of the ware. The
colours are confined to a full dark blue, turquoise-blue, straw-yellow,
and a pale manganese-violet, to which sometimes an opaque white is
added. In the greater number of cases the outline stands out in slight
relief from the surface of the object, and is filled in with the
coloured glazes in the same manner as the hollows in the copper base
of a _champlevé_ enamel. A similar technique is met with again in
the so-called _cuenca_ tiles made in Southern Spain in the sixteenth
century. In some rare instances the vase is made with double sides,
and the design is reserved in openwork by cutting through the outer
casing. This type is represented at South Kensington by a large jar[1]
decorated with a procession of soldiers, which stands out with bold
effectiveness against the dark hollows of the pierced background.

    [1] Illustrated in Dr. Bushell’s _Chinese Art_, vol. ii. fig. 12.

A fine example of the more usual method of decoration is the piece
reproduced in Plate 2. It is a jar of large dimensions which has
reached this country by way of Persia, and has been embellished there
with a mounting of brass chased with inscriptions and medallions. The
high esteem in which Chinese porcelain has been held for centuries
in the Nearer East is evident from the pronounced Chinese influence
manifested in Persian and Syrian art from an early period, while during
the course of the Ming dynasty the export of porcelain from China to
Western Asia grew enormously, and the imitation of Chinese motives
became the predominant element of design in the indigenous wares of
Persia. That country was the source which supplied a large part of the
collection of Ming porcelain now exhibited at South Kensington.

The jar here illustrated is of characteristically solid material,
only slightly translucent. Groups of crested wading birds among rocks
and bushes of peony in blossom, the flower symbolical of spring in
Chinese lore, form the main feature of the decoration. On the shoulder
are lobed compartments enclosing the eight Buddhist “Emblems of Happy
Augury.” Round the lower part are floral designs in shaped panels.
The outlines, being slightly raised from the surface of the jar, form
barriers by which the coloured glazes were kept from mingling one with
another in the kiln. The harmonious hues serve to emphasise the bold
and simple forms of the ornament, which seem thoroughly in keeping with
the strong curves of the profile of the vase itself.

Other fine examples of this class exhibiting the same technique may
be seen at South Kensington. Besides two large jars with processions
of mounted soldiers, there are two smaller vases of the elongated
pear shape which is also characteristic of this period. One of these,
decorated with chrysanthemums and peonies, is remarkable for the full
and rich colours of the glazes, while the other is of interest from the
quaint figures on it with their primitive garb of sewn leaves. In a
pair of square vases, probably early exponents of the style, an effect
of solemn beauty has been obtained by the use of white and turquoise
only on a manganese ground of dense purple.


PLATE 10

  Bottle, “Medici porcelain,” made in Florence about 1580, with
  design of Oriental character in blue, outlined in manganese-purple.
  Height, 6-7/8 in.

No. 229-1890. See p. 41.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

In the classes of porcelain which have hitherto been dealt with, the
decoration has been effected either by cutting into the surface with
a pointed instrument or moulding it in relief, or by the addition of
colouring materials to the glaze. We must now consider the method
most widely prevalent in recent times, namely, that of painting on
the surface either before or after glazing. In China this method
came into use at a comparatively late period. Elsewhere it had been
known for many centuries as a means of ceramic decoration. In Persia,
for example, painted designs are met with on the pottery found by
French excavators in the lowest stratum on the site of the city
of Susa, dating possibly from 5000 years before Christ, while on
the semi-porcellanous ware of ancient Egypt painting is of common
occurrence. It was widespread as a ceramic process in the Near East and
the countries round the Mediterranean long before it was practised by
the Chinese. The earliest painted wares of China certainly do not date
back before the Sung dynasty, and it is doubtful whether even so great
an age as this can be ascribed to them.

There is a class of vases painted in a strong dark brown with
roughly-drawn ornament of Buddhistic character, which are probably not
more recent than the earliest years of the Ming dynasty, and may date
from the latter part of the Sung period. They were made at Tzŭ-chou,
in the province of Honan. Several examples of this kind are in the
Victoria and Albert Museum, most of them painted with spirited designs
of lotus-flowers and leafy scrollwork, sometimes with birds introduced
amongst the foliage. One vase is decorated with four shaped panels,
three enclosing lotus-flowers, while in the fourth is a crude figure
of a Buddhist monk. These vases are worthy of special attention, as
they appear to mark the point at which a step forward was taken of
far-reaching significance in its effect on Chinese ceramics. The
introduction of the painter’s brush among the implements of the
Chinese potter led the way to developments which placed him above his
fellow-craftsmen in other lands, amongst whom this branch of the art
had been familiar in much earlier ages.

Of all the materials employed as pigments in the decoration of
porcelain, the most important and the most widespread in use is
cobalt-blue. It is said that this colour was first introduced into
China from the west of Asia as early as the tenth century, but it
does not appear to have been used for painting before the thirteenth
century. In this connection mention may be made of a miniature vase at
South Kensington of the cream-coloured Ting ware already alluded to,
which is painted with indistinct markings in cobalt-blue. It may be
that such pieces as this can rightly be referred back to the end of the
Sung dynasty, and that we have in them the first manifestations of the
great family of “blue and white” china, which in the eyes of the world
at large represents Chinese porcelain _par excellence_.

Be that as it may, it was not till the time of the Ming emperors
that there was any extensive production of painted “blue and white”
porcelain. The earliest extant pieces that can be dated with any
degree of certainty are ascribable to the reign of the emperor Hsüan
Tê (1426-1435). There is a small bowl of this period in the Salting
Collection. It is remarkable as well for the quality of the glaze,
resembling vellum in its texture, as for the soft greyish tones of
the cobalt used in the delicate painting of chrysanthemums and other
flowering plants.

Two other pieces bearing the mark of Hsüan Tê are to be seen at South
Kensington, but although they belong undoubtedly to the Ming dynasty,
it cannot be regarded as certain that the mark upon them indicates
their actual age. One of these is a bowl painted with a design of
trees, the pine, peach, and bamboo, symbolising long life, and the
pomegranate, which is the emblem of fecundity; by a quaint conceit the
trunks of the trees are distorted into the form of the characters _fu_
(“happiness”) and _shou_ (“longevity”). The other specimen is a tall
cylindrical vase, bearing the mark in a _cartouche_ on the border, as
it is sometimes found on porcelain of the later Wan Li period. It is
decorated with conventional lotus-flowers in three horizontal bands,
painted in dark cobalt-blue and the underglaze crimson obtained from
copper, which ranks with cobalt as one of the earliest pigments used in
Chinese ceramics. A noticeable feature of the painting is the way in
which the leaves and petals are darkened by a stippling of dots over a
lighter wash of colour.

Another interesting jar, of six-sided form and undoubtedly early
in date, has floral ornament executed in dark blue, approaching to
black where heavily laid on, which recalls the designs occurring on
the hexagonal tiles from the Great Mosque at Damascus. The Persian
chased brass rim with which the jar is mounted indicates the channel
through which it has come to the West. The Damascus tiles are believed
to date from the fifteenth century, and the resemblance between them
and the jar in question is so striking as to suggest that they were
painted under direct Chinese influence. This view is confirmed by the
occurrence among the motives upon them of the Far Eastern chrysanthemum.

Advancing to the sixteenth century and the reigns of Chêng Tê, Chia
Ching, and Wan Li, we find surviving “blue and white” specimens by no
means rare. To the first reign are attributed certain objects made
for Mohammedan use, as shown by the occurrence upon them of Arabic
inscriptions, and some large globular jars with conventional lotus
designs under a glaze usually of pronounced bluish tone. The Chia Ching
period is characterised particularly by a blue of great intensity,
sometimes verging upon violet; it is seen in several large jars at
South Kensington in which the strong painting harmonises with the
massiveness of the form.

The bowl figuring in Plate 3 shows that a more refined style was also
in vogue at the same time. It is fashioned with the utmost delicacy
and painted in a free manner, but with unerring sureness of hand. On
the outside are seen the mythical _fêng huang_, or phœnix, of Buddhist
lore, and other smaller birds flying amid bamboos; on the bamboo
stems grows the sacred fungus or _ling-chih_, like the bamboo itself
an emblem of longevity. In the medallion at the bottom inside is an
exquisite drawing of a song-bird perched on the branch of a blossoming
tree. The bowl is marked underneath with the words _Ta Ming Chia
Ching nien chih_ (“Made in the Chia Ching period of the great Ming
dynasty”). The soft grey-blue recalls the bowl of the Hsüan Tê period
to which reference has already been made. Form and painting alike are
executed with spontaneity and directness, qualities as attractive as
the technical finish of later periods, when a loss of sincerity was the
inevitable price paid for exactness of workmanship. This difference
of quality may be well appreciated by a comparison of the bowl with
the “egg-shell” plate of the Yung Chêng period reproduced in the same
drawing, to which reference will again be made.

Another drawing (Plate 4) shows a typical example, formerly in Sir
Charles Robinson’s collection, of the better kind of “blue and white”
produced during the reign of Wan Li, who was contemporary with our
own Queen Elizabeth. That this elegant wine-pot found its way to
Europe at no long interval after it was made is proved by the bronze
mounting, which happily accentuates its gracefulness of contour. The
domed cover of ogee outline and the crested borders indicate that the
mounting is of German origin, and was done probably at Augsburg in
the early years of the seventeenth century. The six sides of the body
form panels filled in with a variety of flowers, among which may be
distinguished such oft-recurring emblems of longevity as the lotus and
the _ling-chih_ or miraculous fungus; the slender neck is painted with
conventional flames. In the hollow beneath the foot is the word _fu_
(“longevity”), written in seal character.

This piece belongs to the same class of finer porcelain made under
Wan Li as a melon-shaped wine-pot, mounted in silver-gilt, bearing
the London hall-mark for 1585-86, and the well-known set of bowls,
also with Elizabethan silver-gilt mounting, which were formerly in the
possession of the Cecil family at Burghley House. In addition to this
finer porcelain, vast quantities of “blue and white” ware of inferior
quality were made for export. It went eastwards to Japan, where it
provided patterns for some of the porcelain turned out from the kilns
of the province of Hizen, and westwards to Persia, to be imitated in
earthenware by the native potters of the time of the great Shah Abbas
II. The decoration, rough and careless as it often is, has generally
a certain attractiveness on account of its freedom from the fault of
over-refinement. Roughly-sketched landscapes with deer, hares or birds
in shaped panels are frequent motives.

A dish at South Kensington, probably of the Wan Li period, is doubly
interesting. Its decoration of floral ornament on scrolled stems is
identical with a design not uncommon on Damascus earthenware of the
sixteenth century. The back exhibits an unglazed surface of deep
reddish-yellow, and bears, sharply cut into the paste, the Persian word
_naranji_ (“orange-coloured”) and a Persian name, probably that of a
former owner.

The next illustration (Plate 1) stands for another process of
decoration invented in the Ming period, which opened the way to
wonderful developments in later times. This new method consisted in
painting over the glaze in enamel colours, necessitating a second
firing at a lower temperature than that required for fusing the glaze.
The colours employed are a dry scarlet obtained from oxide of iron,
green, yellow of straw-coloured tone, and manganese-violet, which,
together with underglaze cobalt, constitute the scheme known as the
“five colour” decoration. In some cases only two or three of these
colours are used, but generally the predominant notes are given by red
and green. This style anticipates the _famille verte_ order of the time
of K’ang Hsi; it is specially associated with the Wan Li period, when
it came into general vogue, but instances of it occur dating from the
reign of Chia Ching, and in these the red is of a more neutral tone
sometimes verging on orange.

The jar figuring in Plate 1 is altogether exceptional by reason of
the manganese-purple ground on which the ornament is painted. The
predominance of this colour gives a splendour of effect which is
accentuated by the points of bright red and green distributed with
such sureness of judgment over the surface. The powers of the Ming
dynasty potter are here displayed at their best. Scattered flowers
of the winter plum, one of the numerous emblems of long life, are
interspersed among the “Eight Precious Things” (_Pa Pao_), tokens to
the Buddhist of all that goes to make up mortal felicity. Visible
in the drawing are the pair of books strung together, standing for
literary accomplishments; the open lozenge, a symbol of victory or
success; and the pearl or jewel of the law. The remaining five objects,
not appearing in the view of the vase shown in the illustration, are
the “cash,” figuring as a square enclosed by a circle, for pecuniary
wealth; the painting, representative of the arts; the _ch’ing_ or
musical stone, a kind of gong considered lucky on account of the
identity of its name with the word for “prosperity”; the pair of
rhinoceros-horn cups paralleled by the classical “horn of plenty”; and
the leaf of the artemisia, a fragrant plant believed to be efficacious
as an antidote against harmful influences. Below these symbols are
waves of the sea, tossing in green foam against jagged rocks; spiral
eddies painted in black outline under a wash of transparent purple form
the background to the composition. The jar was bought in Persia, and
is mounted with a brass neck and domed cover of Persian workmanship,
chased with arabesques and pierced with grotesque figures in a row of
medallions.

Mention has already been made of the celadon-glazed wares made from
the Sung period onwards in imitation of green jade, which are perhaps
the most widely distributed of all the wares produced in China for
export. To this category belong the great rice-dishes and jars for
storing grain, often of extraordinary weight in proportion to their
size, frequently met with in India and Persia, and everywhere along
the shores and islands of the Indian Ocean. This class of porcelain
was known to the Arab traders of the Middle Ages as “Martabani,”
from the name of the Burmese port which was one of the centres for
its distribution. This nomenclature finds its parallel in the name
“Gombroon ware,” by which it was called in England in the seventeenth
century; the establishment of the East India Company’s factory
at Gombroon on the Straits of Ormuz first opened the way for its
importation in any considerable quantity into this country.


PLATE 11

  Bowl, Italian, dated 1638, probably made at Pisa, the design on the
  exterior borrowed from Turkish earthenware. Height, 2½ in. Willett
  Collection.

No. 341-1905. See p. 42.

The mark and the medallion inside are reproduced below the elevation of
the bowl.

[Illustration]

The long-necked vase of celadon ware from the Jones Collection in
Plate 5 may fitly be described here, as it probably dates from the
latter part of the Ming dynasty, though the refinement of the form
suggests that it may have been made in the earlier years of K’ang Hsi.
The surface of the vase is entirely coated with a crackled glaze of
bluish-celadon tone, running down in thick waves round the edge of
the foot. On this glaze is a design delicately traced in white slip,
thick enough to stand out in sensible relief, with details incised by
means of a pointed instrument. This decoration, spread over the whole
of the vase, is composed of archaic dragons, from the mouths of which
issue scrolled stems with leafy terminations having in some cases the
outline of the sacred _ling-chih_ fungus. The rich ormolu mounting is
characteristic French work of the period of Louis XVI. Below the mouth
of the vase hang festoons of drapery, passing through handles which are
finished downwards with a bunch of grapes and vine-leaves; the foot
is chased with a band of guilloche pattern above a square plinth
with incurved corners. This is probably the workmanship of Levasseur,
one of the host of artist-craftsmen to whose talent the furniture of
eighteenth-century France owes its dignity and refinement. Their taste
and judgment was never better displayed than when objects of beauty
or rarity were handed to them to be enriched by their skill. The vase
before us is a typical case; the porcelain loses nothing of its own
loveliness in becoming the medium for displaying the beauty of the
metalwork.

       *       *       *       *       *

The numerous minor factories existing in China before the Ming dynasty
were unable to hold their own against the great imperial factory at
Ching-tê-chên. Since the time of its establishment there has been only
one other factory of artistic standing, that of Têhua in the province
of FUCHIEN. It is devoted to the production of plain white porcelain
with a creamy surface, resembling ivory in texture, but varying
considerably in shades of colour. Quantities of Fuchien china were
brought to Europe during the seventeenth century by the various India
Companies. In France, where it received the name of “_blanc de Chine_,”
it provided models for the porcelain makers of St. Cloud, and among
the earliest output of many other European works will be found plain
white cups and teapots with applied sprays of Chinese plum-blossom in
relief, faithfully copying the models of the Têhua factory. Statuettes
and groups of divinities always formed a large proportion of its
productions; the royal collection at Dresden contains a fine series of
such figures, many of them nearly two feet in height, which were among
the porcelain collected by Augustus the Strong of Saxony, through the
agency of the Dutch East India merchants.

The smaller objects made at Têhua are delightful by virtue of their
very simplicity. In the absence of coloured decoration of any kind,
the full charm of the soft white surface can be appreciated. The
specimen illustrated in Plate 6 affords proof that this ware was
highly esteemed by early European collectors. This piece, one of
a pair in the Jones Bequest, was doubtless originally a bottle or
rosewater-sprinkler with bulbous body and narrow tapering neck, but it
has been cut down and fitted with silver-gilt mounts to adapt it to the
purpose of a pastille-burner. The neck has been removed and replaced
by a silver-gilt knob of finely-chased foliage. The shoulder has been
drilled with holes; lower down the porcelain has been cut away for the
insertion of a band engraved with delicate cartouches and rosettes.
The foot of the bottle is raised on a tripod silver-gilt base,
ornamented with three lions’ heads and three grotesque _mascarons_
exquisitely chased. When the piece is turned up, further enrichment
is disclosed underneath it in the form of an engraved design of a
type much in favour about 1700, representing, in a half-grotesque
manner, a squirrel, birds and a hound among trees. The hall-marks with
which the mounts are stamped in several places are unfortunately very
indistinct, but from their form it is clear that they are Parisian
marks of the early years of the eighteenth century. The initials of an
unknown silversmith “P. B.” can easily be made out, while another mark
appears to be that of Étienne Baligny, _fermier général_ from 1703 till
1713; but no marks are necessary to show that we have here French work
in the finest style of the age of Louis XIV. The care bestowed upon
the mounting is sufficient evidence of the value set upon Fuchien
porcelain by European collectors of the time. Further testimony of this
is afforded by the fact already noticed, that the designs and methods
of decoration in vogue at the Têhua potteries were extensively imitated
in the earlier stages of several Western factories. In the blossoming
sprays of plum applied to the body of the piece in our illustration we
recognise the favourite emblem of longevity which is of such constant
occurrence on Chinese objects, lending them a felicitous significance
appropriate to things destined to be given as presents or tokens of
congratulation. The same motive is familiar in the early white china of
Meissen, Bow, and Chelsea, and of St. Cloud, Vincennes, and Sèvres.


PLATE 6

  Vase of white porcelain of Têhua in the province of Fuchien,
  mounted in silver-gilt of the period of Louis XIV. as a
  pastille-burner. Height, 7½ in. Jones Collection.

No. 816-1882. See p. 18.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

In addition to applied reliefs the Fuchien potters decorated their
porcelain with delicate incised designs, sometimes scarcely perceptible
until closely examined, or with ornaments impressed by means of small
stamps. An instance of the latter method is seen on the foot of the
piece under consideration, which has a repeating border of fret-pattern
lightly impressed in the paste.

       *       *       *       *       *

The reign of Wan Li was followed by an epoch extending over nearly
half a century which is almost devoid of significance in the history
of porcelain. The invasions of the Manchu Tartars brought to an end
the native Ming dynasty, and gave its last two emperors little leisure
for the patronage of art. The establishment on the throne of the
still-ruling Ch’ing dynasty of Tartar emperors was the opening of a new
era, and the accession of its second monarch, K’ANG HSI, was the signal
for a brilliant artistic renaissance, nowhere more apparent in its
effects than in the wonderful achievements of the imperial porcelain
works at Ching-tê-chên. K’ang Hsi’s reign of sixty years’ duration
covered roughly the same space of time as that of his illustrious
French contemporary, the _Grand Monarque_, who gave the impetus for a
similar revival in the arts of his own kingdom. It was an age of peace
and order following after years of strife and confusion. Energies no
longer required to be spent in warfare were free to be diverted to the
pursuance of the arts of peace.

In the domain of porcelain the outcome of these favourable conditions
is seen in an extraordinary advance along technical lines unparalleled
in the history of ceramics. A white body of the utmost purity, a
glaze fusing so perfectly on to the surface of the paste as to give
an appearance of deep luminosity, underglaze colours and overglaze
enamels unsurpassed in brilliance and liveliness, brought within the
reach of the potter a wonderful variety of effects far beyond anything
that had been attained before. Yet the very technical skill which made
the triumphs of the K’ang Hsi period possible, opened the way for the
artistic decline of the following half century. Virtuosity took the
place of aesthetic spontaneity; while there is undeniable beauty in
the new achievements, they generally lack the vigour and sincerity
of earlier periods when the principles of technique were less well
understood.

The characteristic qualities of K’ang Hsi porcelain are well
illustrated by the vases chosen for the drawings reproduced in Plates 7
and 8. The first of these is a “blue and white” covered vase, formerly
in the collection of Mr. James Orrock, with decoration in shaped panels
reserved on a “powdered blue” ground. Of the four large panels, two
are filled with sprays of flowers, and a third with a selection from
the curious assemblage of objects known as the “Hundred Antiques”
(_Po Ku_), symbolising the elegant arts and accomplishments. In the
remaining panel is a mountainous landscape rendered in the conventional
manner customary in Chinese paintings; the conventions are not such as
we are familiar with in Western art, but once accepted, they will be
found to suggest nature and to perform a decorative function no less
effectively than those of the European designer.

The cobalt-blue is typical of the finest quality of the period; it has
a depth of tone and a limpid brilliancy found only in the reign of
K’ang Hsi, compared with which all but the best blue of other periods
seems dingy and lustreless. The ground colour is carefully sprayed or
splashed on to the vase, and has in consequence on a close inspection
a minutely speckled appearance; to this is owing the intense throbbing
effect which has often been noticed as the peculiar quality of the
blue of this class. This beauty of colour, combined with the faultless
spacing of the decoration, compensates for a certain prim formality
noticeable when comparison is made with the less orderly designs of the
Ming dynasty.

Passing on to Plate 8, we come to a representative of the class of
decoration above all others associated with the K’ang Hsi period. This
class is derived from the “five colour” group, already discussed, of
the later Ming emperors, characterised by painting in enamel colours
fired over the glaze at a comparatively low temperature, and hence
known to French collectors as enamels of the _demi-grand feu_. From
the predominance of green the class is generally termed the “_famille
verte_.” The blue comprised among the five colours of the Ming dynasty
is always an underglaze cobalt painted on the biscuit before the
application of the glaze; but in the majority of pieces of later date,
whether strictly of the “five colour” order or of the derivative
_famille verte_, the blue, like the rest of the pigments, is an
overglaze enamel.

The vase here illustrated is of special interest as exemplifying the
use of both kinds of blue; while in the main decoration an enamel blue
of greyish tone has been employed, there are also two bands, round
the shoulder and base respectively, filled with a diaper pattern in
underglaze blue enclosed between ridges in slight relief. The form of
the vase is that known as “club-shaped.” The scheme of decoration is of
a type which became increasingly prevalent as the eighteenth century
advanced, and departs entirely from the traditions of earlier times.
Instead of a broadly-treated design proportionate to the dimensions of
the vase, the surface is divided into a number of panels of diverse
size and outline, set against a figured groundwork and filled in with
delicate miniature paintings. Two large rectangular panels contain
rocky lake-scenes with figures. Smaller panels enclose some of the
“Hundred Antiques” already alluded to, while in two circular medallions
we see a carp rising from a cataract, beneath a full moon partly hidden
among clouds. This latter subject is an allegory of literary success
attained by perseverance and industry. The allusion is to the legend
according to which the sturgeon of the Hoang Ho river, when they ascend
the stream in the third month of the year, are transformed into dragons
if they succeed in climbing the rapids of the Lung Mên or Dragon
Gate. The green ground of the vase is figured with a close pattern of
conventional lotus-flowers amid small scrolled foliage. The whole is
exquisitely rendered, and composes such a beautiful harmony of colour
as to compel admiration, in spite of the comparative lack of
breadth in the treatment of the design.


PLATE 7

  Jar, with Cover, Chinese, period of K’ang Hsi (1662-1722), with
  decoration in panels reserved on a powdered blue ground. Height, 18
  in. Orrock Collection.

No. 67-1887. See p. 20.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

To detail all the methods of decoration in vogue in the K’ang Hsi
period, many of them then for the first time introduced, would be
beyond the scope of such a work as this; it must suffice to mention
briefly a few of the most remarkable. Firstly, there are many
varieties of the _famille verte_, the most notable being that in
which naturalistic flowers are relieved against a ground of enamel,
either straw-yellow, green, or lustrous black. The pieces on which
the last-named ground colour occurs form the subdivision known to
connoisseurs as the “_famille noire_”; the Salting Collection includes
a splendid series of vases of this category. Dignity of form is
combined in them with masterly composition in the painting, while the
measure of conventionalism necessitated by the limited palette frees
this type from the imputation of excessive naturalism.

The “blue and white” of the time of K’ang Hsi has already been noticed.
Beautiful effects were obtained where the cobalt was used in harmonious
combination with the other high temperature underglaze pigments, a
greyish celadon-green and the soft crimson obtained from copper.
Another new type of painted ware dating from this time is that in
which the design is entirely carried out in the overglaze iron-red,
first seen amongst the pigments of the “five colour” order. The red of
the K’ang Hsi period, a pure coral-red of the utmost brilliancy, is
generally employed in conventional designs, such as dragons and symbols
or lotus-flowers, symmetrically disposed over the whole surface of a
vase.

Perhaps the greatest glory of the reign are the single-colour and
variegated glazes, reviving and excelling the achievements in this
direction of the Sung dynasty. Chief among these are the crimson, or
“_sang de bœuf_,” and the apple-green associated with the name of Lang
T’ing-tso, viceroy during the beginning of the reign of the province
of Kiangsi, in which the imperial kilns of Ching-tê-chên are situated;
further developments were attained, such as the “peach-bloom,” the
“kingfisher” turquoise-blue, and the revived “_clair de lune_,” when
in 1683 Ts’ang Ying-hsüan was appointed director of the factories.
These wares rank among the most splendid achievements of the potter’s
art; in beauty of form and gorgeousness of colour they have never
been surpassed, while by their nature they are free from the defect
of over-refinement incident to the productions of an age of great
technical discoveries, which has been noticed in speaking of the
painted porcelain.

Lastly, before passing on to the next reign, a word must be said of
the statuettes of divinities and the objects fashioned in the shape of
fruit or living creatures, which are another feature of the K’ang Hsi
renaissance. Painted generally in the enamel colours of the _famille
verte_, these figures are often masterpieces of modelling, instinct
with vivacity and expression.

       *       *       *       *       *

The short reign of YUNG CHÊNG, who succeeded K’ang Hsi in 1723,
witnessed still further advances in the direction of technical
perfection, accompanied on the artistic side by a corresponding
growth of the tendency to over-refinement. The discovery during the
latter years of K’ang Hsi of a rose-coloured enamel derived from
gold, varying in shade from pink to crimson, opened the way for a
revolution in the colour-scheme which is the chief characteristic
of the painted porcelain of Yung Chêng and his successor Ch’ien
Lung. From the prevalence of this colour, the type of porcelain on
which it occurs received the name of “_famille rose_” among French
connoisseurs. The widened range of the enamel-painter’s palette made
possible a completely naturalistic manner, in which all conventionalism
of treatment was abandoned. No album of flora can show more faithful
botanical drawings than are to be seen in such exquisite subjects
after nature as that in the piece reproduced in Plate 2; in no work on
ornithology could be found truer renderings of bird life. The plate,
painted with a bird of the kingfisher family perched on the branch of
a gnarled plum-tree in flower, belongs to the collection bequeathed by
Mr. W. H. Cope. The spray of blossoming pomegranate which completes
the composition is naturally rendered by means of the newly-invented
carmine enamel. While we may question the fitness of a subject thus
treated for the decoration of a porcelain plate, we cannot but admire
the exquisite delicacy of the painting and the skilful arrangement of
the composition.


PLATE 12

  Toilette-pot and Cover, St. Cloud, about 1700, with ormolu mount of
  the period. Height, 8¾ in. Given by Mr. J. H. Fitzhenry.

No. C 457-1909. See p. 50.

Mark concealed by the mounting.

[Illustration]

Perhaps the most famous of the productions of the Yung Chêng period
are the plates and cups and saucers of thin “egg-shell” china with
enamel decoration of figure-subjects or birds and flowers enclosed
within elaborate borders of complex diaper. The same fine porcelain
was employed as a material for lanterns; fine examples of these are
exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Concurrently with such technical refinements as these, there came about
under Yung Chêng an archaistic revival of ancient wares, resulting
from the commission given by the emperor for the reproduction of
the ceramic treasures of past centuries preserved in his palaces.
Imitations were made both of the shapes and of the numerous varieties
of glaze of the factories of the Sung dynasty, while in the “blue
and white” category the spotted manner of painting already noticed
as characteristic of the reign of Hsüan Tê was specially in favour.
Another ancient type extensively reproduced was the “five colour” class
of the later Ming emperors. Where there cannot be traced a refinement
in the handling of the design foreign to the earlier painters, the
copies are readily distinguished from their prototypes by a difference
in the quality of the colours employed. The underglaze cobalt-blue has
a decidedly violet _nuance_, a delicate lilac replaces the earlier
purple, and the green is of a lighter grass-coloured hue; furthermore,
the enamel colours often display a faint iridescence where the light
glances on them. The vase represented in Plate 9 is a fine example of
this archaistic school of the time of Yung Chêng. The shape, of noble
simplicity, dates back to the earliest period of the Ming dynasty, but
the decoration belongs to the “five colour” type of Wan Li. The design
is composed of a dragon and a mythical phœnix (_fêng huang_), emblems
of the emperor, amid flowers and foliage of the tree-peony on wavy
stems. The breadth of treatment, the vigorous drawing, the masterly
balance of the colouring, entitle this vase to a place among the best
performances of the Chinese potter.

By the time of the Emperor CH’IEN LUNG, whose reign of sixty years
ended in 1795, deteriorating influences made themselves felt with
ever-increasing insistence, and the story of Chinese porcelain from
this time forward is a record of steady decline. The seeds of decay
may be considered to have been planted about the beginning of the
seventeenth century, when the establishment of the European trading
companies brought China into close and constant touch with the Western
world. The new markets thus opened for Chinese products inevitably
brought about the creation of a new style in Chinese art to suit the
taste of European buyers. Traces of Western influence may be discerned,
if not in the decoration, at all events in the forms of Chinese
porcelain all through the seventeenth century, and in K’ang Hsi’s reign
its effect is fully apparent. The splendid rebirth of art and culture
consequent upon the restoration of peace in the empire under his rule
availed for a time to check the sinister effect of these changes; but
as the eighteenth century advanced, a new class of wares affecting
shapes unknown to Oriental customs and designed to meet Western
requirements, was produced in ever-increasing quantities, and did not
fail to influence the whole output of the Chinese kilns. The commercial
spirit thus engendered, hastened the decline already originated by too
close attention to the technical side of ceramic craftsmanship. The
result is seen in the shapeless extravagances, wonderful in technique,
but devoid of grace and beauty, produced in the latter years of Ch’ien
Lung, and in the dreary “India china” made for export through the
various India companies of Europe. There was a momentary gleam of
revival in the nineteenth century under Taou Kuang, when creditable
copies were made of some of the Yung Chêng designs, but such imitative
efforts do not avail to arouse the interest of those to whom the art of
a country ceases to appeal, when it reflects the genius of a people no
longer in the full vigour of manhood.



II

JAPANESE PORCELAIN


The subject of Japanese porcelain can only be briefly discussed here,
on the one hand in its relation to the Chinese porcelain of which it
may be considered an offshoot, and on the other, from the point of view
of its influence on European factories. Though the origin of the art in
Japan is obscure, it is certain that the Japanese learned the making
of porcelain from their neighbours across the sea. Tradition asserts
that one Gorodayiu Go Shonsui visited the Chinese factories in 1510
with this purpose, and on his return established a kiln of short-lived
duration for the manufacture in his own country. It is not, however,
until the beginning of the following century that sure ground is
reached; about that time the necessary materials were discovered in the
province of Hizen, in the extreme south-west of the island empire, by
a Corean potter named Risanpei, and porcelain kilns were set up by him
at ARITA, which remains to the present day one of the chief Japanese
centres of the industry.

At first only blue and white wares were made, but about 1645 the
method of painting in enamel colours over the glaze was learned from
a Chinaman by a potter of the Arita factory named Kakiyemon, and the
style of decoration associated with him was inaugurated. This style
was maintained by more than one generation of the Kakiyemon family,
and characterises a quantity of the porcelain exported to Europe
through the Dutch merchants established at Deshima, in the outskirts
of Nagasaki. As will be seen later, it provided patterns for imitation
in many of the earlier European porcelain works; most of the pieces
so imitated, as, for instance, the prototype of the Chelsea jar
figuring in Plate 23, bear designs of a formal character, showing that
they probably do not belong to the earliest work of the Kakiyemon
school. A typical example of this later manner is a large jar at South
Kensington, painted with a group of figures and trees repeated in three
panels, reserved on a close pattern of peony-flowers and foliage; a
dish in the Brighton Museum, bearing on the back the name “_Kaki_”
in seal characters, shows formal designs painted with extraordinary
neatness with a full palette of enamel colours, betokening a still
later stage in the development of the style. Charming as these more
familiar designs are by reason of their clean drawing and the purity
of their colours, they must be regarded as somewhat foreign to the
Japanese genius, being the outcome of the effort to please the taste of
Western buyers. The purely Japanese manner which may be attributed to
the first Kakiyemon is illustrated by some small plates at Kensington
from the Bowes Collection; the design is limited to slight floral
sprays or a few detached blossoms in three colours only, red, green,
and light blue, so as to allow the qualities of the soft white glaze to
be fully appreciated.


PLATE 13

  Toilette-pot and Cover, Chantilly, about 1735, painted in the style
  of the Japanese Kakiyemon ware. Silver-gilt mount of the period.
  Height, 7 in. Given by Mr. J. H. Fitzhenry.

No. C 424-1909. See p. 53.

Mark: a hunting-horn in red.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The baneful influence of contact with the West, already noticed in
dealing with Chinese porcelain, did not fail to make itself
felt in the work of the Arita potters. From the last quarter of the
seventeenth century may be dated the appearance of the ware generally
considered in Europe as peculiarly characteristic of Japanese ceramics,
but in reality of a type entirely alien from native ideas. Though made
at Arita, it is usually called by the name of the neighbouring port
of Imari, from which it was exported. The style is embodied in jars
and dishes generally of large dimensions, decorated in underglaze blue
of muddy tone, with dull red, green, purple and yellow enamels and
gilding added at a subsequent firing over the glaze. Their effect is
occasionally pleasing and handsome, but in general these objects have
a dull and lifeless air that places them among the least interesting
of all Oriental wares. This style was sometimes copied both at Meissen
and at Chelsea during their earlier stages, and suggested some of
the designs of the Worcester factory, but it was not till the first
decades of the nineteenth century that it was extensively imitated,
when the “Japan patterns” of Derby and the Staffordshire works enjoyed
a great popularity; it may fairly be said that in the reduced scale
necessitated by their application to table wares, and in the livelier
colouring obtainable in the English soft porcelain, these patterns gain
an attractiveness wanting in their Oriental forerunners.

       *       *       *       *       *

Other kilns were founded in the neighbourhood of Arita under the
protection of feudal lords, by whose patronage they were secured from
the debasing effects of foreign trade. Porcelain began to be made about
1660 at the kilns of OKAWAJI, founded at an earlier date for making
earthenware by a chief of the Nabeshima family. Here the methods of
painting employed were those of the later Arita potters, but the
colours are purer and the decoration, designed to please native tastes,
is at once less florid and more spontaneous in character.

Fine porcelain was made in the second half of the eighteenth century at
MIKAWAJI, also in the province of Hizen, under the munificent patronage
of the feudal lord of Hirato. The wares are of two principal types. The
first is painted in blue of a quiet grey tone with designs of exquisite
delicacy, inspired by the Chinese “blue and white” of the time of
Hsüan Tê; and it should be noted that this milder quality of blue was
deliberately aimed at by the potters of the best Japanese schools, in
preference to the deep sapphire blue attained by the Chinese at their
highest period of development. The second class of Mikawaji ware is
seen in the skilfully modelled figures of divinities, children, or
mythical creatures such as the Corean lion; they are usually enlivened
with coloured glazes of three harmonious tones, blue, russet-brown, and
black.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two other Japanese factories remain to be noticed in their relation to
Chinese ceramics, in the provinces of Kaga and Kishiu respectively. The
kilns at KUTANI in Kaga were established in 1664 and made two distinct
classes of ware. One of these is called “_Ao Kutani_,” or green Kutani,
from the predominance of green in the colouring, and is characterised
by the use of transparent green, yellow, manganese-violet, and blue
enamels of great intensity, washed over strong floral or landscape
designs drawn in heavy black outline. This type is perfectly
exemplified by a fine dish in the series at South Kensington brought
together by the Japanese Government in 1876. While it appears to be
reminiscent in its methods of the “three colour” class of the
Chinese, its artistic character is free from extraneous elements and
entirely Japanese in genius. The other type, known _par excellence_
as “_Ko Kutani_,” or old Kutani ware, includes a brilliant red among
its colours, and is the ancestor of the red and gold Kaga porcelain of
recent times.


PLATE 15

  Ewer and Basin, Sèvres, dated 1763, painted with groups of children
  in the manner of Boucher on a _jaune jonquille_ ground. Mark of the
  decorator Catrice. Ewer, height, 6-5/8 in.; basin, length, 10¾ in.
  Jones Collection.

No. 753-1882. See p. 56.

Mark:

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The porcelain made in the Nishihama park, near Wakayama in the province
of KISHIU, dates only from the earlier years of the nineteenth century,
but is of interest as a revival of the early Ming ware with designs in
coloured glazes separated by outlines moulded in slight relief; the
enamels of the Kishiu kilns produce a wonderful richness of effect,
notably where turquoise blue is used in combination with deep violet.



III

ITALIAN PORCELAIN


PLATE 16

  Écuelle, with Cover and Stand, Sèvres, dated 1768, with pastoral
  subjects after Boucher, by Chabry, on a turquoise-blue ground.
  Écuelle, height, 4½ in.; stand, diameter, 4¾ in. Jones Collection.

No. 758-1882. See p. 57.

Mark:

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The manufacture of porcelain in Europe has a history of very recent
origin when compared with the long story of its invention and
development in the land of its birth, but what it lacks in antiquity is
atoned for by the interest and diversity of the vicissitudes through
which it has passed. We can never know at what period and by whose
agency the mysterious substance was first brought into Western lands.
From the earliest records that can rightly be supposed to refer to it,
we gather that the rare vessels of porcelain which found their way
from China in the Middle Ages were regarded with superstitious wonder
as the work of superhuman hands, to be treasured as jealously as gold
or precious stones. How to rival this ware of pure white surface and
translucent substance may well have been the problem that many a potter
of those days attempted to solve, but it must have been the despair of
the rudely-trained craftsmen whose hands shaped the rough stone-wares
of the Rhineland, or the lead-glazed slip-wares, with their artless
scratched or moulded designs, of mediæval France and Italy. The road to
success was first opened by the potters of the last-named country. The
Italian tin-enamelled maiolica, which attained its full development
at the end of the fifteenth century, marks the first pronounced step
in the advance. It derived its inspiration in the first instance not
immediately from Chinese porcelain, but indirectly through the painted
earthenware of the Near East and of the Moors in Spain, which was
itself evolved in emulation of the Chinese wares. By the early years
of the sixteenth century, the latter must have been quite familiar to
the Italian maiolica potters, who used the term “_alla porcellana_” to
denote a certain type of design in which they sought to imitate the
contemporary Oriental “blue and white.”

The mere outward simulation that could be achieved by coating grey
earthenware with pure white enamel did not satisfy the keen spirits
of an age when every mind was pregnant with new ideas, and no task
seemed too gigantic for the artist’s hand. To produce a body which, in
substance and surface as well, should equal the object of imitation,
must have been the aim of many a pioneer in the art of whose efforts
all record has been lost.

If contemporary documents are to be trusted, it would appear that
something in the nature of porcelain was made in Italy as early as the
first quarter of the sixteenth century; it is not surprising to learn
that the scene of the first successful experiments was Venice, a city
by that time famous all over Europe for its glass, a substance for
the manufacture of which its seaboard situation gave it exceptional
advantages. Though the literary evidences for the fabrication are
too clear to be reasonably doubted, no piece of this early Venetian
porcelain is known to exist at the present day. We reach sure ground
towards the end of the century, when we come to the porcelain invented
at FLORENCE about 1575 by Francesco de’ Medici, the second Grand
Duke of Tuscany. This, the earliest European porcelain of which
specimens still survive, is an imperfect artificial porcelain largely
compounded of glass. It is mentioned in a letter dated 1576 by the
Venetian ambassador at the Tuscan Court. The only dated specimen known
is a flask with the arms of Philip II. of Spain and the date 1581,
now in the museum at Sèvres. The Grand Duke probably ceased after a
short time to take interest in the factory, and it became a private
enterprise; of its subsequent fortunes something will be said on a
later page.


PLATE 14

  Jardinière, Sèvres, dated 1761, painted with cupids on a _rose
  Pompadour_ ground. Mark of the decorator Dubois. Height, 7½ in.
  Jones Collection.

No. 787-1882. See p. 56.

Mark:

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

While as regards material the object of emulation was Chinese
porcelain, the forms affected by the Medici porcelain show little
indication of extraneous influence. By their variety and by the
gracefulness of many they bear witness to the taste and inventiveness
of the ducal patron, who interested himself personally in the processes
of fabrication and was doubtless in artistic matters the guiding spirit
of the works. The decoration, painted in cobalt-blue usually of rather
dull tone, either alone or outlined with pale manganese-violet, is of
two distinct styles. One of these is made up of grotesques of the kind
familiar in the later maiolica of the Urbino school. The other style
is marked by Oriental motives, derived in some cases from Chinese,
but more often from Near Eastern sources. The designs are never mere
copies, but rather interpretations of their prototypes; often indeed
they betray only slight traces of the inspiration to which they are due.

The last-named class of design is well exemplified by the bottle
in Plate 10, one of the four pieces of Medici porcelain belonging
to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The subtle shapeliness of the
modelling and the ably-distributed painted ornament, in which a slight
suggestion of the contemporary Chinese “blue and white” of Wan Li is
perceptible, betoken the work of an artist whose conceptions were
superior to the material at his disposal for their embodiment.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the scanty documents that remain, it would appear that the
venture of Francesco de’ Medici was abandoned for a time, and that his
successor Ferdinand I. summoned to Florence one Niccolò Sisti for the
purpose of re-establishing there the manufacture of porcelain. The
kilns were later removed to PISA, and a document exists to prove that
in 1620 Sisti received monetary aid for his work from the then-reigning
Grand Duke, Cosmo II. In the light of these records, meagre as they
are, the greatest interest attaches to the little bowl figuring in
Plate 11, one of the most precious documentary pieces of porcelain in
the South Kensington collections; it was formerly in the possession
of Mr. Henry Griffith and later belonged to Mr. Henry Willett of
Brighton, on whose death it was acquired for the Museum. This bowl is
of remarkably thin material, light to handle, and shows a somewhat
yellow tone in the paste by transmitted light. The design painted round
the outside consists of four alternate sprays of hyacinth and lily,
separated by flowers resembling scabious or cornflower branching from
a curved serrated leaf; these motives are obviously borrowed from the
Turkish earthenware of the period. In a medallion inside the bowl is a
view of a city with a domed building; on the bottom are the initials
“G. G. P. F.” and the date 1638.

The only other piece hitherto identified as belonging to the same
kind is another bowl, in the collection of Mr. Montague Yeats Brown.
Like its companion, it is light in weight and thin in the walls. It
is decorated round the sides externally and internally with a frieze
of birds perched upon rocks; inside is a medallion with a group of
ruins among trees, curiously anticipating the fanciful compositions
seen on Worcester and Bow china of the eighteenth century. In the
painting there appear in addition to cobalt-blue two colours of
common occurrence in the maiolica of the Urbino school, a strong
brownish-orange and a greenish-blue derived from copper, the latter
much blurred in the firing. This bowl also bears a signature and
date, “I. G. P. F. 1627”, and it is of extreme interest to observe
that both bowls are marked with the same devices, a cross potent
and a curious aggregation of strokes, of which the significance is
difficult to determine; evidently these signs are the distinctive mark
of the factory. The meaning of the initials is also uncertain, but in
view of the known existence of the Sisti factory at Pisa a few years
before the date on the earlier bowl, it may be conjectured that the
last letters “P. F.”, occurring in both signatures alike, stand for
“_Pisanus fecit_” or “_Pisano fece_”; if that be so, the preceding
“G” may indicate the family name of the potters who took over from
Sisti the secret of porcelain making, while the “I” and the first “G”
respectively refer to the baptismal names of different members of the
family. Be this as it may, these two bowls, unique in the nature of
their paste and decoration and by reason of the dates they bear, are of
the utmost interest as isolated landmarks in the history of European
porcelain, standing midway between the production of Francesco de’
Medici and the earliest French achievements.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Tuscan experiments above recorded were made at an unpropitious
time, and were consequently destined to have no lasting effect in the
development of European ceramics. Italy was then fast relapsing into
the state of torpor which followed as a reaction from her restless
activities in the age of the renaissance, and the time had not yet
arrived when the influx of Chinese porcelain, resulting from the
extension of trade relations with the East, was to spur on the potters
and chemists of Europe, aided by royal patronage, to success in their
efforts to produce a similar kind of ware. Porcelain is not heard
of again in Italy till about 1720, when Francesco Vezzi, a Venetian
goldsmith, in co-operation with a deserter from the Saxon royal
factory, succeeded for a short time in producing hard porcelain of a
type similar to that of Meissen. At a later date another Saxon workman
named Hewelcke set up a short-lived factory in VENICE, but no porcelain
of importance was produced there till the establishment of the works of
Geminiano Cozzi in 1765.

The chief Italian factory was that at DOCCIA near Florence, founded by
the Marchese Carlo Ginori in 1735 and still kept up by his descendants.
His aim was to compete with the porcelain imported from Saxony, and he
succeeded in his efforts without the princely support by which alone
in most European countries the manufacture was saved from failure. He
obtained the assistance of an expert from the factory at Vienna, Carl
Wendelin Anreiter, of whose painted work on porcelain rare specimens
are occasionally met with. The earliest Doccia productions showed
distinct signs of Meissen influence, as may be seen from a soup-bowl
in the Victoria and Albert Museum; this has a basket-work rim of the
Meissen type, and is decorated with genre scenes from Italian peasant
life in medallions, surrounded by tendrils in red and gold and small
panels of lilac colour. Other pieces of the same service bear the mark
of a Doccia painter, Pietro Fanciullacci. At a later stage the Ginori
works became famous for their large reproductions in white porcelain of
antique statues in the Florentine palaces, such as the Crouching Venus
and the Apollo Belvedere.

       *       *       *       *       *

The celebrated royal factory at CAPODIMONTE, near Naples, is said to
owe its origin to a present of Meissen porcelain made to Charles III.,
King of the Two Sicilies, in 1736, when he married the Saxon princess
Maria Amelia. Its earliest productions were in white porcelain moulded
with shells, coral, and other marine decorations, but its fame is
more specially founded on the services with mythological subjects
minutely picked out in enamel colours. As at Doccia, the inborn genius
of the Italians for modelling was exhibited in figures and elaborate
statuettes, in which drapery and flesh are usually tinted after
nature. A characteristic example is a large allegorical composition
at Kensington, supported on four figures copied from the crouching
Turkish slaves (“_I quattro Mori_”) by Pietro Tacca, which surround
the monument of Ferdinand I. of Tuscany in the harbour at Leghorn;
modelling and colouring alike display the tendency to exaggeration
and sensationalism characteristic of Italian art in the period of
decadence. When Charles III. succeeded in 1759 to the throne of Spain,
he removed with him to the palace of BUEN RETIRO, near Madrid, the
whole establishment of his Neapolitan factory; the Madrid porcelain is
of a similar kind to that made before the transfer of the works.

The later factory carried on at NAPLES under Ferdinand IV. shows the
influence of the excavations at Herculaneum in the severe classical
style by which it is marked. Painted views of the district of Naples
and of the local antiquities are a favourite feature. At the same
time the works gained some renown by the cleverly modelled statuettes
in biscuit china of greyish tone made under the direction of Filippo
Tagliolini.



IV

FRENCH PORCELAIN


PLATE 19

  Vase, Sèvres, given in 1780 by Gustavus III. of Sweden to Catherine
  II. of Russia. Decorated by Morin, Fontaine, and Le Guay on a _bleu
  de roi_ ground. Height, 19½ in. Jones Collection.

No. 781-1882. See p. 59.

Mark:

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The Florentine experiments and the Pisa bowls remain as solitary
relics in the story of European porcelain until the year 1673, when
the scene is shifted to France. At this date a privilege was granted
for making porcelain to Edme Poterat, of St. Sever, a suburb of Rouen,
in the name of his son Louis. Since 1644 he had been working as a
_faïencier_ as lessee of the Sieur Poirel de Grandval, _huissier de
cabinet_ to Anne of Austria; the Sieur Poirel had been granted an
exclusive licence for making faïence in the province of Normandy. The
manufacture of porcelain at Rouen was not continued for long after the
death of Poterat in 1694, in consequence of a dispute between his sons,
which resulted in their privilege being withdrawn. The nature of this
earliest French porcelain is established by a few pieces, which there
are sufficient grounds for supposing to be authentic. One of these is
at South Kensington, a tall cup finely fashioned in a paste of bluish
tone and carefully painted in a strong underglaze blue; the design
consists of small vases of flowers amid formal _lambrequin_ ornament
below a castellated border.

A point of special interest in connection with the earliest French
experiments is that, while the efforts of their authors were
consciously directed at the emulation of Oriental porcelain, the style
of decoration adopted by them was thoroughly French, showing hardly any
trace of Chinese influence. The surviving Rouen specimens are closely
similar in their ornament to the faïence produced by the factory in
which they were made. The same is true of the porcelain manufactured,
for the first time in Europe on a commercial scale, at ST. CLOUD,
near Paris. This factory was started by a Rouen potter named Pierre
Chicaneau for the making of earthenware. As the result of experiments
made shortly before his death, Chicaneau could boast of producing
objects in porcelain “_presqu’aussi parfait que les porcelaines de
la Chine et des Indes_.” His widow and family continued the work he
had begun, and in 1702 were granted letters patent by Louis XIV.; the
factory was subsequently carried on by Henri Trou, second husband of
Chicaneau’s widow. The jar reproduced in Plate 12 illustrates admirably
the style in vogue at the St. Cloud works. Formal devices adapted from
Rouen faïence and inspired by the designs of Bérain, are symmetrically
disposed as borders, leaving a large part of the surface free, so as
to display to full advantage the soft tone of the glaze. The sense of
fitness and proportion never absent from the best French work asserts
itself as much in the painted ornament as in the rich ormolu mount with
which the jar is embellished. The legs of console outline and the rayed
masks between them are typical forms of the art of Louis XIV.’s reign;
instinct as they are with sober dignity, they are saved from stiffness
of effect by the contrast of the band of running foliage engraved on
the collar round the top of the jar.

Painting in blue under the glaze was the predominant manner of
decoration at St. Cloud. In other cases the porcelain is left white,
and only moulded ornaments are used; these are either copied directly
from the Chinese Fuchien porcelain,--here at last Oriental motives
appear,--or they exhibit a hybrid mingling of classical and Chinese
forms. The latter type is seen in a fine soup-tureen in the Fitzhenry
gift at South Kensington; it is moulded with pseudo-Oriental cranes
and foliage in relief above a gadrooned border, and has grotesque
mask handles and a knob in the form of a cabbage. The tureen is of
special interest because to the relief decoration has been added enamel
colouring in primrose-yellow, green, and pale red; an examination
of the piece discloses on the bottom, not only the incised mark of
Henri Trou, but also a _fleur-de-lys_ in overglaze blue, showing
that the colouring was added at the Spanish royal factory of Buen
Retiro. Another tureen in the same collection has polychrome painting
executed at St. Cloud, a typical example of a rare class; in a strong
orange-yellow, green, purple, red and blue are depicted Oriental
figures and a motive of a bird singing among trees by a wattled hedge,
borrowed from the Japanese Kakiyemon.

       *       *       *       *       *

The life of the St. Cloud works was a long one,--it lasted till 1766,
having survived a disastrous fire in 1737,--and its output must
have been considerable; yet it had little direct influence on the
subsequent history of ceramics. It is indeed interesting to note here
the existence at Kensington of a _seau_ in Staffordshire salt-glazed
stoneware with relief ornament copied from a St. Cloud model; but
this is an isolated case, and imitations of St. Cloud are not common
even among the productions of French factories. A different tale can
be told of the next in importance of the early French china works.
The factory founded in 1725 by Louis-Henri de Bourbon, prince de
Condé, on his domain at CHANTILLY, was destined to hold a position of
more than transient significance. Not only were styles of decoration
devised there which became popular beyond the Channel as well as in
France itself; Chantilly has a greater claim to recognition in that it
was two Chantilly workmen who initiated the greatest of all European
enterprises of this kind, the royal and national manufactory at Sèvres.

Before entering into details of this passage in the course of events,
some account must be given of the productions of the parent factory.
The prince de Condé chose for his director one Ciquaire Cirou, who
appears to have been a faïence-maker, and obtained royal recognition
by a grant of letters patent in 1735. The distinguishing element in
the earlier Chantilly porcelain is the use as a surface-coating of the
same tin-enamel which is the generic feature of faïence. For some ten
years the Chantilly potters confined their artistic efforts as far as
painting was concerned to adaptations or often close imitations of
Oriental porcelain of the preceding decades, of which the princely
patron had a rich collection. The Chinese _famille verte_ supplied the
motives in a few instances, but the wares which suggested to Cirou
and his painters their daintiest designs were the work of Kakiyemon.
Few things have been made to display more effectively the delicate
freshness which is the crowning virtue of painted porcelain. The
warm tone of the stanniferous glaze yields a softer ground for the
flower-like hues of the enamel colours than the colder white of the
Japanese prototypes, while the _esprit_ of the French interpreter adds
to the charming Eastern themes just that homeliness of touch which
endears them to Western beholders. No better illustration could be
furnished than by the little silver-mounted _pot de toilette_ from Mr.
Fitzhenry’s gift to the nation, figured in Plate 13. Little Japanese
boys at play, houses perched among fir-trees on rocky crags, tiny birds
and butterflies are scattered with an unimpeachable sense of fitness
over the creamy white surface; all, down to the mark on the bottom, a
_cour de chasse_ in red enamel, is drawn with the greatest neatness.

A ground colour of pure primrose-yellow is sometimes seen in pieces of
this early period, borrowed doubtless from Meissen, and foreshadowing
the sumptuous coloured grounds of Vincennes and Sèvres. This is well
exemplified by a large jardinière with rococo ormolu mounting, also
in the Fitzhenry gift. At a later date less distinctive manners were
adopted, bouquets of flowers of the Meissen type, cupids in the
style of Boucher, and rococo-panelled designs. The manufacture was
commercialised and the quality of the wares rapidly deteriorated, but
still a good word may be said for the blue festooned borders which
are a common feature in Chantilly services, and are an admirable
pattern of what designs in table ware should be. An instance is the
service made for Louis Philippe, duc d’Orléans, for use at his château
of Villers-Cotterets; a plate from this set is in the Kensington
collection.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two other minor factories of soft-paste china call for a passing
notice, those of MENNECY and Sceaux, both near Paris. The former
appears to have been first established in Paris itself, and in 1748
transferred to a site at Mennecy on the estate of the duc de Villeroy,
who supported it with his patronage. In 1773, on the expiration
of their lease, the directors of the works removed their plant to
Bourg-la-Reine, where they came under the protection of the comte
d’Eu. The factory was in the main confined to the production of small
articles for the boudoir, to which their simple decoration of bouquets
or brightly-plumaged birds is well enough suited. Objects for purely
ornamental purposes are seldom met with. In Mr. Fitzhenry’s gift
there is a pair of vases on high pedestals of the form known from its
antique prototype as the “_vase Médicis_,” finely painted with birds
in landscapes. It may be remarked that the polychrome flower-painting
of Mennecy often bears a close resemblance to that of early Chelsea.
Figures were turned out in considerable quantities. The earlier ones
are generally left white, and show not only a sense of the grotesque
but also much artistic feeling in their breadth of modelling. The later
figures with polychrome painting, somewhat childish conceptions, it is
true, are yet not without a certain grace and daintiness; an important
set of groups of children with musical instruments in the Fitzhenry
Collection belongs to this class.

The works at SCEAUX, dating back apparently to 1749, are noteworthy
for the skilfulness of their flower-paintings; the tints are brilliant
yet harmonious, while the drawing is executed with remarkable care and
sureness of touch.

       *       *       *       *       *

The royal manufactory of SÈVERES, destined to enjoy a fame greater
than that of any other in Europe, had its origin in a combination of
circumstances from which at first no great results might have been
expected. Orry de Fulvy, _intendant des finances_ to Louis XV., had
long been interested in experiments for making porcelain, when at
Vincennes in 1738 he came across two workmen from Chantilly, the
brothers Dubois, to whom reference has already been made. They had been
allowed secretly to set up a kiln in the precincts of the château. De
Fulvy gave them his support, and their operations were continued at his
expense. The Dubois were subsequently dismissed as incompetent, and
the venture was in danger of abandonment; but after many vicissitudes
De Fulvy’s perseverance was crowned with success, and in 1745 he was
able to form a company for the manufacture under royal privilege. For
eleven years the works were carried on at Vincennes, but in 1756 they
were transferred to new premises at Sèvres, on the other side of Paris,
at a convenient distance from the royal palace of Versailles; three
years previously the company had been reorganised under an exclusive
privilege, the king himself holding a quarter of the shares, while the
royal interest in the undertaking was signalised by the stipulation
that its productions should be marked with the royal cipher of two
interlaced “L”s.

From the outset the wares were given a high artistic quality.
Duplessis, goldsmith to the king, was charged in 1747 with the
control of the modellers; he kept the workshops under close personal
supervision, and to his guiding influence is attributable the
originality and unfailing taste of the shapes adopted. Hellot, director
of the Academy of Sciences, was in charge of the chemical composition
of the materials, while Bachelier was at the head of the painters and
gilders. Drawings of figure-subjects were supplied by François Boucher
for the painted decoration, as well as for translation into the round
by the modellers; an instance of the latter process is the fine biscuit
group of Leda modelled from Boucher’s design by Fernex, a painted
version of the same subject being in the National Museum at Stockholm.

The rare pieces surviving from the earliest stage of the factory’s
existence show clearly the aim which De Fulvy set himself of competing
with the Saxon porcelain; the landscapes or river-scenes painted on
them, with miniature groups of figures and buildings, are evidently
inspired by the Meissen subjects of the period. The same is true of the
coloured grounds with medallions in reserve which made their appearance
shortly afterwards, but the colours used for the purpose were entirely
new. The earliest of these was the deep blue (“_gros bleu_”) from which
was subsequently developed the famous “_bleu de roi_.” The researches
of Hellot bore fruit later in the discovery of the _rose Pompadour_
pink and turquoise-blue. A feature of the earliest years of the factory
before its removal from Vincennes were the artificial flowers modelled
in porcelain, which amounted in value to over three-fourths of the
total output.

None of the pieces in our illustrations are of the primitive period.
They represent several of the Sèvres ground colours. Plate 14 shows
a jardinière with openwork socket painted with cupids and flowers in
panels reserved on a _rose Pompadour_ ground. It is marked with the
royal cipher enclosing the date-letter I, for 1761, and with a branch
of foliage, the mark of the painter Jean René Dubois.


PLATE 20

  Vase, with Cover, Meissen, Marcolini period, about 1780. Height,
  11-7/8 in. Jones Collection.

No. 837-1882. See p. 68.

Mark

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The ewer and basin in Plate 15 are dated 1763 and have the mark of
the decorator Catrice. On a ground of yellow (_jaune jonquille_) are
rococo-bordered panels with charming miniatures of children
painted, with the exception of the flesh tints, _en camaïeu_ in blue.
This manner of painting in a monochrome of blue or crimson is a
survival from an earlier period, in which it is often found as the sole
decoration on a plain white ground; the simple contours of the shapes
also point back to an early style.

The _écuelle_ or soup-bowl with cover and stand, shown in Plate 16,
selected like the last two pieces from the Jones Collection, is an
example of the most sumptuous style of Sèvres applied to the decoration
of porcelain for useful purposes. It bears the date-letter “P” for
1768. The panels with pastoral scenes in colours by Chabry fils
follow closely the manner of Boucher, if he did not actually supply
the designs for them; with the rich gilt scrollwork borders and the
turquoise ground they blend in an ensemble of splendid but harmonious
effect, admirably in keeping with the gracefully-modelled shapes.
Another specimen of Sèvres table ware of a simpler class is the jug
reproduced in Plate 17, with lid attached by a silver hinge. On the
bottom are the date-letter for 1770 and the mark of the flower-painter
Bouillat fils.

The subject of the next drawing, a vase in the Jones Collection, with
classical busts in medallions raised above an apple-green ground,
brings us to the year 1772, with which by the death of the director
Boileau the most prosperous epoch of the factory’s career came to a
close. When compared with the previous illustrations, a distinct change
of style is noticeable; not a trace of the rococo of Louis XV. is to
be seen, while the laurel-wreath round the foot and the classical
ornament surrounding the cameo-like medallion betoken the adoption of
the severer and simpler style associated with the following reign. The
transition to antique forms and ornament came about in Sèvres china
more gradually than in other branches of French applied art, partly on
account of the fact that in many cases the artists and workmen in the
factory were succeeded by their sons, who kept up the traditions they
had learned from their parents. The change in the directorship and
the succession of the new king two years later finally determined the
abandonment of the old style.


PLATE 25

  Teapot, Chelsea, from a service painted with pseudo-Chinese figures
  in the style of Watteau, on a claret-coloured ground. Height, 5-3/8
  in. Bequest of Miss Emily H. Thomson, of Dover.

No. 517-1902. See p. 82.

Mark: an anchor in gold.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The vase represented in Plate 19 is typical of the new tendencies. It
embodies to perfection the graceful French interpretation of classical
art associated with the name of Louis XVI. The vase is noteworthy not
only as a splendid exponent of the powers of the royal manufacture,
but also on account of its historical associations. It was made in
1780, and was given by Gustavus III., King of Sweden, as a present to
the empress Catherine II. of Russia; the gift was the outcome of an
unexpected turn of events, resulting from the war between England and
her American colonies. The state of hostilities at sea was a grave
menace to the commerce of the northern countries, and an alliance
was formed on 1st August 1780, between Sweden, Denmark, and Russia,
powers at that time usually at variance, to ensure the safety of
their merchant fleets. Gustavus III., who himself played the rôle of
Augustus in Swedish history, had a great admiration for the genius
of the Russian empress. He was at the time absent from his kingdom
on a long tour in the South, in the course of which he had doubtless
had opportunities of forming a personal judgment of the merits of the
French royal porcelain. It is not surprising therefore that he should
have thought of a set of Sèvres china as a suitable present to
mark the occasion of the treaty; he invoked to assist him in his choice
a friend of earlier days, the writer Marmontel, to whom he communicated
his desires through his ambassador at the French Court, the baron de
Staël. The circumstances of the purchase are fully related in the
letter dated 29th August 1780, by which Marmontel informed the director
of the factory, Regnier, of the selection he had made at the works.
Of five pieces chosen to make up a _garniture de cheminée_, one is
the vase before us, and it is worth while to cite the words in which
it is described: “_Un grand vase bleu de roi et or, avec un cartouche
représentant une marine marchande. Dans ce petit tableau deux hommes
sont occupés à lire dans un livre posé sur un tonneau. Je suis convenu
avec le peintre que sur le livre il écrivoit ces mots que je vais
tracer figurativement_:

    |  _Neutra-  |  _Catherine II._  |
    |    lite    |                   |
    |   armée_   |  _Gustave III._   |

_Il faut que ces caractères soient en émail et l’on m’a promis que
cette petite besogne seroit faite aujourd’hui._”

The remaining four pieces of the set were a pair of figures
representing Pygmalion and Prometheus, and two small cornucopia vases.
Instructions were given for the figures to be inscribed with verses
of Marmontel’s own composition, highly flattering to the imperial
recipient of the present. The letter concludes with a request that the
goods might be despatched without delay to the Swedish king, who was
awaiting them at Spa. The price paid for the vase was 720 _livres_, and
for the complete set 1896 _livres_.

The subsequent story of the vase is not fully known, but it may be
surmised that it left Russia on the occasion of a great fire at
the palace of Czarskoë Selo, when it is recorded that many pieces
now scattered in various museums were stolen from the celebrated
turquoise-blue service of Sèvres china ordered by Catherine II. in
1788. The vase was bought by Mr. Jones in 1880 at the sale of the San
Donato Palace at Florence, and is now housed with the rest of his
bequest to the nation. It remains only to mention that the marine
subject in the style of Joseph Vernet is the work of Morin, the bouquet
of flowers in the reverse medallion is by Fontaine, while the gilding
was done by Le Guay, whose signature with the royal cipher is painted
under the base.

A brief allusion has already been made to the sculpture in biscuit
china, which was among the most remarkable work done at Sèvres during
the time of its prosperity. The enamelled figures in the Meissen style,
made in the earliest stages at Vincennes, were soon superseded in
popularity by those in biscuit, a much better vehicle for reproducing
delicate modelling. The high artistic merit attained by them was due
to the guiding genius of the sculptor Falconet, who was in charge of
the modellers from 1757 for nearly ten years; he himself provided
the models for nearly all the figures made during that period, the
traditions set by him being maintained by his successors. His nice
sense of the capabilities of his material is manifest alike in graceful
genre and pastoral subjects and in works of more elevated conception,
such as the Pygmalion group already mentioned.


PLATE 27

  Vase, with Cover, Worcester, about 1760, with design adapted from
  the Japanese. Height, 11 in. Schreiber Collection.

No. 480. See p. 85.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]


PLATE 28

  Vase, with Cover, Bristol, 1770-1781, painted with exotic birds in
  the Sèvres manner. Height, 15 in. Schreiber Collection.

No. 740. See p. 87.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

After the death of Bachelier the factory was hampered by mismanagement
and financial difficulties; the consequent deterioration in its
productions was precipitated by the French Revolution, which marks
the close of its most glorious epoch. The artistic level reached
in the last years of Louis XV. was never again attained until recent
times; the success of the factory was the outcome of the peculiar
excellence of the Sèvres soft-paste for the display of gilding and
painting in enamel colours, and the abandonment of this class of body
was inevitably followed by an artistic decline. At quite an early
stage of the factory’s career experiments were made with a view to
discovering in France the materials for true hard porcelain like that
of China and Germany. The success of those researches in 1765 was the
prelude to the complete adoption of the new material, when the works
were rescued by Napoleon from the state of adversity into which they
had sunk in the revolutionary period. For some years before the fall of
Louis XVI. both soft and hard-paste were made concurrently; an early
example of the latter is a cup and saucer in the Jones Collection,
painted with the shield of France supported by an eagle and a dolphin,
made to commemorate the birth of the ill-fated Dauphin in 1781. Under
the Empire and the restored monarchy everything was done that could be
effected by rich gilding and highly-finished painting to bring back
the magnificence of former years, and the new material made possible
dimensions never attempted before; witness is borne by the huge vase
in the Sèvres Museum representing the arrival in Paris of the artistic
spoils of Napoleon’s Italian conquests, and another with a frieze
depicting the athletic sports of ancient Greece. France suffered
perhaps less than other countries from the general debasement of art
in that age, but the redeeming charm of the eighteenth century styles
was gone, and with it the glory of the Sèvres factory; its artistic
recovery with the return of French prosperity under the Third Republic
belongs to recent history.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before leaving the subject of French porcelain, something must be
said of the cluster of PARISIAN FACTORIES for making hard-paste
china, which arose in many cases under Court patronage after the
introduction of the new material at Sèvres. The exclusive privileges
of the royal factory, designed to repress all attempts at competition
within the borders of France, had been one by one abandoned, having
become gradually of no effect. In 1787 complete liberty was accorded
to all French manufacturers to pursue all the methods employed at
Sèvres, including the jealously-protected use of gilding. As a rule
only useful wares were made in the smaller factories, but these were
often of considerable merit. The use of gold as the only decoration
on a white ground became increasingly popular, and much charming ware
is ornamented in this manner. A typical instance may be cited in the
spirit-kettle made at the Clignancourt works, comprised in the series
of Parisian hard-paste in the Fitzhenry gift. The affectation by
these small factories of classical forms is exemplified in the same
collection by a ewer with oblong basin decorated in gold and blue, made
in the duc d’Angoulême’s kilns in the rue Bondy, which are also famous
for the pretty cornflower-sprig pattern afterwards popular in English
china.


PLATE 26

  Vase, Chelsea-Derby, 1770-1784, with handles in the form of female
  terminal figures in biscuit porcelain; on the front a medallion
  with the subject of Celadon and Amelia. Height, 15¼ in. Jones
  Collection.

No. 825-1882. See p. 84.

Mark: an anchor in gold.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



V

GERMAN PORCELAIN


While the efforts to imitate Chinese porcelain first led to lasting
results by the invention of soft-paste porcelain in France, the credit
belongs to Germany of discovering and introducing into Europe the art
of making true hard-paste porcelain of the Chinese type. The discovery
was the outcome of researches not originally directed to this end.
The romantic story of Johann Friedrich Böttger, the chemist to whom
it was due, is well known: how he claimed to possess the secret of
making gold, how he fled from Berlin across the Saxon border to avoid
the covetous attentions of the King of Prussia, how he was promptly
visited with the fate he wished to escape, at the hands of Augustus the
Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, and how he spent a great
part of a short life in fruitless efforts to make gold by alchemistic
means for replenishing the Elector’s coffers. It was only when the
needs of Augustus had become the more pressing, in consequence of the
exhausting war with Sweden through which he lost the Polish Crown, that
his optimistic credulity was in danger of being overtaxed. Böttger
foresaw that the Elector could no longer be duped, and the happy idea
was suggested to him, probably by the chemist Von Tschirnhausen, of
drawing a blind over his failure by another plan for enriching his
royal master. The latter was foremost among the sovereigns of Europe
as an amateur of the porcelain at that time being imported by Dutch
merchants from the Far East; he was therefore likely to view with
favour Böttger’s new scheme, which was no other than the restoration
of Saxony’s prosperity by the establishment in the country of ceramic
industries, and particularly of porcelain factories on the Chinese
lines. All Böttger’s efforts were now turned in this direction. In
1708 a “_Steinbäckerei_” was started at Dresden for the manufacture
of tiles, and shortly after Böttger’s celebrated red stoneware was
invented. In 1710 he obtained a royal patent for the foundation of
a porcelain factory; the site chosen for it was the fortress of
Albrechtsburg, near MEISSEN, and in the course of the year the first
samples were submitted to the Elector, two small cups with enamel
decoration, still in the royal collection at Dresden. So began the
manufacture of hard-paste china in Europe.

The porcelain made at Meissen before Böttger’s death derived its shape
in part from contemporary metalwork of the baroque style, and partly
from the Elector’s Chinese collection; statuettes were also modelled,
after the caricatures of the French etcher Callot. Varied methods of
decoration were attempted. Lace-like borders inspired by French designs
were executed in enamel colours, or in gold, silver, or lustre; we
also find miniature hunting-scenes, such as are seen on Bohemian and
Silesian drinking-glasses of the period, applied in gold leaf thickly
laid on in slight relief.


PLATE 3

  Bowl, Chinese, bearing the mark of the Emperor Chia Ching
  (1522-1566) of the Ming dynasty. Height, 2-7/8 in.

No. 1616-1876. See p. 12.

Mark:

[Illustration]

  Plate, Chinese, jointed in colours of the _famille rose_, with a
  bird perched on the branch of a plum-tree. Period of Yung Chêng
  (1723-1735). Diameter, 8-1/8 in. Cope Bequest.

No. 600-1903. See p. 25.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

After Böttger’s death in 1719 the painter Herold became the leading
spirit of the factory, and painting began to play the chief rôle in the
decoration of the wares. The earlier French borders gave place for
a time to faithful copies of Oriental patterns selected from the royal
collection, those of the Japanese Kakiyemon being specially in favour.
By 1730 a distinctive Meissen style had arisen, characterised by simple
baroque forms and a decoration of panels enclosed with borders of
delicate symmetrical scrollwork in gold and colours, often reserved
on a monochrome ground; the panels are filled either with groups of
pseudo-Chinese figures, or with landscape subjects depicting wide open
country with broad rivers, reminiscent of the lowland scenery to the
north of Dresden.

The appointment of the sculptor Johann Joachim Kändler, in 1731, to be
superintendent of the modellers, led to a revolution in the character
of the wares. If painted figure-subjects were introduced, the favourite
themes were gallant parties of ladies and gentlemen in the manner of
Watteau, but relief ornament and not painting now became the leading
feature; the style adopted in the modelling was a modified form of the
French rococo, and impressed itself on the productions of most of the
German factories which sprang up in rivalry with Meissen. The very
spirit of the German rococo is embodied in the countless figures and
groups, destined among other purposes to form part of table-services
as decorative “_Tafelaufsätze_,” which were modelled during this
period by Kändler and his associates; as we shall see later, they were
extensively copied in the earliest English china works. The development
of sculpture in porcelain inaugurated at Meissen is a branch of the art
in which Europe attained a proficiency absolutely unknown in China; the
German factories in particular excelled in their skill in this class of
work.

The state of warfare in which Germany was plunged about the middle of
the century was a serious check to the progress of the works. When
peace was restored in 1763, a new spirit began to manifest itself,
contemporaneously with the addition to the staff of the French
modeller Acier. The change was completed under the directorship of
Count Camillo Marcolini, which lasted from 1774 to 1814. Just as in
music, an art in which Germany enjoyed at that time an unquestioned
supremacy, the sprightly melodies of Haydn gave place to the graver
harmonies of Beethoven, so in porcelain too the altered mood of the
age was reflected. Florid rococo forms were abandoned and replaced by
the severer contours and simpler decoration of the classic style of
Louis XVI. The philosophic sentimentalism of the day was not interested
in the pretty but aimless frivolities of the Watteau school, and
subjects of an entirely different order were chosen to fill panels and
medallions. A service at South Kensington is painted with a series of
careful miniatures in illustration of Goethe’s _Sorrows of Werther_, a
work in which the spirit of the age is characteristically expressed.
Other favourite themes were Angelica Kauffmann’s renderings of the more
sentimental stories of classical mythology.

The Meissen vase chosen for illustration in Plate 20, one of a set
of three in the Jones Bequest, dates from the earlier years of
Count Marcolini’s management. The slight decoration of dainty and
pleasing effect allows the fine qualities of the paste to be fully
appreciated. The various ornamental features embody in characteristic
manner the ideas of the age. The symmetrical amphora form, the square
architectural plinth, the wreaths of oak on the cover and foot, point
to the new interest awakened in ancient, more particularly Roman, art
by the publication of the antiquities of Herculaneum; the garlands and
festoons of forget-me-nots recall the sentiment of an age that amused
itself with the study of the “language of flowers.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The Meissen factory had not long been working before its success
suggested the introduction of the manufacture of porcelain in other
German states, and in less than fifty years from the date of the royal
patent of Augustus the Strong, a porcelain factory was considered a
necessary adjunct to the Court of even the minor German rulers. The
influence of Meissen is everywhere apparent, but individuality shown
in various directions by a few of the rivals entitles them to special
mention. The seniority amongst these belongs to VIENNA, where a factory
was set up as early as 1718 by a Dutchman with the help of workmen who
had escaped from Meissen; in 1744 it became an imperial institution.
The style of the wares followed closely on that of the parent works,
until financial embarrassments led to a complete reorganisation under
Baron von Sorgenthal in 1784. The change was heralded by the adoption
of severely angular shapes, and of romantic or mythological subjects
pictorially rendered, within elaborate borders composed of classical
motives carried out in rich highly-burnished gilding on panels of
gorgeous colouring; the true qualities of porcelain were forgotten in
the effort to arrive at the highest pitch of sumptuous richness.

       *       *       *       *       *

The factory of HÖCHST, under the patronage of the Elector of Mainz,
famous for its figures of children modelled by Johann Peter Melchior,
was also founded with the help of a Meissen artist. Again, it was his
marriage with a Saxon princess that awakened in the Elector of Bavaria,
Max Josef III., the desire to possess his own porcelain kilns. These
were erected at first at Neudeck, near Munich, and were removed in 1758
to NYMPHENBURG. Thanks to an Italian sculptor, Franz Bastelli, the
Bavarian factory takes foremost rank in Germany for its statuettes;
whether characters from the Italian comedy, or dancing cavaliers and
ladies, they display in their crisp, nervous lines, a spontaneity
tempered by masterly restraint which is best appreciated when the white
porcelain is left to speak for itself, unobscured by the application of
enamel colouring.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Duke of Württemberg’s factory at the _Residenzstadt_ of
LUDWIGSBURG, near Stuttgart, was founded in 1758, a propitious moment
for starting a new enterprise of the kind, as Meissen and other
factories in northern Germany were suffering from the effects of
a long-protracted war. Under the directorship of Ringler, who had
previously gained experience at Vienna and Neudeck, the works speedily
reached a high pitch of efficiency. In figures they were stamped at an
earlier date than other German works with the new ideas of classicism,
through the influence of the sculptor who was appointed in 1759 to
superintend the modelling, Wilhelm Beyer of Gotha. As the result of
prolonged residence in Rome and Naples he was deeply imbued with the
spirit of antique sculpture. He understood well how to temper the
cold serenity of the antique so as to suit the taste of an emotional
age; at the same time he knew how to modify classical forms in
compliance with the exigencies of his material, nor did he, like later
porcelain-modellers of the classical school, renounce the charms of
glaze and colour. The classical feeling makes itself felt as much
in his pastoral groups as in his renderings of mythological subjects.


PLATE 4

  Ewer, Chinese, period of Wan Li (1573-1619), with contemporary
  brass mount of Augsburg workmanship. Height, 12¼ in.

No. 174-1879. See p. 13.

Mark: _Fu_ (“Happiness”) in seal character.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

Whilst Beyer was the pioneer of the classical in porcelain figures, the
Ludwigsburg factory was slow to abandon the rococo style in its table
wares. The exceptionally graceful forms which they assume are typified
by the coffee-pot in Mr. Fitzhenry’s collection, represented in Plate
21. The gilt scrollwork under the lip shows the rococo at its best. The
mark on the bottom is the cipher of Duke Carl Eugen, a double “C” under
a ducal crown.

       *       *       *       *       *

Excellent work was done in their best periods by several other German
factories. BERLIN under the patronage of Frederick the Great was
successful in combining gracefulness of form with rich painted and
gilt decoration, as for instance in the beautiful rococo service with
openwork borders made for the Neue Palais at Potsdam. The works of the
Elector Palatine at FRANKENTHAL rivalled Meissen in the rich diversity
of its figure-modelling, while at ANSBACH the factory established
by the Margrave Christian in 1758 excelled in landscape work in the
manner of Claude, painted _en camaïeu_ in crimson within elaborate gilt
borders of feathery rococo scrollwork.

The royal Danish factory at COPENHAGEN may be mentioned as another
instance in which the help of Meissen workmen was secured for setting
the enterprise on foot. The manufacture is represented at South
Kensington among other pieces by an important vase with a portrait of
the Crown Prince, afterwards Frederick VI. of Denmark.


PLATE 21

  Coffee-pot, Ludwigsburg, about 1760. Height, 8½ in. Collection of
  Mr. J. H. Fitzhenry.

No. 1990. See p. 71.

Mark: the cipher of Carl Eugen of Württemberg under a ducal crown.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]



VI

ENGLISH PORCELAIN


PLATE 17

  Jug, with hinged Cover, Sèvres, dated 1770, with the mark of the
  flower-painter Bouillat fils. Height, 5 in.

No. 2019-1855. See p. 57.

Mark:

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The obscurity which enshrouds the history of the earliest English
porcelain works may be accounted for by the fact that these factories
were private ventures, started for commercial purposes; they were not,
as at the outset were many of their Continental rivals, experimental
undertakings conducted under the protection, or subsidised out of the
funds, of a royal or princely patron. It is true that the Chelsea works
received some measure of support from King George II. and his son, the
Duke of Cumberland, but it was probably to private enterprise that they
owed their beginning and continuance alike.

While the earliest known piece of English china, bearing the date 1745,
belongs to Chelsea, the other great London factory, Bow, has the honour
of the earliest documentary record of the manufacture in this country.
This priority, by one year only, based on a patent applied for in 1744,
entitles the Bow works to be noticed first.

       *       *       *       *       *

Except in the direction of figures, the productions of Bow were of an
unambitious character. “Useful” wares showing many varied types of
decoration were made during the thirty odd years of the factory’s
existence. The earlier of these were interpretations, not as a rule
slavish copies, of the Chinese _famille rose_ and of the works of the
Japanese potter, Kakiyemon; their colours are often harmonious, and
their gilding of peculiar richness. Such praise cannot be bestowed on
the later productions, which have too often a garish and clumsy air;
the charm of simplicity is sacrificed in the effort to be splendid,
and the results are crude and ungainly. It is interesting to note
some pieces with landscapes so closely resembling the type which is
commonly found on the German porcelain made at Fulda as to point to the
suggestion that they must have been derived from that source.

Some of the figures made at Bow show considerable spirit and breadth
of modelling, which is best appreciated when the china has been left
white, without the addition of coloured enamels. The statuettes of
the actors Woodward and Kitty Clive in character, King Lear, and
some dignified figures of nuns, are almost as effective as the white
figures of Nymphenburg, of which mention has already been made. These
white pieces date mostly from the earlier stages of the works. At a
later time the clever modelling is usually obscured by enamelling
of unpleasing tones. A great number of the later figures are copied
directly from the Meissen models of Kändler. Instances in the Schreiber
Collection at Kensington are a spirited pair of prancing horses held
in respectively by a Turk and a negro, Augustus the Strong of Saxony
kissing his hand to a lady, and a pair of tureens in the form of
partridges on their nests.

Perhaps the most pretentious figures ever made at Bow were the pair of
General Wolfe and the Marquis of Granby, of which there is an example
in the same collection. These were modelled by Tebo, who is also
mentioned as having worked at Worcester and Bristol. The name has a
curiously unfamiliar form, and is probably an English phonetic spelling
of the French Thibaut. It is by no means improbable that he was one
of the many French potters who migrated to this country in search
of fortune, or to escape the tyrannical pretensions of the French
royal manufacture. The pair of figures was doubtless made in 1760, to
commemorate the events of the previous year, so glorious in the annals
of British warfare. In the victories of Quebec and Minden, Wolfe had
met his death and Lord Granby had won his first distinction by saving
the British cavalry from disgrace. These two soldiers were the popular
heroes of the day, and their figures in porcelain would be sure to
command a ready sale. The portrait of Wolfe is copied from a sketch by
Captain Smith, which was engraved by Richard Houston. Granby appears
to be taken from a print by the same engraver after a painting by
Reynolds, which was published in 1760; he is represented in the uniform
of Colonel of the Horse Guards.

       *       *       *       *       *

Passing on to CHELSEA we have to deal with perhaps the most famous
of English china works, one that takes its place worthily beside the
great factories of the Continent. The history of Chelsea is in one
respect parallel to that of Bow; its earlier productions, with all
their technical imperfections, are possessed of a charm that is wanting
in the gorgeous and ambitious achievements of its later years. This is
notably the case with the statuettes for which most of all the name of
Chelsea is famous. Neither the figures of the cream-coloured glassy
paste marked with a triangle, nor those in the heavy cold-looking
material on which a raised anchor often occurs, are devoid of spirit
and vigour; nor are these qualities concealed by the excessive use of
gold and enamel colours common at a later period. While they are not
for the most part original conceptions, good judgment was exercised in
the choice of models to be copied. Barthélemy de Blémont’s _Nourrice_,
for example, is no less charming in white Chelsea porcelain than in the
colour-glazed earthenware in which it first made its appearance.

After the works passed from the management of Charles Gouyn into the
hands of Nicholas Sprimont, distinct changes are noticeable alike in
the composition of the paste and in the nature of the decoration,
but still for some time the colouring of the figures was subdued and
limited in range. New models appear, copied in many cases directly
from the Meissen figures of Kändler and Acier; the masked man dancing
with a peasant girl, and the “Monkey Musicians,” may be cited as
instances. Chelsea seems, however, to have been less dependent than
Bow on extraneous inspiration. During the last years of the factory’s
independent existence a great variety of fresh models make their
appearance, coming from the hand of sculptors such as Roubiliac. Here
at last original compositions are more in evidence; where inspiration
has been sought elsewhere it has been derived not from porcelain
prototypes, but from painted works by French or English masters, made
accessible by contemporary engravings.


PLATE 18

Vase, Sèvres, dated 1772, with classical medallions on an apple-green
ground. Height, 10-7/8 in. Jones Collection.

No. 805-1882. See p. 58.

Mark:

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The masterpiece of Chelsea is the group of the “Music Lesson,” with its
two accompanying pairs of figures symbolising the Four Seasons, made
to form a _garniture_ for the chimney-piece; a complete set is in
the Schreiber Collection, where it stands as a veritable _tour de
force_ in porcelain. This set is the work of Roubiliac, whose initial
“R” is stamped on all three pieces, the subject of the centre-piece
being borrowed from _L’Agréable Leçon_ by Boucher. Other examples of
translation in the round from a painting or engraving are the dancing
figures taken from Watteau’s _Fêtes vénétiennes_. Historical interest
attaches to the pair of figures of the democratic hero John Wilkes and
his champion, General Conway; they were doubtless modelled in 1764,
when Conway sprang into popularity in consequence of the degradation
with which he was punished for having spoken in Parliament on Wilkes’s
behalf.

The later Chelsea figures of this class are usually so much decorated
that their attractiveness is gone, but an example has been chosen for
illustration in Plate 22, which has suffered less than others in this
respect, and is thoroughly characteristic of the style. The graceful
_allure_ of the shepherdess with her basket of flowers and kilted
skirts will suffice as an excuse for the painter’s extravagance in the
decoration of her raiment.

In its earlier stages the Chelsea firm depended for its vases and
“useful” wares, as far as form was concerned, on the models offered by
Oriental china, and by the work of contemporary London silversmiths.
In decoration also, Oriental, particularly Japanese, patterns were
closely followed. This lack of originality is atoned for in some
measure by the added charm derived from the mellow surface of the soft
Chelsea glazes, while the very defects in the painting due to the
touch of a Western hand give a certain homeliness which endears the
imitations to an English amateur. A beautiful example of this style is
the hexagonal covered vase in the Schreiber Collection depicted in
Plate 23. Both shape and decoration are copied with fidelity from an
original of the school of the great Japanese, Kakiyemon. The perfect
balance of the design and the harmony of the colouring are his, but the
interpretation and the material in which it is embodied belong wholly
to the Western potter; “Western” must be said advisedly, for it must
be doubted whether English workmen had any but a minor part at Chelsea
in its early days. Whether the “Japan patterns” were copied directly
from Oriental wares (the designs in a few instances are Chinese, of the
_famille verte_), or whether they were obtained through the medium of
Meissen imitations of the Oriental, it would be difficult to decide;
the latter would certainly be more easily obtainable in England. It
is, however, interesting to observe that the vase here illustrated is
an almost exact replica of a pair of Japanese vases at Hampton Court
Palace, belonging to the collection formed probably by Queen Mary II.
through the agency of the Dutch East India merchants; it is tempting
to conjecture that the Chelsea artists may have been allowed access to
the royal apartments for the purpose of making drawings for use at the
works.


PLATE 22

  Figure of a Shepherdess, Chelsea, about 1765. Height, 12½ in.
  Schreiber Collection.

No. 237. See p. 79.

Mark: an anchor in gold.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

Oriental patterns were gradually superseded by motives inspired by
rivalry with Saxon porcelain--sprays of naturalistic flowers with
insects, landscapes, or animal subjects, such as the series in
illustration of Æsop’s Fables. A further advance is seen in the use of
ground colours betokening emulation of Sèvres, which lasted in vogue
till the independent existence of Chelsea came to an end. The earliest
of these colours, an attempt at reproducing the French _bleu de roi_,
is probably that occurring on the vases with a ground of uneven
streaky blue of rather dull tone which have often been ascribed,
without evidence to justify the attribution, to the Longton Hall
factory in Staffordshire. Later a more satisfactory colour was arrived
at in a dense and splendid “mazarine blue,” while in the effort to
equal the _rose Pompadour_ of Sèvres, the claret-colour was evolved of
which the glory belongs to the Chelsea works alone. On such splendid
grounds as these were reserved panels for miniature paintings taken,
as the contemporary sale catalogues inform us, from “Busha,” “Burgam,”
“Tenier,” and other foreign masters.

This style is exemplified by the sumptuous vases in the Jones Bequest
at South Kensington. One pair with mazarine ground bears subjects
from the set of the “Four Seasons” painted by Boucher for Madame de
Pompadour in 1755. Other vases are painted with a domestic scene in
peasant life, and _La Cueillette de Cerises_ after the same artist. A
pair of vases with a claret-coloured ground have mountain landscapes
with cattle in the manner of Berghem. Wonderful as such pieces are in
the richness of their glaze and gilding and in the careful finish of
the paintings, the same defects are generally observable as in the
later Chelsea figures. In the desire to cater for luxurious tastes,
richness of ornament has been carried to excess, nor do the ungainly
forms with their twisted rococo handles compare in attractiveness with
the modest shapes of earlier times. The vase figuring in Plate 24, the
middle one of a set of three in the Schreiber Collection, suffers less
than most from the defects of the period, and well shows the richness
of colour and gilding that were then attained. The slightly uneven tone
of the deep blue ground was doubtless regarded by the makers as a
defect, which they would gladly have overcome if they could; but it is
just this quality of variety which gives life to the surface, and makes
these Chelsea glazes compare favourably with the almost too perfect
ground colours of Sèvres.

The late Chelsea style is most pleasing in the wares made for less
pretentious purposes. No better illustration could be found than the
tea- and coffee-service with claret-coloured ground bequeathed to the
Victoria and Albert Museum by Miss Emily Thomson of Dover. The teapot
is figured in Plate 25. Every piece in the service is differently
painted with a figure in the quaint dress which passed at the time
for Oriental. These charming miniatures are evidently inspired by the
_chinoiseries_ of Watteau, which reflected the growing trade with
the East under the auspices of the _Compagnie des Indes_; a previous
writer[2] has plausibly suggested that this may be the actual “equipage
most inimitably enamelled in figures from the designs of Watteau” which
was offered for sale at the last auction of Sprimont’s china held in
Christie’s Sale-room in February 1770. The sumptuous decoration of
such a service need not be condemned when the surroundings in which it
was intended to take its place are borne in mind; its display would
greatly enhance the elegance of a tea-party in an eighteenth-century
drawing-room.

    [2] Mr. William Burton, in _English Porcelain_.

       *       *       *       *       *

It seems, however, that Sprimont’s costly porcelain was appreciated by
too small a circle of patrons to ensure its success as a commercial
venture. After his works had passed in 1770 into the hands of William
Duesbury of DERBY, the style to which most of all Chelsea owes its
renown was soon abandoned. In the china made during the ensuing
period, in which the Chelsea and Derby works were carried on conjointly
under the same proprietor, the Chelsea element in the decoration is
small, and it may be inferred that the new manner which appears had
already been in vogue at Derby. At what date the Derby factory was
founded, and the nature of its earliest productions, is obscure, but
to it belongs the credit for a style of decoration unsurpassed among
“useful” wares for its suitability to the purpose for which the china
was made. Many and varied are the dainty borders, executed sometimes in
gold alone, sometimes in bright enamel colours laid on with a sparing
and discriminating hand. The scrollwork and contorted forms of the
rococo period entirely disappear, to be revived only in imitative work
of a later time, when they had lost all vitality and meaning, and were
no longer in keeping with the spirit of the age. Restraint verging at
times on over-formality is the keynote of the new era, in which for
people of culture in all parts of Europe the newly-found vases and
sculptures of ancient Greece and Rome were the admired models.


PLATE 23

  Jar, with Cover, Chelsea, about 1755, copied from Japanese
  Kakiyemon ware. Height, 12½ in. Schreiber Collection.

No. 237. See p. 80.

Mark inside the neck and on the cover: an anchor in red.

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The effect of the change was decidedly in favour of porcelain as a
material; the chastened decoration which it brought with it allowed
the charming qualities of paste and glaze to be seen once more to full
advantage, and nowhere in European porcelain is the result more happily
shown than in the best work of Derby. The ornamental vases of this
period fell into the danger as time went on of losing originality and
liveliness, as conformity with classical models became more rigorous,
but those dating from its earliest days offer a welcome contrast to
their Chelsea predecessors.

One of the finest forms made by Duesbury is exemplified by the vase
in the Jones Bequest shown in Plate 26. On either side of the body
is an oval medallion with a miniature painting. One of these panels
represents the incident of Celadon and Amelia overtaken by the storm,
from Thomson’s poem _The Seasons_, the source of many a subject in the
somewhat theatrical figure-paintings of the time. On the reverse side
is a river-scene with a rider watering his horse in the foreground, and
a castle-keep on a hill in the distance. The terminal female figures
forming the handles are in unglazed biscuit porcelain, offering a
pleasant contrast to the glancing surface of the body. The gadroons
on the neck, the frieze with a grotesque mask between two lions,
and the flowers in natural colours on a gold groundwork, seem when
analysed rather incongruous elements, but the effect of the whole
though brilliant is yet harmonious. The _bleu de roi_, which is the
ground colour on the neck and foot, is of a lighter tone than the
Sèvres colour which it was intended to imitate. It is possible that
this vase may be the actual one advertised in the sale-catalogue for
9th May 1773, as “_A most capital large therm vase_, richly painted in
compartments with figures of Celadon and Armelia [_sic_], ornamented
with fine blue and richly finished with chased and burnished gold.”

The style of Derby porcelain was not greatly modified while the works
were in the hands of the Duesbury family, but after they were leased
in 1811 to Robert Bloor a change came about. Little can be said from
an artistic point of view in praise of the output of later years.
Effective “Japan patterns” based on Imari originals were adopted for
tea- and dinner-services, but generally over-decoration and vulgarity
of form and colour were faults for which technical improvements do not
avail to compensate.

       *       *       *       *       *

The porcelain made during the eighteenth century at the “WORCESTER
Tonquin Manufacture,” founded by Dr. John Wall and others in 1751,
has a more English character than that of the other leading china
works in this country. Unambitious in its aims and businesslike in its
methods, it contented itself for a long time with producing little
but wares for useful purposes. These are characterised by a certain
homeliness in the decoration and pleasing simplicity of form. The
thoroughly practical nature of the undertaking is borne out by the
somewhat doubtful distinction it enjoys of being the pioneer in the
use of printing for the decoration of porcelain, or at all events the
first factory to make extensive use of this process. While in its early
days Worcester drew its inspiration from Oriental china, the Eastern
designs were taken rather as suggestions for patterns than as models
to be closely copied, as was frequently the case at Chelsea. The same
practice held good even in later years, when after the engagement of
workmen from Chelsea in 1768, more pretentious wares were attempted.
The celebrated “scale-blue” and “powder-blue” vases, with birds or
flowers of brilliant hues in reserved panels, were doubtless suggested
by the _bleu de roi_ of Sèvres, but they bear little resemblance to
their prototype, and, even in their most splendid form they seldom err
beyond the limits of sobriety and good taste.

This character of the Worcester wares is well illustrated by the
little vase from the Schreiber Collection chosen as the subject of the
drawing reproduced in Plate 27. The pattern is a very free adaptation
of a Japanese design, in which the chrysanthemum and the wattled
fence motive, appearing here as a wheat-sheaf, can be recognised;
combined with this is a turquoise border, edged with gilt rococo
scrolls, betraying some trace of French suggestion, but the whole is
so informally treated that no incongruity is felt, and the general
impression received is one of delightful freshness and simplicity. The
vase is typical of Worcester at its best.


PLATE 24

  Vase from a set of three, Chelsea, about 1760, with gilt relief
  decoration on a mazarine-blue ground. Height, 11½ in. Schreiber
  Collection.

No. 241. See p. 81.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]

The change in management in 1783, when Thomas Flight and his sons took
over the control of the works, did not at first bring with it a serious
deterioration in the quality of the china. A new decorative style was
adopted in compliance with the fashion of the day, but the same quiet
tastefulness was the keynote of the decoration. The sober designs in
dark blue and gold almost equal those of Derby in their suitability
for the embellishment of table wares. It is not till the beginning of
the nineteenth century that a noticeable decline sets in, but from
that time forward the Worcester wares, whether made in the original
factory or by the rival firm of Chamberlains, become increasingly
lacking in interest. All artistic qualities are smothered in overloaded
decoration, ungainly shapes, and unrestrained lavishment of gilding.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a Quaker apothecary of PLYMOUTH, William Cookworthy by
name, whose discovery of deposits of kaolin and china clay in the
neighbouring Duchy enabled him in 1768 to obtain a patent for the first
English factory of true porcelain of the Chinese type. The serious
difficulties with which he had to contend led to the removal of the
establishment two years later to BRISTOL, where it was placed under the
management of Richard Champion. In 1773 the patent rights were
transferred entirely to the latter, and for eight years he continued in
the face of many discouragements to carry on the manufacture; special
interest attaches to it on account of Champion’s personal relations
with Edmund Burke, at that time Member of Parliament for Bristol. Forms
and decoration were borrowed more from Meissen and Sèvres than from
Oriental types, nor were they as a rule literal copies, but rather
adaptations from the originals. While the harmonious blending of the
enamels with the glaze, which is so pleasing a feature of soft-paste
china, was necessarily absent from the Bristol productions, great
brilliancy of colouring was obtained without involving garishness
of effect, as may be seen from Plate 28, drawn from a vase in the
Schreiber Collection. The fanciful birds are not original creations of
the Bristol painter, but reflect the type commonly seen on early pieces
of Vincennes and Sèvres; the quiet dignity of the shape, on the other
hand, is thoroughly characteristic of the best English work.

       *       *       *       *       *

The minor English factories of the eighteenth century, such as those of
LONGTON HALL, in Staffordshire, LOWESTOFT, and CAUGHLEY, were either
of too short a duration to arrive at any high level of technical
attainment, or were devoted almost entirely to the manufacture of
commonplace wares for ordinary domestic uses. The great extension of
the porcelain industry in this country, which signalised the opening of
the nineteenth century, was not productive of any noteworthy results
from an artistic point of view. At the short-lived Welsh factories
of NANTGARW and SWANSEA, it is true, a glassy paste was invented
which was shown to be capable of beautiful effects, but the numerous
STAFFORDSHIRE firms and the famous ROCKINGHAM works at Swinton in
Yorkshire fell under the ban of the same artistic decadence that has
been noticed in speaking of Derby and Worcester; they saved themselves
from financial disasters by following the demands instead of guiding
the taste of a severely commercial age. Those who are in search of what
is beautiful or vital in English porcelain will be content to confine
their attentions to the eighteenth century.


PLATE 2

  Jar, Chinese, early Ming dynasty, with decoration in slightly
  raised outline filled in with coloured glazes, the rim fitted in
  Persia with a chased brass mount. Height, 12½ in.

No. 1748-1892. See p. 7.

Unmarked.

[Illustration]



INDEX


  Abbas II., Shah of Persia, 13

  Acier, 68, 78

  Æsop’s Fables, 80

  _Agréable Leçon, L’_, 79

  Albrechtsburg, fortress, 66

  Amelia, Celadon and, 84

  American Colonies, 58

  Angoulême, duc d’, 62

  Anne of Austria, 49

  Anreiter, Carl Wendelin, 44

  Ansbach, 71

  “Antiques, The Hundred,” 21, 22

  _Ao Kutani_ ware, 34

  Apollo Belvedere, 45

  Apple-green, 24

  Arab traders, 16

  Arabic inscriptions, 12

  Archaistic Chinese porcelain, 25

  Arita, 31

  Artemisia leaf, 15

  Augsburg, 13

  Augustus, Emperor, 58

  Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony, 17, 65, 69, 76

  Austria, Anne of, 49


  Bachelier, 55, 60

  Baligny, Étienne, 18

  Baroque style, 66, 67

  Bastelli, Franz, 70

  Bavaria, Elector of, 70

  Beethoven, 68

  Bérain, 50

  Berghem, 81

  Berlin, 65, 71

  Beyer, Wilhelm, 70

  Biscuit porcelain, Sèvres, 60

  _Blanc de Chine_, 17

  Blémont, Barthélémy de, 78

  _Bleu de roi_, 56, 59, 80, 84, 85

  Bloor, Robert, 84

  Blue, mazarine, 81
    powdered, 20, 85
    scale, 85

  “Blue and white,” 10, 12

  Bohemian glass, 66

  Boileau, 57

  Bondy, rue, 62

  Böttger, Johann Friedrich, 65

  Boucher, François, 53, 55, 57, 79, 81

  Bouillat fils, 57

  Bourbon, Louis-Henri de, 52

  Bourg-la-Reine, 54

  Bow, 19, 43, 75, 78

  Bowes Collection, 32

  Brighton Museum, 32

  Bristol, 77, 86

  Bronze, imitation of, 3

  Brown, Mr. Montague Yeats, 43

  Buddhist designs, 8, 9, 12, 15

  Buen Retiro, 45, 51

  Burghley House, 13

  Burke, Edmund, 87

  Burma, 16

  Bushell, Dr., 5


  Callot, 66

  Capodimonte, 45

  Carl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg, 71

  Carp motive, 22

  Catherine II., Empress of Russia, 58

  Catrice, 56

  Caughley, 87

  Cecil family, 13

  Celadon and Amelia, 84

  Celadon ware, 5, 15, 16, 23

  Chabry, 57

  Chamberlains, Worcester, 86

  Champion, Richard, 87

  _Champlevé_ enamel, 7

  Chantilly, 52, 55

  Charles III., King of the Sicilies, 45

  Chekiang, province, 5

  Chelsea, 19, 33, 54, 75, 77, 83, 85

  Chêng Tê, emperor, 12

  Chia Ching, emperor, 12, 14

  Chicaneau, Pierre, 50

  Ch’ien Lung, emperor, 25, 26, 27

  Chihli, province, 5

  _Ch’ing_, symbol, 15

  Ch’ing dynasty, 19

  Ching-tê-chên, 6, 17, 19, 24

  _Chinoiseries_, 82

  Christian, Margrave, 71

  Christie’s sale-room, 82

  Chün-chou, 4

  Cirou, Ciquaire, 52

  _Clair-de-lune_ glaze, 24

  Claret-colour, 81, 82

  Classical style, 46, 57, 62, 68, 69, 70, 83

  Claude, 71

  Clignancourt, 62

  Clive, Kitty, 76

  Cobalt-blue, introduction of, 10

  Comedy, Italian, 70

  Companies, trading, 16, 27, 82

  Condé, prince de, 52

  Conway, General, 79

  Cookworthy, William, 86

  Cope Bequest, 25

  Copenhagen, 71

  Coral-red, 23

  Corean lion, 34

  Cornflower-sprig pattern, 62

  Cosmo II., Grand Duke of Tuscany, 42

  Cozzi, Geminiano, 44

  _Cueillette de Cerises, La_, 81

  _Cuenca_ tiles, 7

  Cumberland, Duke of, 75

  Czarskoë Selo, 60


  Damascus, mosque at, 11
    ware, 14

  Dauphin, 61

  De Fulvy, Orry, 55, 56

  _Demigrand feu_, 21

  Denmark, 58, 71

  Derby, 33, 82, 88

  Deshima, 32

  De Staël, baron, 59

  Doccia, 44

  Dragon Gate, 22

  Dresden, collection, 17
    _Steinbäckerei_, 66

  Dubois, brothers, 55
    Jean René, 56

  Duesbury, William, 82, 84

  Duplessis, 55

  Dutch merchants, 18, 32, 66, 80


  “Eggshell” china, 25

  Egypt, 4, 9

  Elizabeth, Queen, 13

  Elizabethan silver, 13

  “Emblems of Happy Augury,” 8

  Empire, French, 61

  Enamel, _champlevé_, 6

  Engravings, designs copied from, 77, 78

  Eu, comte d’, 54


  Faïence, 49, 50

  Falconet, 60

  _Famille noire_, 23
    _rose_, 25, 76
    _verte_, 14, 21, 24, 52, 80

  Fanciullacci, Pietro, 45

  _Fêng huang_, 12, 26

  Ferdinand I., of Tuscany, 42, 45
    IV., of the Two Sicilies, 46

  Fernex, 56

  _Fêtes Vénétiennes_, 79

  Figures, Bow, 76
    Chelsea, 77, 79
    Chinese, 24
    Frankenthal, 71
    Höchst, 69
    Ludwigsburg, 70
    Meissen, 67, 76, 78
    Mennecy, 54
    Nymphenburg, 76
    Sèvres, 59

  Fitzhenry, Mr. J. H., 51, 53, 54, 62, 71

  “Five colour” decoration, 14, 21, 26

  _Fleur-de-lys_ mark, 51

  Flight, Thomas, 86

  Florence, 40, 44, 49, 60

  Flowers, artificial, 56

  Fontaine, 60

  Forget-me-not decoration, 69

  Francesco de’ Medici, 41, 42, 43

  Frankenthal, 71

  Frederick VI., King of Denmark, 71
    the Great, 71

  _Fu_, character, 11, 13

  Fuchien, province, 17, 51

  Fulda, 76

  Fulvy, Orry de, 55, 56

  Fungus, sacred, 12, 13, 16


  George II., king, 75

  Gilding, Sèvres privilege, 62

  Ginori, Marchese Carlo, 44

  Glass, 40, 66

  Goethe, 68

  Gold, experiments for making, 65
    pink derived from, 24
    leaf, decoration in, 66

  Gombroon, 16

  Gorodayiu Go Shonsui, 31

  Gotha, 70

  Gouyn, Charles, 78

  Grain-jars, 16

  Granby, Marquis of, 77

  Greece, sports of ancient, 61

  Greek pottery, 4, 83

  Griffith, Mr. Henry, 42

  _Gros bleu_, 56

  Gustavus III., King of Sweden, 58


  Hampton Court, 80

  Han dynasty, 3, 6

  “Happy Augury, Emblems of,” 8

  Hard paste, 61, 62, 65, 86

  Haydn, 68

  Hellot, 55

  Herculaneum, 46, 69

  Herold, 66

  Hewelcke, 44

  Hirato, 34

  Hizen, province, 13, 31, 34

  Höchst, 69

  Honan, province, 4, 9

  Houston, Richard, 77

  Hsüan Tê, emperor, 10, 12, 26, 34

  “Hundred Antiques,” 20, 22

  Hung Wu, emperor, 6


  Imari, 33, 84

  India, 16
    china, 27
    Companies, 16, 17, 18, 27, 80, 82

  Iron-red, 23

  Italian comedy, 70


  Jade, imitation of, 5, 15

  “Japan patterns,” 33, 80, 84

  _Jaune jonquille_, 56

  Jones Collection, 16, 18, 57, 60, 61, 68, 81, 84


  Kaga, province, 34

  _Kaki_, signature, 32

  Kakiyemon, 31, 51, 52, 67, 76, 80

  Kändler, Johann Joachim, 67, 76, 78

  K’ang Hsi, emperor, 14, 16, 19, 27

  Kauffmann, Angelica, 68

  Kiangsi, province, 6, 24

  “Kingfisher blue,” 24

  Kishiu, province, 34

  Kutani, 34


  Lang T’ing-tso, 24

  Lear, King, 76

  Leda, 56

  Leghorn, 45

  Le Guay, 60

  Levasseur, 17

  _Ling chih_, 12, 13, 16

  London silver marks, 13

  Longton Hall, 81, 87

  Louis XIV., king, 18, 50
    XV., king, 55, 57, 61
    XVI., king, 16, 58, 61, 68
    Henri de Bourbon, 52
    Philippe, duc d’Orléans, 53

  Lowestoft, 87

  Ludwigsburg, 70

  Lung-ch’üan, 5

  Lung Mên, 22


  Madrid, 45

  Mainz, Elector of, 69

  Maiolica, Italian, 39, 41, 43

  Manchu Tartars, 19

  Marcolini, Count Camillo, 68

  Margrave of Ansbach, 71

  Maria Amelia, Princess of Saxony, 45

  Marmontel, 59

  Martabani ware, 16

  Mary II., Queen, 80

  Max Josef III., Elector of Bavaria, 70

  Mazarine blue, 81

  Medici porcelain, 41

  _Médicis_, _vase_, 54

  Meissen, 19, 33, 44, 45, 53, 56, 60, 66, 69, 71, 78, 80

  Melchior, Johann Peter, 69

  Mennecy, 53

  Mikawaji, 34

  Minden, battle of, 77

  Ming dynasty, 6, 16, 19, 26, 35

  Mohammedan porcelain, 12

  “Monkey Musicians, The,” 78

  Moors in Spain, 40

  _Mori_, _I quattro_, 45

  Morin, 60

  Munich, 70

  “Music Lesson, The,” 78


  Nabeshima, 33

  Nagasaki, 32

  Nantgarw, 87

  Naples, 45, 46, 70

  Napoleon, 61

  _Naranji_, 14

  Neudeck, 70

  Neue Palais service, 71

  _Neutralite armée_, 59

  New College, Oxford, 5

  Nishihama park, 35

  _Noire_, _famille_, 23

  Normandy, 49

  _Nourrice_, figure, 78

  Nymphenburg, 70, 76


  Okawaji, 33

  Orléans, duc d’, 53

  Ormuz, Straits of, 16

  Orrock Collection, 20

  Oxford, New College, 5


  Painting on porcelain, origin of, 9

  Palatine, Elector, 71

  _Pa Pao_, 15

  Paris, 18, 50, 53
    factories, 62

  P.B., silversmith, 18

  “Peach-bloom” glaze, 24

  Persia, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16

  Philip II., King of Spain, 41

  Phœnix, 12, 26

  Pine, peach, and bamboo, 11

  Pisa, 42, 49

  Plum-blossom motive, 15, 17, 19, 25

  Plymouth, 86

  Poirel de Grandval, 49

  _Po Ku_, 21

  Poland, King of, 65

  Pomegranate motive, 11, 25

  _Pompadour_, _rose_, 56, 81

  “_Porcellana, alla_,” 40

  Poterat, Edme, 49

  Potsdam, 71

  Powdered blue, 20, 85

  “Precious Things, Eight,” 15

  Printing on porcelain, 85

  Prometheus, group, 59

  Prussia, King of, 65

  Pygmalion, group, 59, 60


  Quebec, capture of, 77


  Red, overglaze, 23

  Regnier, 59

  Republic, Third, 62

  Revolution, French, 60

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 77

  Rhineland, 39

  Rhinoceros-horn cup, 15

  Rice-dishes, 16

  Ringler, 70

  Risanpei, 31

  Robinson, Sir Charles, 13

  Rockingham Works, 88

  Rococo style, 53, 57, 67, 68, 71, 81, 86

  Roman art, 69

  Rome, 70, 83

  _Rose_, _famille_, 25, 76
    _Pompadour_, 56, 81

  Roubiliac, 78, 79

  Rouen, 49, 50

  Russia, Empress of, 58


  St. Cloud, 17, 19, 50

  St. Sever, Rouen, 49

  Salt-glazed stoneware, 51

  Salting Collection, 10

  San Donato Palace, sale at, 60

  _Sang-de-bœuf_ glaze, 24

  Saxony, Elector of, 18, 65, 69, 76

  “Scale blue,” 85

  Sceaux, 53, 54

  Schreiber Collection, 76, 79, 80, 81, 85, 87

  _Seasons, The_, 84

  Sèvres, museum, 41, 61
    porcelain, 19, 52, 53, 54, 80, 82, 84, 85, 87

  Shonsui, 31

  _Shou_, character, 11

  Sicilies, King of the Two, 45

  Silesian glass, 66

  Sisti, Niccolò, 42

  Smith, Captain, 77

  Sorgenthal, Baron von, 69

  Spa, 59

  Spain, 7, 40, 41, 45

  Sprimont, Nicholas, 78, 82

  Spring, flowers symbolising, 8

  Staël, baron de, 59

  Staffordshire, 33, 51, 87, 88

  Stanniferous glaze, 52

  _Steinbäckerei_ at Dresden, 66

  Stockholm, National Museum, 56

  Sturgeon, legend of, 22

  Stuttgart, 70

  Sung dynasty, 4, 9, 15, 24, 26

  Susa, excavations at, 9

  Swansea, 87

  Sweden, 58, 65

  Swinton, 88

  Syrian art, 7


  Tacca, Pietro, 45

  _Tafelaufsätze_, 67

  Tagliolini, Filippo, 46

  Taou Kuang, emperor, 27

  Tartar invasions, 19

  Tebo, 77

  Têhua, 17

  Teniers, 81

  Thibaut, 77

  Thomson, Miss Emily, 82

  Thomson’s _Seasons_, 84

  Tiles, 7, 11

  Ting-chou, 5

  Ting ware, 5, 10

  “Tonquin Manufacture,” 85

  Trou, Henri, 50

  Ts’ang Ying-hsüan, 24

  Tschirnhausen, Von, 66

  Tuscany, Grand Dukes of, 41, 45

  Tzŭ-chou, 9


  Urbino, 41, 43


  Venetian ambassador in Tuscany, 41

  Venice, 40, 44

  Venus, The Crouching, 45

  Vernet, Joseph, 60

  Versailles, 55

  _Verte_, _famille_, 14, 21, 24, 52, 80

  Vezzi, Francesco, 44

  Vienna, 44, 69, 70

  Villeroy, duc de, 54

  Villers-Cotterets, 53

  Vincennes, 19, 53, 55, 56, 60, 87


  Wakayama, 35

  Wall, Dr. John, 85

  Wan Li, emperor, 11, 12, 13, 14, 26, 42

  Warham, Archbishop, 5

  Watteau, 67, 79, 82

  Welsh porcelain, 87

  _Werther, Sorrows of_, 68

  Wilkes, John, 79

  Willett, Mr. Henry, 42

  Wolfe, General, 76

  Woodward, 76

  Worcester, 33, 43, 77, 85, 88

  Württemberg, 70


  Yeats Brown, Mr. Montague, 43

  Yorkshire, 88

  Yung Chêng, emperor, 12, 24, 27


THE END


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.



Transcriber’s Notes


Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling of English words were made
consistent when a predominant preference was found in this book;
otherwise they were not changed.

The spelling and accent marks of non-English words have not been
changed.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; ambiguous hyphens at the
ends of lines were retained.

Although the “List of Plates in Colour” on page xi is in numerical
sequence, the images themselves are not in sequence in the original
book; both sequences have been kept in this eBook.

The descriptions of some plates include illustrations of the marks
found on them, followed by the illustrations of the porcelain. In the
Plain Text version of this eBook, such plates are represented by two
“Illustration” tags, and the very first “Illustration” tag represents
the book’s cover.

In the original book, chapter headings occur twice: once as a
hemi-title and once just above the text of the chapter. In this eBook,
the second occurrences have been removed.





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