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Title: Porcelain
Author: Dillon, Edward
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: _PLATE I._ JAPANESE IMARI WARE]



                          EDWARD DILLON, M.A.

                          [Illustration: The

                            METHUEN AND CO.
                            36 ESSEX STREET

                      _First published in 1904._


How extensive is the literature that has grown up of late years round
the subject of porcelain may be judged from the length of our ‘selected’
list of books dealing with this material. Apart from the not
inconsiderable number of general works on the potter’s art in French,
German, and English, there is scarcely to be found a kiln where pottery
of one kind or another has been manufactured which has not been made the
subject of a separate study. And yet, as far as I know, the very
definite subdivision of ceramics, which includes the porcelain of the
Far East and of Europe, has never been made the basis of an independent
work in England.

It has been the aim of the writer to dwell more especially on the nature
of the paste, on the glaze, and on the decoration of the various wares,
and above all to accentuate any points that throw light upon the
relations with one another--especially the historical relations--of the
different centres where porcelain has been made. Less attention has been
given to the question of marks. In the author’s opinion, the exaggerated
importance that has been given to these marks, both by collectors and by
the writers that have catered to them, has more than anything else
tended to degrade the study of the subject, and to turn off the
attention from more essential points. This has been above all the case
in England, where the technical side has been strangely neglected. In
fact, we must turn to French works for any thorough information on this

In the bibliographical list it has been impossible to distinguish the
relative value of the books included. I think that _something_ of value
may be found in nearly every one of these works, but in many, whatever
there is of original information might be summed up in a few pages. In
fact, the books really essential to the student are few in number. For
Oriental china we have the Franks catalogue, M. Vogt’s little book, _La
Porcelaine_, and above all the great work of Dr. Bushell, which is
unfortunately not very accessible. For Continental porcelain there is no
‘up-to-date’ work in English, but the brief notes in the catalogue
prepared shortly before his death by Sir A. W. Franks have the advantage
of being absolutely trustworthy. The best account of German porcelain is
perhaps to be found in Dr. Brinckmann’s bulky description of the Hamburg
Museum, which deals, however, with many subjects besides porcelain,
while for Sèvres we have the works of Garnier and Vogt. For English
porcelain the literature is enormous, but there is little of importance
that will not be found in Professor Church’s little handbook, or in the
lately published works of Mr. Burton and Mr. Solon. The last edition of
the guide to the collection lately at Jermyn Street has been well edited
by Mr. Rudler, and contains much information on the technical side of
the subject. On many historical points the notes in the last edition of
Marryat are still invaluable: the quotations, however, require checking,
and the original passages are often very difficult to unearth.

In the course of this book I have touched upon several interesting
problems which it would be impossible to thoroughly discuss in a general
work of this kind. I take, however, the occasion of bringing one or two
of these points to the notice of future investigators.

Much light remains to be thrown upon the relations of the Chinese with
the people of Western Asia during the Middle Ages. We want to know at
what time and under what influences the Chinese began to decorate their
porcelain, first with blue under the glaze, and afterwards by means of
glazes of three or more colours, painted on the biscuit. The relation of
this latter method of decoration to the true enamel-painting which
succeeded it is still obscure. So again, to come to a later time, there
is much difference of opinion as to the date of the first introduction
of the _rouge d’or_, a very important point in the history and
classification of Chinese porcelain.

We are much in the dark as to the source of the porcelain exported both
from China and Japan in the seventeenth century, especially of the
roughly painted ‘blue and white,’ of which such vast quantities went to
India and Persia. So of the Japanese ‘Kakiyemon,’ which had so much
influence on our European wares, what was the origin of the curious
design, and what was the relation of this ware to the now better known
‘Old Japan’?

When we come nearer home, to the European porcelain of the eighteenth
century, many obscure points still remain to be cleared up. The
currently accepted accounts of Böttger’s great discovery present many
difficulties. At Sèvres, why was the use of the newly discovered _rose
Pompadour_ so soon abandoned? And finally, in England, what were we
doing during the long years between the time of the early experiments of
Dr. Dwight and the great outburst of energy in the middle of the
eighteenth century?

The illustrations have been chosen for the most part from specimens in
our national collections. I take this opportunity of thanking the
officials in charge of these collections for the facilities they have
given to me in the selection of the examples, and to the photographer in
the reproduction of the pieces selected. To Mr. C. H. Read of the
British Museum, and to Mr. Skinner of the Victoria and Albert Museum, my
thanks are above all due. To the latter gentleman I am much indebted for
the trouble he has taken, amid arduous official duties, in making
arrangements for photographing not only examples belonging to the
Museum, scattered as these are through various wide-lying departments,
but also several other pieces of porcelain at present deposited there by
private collectors. To these gentlemen, finally, my thanks are due for
permission to reproduce examples of their porcelain--to Mr. Pierpont
Morgan, to Mr. Fitzhenry, to Mr. David Currie, and above all to my
friend Mr. George Salting, who has interested himself in the selection
of the objects from his unrivalled collection.

The small collection of marks at the end of the book has no claim to
originality. The examples have been selected from the catalogues of the
Schreiber collection at South Kensington, and from those of the Franks
collections of Oriental and Continental china. For permission to use the
blocks my thanks are due, as far as the first two books are concerned,
to H. M.’s Stationery Office and to the Education Department; in the
case of the last work, to Mr. C. H. Read, who, I understand, himself
drew the original marks for Sir A. W. Franks’s catalogue.

In a general work of this kind much important matter has had to be
omitted. That is inevitable. I only hope that specialists in certain
definite parts of the wide field covered will not find that I have
committed myself to rash or ungrounded generalisations. Let them
remember that the carefully guarded statements and the reservations
suitable to a scientific paper would be out of place in a work intended
in the main for the general public.

E. D.



PREFACE,                                                               v

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS,                                               xii

SELECTED LIST OF WORKS ON PORCELAIN,                                xxvi

KEY TO THE BIBLIOGRAPHICAL LIST,                                  xxxiii

TO IN THE TEXT,                                                     xxxv

CHAPTER I. Introductory and Scientific,                                1

CHAPTER II. The Materials: Mixing, Fashioning,
and Firing,                                                           14

CHAPTER III. Glazes,                                                  30

CHAPTER IV. Decoration by means of Colour,                            38

CHAPTER V. The Porcelain of China. Introductory--Classification--The
Sung Dynasty--The Mongol or Yuan Dynasty,                             49

CHAPTER VI. The Porcelain of China (_continued_).
The Ming Dynasty,                                                     78

CHAPTER VII. The Porcelain of China (_continued_).
The Manchu or Tsing Dynasty,                                          96

CHAPTER VIII. The Porcelain of China (_continued_).
Marks,                                                               117

CHAPTER IX. The Porcelain of China (_continued_).
King-te-chen and the Père D’Entrecolles,                             123

CHAPTER X. The Porcelain of China (_continued_).
Forms and uses--Descriptions of the various
Wares,                                                               137

CHAPTER XI. The Porcelain of Korea and of
the Indo-Chinese Peninsula,                                          168

CHAPTER XII. The Porcelain of Japan,                                 177

CHAPTER XIII. From East to West,                                     208

CHAPTER XIV. The First Attempts at Imitation
in Europe,                                                           233

CHAPTER XV. The Hard-Paste Porcelain of
Germany. Böttger and the Porcelain of
Meissen,                                                             244

CHAPTER XVI. The Hard-Paste Porcelain of
Germany (_continued_).
--Frankenthal--Fulda--Strassburg. The Hard and Soft Pastes of
Switzerland, Hungary, Holland, Sweden,
Denmark, and Russia,                                                 259

CHAPTER XVII. The Soft-Paste Porcelain of
France. Saint-Cloud--Lille--Chantilly--
Mennecy--Paris--Vincennes--Sèvres,                                   277

CHAPTER XVIII. The Hard-Paste Porcelain of
Sèvres and Paris,                                                    305

CHAPTER XIX. The Soft and Hybrid Porcelains
of Italy and Spain,                                                  316

CHAPTER XX. English Porcelain. Introduction.
The Soft-Paste Porcelain of Chelsea
and Bow,                                                             326

CHAPTER XXI. English Porcelain (_continued_).
The Soft Paste of Derby, Worcester,
Caughley, Coalport, Swansea, Nantgarw,
Lowestoft, Liverpool, Pinxton, Rockingham,
Church Gresley, Spode, and Belleek,                                  350

CHAPTER XXII. English Porcelain (_continued_).
The Hard Paste of Plymouth and Bristol,                              375

CHAPTER XXIII. Contemporary European Porcelain,                      387

EXPLANATION OF THE MARKS ON THE PLATES,                              395

MARKS ON PORCELAIN,                                                  400

INDEX,                                                               405


 I. JAPANESE, Imari porcelain (‘Old Japan’). (H. c. 19 in.)
 Vase, slaty-blue under glaze, iron-red of various shades
 and gold over glaze. Early eighteenth century. Salting

 II. CHINESE, Ming porcelain. (H. c. 15 in.) Jar with blue-black ground
 and thin, skin-like glaze. Decoration in relief slightly counter-sunk,
 pale yellow and greenish to turquoise blue. Probably fifteenth
 century. Salting collection......(_To face p. 44._)

 III. (1) CHINESE. (H. c. 9 in.) Figure of the Teaching Buddha. Celadon
 glaze, the hair black. Uncertain date. British Museum.

 (2) CHINESE, probably Ming dynasty. (H. 11¼ in.) Vase with open-work
 body, enclosing plain inner vessel. Thick celadon glaze. Victoria and
 Albert Museum......(_To face p. 64._)

 IV. CHINESE, Sung porcelain. (H. c. 12 in.) Small jar with thick
 pale-blue glaze, and some patches of copper-red; faintly crackled.
 _Circa_ 1200. British Museum......(_To face p. 71._)

 V. CHINESE, Ming porcelain. Three small bowls with apple-green glaze.
 Fifteenth or sixteenth century. British Museum.

 (1) Floral design in gold on green ground. (Diam. 4¾ in.) On base a
 coin-like mark, inscribed _Chang ming fu kwei_--‘long life, riches,
 and honour.’

 (2) Similar decoration and identical inscription to above (diam. 4¾
 in.), set in a German silver-gilt mounting of sixteenth century.

 (3) Shallow bowl (diam. 5¼ in.). Inside, apple-green band with gold
 pattern similar to above; in centre, cranes among clouds--blue under
 glaze. .....(_To face p. 81._)

 VI. CHINESE. Ming porcelain. (H. 7¾ ins.) Spherical vase, floral
 decoration of Persian type in blue under glaze; the neck has probably
 been removed for conversion into base of hookah. Probably sixteenth
 century. Bought in Persia. Victoria and Albert Museum......(_To face
 p. 84._)

 VII. (1) CHINESE. Ming porcelain. (H. c. 18 in.) Baluster-shaped vase;
 greyish crackle ground, painted over the glaze with turquoise blue
 flowers (with touches of cobalt), green leaves and manganese purple
 scrolls; a little yellow in places, and around neck cobalt blue band
 _under glaze_. On base, mark of Cheng-hua, possibly of as early a date
 (1464-87). British Museum.

 (2) CHINESE. Ming porcelain. (H. c. 19 in.) Vase of square section
 with four mask handles, imitating old bronze form. Enamelled with
 dragons and phœnixes; copper-green and iron-red over glaze with a few
 touches of yellow, combined with cobalt blue under glaze. Inscription,
 under upper edge, ‘Dai Ming Wan-li nien shi.’ _Circa_ 1600. British
 Museum......(_To face p. 90._)

 VIII. CHINESE. Ming porcelain. Covered inkslab (L. 9¾ in.), pen-rest
 (L. 9 in.), and spherical vessel (H. 8 in.). Decorated with
 scroll-work in cobalt blue under the glaze. Persian inscriptions in
 cartels, relating to literary pursuits. Mark of Cheng-te (1505-21).
 Obtained in Pekin. British Museum......(_To face p. 94._)

 IX. CHINESE, turquoise ware. Probably early eighteenth century.
 Salting collection.

 (1) Pear-shaped vase (H. 8½ in.), decorated with phœnix in low relief.
 Six-letter mark of Cheng-hua.

 (2) Plate with pierced margin (diam. 11 in.). Filfot in centre
 encircled by cloud pattern, in low relief.

 (3) Small spherical incense-burner (H. 5 in.). Floral design in low
 relief......(_To face p. 98._)

 X. CHINESE, _famille verte_. (H. 18 in.) Vase of square section,
 decorated with flowers of the four seasons. Green, purple, and yellow
 enamels and white, as reserve, on a black ground. Mark of Cheng-hua.
 _Circa_ 1700. Salting collection. .....(_To face p. 100._)

 XI. CHINESE, _famille verte_. (H. 26 in.) Baluster-shaped vase,
 decorated with dragons with four claws and snake-like bodies amid
 clouds. Poor yellow, passing into white, green of two shades, and
 manganese purple upon a black ground. A very thin skin of glaze, with
 dullish surface. Probably before 1700. Salting collection. (_To face
 p. 102._)

 XII. _Chinese_, egg-shell porcelain. _Famille rose._

 (1) Plate (diam. 8¼ in.). On border, vine with grapes, in gold. In
 centre, lady on horseback, accompanied by old man and boy carrying
 scrolls. 1730-50. British Museum.

 (2) Plate (diam. 8½ in.) In centre the arms of the Okeover family with
 elaborate mantling. Initials of Luke Okeover and his wife on margin.
 Early _famille rose_, the _rouge d’or_ only sparingly applied. _Circa_
 1725. British Museum. .....(_To face p. 108._)

 XIII. (1) CHINESE, _famille verte_. Long-necked, globular vase (H. 17
 in.), enamelled with figures of Taoist sages, etc.: green, iron-red,
 yellow, purple, and opaque blue, all over the glaze. Early eighteenth
 century. Salting collection.

 (2) CHINESE. Tall cylindrical vase (H. 18 in.). Red fish among eddies
 of gold on blue ground. Early eighteenth century. Salting collection.

 (3) CHINESE. Spindle-shaped vase (H. 18 in.). Pure white, chalky
 ground; three fabulous animals seated. 1720-40. Salting collection.
 .....(_To face p. 110._)

 XIV. JAPANESE. Imari porcelain. Large dish (diam. 20 in.). Painted
 under the glaze with cobalt blue in various shades, relieved with
 gold. In centre, landscape with Baptism of Christ. Below, in panel on
 margin--Mat. 3 16. Seventeenth century. Victoria and Albert Museum.
 .....(_To face p. 133._)

 XV. (1) CHINESE. Open-work cylinder (H. 5¼ in.) formed of nine
 interlacing dragons; the top pierced with nine holes. Plain white
 ware, with greyish white glaze. Probably Ting ware of Ming period.
 Victoria and Albert Museum.

 (2) CHINESE. Ming porcelain. Water-vessel for base of hookah (H. 4¾
 in.). Cobalt blue under glaze. Chinese sixteenth century; made for the
 Persian market. Victoria and Albert Museum. .....(_To face p. 142._)

 XVI. CHINESE. Two vases for flowers (H. 11¼ and 10½ in.). Floral
 design in white slip upon a _fond laque_ or ‘dead leaf’ ground.
 Seventeenth century. Bought in Persia. Victoria and Albert
 Museum......(_To face p. 146._)

 XVII. CHINESE. Three vases, examples of _flambé_ or ‘transmutation’
 glazes. First half eighteenth century. Salting collection.

 (1) Vase with monster handles (H. 9 in.); glaze irregularly crackled.

 (2) Cylindrical vase, made in a mould (H. 10 in.).

 (3) Small pear-shaped vase (H. 7½ in.), mottled red and blue......(_To
 face p. 150._)

 XVIII. (1) CHINESE ‘blue and white.’ Small vase (H. 7½ in.). The paste
 pierced before glazing to form an open-work pattern filled up by
 glaze. Eighteenth century. British Museum.

 (2) CHINESE ‘blue and white.’ Mortar-shaped vase (H. 10 in.).
 Scattered figures of Taoist sages in pale blue. Chinese, probably
 sixteenth century. British Museum. .....(_To face p. 154._)

 XIX. CHINESE, Ming porcelain. Vase (H. 9½ in.), shaped into vertical,
 convex panels. The top has been ground down. Very thick paste, showing
 marks of juncture of moulds. Decoration of kilins and pine-trees in
 exceptionally brilliant cobalt blue under glaze. Probably fifteenth
 century. Victoria and Albert Museum. .....(_To face p. 157._)

 XX. CHINESE. Globular vase with long neck (H. 17¾ in.). Design built
 up of lines of iron-red and gold. _Circa_ 1720. Bought in Persia.
 Victoria and Albert Museum......(_To face p. 162._)

 XXI. CHINESE armorial porcelain. Octagonal plate (diam. 16 in.).
 Talbot arms in centre surrounded by design of books, scrolls,
 etc.--all in blue under glaze. Early eighteenth century. British
 Museum......(_To face p. 164._)

 XXII. CHINESE porcelain from Siam. Three covered bowls, probably
 enamelled in Canton for the Siamese market. Early nineteenth century.
 Victoria and Albert Museum.

 (1) Floral design in iron-red, green and yellow over glaze. (H. 6½ in.)

 (2) Buddhist divinities in panels amid flame-like ground. Opaque
 enamels--iron-red, pink, yellow and black. (H. 9 in.)

 (3) Floral design in cobalt blue under glaze. (H. 6¼ in.) Brass rim
 and foot. Said to be a cinerary urn. (_Tho-khôt._).....(_To face p.

 XXIII. JAPANESE, Kakiyemon ware. _Circa_ 1650. British Museum.

 (1) Saucer or plate with scalloped edge (diam. 9¾ in.). Prunus
 springing from straw hedge, Chinese boy and tigers. Enamels--green,
 yellow, iron-red and blue, all over glaze.

 (2) Four-sided bottle (H. 8¾ in.). Formally treated flowers in
 iron-red, green and blue, all over glaze.

 (3) Octagonal saucer (diam. 5¾ in.). Decoration of quails and flowers
 in iron-red, green and gold over glaze, with cobalt blue under glaze.
 .....(_To face p. 184._)

 XXIV. (1) CHINESE. Covered bowl (H. 8 in.). Floral rosette with
 fourteen lobes in imitation of the Japanese _kiku-mon_. Iron-red,
 green and gold over glaze with deep cobalt blue under glaze. Early
 eighteenth century; made at King-te-chen in imitation of the
 contemporary Imari ware. Salting collection.

 (2) JAPANESE, Imari ware. Bowl with scalloped edge (diam. 9 in.).
 Chrysanthemum flowers in low relief; iron-red, green and gold over
 glaze and cobalt blue under glaze. _Circa_ 1700. Salting collection.
 .....(_To face p. 186._)

 XXV. JAPANESE, Imari ware. Large plate (diam. 22 in.). On margin,
 mandarin ducks, cranes and doves in panels amid flowers; in centre,
 two eagles. Iron-red of various shades, gold and a few touches of
 green over glaze with deep cobalt blue under glaze. Late seventeenth
 century. Salting collection......(_To face p. 188._)

 XXVI. JAPANESE, Kutani ware. Jar (H. 13 in.); on a greyish white,
 somewhat crackled ground, grotesque dancing figures; iron-red,
 manganese purple, yellow, green, and blue, all over glaze. Seventeenth
 century. British Museum. .....(_To face p. 204._)

 XXVII. JAPANESE. Kutani, kaolinic stoneware. Octagonal bottle, in
 shape of double gourd (H. 12 in.). Thick enamels--green (predominant),
 iron-red, purple and blue, all over glaze. _Circa_ 1700. Victoria and
 Albert Museum. .....(_To face p. 206._)

 XXVIII. CHINESE ‘blue and white.’ Two bowls, set in copper-gilt mounts
 of English make, _circa_ 1600-1620. From a set of five pieces long
 preserved at Burleigh House. Pierpont Morgan collection.

 (1) Shallow bowl (diam. 9 in.), in centre medallion with phœnix. Mark
 of Wan-li (1572-1619).

 (2) Bowl, with deer in panels (diam. 10 in.). _Circa_ 1600......(_To
 face p. 222._)

 XXIX. MEDICI porcelain. Late sixteenth century. Victoria and Albert

 (1) Pear-shaped vase (H. 6⅞ in.). Floral design in cobalt blue,
 outlined with manganese black, both under glaze.

 (2) Double-necked cruet (H. 6 in.). Design in pale blue under glaze.
 On the neck, A and O, for _aceto_ and _oglio_......(_To face p. 236._)

 XXX. MEDICI porcelain. Plate or shallow bowl (diam. 7 in.). Floral
 design in somewhat Persian style, in cobalt blue under glaze. On back,
 the dome of Sta. Maria del fiore and the letter F. Late sixteenth
 century. Fitzhenry collection......(_To face p. 238._)

 XXXI. MEISSEN porcelain. Hexagonal vase with cover (H. 12 in.). Floral
 design in coloured enamels of the Kakiyemon style. Mark, the crossed
 swords in blue. 1730-50. Franks collection (Bethnal Green)......(_To
 face p. 253._)

 XXXII. (1) MEISSEN porcelain. Plate with wavy edge (diam. 9 in.).
 Claret border with gold sprigs. Humming-bird in centre. Mark, the
 crossed swords with dot in blue. 1763-74, in imitation of Chelsea
 ware. Victoria and Albert Museum, ex Bernal collection.

 (2) LUDWIGSBURG porcelain. Plate (diam. 9¼ in.). Scrolls in low relief
 in white round margin; scattered flowers in lilac _camaïeu_. Mark,
 double C under crown, for Carl, Duke of Würtemberg. 1760-70. Victoria
 and Albert Museum......(_To face p. 266._)

 XXXIII. (1) ROUEN porcelain. Cup (H. 3¼ in.). Conventional design, in
 dark blue under glaze, in style of seventeenth century. Thin and very
 translucent body. Probably before 1700. Fitzhenry collection.

 (2) SAINT-CLOUD porcelain. Ewer with cover (H. 7¾ in.). Scale pattern
 in relief. Celadon glaze of sagy-green tint. Mounted with thumb-piece
 and rim of engraved silver. _Circa_ 1700. Fitzhenry collection.

 (3) SAINT-CLOUD porcelain. Ewer with cover (H. 5¼ in.). Conventional
 design, in blue under glaze, in style of seventeenth century. _Circa_
 1700. Fitzhenry collection. .....(_To face p. 282._)

 XXXIV. CHANTILLY porcelain. Two cylindrical vases with covers (H. 7
 in.). Rims mounted in silver (one gilt). Enamelled over the glaze
 in the Kakiyemon style-Chinese landscape and boys playing. Mark,
 hunting-horn in red. _Circa_ 1730-40. Fitzhenry collection. .....(_To
 face p. 286._)

 XXXV. (1) SÈVRES, white biscuit-ware (H. 6½ in.). Young girl seated
 with a _sabot_ in her lap, a child crouching beside her. Mark, F
 incised (perhaps for Falconet or for the year 1758). Franks collection
 (Bethnal Green).

 (2) MENNECY, white glazed ware. Figure of bagpiper (H. 9½ in.).
 _Circa_ 1750. (From an engraving by J. Dumont le Rom, 1739.) Franks
 collection (Bethnal Green). .....(_To face p. 288._)

 XXXVI. (1) VINCENNES or EARLY SÈVRES porcelain. Ewer with cover (H.
 4¾ in.). _Gros bleu_ ground with birds and flowers in white reserves.
 Mark, double L with three dots, in blue under glaze. _Circa_ 1750.
 Victoria and Albert Museum; Jones collection.

 (2) and (3) SÈVRES porcelain. Two small _sucriers_ (H. 3 in.). _Gros
 bleu_ and green ground, with birds on branches painted in white
 reserves. No mark, but early. Victoria and Albert Museum; Jones
 collection. .....(_To face p. 294._)

 XXXVII. SÈVRES porcelain. Vase (H. 10¾ in.), one of a pair, decorated
 with wreaths of flowers on a white ground. Mark, the letter I, for
 1761. Victoria and Albert Museum; Jones collection. .....(_To face p.

 XXXVIII. SÈVRES porcelain. _Écuelle_ and saucer (diam. 5 in. and 7½
 in.). Turquoise ground; panels with pastoral scenes. Mark, the letter
 Q for 1768, and _ch._ for the painter Chabry. Victoria and Albert
 Museum; Jones collection. .....(_To face p. 298._)

 XXXIX. SÈVRES porcelain. _Sucrier_, saucer and caddy from _Cabaret_
 (H. 4 in., 4¾ in., and 3 in.). _Rose carné_ ground; flowers, etc.,
 painted on white reserves. Mark, the letter H for 1760, and an anchor
 for the painter Buteux père. Victoria and Albert Museum; Jones
 collection. .....(_To face p. 300._)

 XL. SÈVRES porcelain. Covered cup (H. 3¾ in.) and saucer (diam. 5
 in.). Jewelled decoration on white ground. Studs of opaque white and
 turquoise and transparent ruby, connected by foliage of transparent
 green lined by gold. 1780-86. No mark. Currie collection. .....(_To
 face p. 302._)

 XLI. (1) and (2) VENETIAN porcelain. Tall cup (H. 4⅜ in.) and saucer
 (diam. 5⅛ in.). Birds and vines in blue under glaze with slight
 gilding. Mark, Ven^{a} on cup, the same in script on saucer. Probably
 the work of the Vezzi family (1719-40). Franks collection (Bethnal

 (3) MEISSEN porcelain. Pot-pourri with cover (H. 5½ in.). Fluted
 sides, flowers in high relief enamelled in colours. Mark, crossed
 swords in blue. _Circa_ 1750. From the Strawberry Hill collection.
 Franks collection (Bethnal Green).

 (4) FRANKENTHAL porcelain. Ewer and cover (H. 6⅝ in.). Painted in
 lilac _camaïeu_ with landscape (signed--Magnus pi.) Gilt borders.
 1761-78. Mark, C. T. under crown in blue. Franks collection (Bethnal
 Green). .....(_To face p. 316._)

 XLII. (1) CAPO DI MONTE porcelain. Scent bottle (H. 3⅞ in.). Child in
 swaddling-clothes of blue and lilac. _Circa_ 1750. Victoria and Albert

 (2) CAPO DI MONTE porcelain. Siren (H. 2⅝ in.), plain white, made for
 stand of vessel. _Circa_ 1750. From the Bandinel collection. Victoria
 and Albert Museum.

 (3) CAPO DI MONTE porcelain. Triton (H. 2⅞ in.). Plaque in low relief,
 made for application. _Circa_ 1750. Victoria and Albert Museum.

 (4) DOCCIA porcelain. Cup with cover (H. 4⅜ in.). Plain white, vine
 branches in relief. Victoria and Albert Museum. .....(_To face p.

 XLIII. CHELSEA porcelain. Saucer (diam. 4½ in.), sugar-basin (H. 4
 in.), and cream-jug (H. 2¾ in.), forming part of an extensive tea
 equipage. Claret ground with rich gilding; pastoral figures in reserve
 panels. _Circa_ 1760. Victoria and Albert Museum; Thomson bequest.
 .....(_To face p. 340._)

 XLIV. CHELSEA porcelain. Two figures of minuet dancers (H. 11½ in.
 and 10¾ in.). Enamelled with winy-red, pale opaque turquoise, and a
 little green and iron-red--the lady’s stays lavender. These figures
 seem to have been suggested by the principal dancers in Watteau’s
 _Fête Champêtre_ now at Edinburgh (engraved by Laurent Carrs, 1734,
 as _Fêtes Venitiennes_). _Circa_ 1760. Victoria and Albert Museum;
 Schreiber collection......(_To face p. 342._)

 XLV. (1) CHELSEA porcelain. Plate (diam. 8 in.) with wavy edge.
 Enamelled with shades of iron-red and green, with blue under glaze and
 gilding, in imitation of brocaded Imari ware. 1750-60. Victoria and
 Albert Museum.

 (2) BOW porcelain. Octagonal plate (diam. 9 in.). In centre, two
 fighting cocks, in the Kakiyemon style; the wreaths of flowers
 suggested rather by Dresden. Iron-red, claret, and an opaque, poor
 blue enamel, laid on thickly, with gilding. _Circa_ 1760. Victoria and
 Albert Museum......(_To face p. 346._)

 XLVI. WORCESTER porcelain. Tea-poy (H. 6½ in.), sugar-basin (H. 4¾
 in.), and milk-jug (H. 5 in.) from a tea equipage. Trellis design.
 _Circa_ 1780. Victoria and Albert Museum. .....(_To face p. 362._)

 XLVII. WATER-COLOUR DRAWING (17 in. by 18½ in.), by Thomas Baxter,
 junior; signed and dated 1810. The studio of Thomas Baxter, senior,
 1 Gough Square. Porcelain painters at work. A price-list of Coalport
 white china is seen on the wall. Victoria and Albert Museum. .....(_To
 face p. 366._)

 XLVIII. (1) PLYMOUTH porcelain. Market-woman with flower-basket (H. 10
 in.). Plain white, with lines of dirty brown in folds of drapery and
 stand. _Circa_ 1770. Victoria and Albert Museum; Schreiber collection.

 (2) BRISTOL porcelain. Female figure, ‘Autumn’ (H. 10 in.). Belt
 with signs of zodiac. Enamels--green, lilac, iron-red, and
 yellowish-green, with gilding. _Circa_ 1775. Victoria and Albert
 Museum; Schreiber collection. .....(_To face p. 380._)

 XLIX. (1) BRISTOL biscuit-ware. Medallion (max. diam. of plaque, 6
 in.) with head of Washington in centre, from a contemporary medal
 (‘General of the Continental Armies’). _Circa_ 1778. British Museum.

 (2) BRISTOL porcelain. Ink-stand (H. 7½ in.), in plain white ware,
 supported by three griffins. Victoria and Albert Museum. .....(_To
 face p. 382._)



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BUSHELL (S. W.):--

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GASNAULT ET GARNIER: _French Pottery_ (South Kensington Handbook). 1884.


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GRANDIDIER (E.): _La Céramique Chinoise._ Paris, 1894.

GRIGGS (W.): _Examples of Armorial China._ Folio. 1887.

GULLAND (W. G.): _Chinese Porcelain_ (notes by T. J. Larkin). 1898 and

HASLEM (JOHN): _The Old Derby China Factory._ 1876.

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HIRTH (F.): _Ancient Chinese Porcelain._ Leipsic, 1888.

HOFFMANN: _Mémoire sur la Céramique du Japon_ (Appendix to Juliens

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JACQUEMART (A.) ET LE BLANC (E.): _Histoire de la Porcelaine._ Folio;
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     _Grundriss der Keramik._ Stuttgart, 1878-79.

     _Die Gesammte Keramische Litteratur._ Stuttgart, 1882.


     _The Ceramic Art of Great Britain._ 1883.

     _A History of the Coalport Porcelain Works._ 1862.

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KOLBE (G.): _Geschichte der K. Porzellan Manufactur zu Berlin._ Berlin,

LITCHFIELD (FRED.): _Pottery and Porcelain._ 1900.

MACON (G.): _Les Arts dans la Maison de Condé._ Paris, 1903.

MARRYAT (JOSEPH): _History of Pottery and Porcelain._ 3rd edition, 1868.

METEYARD (ELIZA): _Life of Josiah Wedgwood._ 1865.

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NIGHTINGALE (J. E.): _Contributions towards the History of English
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OWEN (HUGH): _Two Centuries of Ceramic Art at Bristol._ 1873.

PARIS (Exposition Universelle, 1900): _Histoire de l’art de Japon._

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     _List of Books on Pottery and Porcelain in the National Library._
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Rocks in Japan._ Philadelphia Exhibition Reports, 1877.

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     _Berlin._ Kolbe.

     _Bibliography._ Champfleury, Jaennicke, South Kensington.

     _Bow._ Bemrose, Tiffen.

     _Bristol._ Owen.

     _Buen Retiro._ Riaño.

     _Capo di Monte._ Riccio.

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     Garnier, Schreiber, Walpole, Wallace.

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     _Doccia._ Ginori.

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     Exhibition, Uyeda, Wurtz.

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     _Plymouth._ Owen.

     _Repairing._ Thiancourt.

     _Saint-Cloud._ Lister, Gasnault.

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     _Sweden._ Stråle.

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     Julien, Reeks, Salvétat, Vogt, Wurtz.

     _Tournay._ Soil.

     _Venice._ Davillier, Drake.

     _Vienna._ Falke.

     _Wedgwood._ Meteyard.

     _Worcester._ Binns.


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LISTER (DR. MARTIN): _Journey to Paris._ London, 1699.


     _Le Livre de M. P._ Edited by M. G. Pauthier. Paris, 1865.

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PALÉOLOGUE: _L’Art Chinois._ Paris, 1887.

PLOT (DR.): _Natural History of Oxfordshire._ Oxford, 1677.

REIN (J. J.): _Industries of Japan._ 1889.

RICHTHOFEN (FERDINAND V.): _China._ Berlin, 1877.

YULE (H.): _Cathay and the Way Thither._ 1866.




It is with a comparatively small branch of the art of the potter that we
are concerned in this book. Porcelain or china, in all countries except
the one where it was slowly brought to perfection, has always remained
something of an exotic, and even in China we shall see that it was the
immediate Imperial patronage and the constant demand for the court at
Pekin that brought about the great development of the art under the
present dynasty. In Japan, the first independent country to which the
new art spread, it was under the eye of the greater and smaller feudal
lords, often in the very garden of their palaces, that the kilns were
erected, while the ware produced was reserved for the use of the prince
and his household. Both in China and Japan we shall find the decline of
the art to go hand in hand with the advance of the demand for the
Western market, so that by the beginning of the nineteenth century we
lose all interest in the manufacture.

This dependence upon royal or princely support is equally prominent in
the history of the shortlived porcelain factories of Europe. Their
success or failure has generally followed closely upon the greater or
less interest taken in them by the reigning prince, and few of these
kilns survived the political changes of the end of the eighteenth

No doubt, within the last twenty years or so a certain revival has come
about both in the Far East and in certain European countries, and that
under totally different conditions from those which prevailed in the
eighteenth century. Here and there, at least, the manufacture of
porcelain has come within the sphere of the new impulses that have
brought about such changes in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ at the end of the
nineteenth century.

In its main lines, the history of porcelain is a very simple one. Slowly
developed during the Middle Ages in China, the manufacture became
concentrated at one spot, at King-te-chen, and there reached its highest
development early in the eighteenth century. In Europe, the repeated
attempts to produce a similar ware had about the same time been crowned
with complete success in Saxony; while in England and in France a ware
closely resembling in aspect the Chinese, but softer and more fusible,
had been accepted as an equivalent. Speaking generally, then, we can
make these three statements with regard to the history of porcelain:--

1. That the art had its origin and complete development in China.

2. That it has seldom flourished except under royal or princely

3. That porcelain, from the artistic point of view, is essentially a
product of the eighteenth century, and that this statement is true in
the main as regards the country of its origin, though in this latter
case we must make a certain reserve in favour of the earlier wares.

Our subject may seem a simple one compared with some kindred branches of
the industrial arts, such, for example, as the history of glass-making,
or that of cloisonné and other enamels. We come indeed at more than one
time into contact with both these arts, and it is just at these points
that some of our chief difficulties arise. It is in view of such
questions as these, and indeed of many others equally important in the
history of porcelain, that the necessity of a thorough understanding of
the technical and even chemical side of our subject becomes evident. Of
course, if in discussing the different kinds of porcelain we are
concerned only with their merits or demerits as artistic products, we
can put aside these practical questions as ‘beneath the dignity of our
argument.’ But such a treatment of the subject would land us only too
surely in vague generalities and in an arrangement based upon personal
caprice. We require, above all at the start, a firm basis, and this can
only be found in a thorough comprehension not only of the technical
processes that are involved in the manufacture of porcelain, but of the
physical and chemical nature of the substance itself.

But first we need some kind of preliminary definition of what is meant
by the word. Porcelain, then, is distinguished from other fictile wares
by possessing in a pre-eminent degree the following qualities: hardness,
difficult fusibility, translucency, and whiteness of body or paste. Any
specimen of ceramic ware that possesses all these qualities may be
classed as porcelain, and from a practical point of view, the more it
excels under these heads, the better specimen of porcelain it is.

These were the qualities by which the porcelain brought from the East in
the seventeenth century was distinguished from any ware made at that
time in Europe. Our ancestors dwelt especially on the practical
advantages of the hard glaze and the elastic compact paste of the new
ware, which compared favourably with the easily scratched surface and
the crumbly body of the earthenware then in general use.

The greater infusibility that accompanies this hardness was not a point
of much importance to them, but they marvelled at the translucency of
the edges, as of some natural stone, and we find absurdly exaggerated
accounts of the transparency both of the original ware and of the
imitation that they claimed to have made. Finally, they noticed that the
whiteness of the surface was not given by an artificial layer more or
less closely adhering to an earthy base, but was the natural colour of
the paste to which the thin layer of transparent glaze merely gave the
effect of the polish on ivory or on marble. What then was this hard,
white, translucent substance? What wonder if from one end of Europe to
the other, scheming minds--chemists, alchemists, physicians, potters,
and charlatans--were at work trying to make something that should
resemble it? The history of this long search is a very interesting one,
but it would be impossible to explain its failures, its partial failures
(these last resulting in a compromise--soft-paste porcelain), and the
final success of Böttger, without, as it were, going behind the scenes,
and giving some account of porcelain from a modern, scientific point of

And first let us say that, although when treating of porcelain from the
historical and especially from the æsthetic standpoint (and this after
all is our principal business in this book), it is well to take a wide
grasp and include a whole class of china--I mean the soft-paste
ware--which does not come up to our standard of hardness and
infusibility, this is not the case when we are considering the physical,
and especially the chemical, nature of porcelain. By confining
ourselves, for the present, to true hard porcelain, we have the
advantage of dealing with a substance which chemically and physically
may be compared to a definite mineral species. Nay more, we propose here
to confine ourselves to the consideration of the hard pastes used at the
present day in the wares of France and Germany, neglecting for the
present the softer and more irregular porcelain of the Chinese.

First as regards hardness, the surface of the paste of a true porcelain,
when free from glaze, can be scratched by a crystal of quartz, but it is
untouched by the hardest steel. That is to say, it would be classed by
the mineralogist with felspar, and given a hardness of 6 to 6·5 on his

The freshly broken edge shows a white, perfectly uniform substance, a
glassy or vitreous lustre, a finely granular texture, and a fracture
conchoidal to splintery. When struck, a vessel of porcelain gives a
clear, bell-like note, and in this differs from other kinds of pottery.
When held against the light it allows, where the piece is sufficiently
thin, a certain amount to pass through, but even in the thinnest
splinters porcelain is never transparent.

If a thin section be made of a piece of porcelain, and this be examined
under the microscope by transmitted light, we see, scattered in a clear,
or nearly clear, paste, a vast number of minute, slender rods, and
between them many minute granules (Church’s _English Porcelain_, p. 6).
These belonites and spherulites, as they have been called, doubtless
reflect the light which would otherwise pass through the glassy base in
which they float, and the partial reflection and partial transmission of
the light may not be unconnected with the lustrous fracture so
characteristic of porcelain. Their presence points to the fact that we
are dealing with a more or less definite substance, one which may be
compared to a natural mineral species, and not merely with a semi-fused
clay, something between stoneware and glass. Now when we come to treat
of the chemical constitution of porcelain, we shall find that this view
is confirmed. This structure is developed in the paste by the exposure,
for a considerable period of time, to a temperature of from 1300° to
1500° centigrade, a temperature which is sufficient to reduce all other
kinds of pottery, with the exception of some kinds of stoneware, to a
glassy mass. In the case of porcelain, this great and prolonged heat
allows of a complete rearrangement of the molecules in the softened
mass. The process may be compared to that by which certain minerals and
rocks are formed in the depths of the earth.

We see, then, that not only from the standpoint of history, but on the
basis of the physical properties and intimate constitution of the
material, we are able to draw a sharp line between porcelain and other
fictile wares. This distinction is even more definitely shown by a
chemical analysis.[2]

We are dealing, as in the case of so large a part of the rocks and
minerals of the earth’s surface, with certain silicates of the alkalis
and alkaline earths, with silicates of alumina above all. All natural
clays used for fictile purposes consist essentially of silicates of
various bases, such as alumina, lime, iron, potash, and soda, more or
less intimately combined with water, and with the addition, generally,
of some free silica. If the clay be good in working quality and colour,
the next point the potter has to look to is the question of its
fusibility. It may be said generally that the simpler the constitution
of a silicate, that is the smaller the number of bases that it contains,
the greater will be its resistance to fire. Silicate of alumina is
unaltered at 1500° C., a temperature which may be taken as the maximum
at the command of the potter. The fusing-point is reduced by the
addition of silica, especially if some other bases such as oxide of iron
or lime, or again an alkali, are present even in small quantity. But
beyond a certain point the addition of silica raises the fusing-point,
and it is important to note that it is this excess of silica that
renders certain stonewares and fire-clays so infusible. In the case of
porcelain, on the other hand, the resistance to high temperatures
depends more upon the percentage of alumina present, and the absence or
small amount of other bases. Thus in comparing the composition of
different porcelains, we find that it is those that contain the most
silica that are the most fusible, or rather, to speak more accurately,
that become ‘porcelainised’ at a lower temperature.[3]

The relation of porcelain to stoneware on the one hand, and to ordinary
pottery on the other, will be made clear by the following figures, which
give the composition of stoneware, Meissen porcelain, and of a red
Samian ware:--

                      Stoneware.     Meissen Porcelain.   Samian Ware.

  Silica,             80 per cent.   58 per cent.        61 per cent.
  Alumina,            12    ”        36    ”             21    ”
  Potash and Soda,     5    ”         5    ”              5    ”
  Lime and Iron,       3    ”         1    ”             13    ”

The refractory stoneware contains a large excess of silica over the
amount required to combine with the alumina and the ‘other bases.’ In
the easily fusible Roman pottery, the ‘other bases’ nearly equal in
amount the alumina, while the Meissen porcelain not only contains less
silica than the pottery, but the ‘other bases’ only amount to a sixth
part of the alumina present.

But it is not enough for the manufacturer to discover a clay of which
the chemical composition corresponds to that of the type of porcelain
which he proposes to make. The question, as an experiment of Brongniart
long ago proved, is more complicated. Brongniart weighed out the
separate constituents for his porcelain--the silica, the alumina, and
the alkalis--and from them he formed his paste. He found, however, that
the paste readily melted at the heat of the porcelain furnace. The
analysis then of any ceramic product can give us but an imperfect clue
to the nature and properties of the ware. We want to know how the
elements are arranged, and this can only be inferred from a knowledge of
the materials employed in the manufacture. I will illustrate this point
by comparing the composition of Meissen porcelain with that of our
Dorsetshire pipe-clay, the most famous of our English clays, but a
material not sufficiently refractory for use in the manufacture of
porcelain. Both substances contain the same amount of alumina--36 per
cent.; in the Poole clay (after removing the water) there is 55 per
cent. of silica and 9 per cent. of ‘other bases,’ against 58 per cent.
and 6 per cent. respectively in the porcelain. The composition,
therefore, of the two bodies is nearly the same: the clay, while it
contains more iron-oxide and lime than the porcelain, is poorer in

True porcelain has indeed never been made from any other materials than
those so long employed by the Chinese and first described by the
missionary, Père D’Entrecolles, nearly two hundred years ago.

The two essential elements in the composition of porcelain are--(_a_)
The hydrated silicate of alumina, which is provided by the white earthy
clay known as kaolin or china-clay, a substance infusible at the highest
temperature attainable by our furnaces (about 1500° C.); (_b_) The
silicate of alumina and potash (or more rarely soda), that is to say
felspar. But the felspar is generally associated with some amount of
both quartz and mica, and is itself in a more or less disintegrated
condition. This is the substance known as petuntse or china-stone. It is
fusible at the higher temperatures of the porcelain kiln.

Of those substances the first is an immediate product of the weathering
of the felspar contained in granitic rocks; while the second, the
petuntse, is nothing else than the granite (or allied rock) itself in a
more or less weathered condition.

We see, then, that speaking generally, granite is the source of both the
materials whose intimate mixture in the state of the finest comminution
constitutes the paste of porcelain. It thus happens that it is only in
regions of primitive rocks, far away as a rule from centres of industry
and indeed from the usual sources of the clay used for fictile ware,
that the materials essential for making porcelain are found. By the term
granite we mean here a crystalline rock consisting of felspar, quartz,
and mica, and we include in the term gneiss, which differs only in the
arrangement of its constituents. The many varieties of rock that are
named as sources of kaolin and petuntse, such as pegmatite, graphic
granite, or growan-stone, are as a rule varieties of granite[4]
distinguished by containing little or no mica, and above all by the
absence of iron in appreciable quantity. As felspar is also the sole or
at least the principal element in the glaze with which porcelain is
covered, it will be seen that it is the mineral with which we are above
all concerned.

Now, of the three minerals that enter into the constitution of these
granitic rocks (the others are quartz and mica), felspar is the one
most easily acted on by air and water. The carbonic acid which is always
present in the surface-water gradually removes the alkaline constituents
in the form of soluble carbonates, the silicate of alumina which remains
takes up and combines with a certain quantity of water, and in this form
it is washed down into hollows to form the beds of white crumbly clay
known as kaolin. This is, of course, a somewhat general and theoretical
statement of what happens. If we were to examine the actual position and
geological relation to the surrounding rocks of the beds of kaolin in
Cornwall and in the south-west of France, there might be some exceptions
to be made and difficulties to explain. Where, indeed, as in many places
in Cornwall, the kaolinisation has extended to great depth, the
decomposition may have been caused by deep-seated agencies; in such
cases the kaolin is often associated with minerals containing fluorine
and boron.[5]

As for the other constituent of porcelain, the petuntse or china-stone,
we have called it a disintegrated granite, and this is the condition in
which it is usually excavated. It corresponds to the French _cailloux_,
the stony or gravelly material as opposed to the clay. In French works
it is not generally distinguished from felspar, and indeed some
varieties of petuntse may contain little else. However, if pure felspar
is used, the second constituent in granite or in petuntse, I mean
quartz, will have to be added to our porcelain paste in the form of sand
or powdered flint. The third constituent of the china-stone, the mica,
is usually neglected: in many cases the mother rock contains but little,
and what there is is eliminated in the washing. Mica is more fusible
than felspar; the white variety, muscovite, is practically free from
iron, and only from granite rocks containing this variety can petuntse
suitable for the manufacture of porcelain be obtained. The importance of
mica as an element of the Chinese petuntse has only recently been
recognised (Vogt, _Comptes Rendus_, 1890, p. 43). As much as 40 per
cent. of muscovite has been found in samples brought from China. The
pegmatite of the Limoges district, on the other hand, contains only 30
per cent. of this white mica, and of this only a small portion passes
into the paste. We have here, perhaps, the principal cause of the
greater hardness and the higher softening-point of European compared
with Oriental porcelain.

We shall see later on that this softer Chinese paste has many
advantages, especially in its relation to the glaze and the enamels, but
for the present we will continue to take the more ‘severe’ European
porcelain as our type.

Let us consider what takes place during the firing of a paste of this
latter description. After all the water, including that in combination
in the kaolin, has been driven off, we have, as the temperature rises,
an intimate mixture of two silicates, one of which, if heated alone,
would be unaltered by any temperature at our command--this is the
silicate of alumina derived from the kaolin; while the other is a
fusible silicate of alumina and potash. There is also present a certain
amount of free silica. There is reason to believe that at a certain
point a chemical reaction takes place between these constituents,
accompanied by a local rapid rise of temperature in the materials, the
rise being due to this reaction. As a result there is a rearrangement of
the molecules of the mass, although no complete fusion takes place. It
is now, says M. Vernadsky (_Comptes Rendus_, 1890, p. 1377)--we are now
following the account of his experiments--that the sub-crystalline
rods--the baculites of which we have already spoken--are formed. M.
Vernadsky claims to have separated these rods from the glassy base by
means of hydrofluoric acid, in which the former were insoluble. He found
them to consist of a very basic silicate of alumina, containing as much
as 70 per cent. of that earth, while the glassy base was chiefly
composed of silica in combination with the potash and with a small
quantity of alumina. In their optical properties the crystals or
baculites resemble the mineral known as sillimanite, a natural silicate
of alumina.

This is all that scientific research has so far been able to tell us of
the intimate constitution of porcelain; but as far as it goes, it is
evidence in favour of our claim that we are dealing with a definite
substance, _sui generis_, and not merely with a casual mixture of
certain superior kinds of clay, something, as we have said, between
glass and stoneware.

There are certain other elements that enter at times into the
composition of porcelain--magnesia, which may have been added to the
paste in the form either of steatite or magnesite; and lime, derived
either from gypsum or chalk. These additions generally tend to increase
the fusibility of the paste, especially when accompanied by an
additional dose of silica; but as their presence is not essential we are
not concerned with these substances here.

The glazes used for porcelain are as a rule distinguished by their
comparative infusibility and by their containing no lead. The
composition of these glazes follows more or less that of the paste that
they cover, with such modifications, however, as to allow of a somewhat
lower fusing-point: as in the case of the paste, there is a harder and
more refractory, and a softer and more fusible, type. The harder glazes
are composed essentially of felspar, with the addition in most cases of
silica, kaolin, and powdered fragments of porcelain. At Sèvres, a
natural rock, pegmatite, consisting chiefly of felspar, has been melted
to form a glaze without further addition. Of late years, however, the
introduction of a milder type of porcelain has necessitated the use of a
more fusible glaze, containing a considerable quantity of lime, and it
is a glaze of this latter type that has with few exceptions found favour
in other districts where porcelain is made.

We have attempted in this chapter to give some idea of the nature of
porcelain from a physical and chemical point of view, and in doing so
have taken as our type the hard, refractory paste of Europe. When we
come to describe the porcelain of the Chinese, we shall notice some
important divergences from this type. We say nothing here of the
soft-paste porcelains, seeing that so long as we confine ourselves to
the question of chemical composition and physical properties, they lie
entirely outside our definitions. It is only from the point of view of
its history and of its artistic qualities that this group has any claim
to the name of porcelain.



It would be quite foreign to the scope and object of this book to
attempt to describe in any detail the different processes that come into
play in the manufacture of a piece of porcelain. There is the less cause
for any such detailed treatment, inasmuch as the operations involved in
the preparation of the paste and in the subsequent potting and firing do
not essentially differ in the case of porcelain from those employed in
the manufacture of other classes of pottery. The differences are rather
those of degree--greater care is necessary in the selection of the
materials, and these materials must be more finely ground and more
intimately mixed. Again, the great heat required in the kilns
necessitates, in the firing of porcelain, many precautions that are not
called for in the case of earthenware or fayence. Without, however, some
slight acquaintance with the processes of the manufacture, it would be
impossible to avoid an amateurish and somewhat ‘anecdotal’ treatment of
our subject. There are, indeed, many intimate features, many delicate
shades of difference that distinguish the wares of various times and
places, both in Europe and in the East, which can only be rationally
explained by reference to the details of the manufacture.

At the present day there is only one district in Europe where true
porcelain is manufactured on a large scale. This district lies on the
western and south-western border of the central granitic plateau of
France, especially in the Limousin and in Berry. Again at Sèvres, for
the last hundred years and more, a succession of able chemists has
carried on a series of experiments on the composition and preparation of
porcelain. It is no wonder, then, if we find that the literature
concerned with these practical departments is almost entirely French.
One result of this is a greater richness in technical terms than with
us. We find in France names for the various implements and processes of
the potter’s art, that are something better than the workshop terms of
the local potter. Again, the little that has been written in England
upon the technology of pottery has been concerned chiefly with
earthenware of Staffordshire.[6]

As for the English soft-paste porcelain of the eighteenth century, there
is a remarkable dearth of information both as to its composition and as
to its manufacture. We know in fact in much greater detail how the great
potteries at King-te-chen were carried on at the same period, thanks to
the letters of the Père D’Entrecolles, and to the information collected
in Dr. Bushell’s great work, _Oriental Ceramic Art_ (New York, 1899. I
shall always quote from the text edition).

The following technical notes are based chiefly on the processes in use
either at Sèvres or in the great factories of the Limoges district.[7]
To begin with the Kaolin, the ‘premier’ element in the composition of
porcelain. The greatest care is taken to procure a pure white clay which
should approach as near as possible to the more or less theoretical
mineral kaolinite, _i.e._ to a hydrous silicate of alumina. With this
object the rough china-clay brought from the pit is thrown into a large
tank of water and broken up with wooden spades; the milky liquid is now
decanted into a second tank, leaving behind most of the quartz and the
other stony particles. On its way the soup-like liquid passes through
the meshes of a sieve--these may be formed either of brass wire or
sometimes of finely woven silk. On this sieve all but the finest
particles are retained. The greater part of the kaolin is deposited in
this second tank, but a certain portion still remains suspended in the
liquid, which is again decanted; the remaining kaolin then settles down
in the third tank, yielding the finest clay. To dry this slimy mass, it
is first forced by hydraulic pumps into canvas bags, and these bags are
then pressed between fluted wooden trays, strongly clamped together. We
have now got a white chalky mass which may contain as much as 98 per
cent. of the hydrated silicate of alumina.

The other materials, the china-stone[8] and the quartz, have first to be
reduced to the finest powder. To effect this they may, to begin with, be
roasted to effect disintegration, then crushed in a stone-breaking
machine, and finally passed through the grinding-pan in which they are
ground fine between large blocks of chert which rotate upon a pavement
of the same stone. The finely ground materials have now to be mixed in
suitable proportions either by the old process of ‘slop-blending,’ where
the different ‘slops,’ each of known specific gravity, are run in due
proportion into the big ‘blending ark,’ or, as is now usual in the case
of fine wares, by weighing out the materials in a dry state. On the
relative amounts of the three elements, the china-clay, the china-stone,
and the quartz, the nature of the porcelain after firing will depend. M.
Vogt (_La Porcelaine_, Paris, 1893) gives a useful table showing the
limits within which the materials may be varied. We may note that in the
case of a normal china-stone or petuntse being used instead of felspar,
very little additional quartz is required. These limits are: kaolin, 35
to 65 per cent.; felspar, 20 to 40 per cent.; and quartz, 15 to 25 per
cent. The larger the percentage of the first material, the harder and
more refractory will be the resultant porcelain.

This question of the composition of the paste has been the subject of
many experiments lately at Sèvres. A somewhat animated discussion has
raged around it. M. Vogt, who is the director of the technical
department in the National Porcelain Works, is well qualified to speak
on the subject. We shall not hesitate then to avail ourselves of the
conclusions which he arrives at, the more so as they put tersely some
important points of which we shall see the importance later on. I refer
especially to the relations of the glazes and the coloured decorations
to the subjacent paste.

These are, then, the results that M. Vogt arrives at:--

The two extreme types of porcelain, one with 65 per cent. of kaolin and
the other with only 35 per cent., when taken from the kiln do not differ
in appearance, though one has been subject to a temperature of 1500° C.
to ensure vitrification and the other to only 1350° C. Their physical
properties, however, are very different. The first, rich in alumina
derived from the excess of kaolin, stands without injury variations of
temperature, it suits well with a glaze made from felspar, a glaze hard
enough to resist the point of a knife. These are excellent qualities for
domestic use, but such porcelain does not lend itself well to artistic
decoration. At the high temperature required in this case in the
firing, the colours of the paste and of the glazes assume dull and tame
hues, so as to offer little resource to the artist. In a word, in that
part of the decoration that has to be subjected to the full heat of the
kiln, the artist has command only of a restricted and relatively dull
palette. Again, in the decoration of the muffle-stove the vitrifiable
enamels do not become incorporated with the glaze on which they rest. If
a decoration in opaque or translucent enamels is attempted, these
enamels are apt to split off, carrying with them a part of the glaze. To
sum up: the porcelain of which the hard paste of Sèvres, introduced by
Brogniart, may be regarded as a type, though excellent for domestic use,
is incapable of receiving a brilliant decoration.

Porcelain of the second type, more silicious and less aluminous, is
fired at a lower temperature. In order to get a glaze sufficiently
fusible to melt at such a temperature to a fine uniform surface, it is
necessary to introduce a certain amount of lime into its composition; by
this the glaze is rendered at the same time a little softer. But now the
lower temperature of the fire will allow of a greater variety and
greater brilliancy in the colours either combined with or used under the
glaze. When we come to the muffle-fire we can employ enamels of the
widest range of colour, yielding a brilliant decoration. On the other
hand, this type of porcelain offers less resistance than the other to
the action of hard bodies and to rapid changes of temperature--enough
resistance, however, so M. Vogt thinks, for all ordinary usages. It is
to this type that the porcelain of China, and Japan, as well as the ‘new
porcelain’ of Sèvres belongs. The latter comes nearer to the porcelain
of the East than any other European ware. Finally, M. Vogt points out
that most of the other European porcelains, those made in the Limoges
district, in Germany and in Denmark, are of an intermediate type, and
that they allow the use of either a felspathic or of a calcareous glaze
(Vogt, _La Porcelaine_, pp. 144 _seq._).[9]

To return to our raw materials, which we may now suppose to be weighed
out in a dry state in the required proportions. These are once more
thoroughly mixed with water to form the slip or _barbotine_, which is
again passed through a fine sieve. To remove any particles of iron which
may have come from the machinery or elsewhere, and which if allowed to
remain would form unsightly stains on the finished ware, it is usual to
pass the slip at this stage through a vessel in which a number of
horse-shoe magnets are suspended. In some of the large French factories
a more complicated machine is used for this purpose. The superfluous
water has now to be removed either by evaporation or by pressure between
canvas bags in the manner described above. The paste may then be passed
through a pug-mill to render it uniform in consistency.

A curious question arises with regard to the prepared clay. There was
formerly a widespread idea, which may contain an element of truth, that
instead of handing the clay at once to the potter, it should be kept,
under certain conditions, for a long space of time that it may undergo a
process of ‘aging’ and fermentation. By the ‘aging,’ the working
qualities, especially of a ‘short’ or non-plastic paste (such as that in
use at Sèvres in the eighteenth century, in making the _pâte tendre_),
were doubtless increased, the more so when the clay was at intervals
subjected to fresh kneading and watering. With regard to the long
periods for which the clay was kept by the Chinese, the most exaggerated
statements were formerly made. Mr. William Burton is of opinion that
there may be in some cases an evolution of carbonic acid and
sulphuretted hydrogen when natural plastic clays are used, for these may
contain both vegetable remains and small quantities of iron pyrites. But
the change, he thinks, is chiefly a physical one, due to the settling
down of the mass. Might there not also, I would suggest, be a change of
a more intimate nature, due to the formation of gelatinous silica and
perhaps also of fresh alkaline or other silicates, among these minutely
comminuted particles of various materials now freshly brought together?
We know very little of the conditions that give to natural clays their
peculiar unctuous quality and their plasticity.

We come now to what has been called the ‘shaping’ of the clay, using
that word as an equivalent to the French _façonnage_ to include all the
processes, throwing on the wheel, turning of the lathe, ‘pressing’ and
‘casting,’ by which the desired form is given to the vessel.

The POTTER’S WHEEL, perhaps the most ancient of all mechanical
contrivances, is still largely used in the shaping of porcelain, and
that, too, in a simple form which differs little from that employed
three or four thousand years ago in Egypt,[10] and perhaps for nearly as
long a period in China. From an æsthetic standpoint, the wheel holds the
same relation to the art of the potter as the brush does to that of the
painter. It is perhaps a just cause of reproach against that branch of
the ceramic art with which we are now concerned, that so comparatively
little use is made of the potter’s wheel. Not only in Europe, but for
long ages in China also, the use of the wheel, for many classes of
vessels, has been replaced by various processes of moulding. With us,
but not in the East, a third process, that of ‘casting’ with liquid
slip, is largely used. But when made either by casting or moulding, the
hand of the potter is not seen in the shape of the finished vessel. By
means of the wheel alone do we get the full expression of the peculiar
qualities of a plastic material. This was recognised by the Greeks, when
the potter who made the vase signed his name by the side of the painter
who decorated it. This it is that gives a certain charm to the roughest
earthenware which we may look for in vain in the most elaborately
decorated specimen of either Chinese or European porcelain.

The clay as it comes from the filter-presses or from the drying-beds is
subjected to a series of kneading processes to ensure uniformity of
texture. The last of these is the ‘slapping,’ when the clay is made up
into hollow balls, and thrown vigorously on to a board until all bubbles
and irregularities of texture are removed.

The thrower’s wheel is essentially a revolving vertical spindle, with a
small round table at the top, beside which the thrower sits. The clay is
handed to him in balls, and he throws it upon the whirling table between
his knees. The table is put into motion either directly by the pressure
of the workman’s foot on a lower table, or by some arrangement of straps
and pedals. If the movement is given by the potter himself, as is still
the case at Sèvres, and to some extent in China, there is the advantage
that a more delicate and intimate control of the speed is possible. The
movement of the clay under the potter’s hand is instinctively regulated
by him. Every one has seen and marvelled at the wonderful process. The
clay is first drawn up into a pillar, and then depressed into a flat
cake, so that the circular arrangement of the particles may spread
through the whole mass. The thrower then opens the hollow of the vessel
with his thumbs, and proceeds to give it the desired shape, moistening
his hands at intervals by dipping them into the slip. Small pieces are
shaped between the thumb and first finger, either of one or of both
hands. For larger pieces the whole hand and wrist is called into play,
with the assistance, it may be, of a sponge. Still larger vessels are
built up by piling on to the circular edge as it revolves strips of the
clay. Delicacy of hand is of the greatest importance--the pressure
applied and the movements of the fingers must be regulated by the nature
of the clay, and especially by its greater or lesser plasticity. It is
essential that the workman should not only press evenly and steadily on
the clay as it rises, but that the speed of the rotation should have a
definite relation to the rate at which he raises his hands. With a ‘fat’
or unctuous clay especially any irregularity of pressure will betray
itself, and the marks will be more prominent after firing. This is the
origin of the spiral ridges that we often see on the surface not only of
common earthenware, but sometimes of high-class porcelain. To this cause
are due the rings so characteristic of Plymouth porcelain; this
‘wreathing’ or ‘_vissage_’ is sometimes seen on Chinese porcelain also.

When the thrower has finished his vessel, it is cut off from the table
by a piece of thread or by a brass wire, and taken to the stoveroom to
dry and harden. When sufficiently dry the vessel is placed on a lathe,
and the turner shaves off all superfluous clay. The finer mouldings
(using the word here in its architectural sense) may also be given at
this stage, and sometimes the surface is shaped by a ‘profile’ of steel
(it may be a piece from the blade of an old saw), which cuts the
surface down to the desired shape. The shavings are carefully preserved
and returned to the slip-house, to be blended with the new clay, the
working qualities of which are thereby improved.

There are certain parts, especially handles, spouts, and projecting
ornaments, which must in all cases be separately moulded. The foot also,
in the case of large vases, is separately prepared and subsequently
attached. These parts are made in plaster moulds by the ‘handler,’ whose
duty it now is to fix them to the vase. Carefully marking the exact
place, he spreads on it a thin layer of slip with a spatula, and then
presses home the handle or other appendage. Should, however, the two
surfaces be dry and absorbent, it may be necessary to add some gum to
the slip thus employed. A similar process, but one requiring greater
care and skill, is that of fixing together the separate pieces of large
vases and figures. This is done in the way we have already described in
the case of the handles and spouts--that is by applying a coating of
slip to the parts to be joined.

It is at this stage that any decorations in relief that may be required
are applied to the surface. These are often made in flat moulds, and to
fix them it is enough to run a little water from a camel’s hair pencil
behind the ornament after adjusting it to its proper place. These
processes of fitting on of appendages and ornaments are included by the
French under the term _garniture_.

MOULDING AND PRESSING.--It is evident that only vessels of a cylindrical
or conical form, or, more exactly, such as have a circular section when
divided horizontally, can be formed on the wheel. To produce any other
form, the vessel must be either shaped directly by the hand or made in
some kind of mould. The use of moulds for pottery is as old, if not
older than that of the wheel. It was in this way that the _Ushabti_
figures of the old Egyptians were made, and many of these date back to
the Early Empire. So in China, the further back we go, the more the use
of moulds seems to have prevailed. I take from the excellent article on
the manufacture of pottery in the _Penny Cyclopædia_ the following
account of the process in use in England at the beginning of the last

‘The mould is made in two parts, and each is separately filled by laying
in a cake of clay which has been beaten out to the proper thickness on a
wet plaster-block; it is pressed into the mould by repeated blows from a
ball of wet sponge, then squeezed into all the angular parts and
smoothed with sponge, wet leather, and horn. When both sides of the
moulds are thus lined with clay, they are joined together, and the man
lays a roll of clay along the inside of the joining, which he works down
until the whole is smooth and solid.’ The mould is then carried into a
stoveroom, and the plaster here absorbs the moisture so as to release
the clay. The contents are carefully taken out, and the empty mould
returned to the stove previous to being filled again. The seam that
remains on the outside of vessels after fitting the two parts
together[11] is removed by scraping and burnishing with wet horn; the
handles and other appendages are then attached.

This is the process that is called ‘hollow-ware pressing’ or
‘squeezing.’ In ‘flat-ware pressing’ the mould is used to give the shape
to the inside of the vessel only. The mould is placed on the extremity
of the ‘whirler,’ a vertical revolving spindle provided with a circular
table, similar to that of the thrower’s wheel. The plate-maker takes a
cake of clay, which he has previously flattened out with his ‘batter,’
places it on the mould, and presses down with his hand. The upper
surface of the cake of clay (what will ultimately be the bottom of the
plate) is now shaped by an earthenware ‘profile.’ The mould is now taken
off the whirler and at once replaced by another. Flat-ware, especially
when greater finish is required, is also made in a double mould, and the
clay may then be first thrown on the wheel so as to approximate to the
shape required before being placed in the mould.

Processes very similar to the hollow and flat-ware pressing are largely
used by the Chinese. Dr. Bushell has unearthed a passage from a
technical work, written in the time of the Chou dynasty, more than two
thousand years ago, in which a distinction is made between the ordinary
potters who worked with the wheel, and the moulders who made oblong
bowls and sacrificial dishes. In a somewhat later work (19-90 A.D.) the
writer notes both the advantage resulting from regularity of size, and
the obstacles arising from the shrinkage of the parts in firing, when
vessels are made in moulds.[12]

CASTING.--There is yet another process which is largely resorted to in
European works, but which appears to be unknown to the Chinese. It
depends upon the rapidity with which dry plaster of Paris will absorb
the water from a slip of creamy consistency, without allowing any of the
solid particles to pass along with the water absorbed. The slip-mixture
is poured into the plaster mould, which at once absorbs the water,
leaving a uniform deposit upon the surface of the mould. After pouring
or otherwise drawing off the water, a second and thicker slip may be
added so as to form a second layer. The paste of the porcelain so
prepared is likely to be of a lighter and more porous consistency than
when made by throwing or pressing. This process was used in the
eighteenth century at Derby, and doubtless elsewhere, and it was
preferred to moulding for making statuettes. Some account of it is given
by Haslem, a good practical authority, in his _Old Derby China_. For
small objects, ‘casting’ has long been employed in France, and more
lately Ebelmen and Regnault have so improved the process, that vessels
of all shapes and dimensions are made by it. This has been rendered
possible by the introduction of compressed air into the interior of the
vessel, by which means the paste is kept in position until it is
sufficiently dry to support itself. A still better way of doing this is
to exhaust the air _on the outside_, by placing the mould in an
air-pump; the upper part can then be left open, and the whole operation
is under the eye of the workman. M. Vogt (_La Porcelaine_, pp. 157
_seq._) laments that in France the increased use of these mechanical
processes had so reduced the demand for skilful potters, that the race
is nearly extinct.

FIRING AND FURNACES.--So far in our treatment of the operations involved
in the manufacture of porcelain, the same general description has been
applicable, with trifling exceptions, to the processes in use both in
Europe and in the far East, and to soft as well as to hard paste. But
now that we have to describe the firing of the ware, a division into
three classes is necessary:--

1st. The Chinese system. This is the simplest plan. The glaze is applied
at once to the air-dried ware, which is then subjected to but one
firing--that of the ‘_grand feu_.’

2nd. The French system for hard paste. The unglazed vessel is exposed to
a heat varying from dull to full red, generally in the dome over the
main body of the furnace. It is then glazed, and again fired to the full
point required by the paste. This is essentially a French process, and
the preliminary fire is known as the _feu dégourdi_.

3rd. The English system used for bone pastes. In this case it is the
first firing that is the most severe. The ‘biscuit oven,’ therefore, in
which this is effected, must not be confused with the _feu dégourdi_
just mentioned. After dipping, the ware is heated again in the ‘glozing’
or glazing oven, but only to a temperature sufficient to melt the glaze.

In the case of ware decorated with enamel colours over the glaze, there
will be required in all these cases one or more additional firings at
comparatively low temperatures in the muffle-stove.

The furnaces, ovens, or kilns in which porcelain is fired are always of
the reverberatory type; that is to say, the fuel is burned in a separate
chamber or fireplace, and the products of combustion pass over or among
the ware that is being fired. Such furnaces differ on the one hand from
the arrangement in a blast furnace, or that often used in the burning of
bricks, where the fuel is mixed with the material to be heated, and on
the other hand from the muffle-stove, where the object exposed to the
heat is protected from the direct flame by the box of fireclay or iron
in which it is placed.

Kilns of many shapes and sizes have been used for firing porcelain, but
they may most of them be included in one or the other of the following
broad classes.

1st. The old bee-hive ovens of China, the use of which appears to have
been abandoned in that country by the end of the seventeenth century.
These ovens were generally small, in some cases only holding one vase. A
row of them may be heated from one fireplace, and they are then built on
a rising slope. This type has survived to the present day in Japan.

2nd. The oblong horizontal furnaces, often of considerable dimensions,
used during the present dynasty in China. They resemble in section the
ordinary type of reverberatory furnace found in metallurgical works. A
very similar form was long employed at Meissen.

3rd. The large conical furnaces, now in general use in the porcelain
factories of Europe. They may be heated by either direct or by reversed

In China the fuel is generally pinewood, in billets of uniform size. In
many European kilns wood is still used: birchwood, cut in lengths of
fifteen to twenty inches, is the only fuel used at the present day at
Sèvres. In England, however, the difficulties attendant on the use of
coal appear to have been overcome.

The reader will find in the third volume of Brongniart’s great work
(_Traité des Arts Céramiques_, Paris, 1877) several plates giving plans
and sections of all these types of furnaces. From a careful examination
of these engravings more is to be learned than from any amount of verbal
description. A thorough grasp of the process of firing is of the
greatest assistance in understanding the problems and difficulties that
arise in the manufacture of porcelain, and we shall have to return to
the subject when we come to treat of the several wares.

Whatever differences there may be in the shape of the furnaces, when it
comes to filling the interior with the ware to be baked, there is one
precaution which has been adopted in nearly every country.[14] The ware
must be protected from the direct heat of the flame by means of a case
of fireclay in which it is placed. These are the seggars (French
_cassettes_; the process of filling and arranging them is called
_encastage_), to the preparation of which so important a department has
to be set apart in all porcelain works, and whose manufacture adds so
much to the working expenses.

The seggar proper is a cylindrical pan of fireclay, in shape and size
like a hatbox. They are piled, in the furnace, one over the other, and
these piles or ‘bungs’ are arranged in the furnace so as to allow a
free circulation of the hot gases between them, but otherwise they are
packed as closely together as possible. These seggars may be used
several times over. When broken, the fragments are ground up and mixed
with fresh fireclay or _argile-plastique_ to form new cases--without
this addition the clay would be too plastic or ‘fat’ for the purpose.
The greatest precautions are taken in the packing of the seggars in the
furnace. The giving way of one pile from any inaccuracy in the
arrangement may destroy the contents of the whole oven. So again
infinite care must be taken in the arrangement and support of the
objects in each seggar. The bottom is covered with ground flint or other
infusible material, and the vessel is supported, when necessary, by
various forms of struts, props, or crow-claws, which sometimes leave
their mark on the base or side of the finished object. In spite of these
precautions, a large quantity of defective pieces or ‘wasters’ are
produced in all works, and these are usually cast aside. The finding of
such fragments in after days is sometimes the only proof we have that
porcelain or pottery has formerly been made at the spot. But the proof
is final, for defective pieces and ‘crow-claws’ are not objects likely
to have been imported from a distance. Again, the indelible marks left
on the porcelain, either on the edge which rested directly on the seggar
or at the points where the object was supported by the crow-claws, often
give valuable hints as to the _provenance_ of the piece in question.[15]
In the case of valuable wares these rough edges and marks are removed as
far as possible by grinding on a small wheel, and then polishing the
surface with pumice or with putty.



Before attacking the somewhat complicated subject of the nature and
composition of glazes, it will be well to take up again the thread of
the mechanical processes that are involved in the making of a piece of

The materials that enter into the glaze are reduced to the finest powder
in mills similar to those in which the china-stone and flint are ground
for the preparation of the paste. If any substance soluble in water,
such as borax or salts of the alkalis, enter into the composition of the
glaze, these must be first partially fused in combination with the other
materials to form a _frit_, a kind of imperfect glass. These frits,
which enter so largely into the composition of soft-paste porcelain, are
formed with the object of bringing the soluble constituents into an
insoluble form before mixing with water to form the slip. There are
indeed other practical reasons that render a preliminary partial fusion

The finely ground elements of the glaze, mixed in due proportion, are
worked up with water to form a creamlike slip into which the vessel to
be glazed is now dipped. In China, in many cases, the glaze-slip is
blown upon the surface in the form of a spray. This is done by means of
a bamboo tube, covered at one end by a piece of silk gauze, through
which the liquid is projected by the breath of the operator (French,
_insufflation_); in other cases the glaze may be painted on with a
brush. In China, as we have mentioned, the glaze-slip is generally
applied to the raw surface of the thoroughly dried but unbaked ware, but
in other countries there is, almost without exception, a preliminary
firing of greater or less degree to produce a biscuit.

We shall restrict the use of the word glaze to the vitreous coating
applied directly to the surface of the raw paste or of the biscuit to
enhance the decorative effect of the ware, and with the more prosaic
object of allowing the surface to be easily kept clean. In the case of
porcelain this coating is always more or less transparent.[16] There is
here no necessity for concealing the natural white colour of the paste.
In the case of many kinds of pottery, however, as in the ‘enamelled
fayence’ of Delft and Italy, the glaze is rendered opaque by the
addition of oxide of tin, so that the ill-favoured ground is concealed
by a white shiny surface which may be made to resemble closely the
natural surface of porcelain. A glaze of this kind is often called an
enamel, but as we are not concerned with such an expedient we shall
confine the use of that word to the various forms in which a vitreous
decoration, whether translucent or opaque, is _superimposed upon the
glaze_ and fused into it, more or less thoroughly, by a subsequent
firing in a muffle furnace.

The English word ‘glaze’ is only another form of the word ‘glass,’ and
we may say at once that, in composition at least, there is often little
difference between the two substances. The French word for ‘glaze’ is
_couverte_ or _vernis_; the last term applies well to the thin skin of
glaze found on Greek pottery. The Chinese have several expressions, but
it is a curious fact that the characters with which most of these terms
are written contain the radical for ‘oil,’ and indeed the word ‘oil’
itself is often used in the sense of ‘glaze.’

Mr. Rix puts it well when he says that the glaze is to the enameller of
porcelain what his canvas is to the painter; while in the case of a
decoration ‘_sous couverte_,’ the glaze corresponds to the varnish
which, while protecting his work, gives brilliancy to the colouring
(_Journal of Society of Arts_, vol. xli.). It is, moreover, the vehicle
by which the design is harmonised and rendered mellow. The effect is
produced at once and endures practically for all time.

The hardness and fusibility of glazes differ widely, and they are
conditioned by the nature of the wares that they cover. It is evident
that there must be a close relation between the fusing-points of paste
and glaze, and that the latter should be the more fusible of the two.
The difference of melting-point should, however, not be too great. The
melted glaze should rather, by penetrating into the already softened
paste or by a chemical action upon its surface, form a more or less
uniform mass with it. In cooling, the contraction of the glaze should
follow that of the subjacent paste. This is a most important point; any
discordance may lead to splitting, cracking, and ‘crazing.’

The beauty of the surface of porcelain depends on the fact that the
glaze has become intimately united with the paste during the long
exposure of both to a high temperature. We should not be conscious, in
regarding a fine specimen of porcelain, of a greater or less thickness
of glass covering an opaque substance; we should rather see in it the
polished surface of ivory or of some precious marble.

It would seem that it was the beauty of the glassy surface, enhancing
the brilliancy of the colouring, rather than any practical advantage
connected with its use, that first led to the application of glaze to
pottery. The turquoise and green glazes of the Egyptians (the colour is
derived from a silicate of copper along with soda and sometimes lime)
were known to the men of the Early Empire. They were applied to a
fritlike mass of sand held together by silicate of soda, to which the
name of porcelain has sometimes been very wrongly given. Objects of
steatite, of slate, and even of rock crystal were sometimes covered with
a coloured glaze of this kind, but it was never applied to the clay
vessels in daily use. These were made, then as now, from the unctuous
clay of the Nile bank. For this restriction there was a very good
reason, namely that a glaze of this nature, composed chiefly of alkaline
silicates, will not adhere to a base of ordinary clay. It was not until
Ptolemaic and Roman times that, by the discovery or adoption of a glaze
containing lead, the ancients were enabled to glaze their pottery. So in
Assyria, the employment of glazes was almost confined to the decoration
of the surface of brickwork, the bricks being of a loose and somewhat
sandy texture.[17]

In these glazes, and indeed in much earlier examples from Babylonia,
both tin and lead have been found. The respective virtues of the
silicates of these metals were doubtless appreciated, that of tin to
form a white opaque enamel hiding the material below, and that of lead
to enable the glaze into which it enters to adhere to a paste formed of
a plastic clay.

With the Chinese the aim was rather æsthetic than practical. They sought
by means of the marvellous glazes that cover their ancient porcelain to
imitate the surface of natural stones; their early celadons were in a
measure intended to take the place of the precious green jade, so highly
esteemed by them.

At the time when the manufacture of porcelain was first introduced from
China there were (apart from the salt-glazed stoneware, which lies quite
outside our inquiry) three classes of glaze in general use either in
Europe or in the nearer East:--

1. Glazes consisting essentially of alkaline silicates without either
lead or tin. Such glazes could only be applied to a fritty silicious
base, and in India and Persia their employment seems to have been a
survival from Egyptian and Assyrian times.[18]

2. Opaque enamel glazes, the opacity being due to the presence of tin; a
considerable amount of lead also is generally found in these glazes. We
are not concerned here with the obscure origin of this group, but in the
sixteenth century this enamelled fayence was in general use for the
better class of table-ware. It includes the Italian majolica, the French
fayence of Nevers and Rouen, and above all the earthenware of Delft.

3. The oily-looking lead glazes with which the common earthenwares were
covered. These were essentially the glazes of the Middle Ages in Europe,
and their employment could probably be traced back to the lead-glazed
ware sparingly used by the Romans. We have already noticed the use of a
similar glaze in Egypt as far back probably as Ptolemaic times.

There were practical objections to all these glazes. It is true that at
Delft, by the use of the tin enamel, a ware could be turned out closely
resembling, in external aspect, the blue and white porcelain of China,
but the enamel was soft and would in time chip off at the edges, showing
the dark earthy clay beneath. On the other hand, the alkaline glazes of
the East were not much known in Europe; they can only be used upon a
very tender and treacherous base. In India and Persia, however, a ware
thus glazed still competes with the hard porcelain of the Far East. In
spite of the great objections to the glazes of our third class, those
containing lead--objections arising from their softness and from the
danger of poisoning to those employed in their manufacture--their use
has tended rather to increase. Not only is lead the principal
constituent of the glazes still universally used for common pottery, but
it forms an important element in the glaze of our finer earthenwares as
well as in that of those bone pastes which rank with us as porcelain.

The glaze which had been brought to perfection by the Chinese at an
early period differs from all those yet mentioned by its hardness, its
high fusing-point, and in its chemical composition. Speaking generally,
the glaze of porcelain differs in composition from the paste which it
covers only sufficiently to allow of its becoming completely liquid at
the extreme heat of the furnace; and just as the paste of Chinese
porcelain has a wider limit of variability than that made in Europe, but
is on the whole of a ‘milder’ type than the latter, so we find that
while the glazes of the Chinese are as a whole less refractory and not
quite so hard, there is still a wide range of variation in these

If, then, we theoretically regard porcelain as a compound of a silicate
of alumina with an alkaline silicate of the same base, we may say that
the glaze of porcelain is formed by the latter body alone, that it is,
in fact, merely a fused felspar. But as in the case of the paste, so in
the glaze there is generally present an excess of silica, derived from
the quartz contained in the petuntse or pegmatite, and this silica
enters into combination with some other bases which are present in the
constituents of the glaze, thereby increasing its fusibility and
modifying the contraction in cooling. The most important of these
additional bases is lime, so that the more fusible type may be called a
calcareous, as opposed to a more refractory or purely felspathic glaze.
As much as 21 per cent. of lime has been found in some Chinese glazes,
the amount of alumina being proportionately reduced.

There is more or less lime in the glaze of most kinds of European hard
porcelain, but the exceptionally hard and refractory paste made at
Sèvres since the time of Brongniart is covered by a glaze of
corresponding hardness from which that earth is absent. This hard paste
has, however, of late been replaced in part by one of a milder type, and
with this latter a calcareous glaze has been adopted even at Sèvres, the
object of the change being, as we have said, to allow of a more
brilliant decoration.

There is a perceptible difference in the aspect of these two types of
glazes after firing. The hard, non-calcareous glaze has a slightly milky
look. The softer calcareous type is more brilliant, and approaches in
transparence and limpidity to the lead glazes of soft porcelain. A glaze
of this last kind was used at Sèvres for a few years after the first
introduction of the hard paste, and perhaps also at Dresden in quite
early days.

The principal objection to a hard refractory glaze, such as that so long
in use at Sèvres, arises from the difficulty of properly incorporating
the enamel colours with its body. The restriction of the number of
pigments that can be employed, both under and on the surface of the
glaze, in consequence of the high temperature at which the latter melts,
is another drawback. The dulness, the ‘painted on’ look of so much of
the decoration on European hard paste porcelain, is in great measure a
consequence of the employment of a glaze that is only softened at a high
temperature. As an example of a medium type of glaze we give the
composition of that used at Berlin in 1836. This consisted of kaolin, 31
per cent.; quartz, 43 per cent.; gypsum, 14 per cent.; and ground
porcelain, 12 per cent. A glaze long in use at Dresden is of a very
similar character. Felspar, it will be seen, does not enter into its
composition, and such a glaze can contain but little potash or soda.
With this we may contrast the hard glaze of Sèvres, composed simply of
ground pegmatite, a rock consisting mainly of felspar. This glaze yields
on analysis 74 per cent. of silica, 17 per cent. of alumina, and as much
as 8 per cent. of potash.

The glaze on Chinese porcelain is prepared by mixing certain special
varieties of petuntse with an impure lime, prepared by burning limestone
with dry fern as fuel. It contains, as we have seen, from 15 to 21 per
cent. of lime, 5 to 6 per cent. of alkalis, 11 per cent. of alumina, and
66 per cent. of silica.

We give these examples to illustrate the principal types of glazes used
for hard paste porcelain. It will be noticed that the constituents are
drawn from widely different sources.

The glazes of soft paste porcelain always contain a large amount both of
lead and of potash or soda, so that they approximate in composition to a
flint glass. The alkalis, generally introduced as carbonates,
necessitate a previous fritting of part at least of the materials.
Boracic acid plays an important part in the glaze of most modern English
wares: it is generally introduced in the form of borate of soda or
borax. This acid replaces in part the silica, just as in the paste the
glassy materials are replaced by bone-earth.



If we were treating the subject purely from a practical point of view,
with the glazing and firing of a piece of porcelain the manufacture
might be held to be terminated. This would be strictly true, for
instance, of the white porcelain of Berlin, so largely used in the
chemical laboratory; a great deal, too, of the china in domestic use
receives no decoration of any kind. But for us there remains still to
examine the element of colour and the way in which it is applied to the
decoration of porcelain.

This is effected in three different ways: by the employment of coloured
glazes; by painting on the surface of the paste before the glaze is
applied (this is the decoration _sous couverte_); and finally by
coloured enamels applied to the surface of the glaze. These methods may
be combined, but as this is rarely the case, such a division forms the
basis of a convenient classification, more especially for the wares of
China and Japan.

In the case of both the paste and of the glaze, we have been dealing
with a restricted group of elements, with alumina, lime, potash and
soda; and apart from impurities unintentionally introduced, all the
combinations of these bodies are colourless. We have now to consider the
effect of introducing certain of the heavy metallic bases which combine
with the excess of silica to form coloured silicates.

The metals that give to Oriental porcelain its brilliant hues are few in
number. Indeed, in all lands and at all times, iron, copper, cobalt, and
manganese have been the principal sources of colour in the decoration
not only of porcelain, but of most other kinds of pottery. As equal to
these four metals in importance, but not strictly to be classed as
colouring materials, we may place tin, the source of most opaque whites,
and lead, which is the main fluxing element for our enamels. Next in
importance to these metals come antimony, long known to the Chinese as a
source of yellow, and finally, but this last only since the beginning of
the eighteenth century, gold, as the source of a red pigment.[19] This
exhausts the list, not only for the Far East, but for all the pottery of
Europe up to the end of the eighteenth century.

It was in a period of artistic decline that the advance of chemical
knowledge led to the introduction of other colours, derived both from
new metallic bases and from fresh combinations of those already known.
By far the most important of these new colours are those derived from
the salts of chromium, but uranium and other rare metals have also been
called into use. As with the sister art of painting, the beauty and
harmony of the effects produced have not kept pace with the enlargement
of the palette--the result was rather to accentuate the decline that had
already set in from other causes.

There are two metals, iron and copper, that have always been of
pre-eminent importance as sources of colour. Each of them forms two
series of combinations differing entirely in hue, so that were we
confined to the use of these two metals, our palette would still be a
fairly complete one.

The protoxide of copper, especially when a certain amount of lime and
of soda is present, forms a series of beautiful blue and green
silicates. When the proportion of oxygen is decreased, as happens when
the surface of the ware is exposed in the kiln to a reducing flame, a
suboxide of copper is formed, which gives a deep and more or less opaque
red hue to the glaze. So in the case of iron, the so-called sesqui-oxide
is perhaps the most abundant source of colouring matter in the mineral
kingdom: the colours produced by it range from pale yellow to orange,
brown, and full red. When, however, the iron is present as a protoxide,
the colour given to the glaze is entirely altered; it ranges from a pale
sea-green to a deep olive.

The remaining two elements that have long played an important part in
the decoration of pottery are cobalt and manganese. These metals, in the
form of silicates, yield the well-known series of blues and purples. One
important source of the famous underglaze blue of China and Japan is a
black mineral known to us as wad, which occurs in earthy to stony
concretions. This wad contains oxides of both cobalt and manganese, and
the quality of the blue obtained from it depends in great measure upon
the proportion in which the two metals occur.

The employment of antimony is comparatively rare, but, generally in
combination with iron, it is an important source of yellow. In spite of
the volatile nature of most of its salts, in the presence of silica this
metal is able to withstand a high temperature.

But before considering the application of colour to the glaze, we must
mention briefly a method of decoration which was in great favour at
Sèvres some years ago--I mean the application of colour to the paste
itself. This was done long ago by Wedgwood, sometimes to the whole mass
of the paste, as was the case with his jasper ware, which some
authorities class as a true porcelain. At Sèvres these coloured pastes
have been generally applied to the surface only, in thin layers, or even
as mere coats of paint. When laid on in successive coats, as in the
so-called _pâte-sur-pâte_, the amount of colouring matter need not be
large, from 2 to 5 per cent. When larger proportions of coloured oxides
are mixed with the _pâte_, and this is painted on with a brush, the
process differs little from the ordinary decoration under the glaze,
into which it indeed may be said to pass. Coloured pastes of this
description have never been employed by the Chinese, and it is not
possible to obtain much brilliancy or decorative effect by their use.
They are, indeed, foreign to the nature of porcelain, sacrificing the
brilliant white ground which should be the basis of all decorative

When the colouring matter is subjacent to the glaze it must be of a
nature to withstand the full heat of the subsequent firing; we are
restricted therefore to colours ‘_à grand feu_.’ This practically
confines us to cobalt and to certain combinations of iron and copper, as
far as the ‘old palette’ is concerned. At Sèvres and elsewhere other
metals have been made use of whose silicates withstand the extreme
temperature of the kiln. By the use of chromium we have command of many
shades of green. If to an oxide of tin we add a minute quantity of the
sesqui-oxide of chromium, we can obtain, in the presence of lime, many
shades from rose to purple; and a mixture of cobalt and chromium
produces a fine black. There is, however, as yet no satisfactory yellow
pigment known that will withstand the _grand feu_. At the best we can
get a straw colour from certain ores of tungsten and titanium, and from
uranium a yellow deeper in tint but uncertain in application.

The majority of the colours we have mentioned require a more or less
oxidising flame for their full development. There are, however, two most
important groups of coloured glazes, long the monopoly of the Chinese,
but now successfully imitated in France and elsewhere, which require,
for a term at least, to be subjected to a reducing flame.

The first of these glazes is the well-known CELADON, using that term in
its proper and restricted sense, for certain shades of greyish green.
The celadon of the Chinese is produced by the presence of a small
quantity, about two per cent., of protoxide of iron in the glaze. An
oxidising flame would change this protoxide to the yellow sesqui-oxide.
We may note that a celadon of good tint can only be produced when a
considerable quantity of lime is present in the glaze.

The other group, depending also upon a reducing flame, is constituted by
the famous SANG DE BŒUF and FLAMBÉ glazes.

The colour of the first is given by the red sub-oxide of copper, chiefly
suspended in the glaze. In the case of the _flambé_ or ‘transmutation’
glazes, the strange caprices of colour have their origin, in part at
least, in the contrast of the red sub-oxide and the green silicate of
copper. In the case of both these glazes everything depends on the
regulation of the draught of the furnace in which they are fired. The
French have lately been at great pains to master the difficulties
attendant upon the development of the effects sought after, and some
success has been attained not only on a porcelain ground as at Sèvres,
but these glazes have also been applied to fayence at the Golfe St. Juan
and elsewhere. It has been proved by some experiments made at Sèvres,
that in the firing, the critical period, during which so much depends
upon the regulation of the draught, is _just before_ the melting of the
glaze. Once melted the glaze not only forms an impervious cover which
prevents the smoky flame from discolouring the paste below, but the
glaze itself is no longer sensitive to the action of the gases which
surround it. It is therefore only during a short period preceding the
moment when the glaze begins to melt, that it is necessary to promote a
smoky and reducing flame. This is a point of considerable practical

The application of the DECORATION UNDER THE GLAZE is essentially a
Chinese method. To it we owe the important family of ‘blue and white’
ware. The superiority of the Chinese in the management of the blue
colour has been attributed to various causes. The result is no doubt
influenced not only by the constitution of both paste and glaze, but
also by the fact that the colour is painted upon the _raw_ paste.

An important factor also is the care exercised by the Chinese in the
selection and preparation of the blue pigment, by which not only the
desired intensity but the richness of hue is secured. The quality of the
blue depends in great measure upon the presence of a small quantity of
manganese in the cobalt ore employed.

The only other colour that the Chinese have succeeded in using under the
glaze is the red derived from the sub-oxide of copper. The full
development of this colour has for long been a lost art, but a less
brilliant red from this source, often little better than a buff colour,
is sometimes found in later examples combined with the blue.

In the application of colours under the glaze there is one difficulty
that the Chinese have surmounted even in their commonest ware, and this
is the tendency of the cobalt blue to dissolve and ‘run’ in the glaze,
giving to the design a blurred and indistinct appearance. It would seem
that the sharpness of outline depends upon the consistency of the glaze
at the moment when it first melts. At that point the glaze should be
viscous and not inclined to flow, and this is what occurs in the case
of the highly calcareous glazes of the Chinese.

Before passing to the enamel colours, we must say something of a class
of glazes which may be looked upon as to some extent of an intermediate
character. These are the glazes associated with the ‘San tsai,’ the
‘three colours’ first used in combination by the Chinese.

These coloured glazes were applied, not, as is usually the case in
China, to the raw paste, but they were, it would seem, painted on the
surface after a preliminary firing. Being applied with a brush, the
whole surface of the biscuit was not necessarily covered, and glazes of
all these colours could be used upon the same piece of porcelain. Glazes
of this class were rendered more fusible by the addition of a certain
quantity of lead, and on this ground, and still more in their historical
relation, as we shall see later on, these ‘painted glazes’ may be
considered as a link connecting the old refractory glazes of the
monochrome and ‘blue and white’ wares on the one hand, with the fusible
enamels which were at a later time _superimposed_ upon the glaze on the

The three colours which are applied in this way by the Chinese are: (1)
A turquoise blue derived from copper with the addition of some soda or
potash. (2) The manganese purple, often described as aubergine. (3) A
yellow prepared from an iron ore containing some amount of antimony.
None of these colours would stand the full heat of the furnace, and for
a reason which will be explained further on, they are known as the
colours of the _demi grand feu_.[21]

COLOURED ENAMELS. We have now to describe


the decoration that is applied to the surface of the glaze. In these
coloured enamels the colouring matter is dissolved in a flux which
contains a large quantity of lead. The comparatively gentle heat at
which such enamels fuse allows of the use of a much larger palette than
is available for the decoration under the glaze.

It is well to point out at the outset the marked distinction in
composition and in appearance between the brilliant enamels of the
Chinese and the dull tints of the ‘porcelain colours’ found in the hard
pastes of Meissen and Sèvres. To make clear the cause of this difference
it will be necessary to enter into some little detail.

The colouring matter in the European enamels may amount to as much as a
third part of the total amount of the flux with which they are
incorporated. As there is not enough of this flux to dissolve the whole
of the oxides, the enamel remains dull and opaque after firing. The
flux, in fact, is only used as a vehicle to attach the colour to the
surface of the porcelain. The effect in consequence is inferior in
brilliancy to that obtained by the Chinese with their transparent
enamels in which the metallic oxides, present in much smaller quantity,
are thoroughly dissolved to form a glass. There is, unfortunately, a
practical obstacle to the application of these glassy enamels to the
hard pastes and glazes of Europe. It is impossible to ensure their firm
adhesion to the subjacent glaze. The Chinese, however, do not appear to
find any difficulty in effecting this. The following explanation has
been given to account for the difference of behaviour:--the tendency of
the enamel to split off in cooling, as has been proved by experiment,
arises from the small amount of contraction at that time of the highly
kaolinic paste, compared with that of the superimposed glassy enamel.
The more silicious paste used by the Chinese contracts, on the contrary,
at the same rate approximately as the enamels that it carries, and
these enamels may therefore be laid on in sufficient thickness without
any risk of their subsequently splitting off.[22] To appreciate the
difference in the decorative value of these two classes of enamels it is
only necessary to compare the brilliant effect, say, of a piece of
Chinese egg-shell of the time of Kien-lung with the tame surface of a
contemporary Meissen plate, elaborately painted with landscapes or

The glassy enamels used by the Chinese resemble the pastes used for
artificial jewellery. They are essentially silicates of lead and an
alkali. The composition of the flux has to be modified to ensure the
full development of the colour of the different metallic oxides which
are either made up with it or added subsequently. But in a general way
we may say that the colourless fluxes which form the basis of the
coloured enamels are prepared by melting in a crucible a mixture of pure
quartz sand and red lead, and adding more or less alkali. In certain
cases the lead predominates, as when it is proposed to make an emerald
green enamel by means of copper, or when the flux is to serve as a basis
for the ruby colour given by a minute quantity of gold. On the other
hand, if copper be added to a flux containing an excess of either soda
or potash, we obtain a turquoise blue. A fine purple, again, can only be
obtained from manganese with an alkaline flux; if too much lead is
present only a brown tint is obtainable.

To melt these enamels and to ensure their adherence to the subjacent
glaze another firing at a gentler temperature is necessary; indeed in
many cases more than one such firing has to be resorted to. The
comparatively high temperature required to develop the colour of one
enamel may be sufficient to decompose or otherwise damage another part
of the decoration. The lowest temperature of all is that of the
muffle-fire in which the gilding is fixed. This is therefore the last
decoration to be added.

The oven in which these enamels are melted on to the surface of the
already glazed porcelain is called a muffle. The ware in this case is
protected from the direct action of the flame by the closed rectangular
box of fireclay in which it is placed, like bread in a baker’s oven. The
muffle is placed over the fireplace of a rectangular furnace, and the
flame plays round the sides in such a way as to ensure the uniform
distribution of the heat. For the sake of greater cleanliness and the
avoidance of dust, the pieces to be fired are placed upon tiles of
porcelain rather than upon biscuit or fireclay supports. The temperature
may vary from a dull to a full red heat (600° to 1000°C.), and the
firing lasts from four to twelve hours.

We have already mentioned incidentally many of the so-called
‘muffle-colours’ or enamels. Those used in China were carefully studied
some years ago by Ebelmen and Salvétat at Sèvres. It would appear that
the opaque white of the Chinese is obtained from arsenic--the merits of
the use of tin for this purpose appear to be unknown to them. The blacks
are made from the already mentioned cobalt-manganese ore (wad), mixed
with white lead--when oxide of copper is added a more lustrous black is
obtained.[23] For the blue enamel, a very small quantity of cobalt
suffices to give a brilliant colour. The various tints of the greens and
blues derived from copper depend on the nature of the flux; of this we
have already given an instance. Antimony in combination with lead gives
a bright yellow, which tends to orange when a little iron is present; by
the addition of more iron the colour of old bronze is imitated. Iron in
the state of the sesqui-oxide is the source of many shades of red, but
as this iron oxide will not readily combine with silica to form a
transparent glass, it has to be applied as a more or less opaque paint,
and thus differs from the other colours in being in perceptible relief.
Hence the importance of the ruby red derived from gold, which was first
introduced into China in the early part of the eighteenth century, and
soon became the predominating colour in the decoration of the time (the
_famille rose_).

The palette of the European enameller is a more extensive one, and each
large porcelain manufactory has its book of recipes. The composition of
the enamels and the relation of the metallic oxides to the fluxes
employed have been systematically studied in more than one laboratory.
It is only at Sèvres, however, that the results obtained have been made
public. It has been the pride of successive generations of chemists--of
Brongniart, of Salvétat, of Ebelmen, not to mention living men--to
devise fresh sources of colour for the decoration of porcelain. First
chromium, then nickel, cadmium, uranium, iridium, and platinum have been
added to the list of metals from which enamel pigments have been
derived. Among the colours of the muffle-stove the chief gain has
perhaps been the discovery of the quality possessed by the oxide of zinc
of altering the tints of other metallic oxides with which it is mixed.



Introductory--Classification--The Sung Dynasty (960-1279)--The Mongol or
Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368).

_‘La porcelaine de la Chine! Cette porcelaine supérieure à toutes les
porcelaines de la terre! Cette porcelaine qui a fait depuis des siècles,
et sur tout le globe, des passionnés plus fous que dans toutes les
autres branches de la curiosité.... Enfin cette matière terreuse
façonnée dans les mains d’hommes en un objet de lumière, de doux coloris
dans un luisant de pierre précieuse.’_--EDMOND DE GONCOURT, ‘La Maison
d’un artiste.’

In any work on porcelain it is something more than the premier place
that must be given to the ware of China. We are dealing with an art
Chinese in origin, and during a succession of many centuries Chinese in
its development. It was only at a comparatively late time that the
knowledge of this art spread over the whole civilised world. We in
England have, as it were, acknowledged the pre-eminence of that country
by adopting the word ‘china’ as an equivalent, more or less, to

It was under Imperial patronage that the art was developed in China, and
the excellence of the porcelain of that country has in a measure varied
with the taste and intelligence with which that patronage was exercised
in different reigns. The native scholar and connoisseur has for ages
been a collector of choice pieces, and his influence has always been
exercised in a conservative direction. There is, indeed, in the whole
world no such consistent _laudator temporis acti_, and it is this
conservative spirit, resulting in a constant ‘returning upon oneself,’
that it is essential to bear in mind if we are to understand the
involved relation of the old and the new in the history of the arts of

But the Chinese potter was not working only for the court or for the
learned connoisseur, or again for the supply of the towns and villages.
From the earliest times, or at least for the last thousand years, there
has been a demand for his ware, small at first but slowly spreading,
from the outer barbarian. Porcelain, or something akin to it, has been
exported from China, by one path or another, from the time of the first
Arab settlements at Canton and Kinsay in the eighth or ninth century;
and thus a countervailing influence, acting in the direction of variety
and change, at least as far as the decoration of the ware is concerned,
has always been present. To give but two instances of this influence--we
shall return to the subject later on: in the intimate connection of the
Chinese court with Western Asia, and especially with Persia, in the
thirteenth century, we may probably find the occasion of the first
introduction into China of the blue decoration under the glaze; and with
more certainty--the fact is indeed acknowledged by the Chinese--we may
attribute the second great revolution in the decoration of porcelain,
the use of enamel colours over the glaze, to European or Arab influence.

On the other hand, the decline that set in at the end of the eighteenth
century was not a little hastened by the increased demand for ware
decorated to suit the depraved taste of the ‘Western barbarian.’

For in spite of his rigidity and his conservative spirit, the Chinese
potter has always understood how to adapt his wares to the changing
taste of his customers. Indeed the variation in the decoration, the
subtle _nuances_ in colour and design, that enable us to distinguish
between the Chinese porcelain exported to India, to Persia, and to the
nations of the Christian west, might be made the basis of a most
interesting study.

When we come to consider the various factories of porcelain that sprang
up in Europe in the course of the eighteenth century, we shall find that
what strikes the inquirer above all (in comparison with the kindred arts
of the time) is the little we can observe in the way of development
either in the technique or decoration of the wares. The art springs up
full-blown; what history there is is concerned rather with an artistic
decline. It is only in China that we can hope to trace the steps by
which this special branch of the potter’s art attained to the perfection
that we find in the products of the eighteenth century, and this alone
is a reason for dwelling, even in a treatment of the subject so general
and brief as this must needs be, on what may seem to some mere
antiquarian detail.

But there is another and perhaps even a more important reason for our
trying to form some idea of what the earliest wares of the Chinese were
like: unless we make some such endeavour we shall find it impossible to
understand the later history of porcelain in that country. One point
must be specially borne in mind when we are attempting to follow the
order in which fresh styles and designs were introduced in China. When a
new method of decoration had been adopted and had come into general
use--the introduction of underglaze blue in early Ming times, and that
of coloured enamels at a later period, are cases in point--this did not
involve the abandonment of the older styles. There was a constant effort
to maintain the old methods, and in the most flourishing times of the
emperors Kang-he and Kien-lung, the series of great men who had charge
of the imperial works at King-te-chen, some of them practical potters
themselves, were constantly occupied with the problems of reproducing
the glazes, if not the pastes, of the earliest wares. During the reign
of Yung-chêng (1723-1735), perhaps the culminating period in the history
of Chinese porcelain, when Nien Hsi-yao was superintendent, a list was
drawn up of fifty-seven varieties of porcelain made at King-te-chen. In
this list the titles of all the old wares of the Sung dynasty are to be
found, and to them the place of honour is evidently awarded (Bushell,
chap. xii.). The names of some of these old wares, the Ko yao and the
Kuan yao, for instance, are applied to porcelain in common use at the
present day, an attribution based on the greater or less resemblance of
this modern ware to the Sung porcelain, at least in the matter of the

It is only quite of late years that we in Europe have been able to make
any clear distinction, not only between the different classes of Chinese
porcelain, but between what is Chinese and what is not. A few years ago
the most characteristic porcelain of Japan was classed as Chinese, while
on the other hand Corea and even local English factories were credited
with porcelain made and decorated in one or other of the former

It is nearly two hundred years since the famous letters of the Jesuit
missionary, the Père D’Entrecolles, were written, and these letters
still remain our best source of information for the processes of
manufacture at King-te-chen. There was little further information on the
subject from the Chinese side[25] until, in 1856, Stanislas Julien
translated part of a Chinese work treating chiefly of the same porcelain
factory--this is the _King-te-chen Tao Lu_, a book which contains in
addition some information about the history of the different wares. This
translation was for many years the only native source of information
available to students of Chinese porcelain, and many were the
misconceptions and blunders in which these students were landed. The
book was indeed accompanied by a preface and valuable notes by M.
Salvétat, the porcelain expert of Sèvres, but Julien himself, though an
eminent Chinese scholar, had no practical acquaintance either with the
matter in hand or indeed with the country generally.

The beginning of a sounder knowledge of the subject was made when that
collector of genius, the late Sir A. Wollaston Franks, published a
catalogue of the private collection of Japanese and Chinese porcelain
which he afterwards presented to the nation. His marvellous intuition
and his vast experience enabled him to seize upon points of resemblance
and difference which threw light upon the origin of the various wares,
and to expose at the same time the inconsistencies of the arrangements
then in vogue. He it was who first pointed out the general
worthlessness, as a guide to the date or even the country of any piece
of porcelain, of the name of dynasty and emperor which it might bear.
His successor, Mr. C. H. Read, has well carried on the tradition. At the
present moment the British Museum is one of the few places where an
attempt has been made at a systematic arrangement of a representative
collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain.[26]

In the meantime in China itself, both in connection with the embassies
at Pekin and among some of the merchants at Shanghai and other treaty
ports, much information was being collected, and it was above all the
merit of Franks to keep himself in communication with and to encourage
all such research. Dr. Hirth, long in the service of the Chinese at
Shanghai and elsewhere, has published a series of learned studies
treating of the relation of the Chinese to the Roman empire, of the Arab
traders during the Middle Ages, and of the early history of Chinese
porcelain generally. But it is to a former member of our embassy at
Pekin, to Dr. Bushell, that we are above all indebted for the throwing
open of Chinese sources of information upon the history of porcelain. A
worthy successor of the Père D’Entrecolles in his intimate acquaintance
with the country and its language, Dr. Bushell is well abreast of the
chemical and technical knowledge of the day, and his position as
physician to our embassy at Pekin has given him access to information
from the best Chinese sources, as well as to the treasures of many of
the native collections of the capital.

Dr. Bushell has written the text to a sumptuously illustrated work,
nominally a catalogue of the collection of porcelain formed by the late
Mr. Walters of Philadelphia, and into this text he has woven all the
vast wealth of material that he had accumulated during many years of
study both at Pekin and in Europe. This work has thus superseded all
other sources of information on the history and manufacture of Chinese
porcelain. He has, in fact, ransacked all that has been written in China
on these subjects, and his translations have this advantage over the
works of Julien, that they are made by one who knows thoroughly the
subject that the Chinese author is dealing with.

We must not forget the researches on the chemical and technical side of
the subject by what we may call the school of Sèvres. To these workers
we have made frequent reference in previous chapters. It is to the
experiments and analyses of men such as Brongniart, Salvétat, Ebelmen,
and Vogt, that we are indebted for our knowledge of the chemical
constitution of the paste, the glaze, and the enamels of Chinese
porcelain, as well as for a rational exposition of the methods of its
manufacture. To sum up, our sources of information of late years are, in
the main, English, as far as the history and what I may call the
sinology of our subject are concerned; but for the chemistry and
technology we must turn to French works. As far as I know, little of
value has been published in Germany on the subject of Oriental
porcelain. The discussion between Karabacek, Meyer, and Hirth (whose
later papers have been published in German) on the early history of
celadon and on the Arab traders of the Middle Ages, is perhaps the most
notable exception.

We are in the dark even now as to the date and place of origin of more
than one class of Oriental porcelain. On the question of the relation of
the ceramic wares of China to the contemporary sister arts, there are
many points to be cleared up,--I mean especially the question how far
the early wares were influenced by the art of the bronze-caster and the
carver of jade, and again to what extent the decoration of porcelain in
later times was dependent upon the example of the contemporary schools
of painting. When we know about the pictorial art of the Chinese even
the little that we do already of that of their Japanese neighbours, we
shall, to give but one instance, be able to trace the source of the
beautiful landscapes and flower designs that we find on the vases and
plates of the _famille verte_ and _famille rose_.

There is one source of information which remains as yet almost
completely untapped. The Japanese have been for many centuries keen
collectors of Chinese porcelain, as of other Chinese objects of art.
They have their own views on its history, and some of the finest
specimens of the older wares remain still in Japan, in spite of the many
pieces that have of late years been carried away to Europe and America.
As we shall see, they have in their own pottery and porcelain handed on
to quite recent days many traditions of Ming and earlier times that have
been lost in China. If some Japanese connoisseur or antiquary, strong in
Chinese lore, could give us a history of porcelain from his own point of
view, I think that European investigators would have cause to be

Much could be gleaned, as I have already said, by studying the relation
of the potters art to that of the jade-carver and the caster of bronze,
and this brings us to an important point that perhaps has not been fully
appreciated by us in the West. I refer to the comparatively late date of
the beginning of porcelain in China compared, for example, to the arts
just mentioned. We can hardly carry back the history of true porcelain
beyond the great Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), and even in China there is
no existing specimen that can safely be attributed to so early a date.
But this same Tang dynasty was the very heyday in that country, not only
of military power but also of artistic culture. It would be impossible
to enter into this important subject here; it is one that has been
strangely ignored by us in Europe. Suffice to say that the great
figure-painters of this period were looked back to with veneration in
later times, both in China and in Japan, and that the two schools of
landscape, the colour school of the North and the black and white
‘literary’ school of the South--schools whose traditions have survived
to the present day--were both founded by Tang artists. At that time art
critics were known (and even honoured); they already wrote books on the
early history of painting, and they have left us descriptions of famous

We may expect, then, to find the influence of these more precocious arts
on the early fictile ware of China, and indeed we see the quaint
decoration and the not too beautiful outlines of the early hieratic
bronzes repeated on the rare specimens that survive from the dynasty
that after a period of unrest followed that of Tang. This was the Sung
dynasty, which lasted till the time of the Mongol invasion in the
thirteenth century.[27]

It is difficult for a European to appreciate the charm, or rather
superlative excellence, that is found by a Chinaman in a fine specimen
of jade. It is, however, a substance that is closely linked with his
philosophy, his religion, and above all with his all-important
ceremonial. No wonder, then, if from an early time he strove, with the
pastes and glazes at his command, to imitate such a material. And
numberless references in contemporary writers, as well as the evidence
of many of the oldest pieces of porcelain surviving, show that this was
the case. We may safely say that in these early specimens the thick
glaze, of tints varying from a true celadon to a more pronounced blue or
green, was admired in proportion to its resemblance to jade. As for the
porcelain itself, all that was looked for in the paste was that it
should be hard, and that the vessel when struck should give out a
bell-like sound--‘a plaintive note like a cup of jade,’ as one early
Chinese writer says of a porcelain cup in his collection.

The Chinese in these times possessed also elaborately carved vessels of
rock crystal and of various kinds of chalcedony, and these also it was
attempted to imitate with the early glazes. Glass, too, as a material
for small objects, was probably known; it seems, however, to have been
somewhat of a rarity. It is mentioned by writers of the Tang period in
connection with these early wares, and indeed it is possible that there
may be some confusion in the literature of the time (or rather perhaps
in our interpretation of the language used) between the two
materials--the thickly glazed porcelain and the more or less opaque

After these preliminary remarks we shall be in a better position to
interpret the somewhat involved and contradictory allusions to our
subject found in Chinese books.

We now come to the important question of the classification of Chinese
porcelain. A difficulty here arises from the rival claims of two
systems. The older and perhaps safer division depends solely on the
nature of the ware, its colour, decoration, etc.; but in opposition to
this the claim of the more logical, historical classification has, with
our increasing knowledge, become of late years more pressing. The result
has been an attempt to combine the two systems. Such an attempt must
necessarily lead to many compromises, and yet something of the sort is
perhaps the only available plan. We may compare the development of the
ceramic art in China to what has taken place in the evolution of the
animal kingdom: while new and more elaborated forms are evolved, the
older ones, or many of them, survive in but slightly modified forms. If
this tendency be borne well in mind there will be less danger of
confusion between the really old types and the modern representations or
even copies which are called, in China, by the same names.

The three classes into which Chinese porcelain is divided--and there is
a general agreement among collectors on this head--rest on such an
attempt to combine a historical with a technical classification:--

1. Porcelain with single-coloured glazes, including plain white ware.
The colour of the glaze is derived from two metals only, iron and
copper. Any further decoration depends upon the moulding of the surface
or upon patterns incised in the paste. All the wares made up to the end
of the Sung period (1279 A.D.) may probably be included in this class.

2. Porcelain decorated with colour under the glaze. This division is
nearly equivalent to our ‘blue and white’ ware, but in addition to
cobalt, copper is at times introduced to give a red colour. This system
of decoration was probably introduced during the course of the
fourteenth century, and it is associated with the Ming dynasty.

3. Porcelain decorated with enamels over the glaze, necessitating a
second firing in a muffle-stove. The use of these fusible enamel colours
came in probably during the sixteenth century, but the art was not fully
developed till much later.

The glazes of the first and second classes as a rule contained no lead,
and to melt them the full heat of the oven, the _grand feu_, was

There is, however, a class of porcelain which does not fall well into
any of the above divisions, but which is historically of great
importance. The blue, purple, and yellow glazes of this ware were
_painted_ on the biscuit after a preliminary baking of the paste, and
then fired, not in the hottest part of the furnace, but in what we may
call the _demi grand feu_. The glaze of this ware contains lead, and
this fact and the method of the decoration may be held to give it a
position bridging over the interval between our first two classes and
the third--that of enamelled porcelain. This ware, _painted on the
biscuit_, dates, however, from an earlier time than the latter class,
and must not be confused with it.

As I have pointed out, these types did not entirely replace one another,
for the earlier forms continued to be made by the side of the later.

One of our principal difficulties in discussing the early wares of China
is to reconcile and co-ordinate the various types described in old
Chinese books with the few specimens surviving at the present day. Of
these scanty examples we can point to scarcely any in public
collections; the rare pieces that have been brought from China are in
the hands of private collectors in England, France, and America. In the
Chinese authorities we find as early as the tenth century references to
porcelain which was ‘blue as the sky, brilliant as a mirror, thin as
paper, and as sonorous as a piece of jade’; an emperor who reigned just
before the accession of the Sung dynasty (960 A.D.) demanded that the
porcelain made for him should be ‘of the azure tint of the sky after
rain, as it appears in the interval between the clouds.’ Compare with
these descriptions the thick paste, barely translucent, the heavy
irregular glaze, greyish white to celadon or pale blue, of the few
specimens of undoubted antiquity that have survived to our day. How can
we reconcile the tradition with the material evidence? Two explanations
have been given of the discrepancy. According to one theory, all the
more delicate and fragile pieces have disappeared ‘under the hands of
time’ (or shall we say more definitely under those of endless
generations of housemaids?), only the heavy, solid specimens surviving.
The other theory is simpler: it is that the writers of the books are apt
to fall into exaggeration when speaking of any matter that has the
sanction of age--that, not to mince matters, they are as a class great
liars; and this is a point of view that commends itself to those who
have any acquaintance with Chinese literature.[28]

We have now, however, one source of information for these early wares
upon which, although it is in a measure a literary source, we can place
greater reliance. This is nothing less than an illustrated list, a
_catalogue raisonné_, of famous specimens of porcelain, drawn up by a
distinguished Chinese art connoisseur and collector as long ago as the
end of the sixteenth century. In this manuscript there were more than
eighty coloured reproductions of pieces, both from the author’s own
collection and from those of his friends. The work came from the library
of a Chinese prince of high rank, and it was purchased in Pekin by Dr.
Bushell some twenty years ago. Since then this valuable document has
perished in a fire at a London warehouse, where it had been deposited,
but not before the illustrations had been copied by a Chinese artist and
its owner had made a careful translation and analysis of its
contents.[29] The writer, Hsiang-yuan-pien, better known as Tzu-ching,
after giving a brief sketch of the early history of ceramics in his
country, exclaims apologetically: ‘I have acquired a morbid taste for
pot-sherds. I delight in buying choice specimens of Sung, Yuan, and Ming
ware, and exhibiting them in equal rank with the bells, urns, and
sacrificial wine-vessels of bronze dating from the three ancient
dynasties, from the Chin and the Han’ (2250 B.C. to 220 A.D.)--that is
to say, in placing them in the same rank as antiquities that are
acknowledged to be worthy of the attention of the scholar. Porcelain at
that time, we see, had hardly established its claim to so dignified a
position; hence the apologetic tone. After telling us how with the
advice of a few intimate friends he had selected choice specimens, which
he then copied in colour and carefully described, Tzu-ching concludes
with these words: ‘Say not that my hair is scant and sparse, and yet I
make what is only fit for a child’s toy.’ This appeal is evidently
addressed to the Lord Macaulays of his day.[30]

The first point to notice in this catalogue is that more than half of
the objects described are attributed to the Sung period (960-1279 A.D.),
that is to say, they were at least three hundred years old at the time
when Tzu-ching wrote. The Sung dynasty, we must bear in mind, was above
all remembered as a period of great wealth and material prosperity. Less
warlike than the Tang which preceded it, the arts were cultivated at the
court of the pleasure-loving emperors who had their capital during the
earlier time at Kai-feng Fu (in the north of Honan, near to the great
bend of the Hoang-ho). When driven south by the advance of the more
warlike Mongols they retired to Hangchow, the Kinsay of which Marco Polo
has such wonderful tales to relate. In these early days there was no
great centre for the manufacture of porcelain; it was made in many
widely separated districts, so that the classification of these early
wares is, in a measure, a geographical one. At King-te-chen, at least in
the later Sung period, they were already making porcelain, but for court
use only, it would appear, for at that time the factory was a strict
imperial preserve, and its wares did not come into the market.

As to the still older wares, those of Ch’ai and of Ju, which generally
hold the place of honour in Chinese lists, it was of the first that the
emperor spoke when he commanded that pieces intended for his own use
should be clear as the sky after rain; but no specimen of this porcelain
was extant even in Ming times. Its place, it would seem, was taken by
the JU YAO (the word _yao_ is about equivalent to our term ‘ware’),
which, like the Ch’ai, came from the province of Honan. This ware also
is now practically extinct; Tzu-ching, however, claims to have possessed
some specimens, and of these he gives more than one illustration. The
glaze was thick and like melted lard (a comparison often made by the
Chinese), and varied in colour from a _clair-de-lune_ to a brighter
tint of blue. The name Ju, we may add, is often applied to more modern
glazes which resemble the old ones in colour and thickness.

The name KUAN YAO, which means ‘official’ or ‘imperial’ porcelain, has
been the cause of much confusion; the term has been applied to any ware
made for imperial use. That of the Sung dynasty was made in the
immediate neighbourhood of the imperial court, first at Kai-feng Fu and
later at Hangchow. In its more strict use the term Kuan yao is applied
to pieces generally of archaic form, to censers ornamented with
grotesque heads of monstrous animals, and to wares of other shapes
copied from old ritual bronzes. The glaze varies in colour from emerald
green to greyish green and _clair-de-lune_, it is generally crackled,
the cracks forming large ‘crab-claw’ divisions. Other kinds are
described as white and very thin, but of these, perhaps for one of the
reasons given above, no examples have survived to our day.

LUNG-CHUAN YAO and KO YAO. It will be convenient to class together these
two most important types of Chinese porcelain. At the present day these
names are applied in China to some comparatively common varieties of
porcelain, not necessarily of any great age. But more strictly
Lung-chuan yao is the term used by the Chinese for the heavy celadon
pieces, whether dating from Sung or from Ming times, which were the
first kinds of porcelain to become a regular article of export; while
the word Ko yao is used as a general name for many kinds of crackle
ware, which may vary in colour from white to a full celadon. In a more
restricted sense it includes only the early pieces with a greyish white
glaze and well-marked crackles.

LUNG-CHUAN WARE was made during Sung times at a town of that name in the
province of Chekiang, situated about halfway between the Poyang lake
and the coast. In Ming times the kilns were removed to the adjacent
provincial capital, Chu-chou Fu, nearer to the coast. This was probably
the ware that Marco Polo saw when passing through the town of Tingui. It
was largely exported from the ports of Zaitun and Kinsay. It will,
however, be better to defer the discussion of this thorny question to a
later chapter, when we shall have something to say about the way in
which the knowledge of Chinese porcelain was spread through the
Mohammedan and Christian west. It will be enough for the present to
mention that the Lung-chuan ware was the original type and always
remained one of the principal sources of the Martabani celadon so prized
in early Saracen times.

As this is the first time that we come across celadon ware,[31] we may
mention that we use the term in the older and narrower sense for a
greyish sea-green colour tending at times to blue. The name is, however,
sometimes made to cover nearly the whole range of monochrome glazes. It
is the _Ching-tsu_[32] of the Chinese and the _Sei-ji_ of the Japanese.

The true Lung-chuan celadon of Sung times was, however, of a more
pronounced grass-green colour. But we are concerned rather with the
later celadon made at Chu-chou Fu during the Ming period. For it is to
this time that we must refer most of the heavy dishes and bowls, often
fluted or moulded in low relief with a floral design of peony or lotus
flowers, or again with plaited patterns surrounding a fish or dragon


which occupies the centre; in other examples the decoration is engraved
in the paste. In either case, whether moulded or engraved, the glaze
accumulating in the hollows helps to accentuate the pattern. The paste
as seen through the glaze where the latter is thin appears white, but
where the glaze is absent, as on the foot, or where it is exposed by
bubbles or other irregularities, the ground is seen to be of a peculiar
reddish tint. By this test the Chinese claim to distinguish the older
celadon, the true _martabani_, from the later imitations made at
King-te-chen. The paste of these later copies is often artificially
coloured on the exposed surface so that they may resemble the old ware
(Hirth, _Ancient Porcelain_, pp. 21 _seq._).

As for the KO YAO, the old ware of Sung times is said to have been first
made in the twelfth century. The Chinese character with which ‘Ko’ is
written means ‘elder brother.’ According to the books there were at this
time at Lung-chuan two brother potters named Chang. The elder brother
leaving the younger Chang to continue in the old ways, started to make a
new ware distinguished by the crackle of its glaze. This was originally
a thick, heavy ware, with the iron-red foot and white paste already
noticed, but, as we have said, the name is now used for a large class of
crackle ware with a glaze of celadon, of greyish white and especially of
a yellowish stone colour. This porcelain with grey and yellowish crackle
does not seem to have been so largely exported as the uncrackled
celadon; bowls and jars of a similar ware have, however, been found in
Borneo and in the adjacent islands.

CHÜN YAO.--It is to this ware that we may trace back the now famous
family of _flambé_ porcelain. Chün yao was already made in early Sung
times, _i.e._ before the Mongol conquests of the twelfth century, in
Honan, not far from the old capital of Kai-feng Fu. A description in a
work of the seventeenth century leaves no doubt as to its
identification. ‘As to this Chün yao,’ the writer says, ‘a fine specimen
should be red as cinnabar, green as onion-leaves or the plumage of the
kingfisher, and purple, brown, and black like the skin of the
egg-plant.’ We have here the description of that ‘transmutation’ or
_flambé_ ware of which such magnificent examples were made at
King-te-chen in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and which has
lately been successfully imitated in France. The play of flashing colour
in the glaze was said to have been originally the result of accident,
but we must not attach much importance to statements of this kind. In
the old Sung pieces the clay is less white and fine than in the highly
finished examples made at King-te-chen during the reigns of Kang-he and
Yung-cheng. On the Sung ware we may frequently find a number (from one
to nine) engraved, sometimes more than once, in the paste, and these
characters are carefully copied in the later reproductions. We have here
perhaps the earliest instance of the employment of a mark on porcelain.
The old writers tell us apologetically of the vulgar names given, by way
of joke, it would seem, to these glazes, such as mule’s lungs or pig’s
liver--no inapt comparisons, however, for some of the effects seen in
these old wares. These varied hues were of course obtained from copper
in the first place, though the presence of iron, in both stages of
oxidation, may sometimes add to the variety of the tints.

KIEN YAO.--This was a dark-coloured ware made at Kien-chou, north-west
of the port of Fuchou. It must not be confused with the well-known
creamy-white ware of Fukien, exported in later days from the same port.
Certain shallow conical cups of this ware, with a vitreous glaze, almost
black, but relieved around the margin with small streaks and spots of a
lighter colour, were especially valued from very early times for the
preparation of powdered tea--nowhere more than in Japan, where an
undoubted specimen of this Kien ware is treasured as a priceless
heirloom. There is an excellent specimen in the British Museum: a
careful examination of this little bowl will give no little aid in
understanding what are some of the qualities that are looked for in
China and Japan in these old glazes. There is a quiet charm in the
glassy surface, and an air as of some quaint natural stone carefully
carved and polished rather than of a product of the potter’s wheel.

TING YAO.--In the Ting yao of the Sung dynasty, as in the case of the
contemporaneous celadon and crackle wares, we have the oldest type of an
important class of porcelain. The earlier specimens have served more
than once as models for famous potters of Ming and later times. It was
probably at Ting-chou, a town in the province of Chihli, to the
south-west of Pekin, that a brilliant white porcelain was first
successfully made by the Chinese, possibly as early as the time of the
Tang dynasty; and the name of Ting yao has remained associated with all
pure white wares of a certain quality, even though made at other places.
As in the case of the celadon porcelain, the decoration, if any, was
either in low relief or incised in the paste; but in opposition to many
of the other wares we have mentioned, the Ting porcelain seems from the
first to have been made from a paste of great fineness, its translucency
was at times considerable, and the patterns were engraved or moulded
with much delicacy. The design when engraved is scarcely visible unless
the vessel is held up to the light. The specimens of Ting ware that
survive date probably from Mongol or from Ming times. The British Museum
possesses a remarkable collection of these Ting bowls and plates. A pair
of very thin pure white shallow bowls are noticeable as having in the
centre an inscription finely engraved in minute characters under the
glaze. It is the nien-hao or year-mark of the Emperor Yung-lo
(1402-1424), the first great name among the emperors of the Ming
dynasty. This is perhaps the earliest date-mark with any pretentions to
genuineness that has been found on the Chinese porcelain in our
collections. The decoration, in this case, is formed by a five-clawed
dragon faintly engraved in the paste. These bowls are specimens of the
_feng_ or ‘flour’ Ting ware (also known as _Pai_ or ‘white’ Ting), but
most of the Ting plates in the same collection are of quite another kind
of ware, which has a surface like that of a European soft-paste
porcelain--this the Chinese know as the _Tu-Ting_ or earthy Ting. This
latter ware has in fact a soft lead glaze covering a hard body, and must
therefore have required two firings, the first to thoroughly bake the
paste, and a second at a lower temperature to melt the glaze on to it.
Some of the specimens of this _Tu-Ting_ in the British Museum are said
to date from Sung times. I do not know what is the authority for the use
of a lead glaze in China at so early a date. Many of these plates have
certainly a great appearance of age, but this antique look is due in
some measure to the ‘weathering’ of the soft glazes on the exposed
surfaces. This weathering has brought into prominence the very graceful
decoration of lotus-flowers, but the surface is often discoloured by
stains as of some oily matter which has apparently found its way under
the glaze. The copper bands with which the edges of many of these plates
are bound are mentioned in the old accounts; those in use in the palace,
it is said, were fitted thus with collars to preserve the tender

We must postpone the account of the rival white ware, the creamy
porcelain of Fukien, or later Kien yao, as none of it was made as early
as the time of the Sung dynasty. The Kien yao of that time, as we have
seen, was quite another ware.

We have now mentioned the most important of the classes of Chinese
porcelain that date from early times. We have confined our brief notice
to the varieties of which specimens have survived, laying special stress
upon those kinds which have, as it were, founded a family, and which we
can therefore study in specimens from later ages. The names of many
other wares of both the Sung and Tang periods may be found in Chinese
books, but of these we do not propose to say a word.

The paste of these early wares is rarely of a pure white, and their
translucency is generally very slight, but they are not for that reason
to be classed as stonewares. The materials were probably in all cases
derived from granitic rocks, that is to say, from a more or less
decomposed granite (containing mica and often a certain amount of iron)
mixed with some kind of impure kaolin. Professor Church, in his Cantor
Lectures, gives us two analyses of ‘old Chinese ware,’ which confirm
this view. One specimen, with a white body, was found to contain 75 per
cent. of silica, about 18 per cent. of alumina, and about 5·5 per cent.
of alkalis (chiefly potash). The other, of brownish coloured paste,
contained a little less silica, but as much as 2·5 per cent. of iron.
For the roughly prepared material of these old wares we would prefer the
name of proto-porcelain or kaolinic stoneware, so that there may be no
confusion with the true stoneware of Europe, a quite different

In the absence of more ordinary clays in the central and northern parts
of China, some such kaolinic pottery may have been made by the Chinese
from very early times. When in Tang or in earlier days it occurred to
them to attempt to imitate jade or other natural stones, they had the
good fortune to be already using materials that allowed of these
experiments being after a time crowned with success. The important point
that still remains unsettled is at what date they first succeeded in
covering a ware of this class with a vitreous coating. For the date of
the first use of glaze in China we can at present only give a very wide
limit, let us say some time between the first and the fifth century of
our era. Very probably it was their acquaintance with the nature of
glass that put them on the right track. This material, it is said, they
first knew of from their intercourse with the later Roman empire. There
is some reason to believe that they acquired at the same time the secret
of its manufacture, though, according to the Chinese, the art was lost
at a later time.[34]

We can now form some idea of how far the art of making porcelain had
advanced at the time when the tide of the Mongol invasion swept over the
country. Our knowledge of the wares made at this time must be derived
chiefly from the imitations of the older porcelain made at a later
period, but in such a conservative country as China this reservation is
of no great importance. We must remember that in all these wares there
was no other decoration than that given by the glaze as applied to the
variously moulded or incised surface of the paste. The nature of the
glaze was therefore of pre-eminent importance. The range of colour,
except in the rare _flambé_ vases, was in the main confined to shades of
blue and green, and even of these colours pronounced tints are rare. All
the colours at the command of the potters of these days were derived
from the oxides of iron and copper. And yet with such simple elements,
what an infinite variety! It has been truly said by a French writer that
the beauty of the glaze is the _qualité maîtresse de la céramique_, and
it is partly a recognition of this claim that has led so many French and
American collectors, of late, to follow the example of the Chinese and
Japanese connoisseurs, and to give so marked a preference to monochrome
porcelains, which owe their charm to the

[Illustration: _PLATE IV._ CHINESE]

merits of the glaze alone. But the specimens we find in these
collections are with but few exceptions of much later date. The price
that a fine piece of Sung ware, above all if it has a good pedigree and
comes from a known collection, has always commanded in China has
sufficed, at least until quite lately, to keep such specimens in their
native country.

As we have said, there are very few examples in our public collections
that can with any assurance be attributed to Sung times. In the British
Museum, in the same case with the Kien yao tea-bowl already mentioned,
is a jar some twelve inches in height, with two small handles on the
shoulder. It is of irregular shape and covered with a thick glaze of a
pale turquoise blue, faintly crackled. Close to the mouth is a bright
red mark, like a piece of sealing-wax, due probably to the local partial
reduction of the copper. This beautiful but very archaic-looking jar
(PL. IV.) is attributed to no earlier date than the later or southern
Sung dynasty (1127-1279). Among the large number of crackle monochrome
pieces in the same collection there are many specimens which a Chinese
connoisseur would classify as Ko yao, and similarly some of the old
_flambé_ pieces might be termed Chün yao, without definitely assigning
them to Sung times. The Lung-Chuan celadons are represented by some
early pieces, more than one distinguished by the red foot. There are
some fine plates of old heavy celadon at South Kensington, not a few
purchased in Persia. Here may also be found a celadon jar cut down at
the neck; and the ‘mouth’ thus artificially formed has been carefully
stained of a red colour to imitate the old ware. The French museums are
particularly rich in specimens of old _martabani_ celadon--I would point
especially to several large dishes both at Sèvres and in the _Musée
Guimet_. But what is perhaps the finest collection in Europe of celadon
and other old wares is now to be seen in the museum at Gotha. It was
brought together by the late Duke of Edinburgh, who added to previous
acquisitions the collection formed in China by Dr. Hirth.

YUAN DYNASTY (1280-1368).

Probably at no period during its long history has the Chinese empire
been subjected to such a thorough shaking up, to such a complete
upsetting and reversal of its ancient ways, as during the advance of the
Mongols from the north to the south during the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. When they had at length subdued the whole land, there was a
moment during the rule of the liberal-minded Kublai Khan when the old
barriers and prejudices seemed to have been broken down, and when the
Middle Kingdom appeared to be about to enter the general comity of
nations. This is what gives to Marco Polo’s account of the country,
which he visited at the time, so very ‘un-Chinese’ an air. We hear of
Italian friars and French goldsmiths at the court, and of projected
embassies from the Pope. Still closer were the relations with the
Mohammedan people of Western Asia, then ruled by members of Kublai’s
family. Marco Polo, we know, formed part of the escort of Kublai’s
sister, when she travelled by sea to Persia to become the bride of the
Mongol khan of that country; and a predecessor of this latter ruler,
Hulugu, as early as the middle of the thirteenth century, brought over,
it is said, as many as a thousand Chinese artificers and settled them in

And yet when scarcely two generations later the degenerate descendants
of Kublai were driven from the imperial throne and replaced by a native
dynasty, what slight permanent trace do we see of all these changes
reflected in the arts of the Middle Kingdom! No doubt, on looking
closely, we should find that a change had taken place during these
years: new materials had been brought in, new forms and new decorations
applied to the metal ware and the pottery of the Chinese. It is in
connection with these two arts especially (and we may add to them the
designs on textile fabrics) that we find so many points of interest in
the mutual influence of the civilisations of China and Persia at this
time. We must remember that in the thirteenth century the craftsman of
Persia, as the inheritor of both Saracenic and older traditions, was in
many respects ahead of his rival artist in China.

As far as the potter’s art was concerned this was the first meeting of
two contrasted schools, which between them cover pretty well the whole
field of ceramics--of that part at least of the field in which the glaze
is the principal element in the decoration.[35]

The Persian ware of this time was the culminating example of an art that
had been handed down from the Egyptians and the Assyrians. As a rule,
among these races, the baser nature of the paste had been concealed by a
more or less opaque coating either of a fine clay or ‘slip,’ or of a
glaze rendered non-transparent by the addition of tin; it is on this
coating that the decoration is painted, to be covered subsequently (in
the first case at least, that of the slip ware) by a coating of glaze.
It is to this large class, for the most part to the latter or
stanniferous division, that nearly all the famous wares of the European
renaissance belong, not only the Spanish and Italian majolica but the
enamelled fayence of France and Holland as well. It was with the latter
two wares that at a later date the porcelain of China was destined to
come into competition. Each of these ceramic schools, the Eastern
porcelain and the Western fayence, might in certain points claim
advantages over the other, advantages both of a practical and of an
æsthetic nature. For example, the glory of the Persian fayence of that
day lay in its application to architecture, in the brilliant coating of
tiles that covered the walls and the domes of the mosques and dwellings
both inside and out. The Chinese have never succeeded in making tiles of
any size with their porcelain. When used for the decoration of buildings
the porcelain, or rather the earthenware, is always in the form of
solid, moulded bricks.

But there is another matter with which the Chinese who visited Western
Asia at that time cannot fail to have been struck--with the materials, I
mean, at the command of the Persians, for the application of colour both
under and over the glaze. Of the decorations over the glaze the most
important were those given by their famous metallic lustres. This
lustre, we now know, was the result of an ingenious process by which a
film of copper, or sometimes of silver, was developed on the surface of
the glaze.

The Chinese have never attempted anything of the kind, in part because
such a method of adornment was foreign to their notions of what was
fitting. For we must bear in mind that the influence of the literary
tradition in China has always tended towards simplicity of means in
their decorative arts, and has been opposed to anything like an
ostentatious display of expensive materials. Any marked infringement of
this sentiment, even on the part of an emperor, has always called forth
a protest from the censors. Another cause which hindered the adoption of
the lustre decoration by the Chinese may be found, no doubt, in the
difficulties of its practical application. At that time the processes of
the muffle-stove for decoration over the glaze were quite unknown to
them.[36] But the Saracens, in Western Asia, were already in possession
of another means of decorating their ware. This they found in the use of
cobalt, especially as a material for painting a design on the paste
before the application of the glaze. We find this colour at times on the
tiles that lined their prayer-niches; these indeed date from a somewhat
later time. But there is another variety of Saracenic ware of which a
few specimens have survived. I refer to the vases and bowls covered with
a thick alkaline glaze, and decorated, in part at least, _under the
glaze_ with a design of black lines and some rude patches of blue. These
rare vases were formerly classed as Siculo-Moorish, but later research
has proved most of them to be of Persian or perhaps rather of Syrian or
Mesopotamian origin. They appear to be the work of thirteenth century
potters, and some of them may be of even earlier date.[37]

When we consider that there is no evidence of the use of cobalt by the
Chinese for the decoration of their porcelain during Sung times, that
indeed the use of colour apart from that of the glaze as a means of
decoration appears to have been then unknown; but that, on the other
hand, not long after the turmoil of the Mongol invasion and
domination--a period during which the two countries, China and Persia,
were so closely connected--we find the use of cobalt as a decoration
_sous couverte_ firmly established, we may, I think, regard it as not
improbable that it was from the Persians that the Chinese learned the
new method of decoration.[38]

The influence of the Saracenic art of Western Asia is indeed now for the
first time to be seen in other directions, and we shall find it cropping
up here and there during the whole of the following Ming period. It was
the source of many new forms which we see now for the first time in
China: the graceful water-vessels, for instance, with long necks and
curved spouts, copied from the Arab _Ibraik_. Again, we find this
influence at times in the _motifs_ of the conventional floral patterns
found on Ming porcelain, though these patterns, indeed, are always mere
counterchanges, as it were, upon a field of an unmistakable Chinese
stamp (PL. VI.). All these changes were doubtless regarded as anathema
by the Chinese censors, who reminded the rash innovators that the great
men of old were content with simple materials and forms, and that they
in their wisdom rejected all such meretricious ornament. For it was
seriously maintained that had they thought it desirable, these old sages
could have commanded all the resources of the later potter, not only the
larger field he could draw from for his designs and colours, but the
improved paste of his porcelain as well.

On the other hand, the Chinese influence at this time on Persian art was
small. By a careful search we may find at times a dragon or a phœnix
amid unmistakable Chinese clouds on the spandrel above the arch of a
Persian prayer-niche of the fourteenth century, or forming the centre of
a star-shaped tile. But the great invasion of Chinese wares and Chinese
schemes of decoration belongs, as far as the fictile art of the country
is concerned, to a later period, that of Shah Abbas in the early years
of the seventeenth century.

It is not unlikely that in China the Western influence did not make much
way until the time of the early Ming emperors, and that it was due more
immediately to the growing commercial intercourse with the Persian
Gulf, but this intercourse was itself fostered by the events of the
Mongol invasion.

There is very little to be said of the porcelain made during the time of
the MONGOL or YUAN dynasty, and we have few specimens that can be
definitely assigned to that period. The name is still given in Pekin to
a rude, somewhat heavy ware, with a thick glaze of mingled tints, among
which a shade of lavender with speckles of red predominates. This is but
a modification of the Chün yao of Sung times, and belongs in a general
way to the class of ‘transmutation’ wares--those in which the colours
depend on the partial reduction of the oxides of iron and copper in the
glaze. Specimens of this ware that claim to be of Chinese origin are
often found in Japan, where they are much in favour for use as flower
vases, but neither in that country nor in China have the pieces we meet
with much claim to any great antiquity.

There is only one specimen in the Bushell manuscript that is attributed
by Tzu-ching to the Yuan period--this is a little vase of white ware
decorated with dragons faintly engraved in the paste under the glaze.

This white ware, generally classed as Ting, is indeed in many of our
books on porcelain considered to be especially characteristic of the
Mongol dynasty, but I cannot find any definite confirmation of this. The
finer pieces of plain white seem to be generally attributed by the
Chinese rather to the beginning of the next dynasty. The little white
plate in the Dresden Museum, said to have been ‘brought back from the
East by a crusader,’ has no claim to such an early date.[39]


THE PORCELAIN OF CHINA--(_continued_).

THE MING DYNASTY (1368-1643).

It was in the course of the three centuries during which the Ming
dynasty ruled in China that the greatest advance was made in the
manufacture of porcelain. When, however, we come to look a little more
closely, we find that this long period may be shortened by nearly a
hundred years. Before the accession of Yung-lo (1402), and after the
death of Wanli (1619), the times were little favourable to the arts of
peace, and even in this shorter period of two centuries there were
intervals, indeed whole reigns, of which there is little to report.

The points of chief importance to remember in connection with this
dynasty are--1. That not later than the beginning of the fifteenth
century the employment of the oxides of copper and cobalt for decoration
under the glaze was coming into general use. To this, or perhaps to an
earlier date, we must assign the beginnings of the ware that we in
England are wont to consider the most important of all, the great family
of ‘blue and white’ porcelain. 2. That probably about the same time, or
soon after, the ‘painted glazes,’ as we have called them, were
introduced. In this ware the colours required for the decoration--the
palette was a very restricted one--were painted directly on the biscuit,
the piece having been previously fired; it was then re-fired at a
moderate heat. 3. That at a later period, probably about the middle of
the sixteenth century, the employment of enamel colours above the glaze
was introduced, probably under European influence.

It is the blue and white that we are above all accustomed to associate
with the Ming period. But this is not the Chinese point of view. If we
consult the Bushell manuscript (see chap. v.) we find that Tzu-ching,
towards the end of the sixteenth century, had in his collection
thirty-nine pieces which he attributed to the reigning dynasty, but of
these only five or six would be classed by us as ‘blue and white’; at
least equal importance was given to those decorated with copper-red
under the glaze, and even more specimens belong to the class of painted
glazes. These latter are chiefly little objects--pen-rests, rouge-pots,
and small wine-jars moulded to represent plant and animal forms, the
gourd or again the persimmon being great favourites. We must not confuse
these early specimens, dating mostly from the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, with the somewhat similar objects so much sought after by the
French collectors in the eighteenth century, which belong for the most
part to the contemporary _famille verte_; on these the decoration is
given for the most part by enamels _painted over the glaze_. Still it is
from some of these little _magots_ that we can perhaps form the best
idea of the coloured porcelain so prized by Tzu-ching, but of which we
are unable to point to any specimens in our collections.

In connection with these painted glazes--for it undoubtedly belongs to
this class--it may be well to say something of a very decorative ware of
which the origin is probably to be placed in early Ming times. The
colours are distinctly those of the _demi grand feu_, and in this ware
we have the earliest instance of the use of these colours. This
porcelain occurs most frequently in the shape of vases of baluster
outline with contracted necks and small mouths, or sometimes of the
more ordinary oil-jar shape, with wide mouths. We may distinguish two
types of this ware. In the first the decoration is given by means of a
low relief of beads and of ribs surrounding countersunk _cloisons_. The
field between these _cloisons_ is of a deep blue passing into a
blue-black, and the _cloisons_ themselves are filled with a wash of
turquoise or straw-yellow. Chains of pearls in festoon surround the
neck, and from these hang _pendeloques_ of various Buddhist emblems. On
the body of these vases the decoration often consists of lotus-plants
arising from conventional waves.[40] In the second type the turquoise
blue predominates, an impure pale manganese is added, and the jars are
often built up of an open-work trellis of bars. Both the turquoise and
aubergine purple porcelain of the Kang-he period, as well as the
Japanese Kishiu ware, may possibly be traced back to a Ming porcelain of
this class. There are specimens of all these wares in the British Museum
and at South Kensington. In the Salting collection is a jar of the
_cloisonné_ type, the blue-black ground covered with a skin of thin
glaze of a dull surface. This jar was formerly the property of a
Japanese collector (PL. II.).[41]

The colours applied _under the glaze_ are confined to cobalt blue and
copper red. The latter when fine in tint was greatly prized by the
Chinese, and we are informed that in the most brilliant specimens the
colour was given by ‘powdered rubies from the West.’ It was, however, a
treacherous colour to use, and after the period of Hsuan-te (1425-1435),
which was famous for its ruby-red,

[Illustration: _PLATE V._ CHINESE]

it fell into comparative disuse and was displaced in a measure at a
later date by a more manageable iron red. The use of the copper
sub-oxide to obtain a red, _sous couverte_, was, however, revived in the
time of Kang-he. On examples in European collections this red, when used
alone or in connection with blue, is generally of a rather poor maroon
colour, and it has not found much favour with us. The colour was often
thus applied to the painting of fish, floating, it may be, among blue
water-weeds. We see it at its best as a monochrome on some little bowls,
enlivened with a floral design in gold, in the British Museum. These
cups and some similar ones at Dresden undoubtedly date from Ming times;
the ruby tint seen through a brilliant glaze has never been equalled in
later days. With these we may compare certain little apple-green bowls
similarly decorated with gold. One of these in a silver-gilt mounting of
the early sixteenth century is in the Gold Room at the British Museum
(PL. V.).


What we somewhat vaguely call ‘blue and white,’ that is porcelain
decorated under the glaze with designs painted with cobalt blue, has
always formed the most important class in the eyes of European
collectors, at least of those of England and Holland. This preference
has been even more marked with the people of India and Persia, and no
wonder, for no combination of colour more suggestive of coolness could
be imagined. It has thus come about that this class of ware, more than
any other, has been made with the direct object of exportation. This
blue and white porcelain of China and Japan, which has found its way
into so many lands both of Europe and Asia, has for centuries had the
profoundest influence upon the native wares of these countries, whether
of porcelain or of fayence.

In China, by the introduction of this process of freely painting with a
brush upon the surface of the paste, the potters art was for the first
time brought into contact with that of the painter, and thus fell under
new influences. The artists of China at that time were divided into many
schools, but what we may call the literary or _dilettante_ influence was
predominant, and this influence is reflected in the subjects treated on
Ming porcelain--subjects which, as usual in China, were handed on to the
ceramic artists of the next dynasty. The earliest decoration in blue and
white in no way followed, as far as we know, the hierated types of the
old bronze ware. Such _motifs_ we do indeed sometimes see repeated on
porcelain, but only on pieces that may safely be attributed to a much
later date, especially to the pseudo-archaic revival of Yung-cheng’s
time (1722-35).

There is no class of Chinese porcelain to which it is more difficult to
assign even an approximate date than to this blue and white ware. We may
say at once that the _nien-hao_, or the characters giving the name of
the dynasty and the emperor, so often found inscribed on the base, are
in the vast majority of cases of no value for fixing the date, and this
is especially true when the name of a Ming emperor is thus found. What
is more, these marks, as far as we can judge (from the knowledge we now
possess derived from other sources), do not, as we might have expected,
even help us in giving hints of the style prevailing at the period
indicated by the date. To take but one example, the reign-mark of
Cheng-hua (1464-87) is the one most frequently found on the finest
pieces of blue and white (in the Salting collection, for instance), but
by far the greater number of the pieces so marked undoubtedly date from
the beginning of the eighteenth century. On the other hand, the Chinese
books all agree in telling us that this Cheng-hua period was noted for
a decline in the excellence of the blue, but on the other hand was
pre-eminent for its coloured decoration. It was rather the earlier
Hsuan-te period (1425-35) that was renowned for the brilliancy of its
blue. These statements of the Chinese authorities are confirmed by an
analysis of the Ming specimens illustrated in the Bushell manuscript.
The Japanese, perhaps a little more rationally, give the preference to
the reigns of Hsuan-te and Yung-lo (1402-24), for the date-marks of
these emperors (‘Sentoku’ and ‘Yeiraku’ in the Japanese reading) are to
be read on the commonest modern blue and white in domestic use in that

This is a point that cannot be too strongly dwelt upon. Perhaps if a
little more of the care and research that have been devoted to the
reading of these _nien-hao_ and other inscriptions on Chinese porcelain
had been earlier directed to a careful examination of the glazes and
enamels, and to questions of technique generally, the misconceptions
that so long prevailed as to the dating and classification of Oriental
porcelain would have been sooner dispelled.

But what means have we then for settling the date of a piece of Chinese
blue and white ware? What criterion is there for distinguishing between
specimens of early Ming, late Ming, or Manchu times?--or indeed between
those of Chinese and Japanese origin? That we even now possess no very
exact criterion is shown by the wide difference of opinion so often
found in individual cases. If we are to form our judgment from the rare
extant pieces of blue and white known to have been imported into Europe
in the sixteenth century, we must regard the Ming ware as distinguished
by a certain irregularity of surface, seen best by side-reflected
lights; the pieces are generally moulded, and the marks of the lines of
junction of the moulds are often to be traced on the surface; the paste,
too, is generally very thick, and sometimes shows gaping fissures at
the margin. The drawing of the design is somewhat hasty and summary,
although at times distinguished by a freshness of handling and by a
certain caligraphic freedom. But we must not draw too hasty an inference
from the few specimens in our European collections, many of which must
have been made, as we shall see later on, at a period of temporary
decline; nor are we justified in regarding mere articles of commerce, as
most of these specimens undoubtedly were, as representative of the
higher artistic products of the time.

The blue in these early pieces is generally of a full tint but not of
any remarkable quality. There are, however, to be found a few specimens,
heavily moulded indeed and of irregular contour, decorated with cobalt
blue of a full sapphire tint. Of this class there are one or two
brilliant specimens both in the British Museum and at South Kensington.
In these and in other Ming wares the surface of the glaze is often
dulled, and this is not always the result of minute scratches, for
sometimes a process of devitrification appears to have set in.[42]
Another class of Ming ware is distinguished by a decoration delicately
painted in a pale blue tint, and it was this style that was copied by
the Japanese in their Mikawaji ware of the seventeenth century.

It is to later Ming times that we must attribute the bulk of the rough
heavy ware of which so much is found in India.[43] These are generally
large plates and bowls, often discoloured from having been used for
cooking purposes. The decoration is hastily executed


in a dull indigo blue (derived of course from cobalt, as in other
cases), and the outlines are often accentuated by black lines. Many fine
specimens of this picturesque ware, from the collection of Mrs. Halsey,
were shown in the exhibition of blue and white ware at the Burlington
Fine Arts Club in 1895. It was claimed for one large vase that it came
from the palace of the Moguls at Agra, and that it had been presented to
Jehangir by the Chinese emperor Wan-li (1572-1619). It is often stated
that this class of ware was made at some factory in the south of China,
probably in the neighbourhood of Canton, the port from which doubtless
most of it was exported. As yet, however, no evidence, as far as I am
aware, for such a factory has been brought forward, and no definite
locality indicated. The statement made by the Abbé Raynal, about a
factory at Shao-king Fu, rests probably upon a misconception.

There are several specimens of blue and white in England, the metal
mountings of which date from the early seventeenth or even from the
sixteenth century. Of these the most famous are the four pieces from
Burleigh House (now belonging to Mr. Pierpont Morgan), which are
believed to have been in the possession of the Cecil family from the
time of Queen Elizabeth. One of these bears the date-mark of Wan-li, the
contemporary of that queen. This ware is not particularly fine, the
surfaces are irregular, and all the pieces are apparently moulded (PL.

This subject, however, of the early presence of Chinese porcelain in
other lands we shall return to in a later chapter.

So far, then, with such imperfect lights as are at our command, we have
attempted to follow up the history of porcelain, and so far, say up to
the middle of the sixteenth century, China is practically the only
country with which we are concerned. Some fair imitations of celadon,
the _martabani_ of Oriental commerce, had probably by this time been
made in Siam and perhaps elsewhere, and the Japanese were already in a
sporadic way experimenting with imported and native clays. But up to the
sixteenth century the Chinese had practically the monopoly of the art,
and as we have seen they had at that time the command of three processes
of decoration--that is by monochrome glazes, by painting with glazes of
a few simple colours on the biscuit, and finally by means of cobalt
blues and copper reds painted on the surface of the raw paste.

Not but that some attempts may have already been made to apply coloured
decoration over the glaze--the next and final step in the history of
porcelain. There are some passages in contemporary Chinese books, giving
descriptions of elaborate subjects painted in many colours on porcelain
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which it would be difficult to
apply to our class of painted glazes. Thus--to take a pronounced
instance from an unexceptionable source--the miniature wine-cups, No. 59
of the Bushell manuscript, are attributed by Tzu-ching to the reign of
Cheng-hua (1464-87), and he describes them thus--‘They are painted in
enamel colours’ (so Dr. Bushell translates the original) ‘with flowers
and insects; ... the cockscomb, the narcissus and other flowers, the
flying dragon-fly and crawling mantis are minutely painted after life in
green, yellow, and crimson enamel.’ (This, by the way, is a combination
of colours which it must have been difficult to apply at one firing with
the pigments known at that time.) And yet in the absence of any specimen
of enamelled ware (using the word enamel in its restricted sense for a
decoration applied over the glaze) that can with certainty be attributed
to so early a period, it will be safer to postpone the date of the
introduction of this decoration, _sur couverte_, for another hundred

It will be remembered that the distinctive feature of this decoration
with enamels is the use of an easily fusible silicate, containing much
lead--in fact a kind of flint glass. A glass of this description is
capable of being stained by the addition of small quantities of certain
metallic oxides, some of which would not stand the heat requisite for
the firing of the porcelain. This, in fact, is the application to
porcelain of the arts of the glass-stainer and of the enameller, arts
already at this time fully developed in the West. For once the Chinese
authorities all agree in finding in an exotic and indeed Western art the
origin of their enamelled porcelain. When, however, we attempt to
interpret their statements we are landed in an even more than customary
chaos--so many are the different readings for the names of foreign
countries and for technical processes.

Let us then consider for a moment what the materials were that the
Chinese had to draw from--whether from Arab or other sources.

Putting aside the application of stained glass to windows, for specimens
of this art are not easily exported, these may be summed up as, first,
the enamelled glass of the Saracens, and secondly, the _cloisonnés_ and
_champlevés_ enamels of the Byzantines and other Western nations.

As to the first--the application of coloured and easily fusible enamels
to the surface of glass, which was then exposed to a second firing--this
process had been used by the Arabs for the decoration of their mosque
lamps and other vessels probably as early as the twelfth century, and
this was an art identical in its system with the application of the same
colours to the surface of porcelain. The beauty of the effect cannot
have failed to have struck the Chinese if they had had any opportunity
of seeing the finer specimens. But the material was fragile, and apart
from a statement by M. Scherer that glass was exported from Aleppo to
China,[44] I cannot find in the accounts of the Arab trade of the time
any record of such ware being imported into China.

On the other hand, we know that enamels on metal are first mentioned in
the Ming annals about the middle of the fifteenth century. They take
their name of Cheng-tai enamels from the emperor who reigned at that
period; but the proper Chinese term for such enamels is _Folang chien
yao_--‘the inlaid ware of Folang.’ Julien interpreted these words
‘_Porcelaines à incrustations (ornées d’émaux) de France_,’ and Dr.
Hirth carries us to Bethlehem! But the word _Folang_ is probably the
same as the term _Folin_ or _Fulen_, used as early as the sixth century
for the Roman empire of the East, and it may possibly be connected with
the Greek πόλις (cf. Stamboul = Εἰς τὴν πόλιν).[45] It is
definitely stated by a later Chinese writer that the same colours are
employed by both the enameller on metal and the decorator of porcelain.

If we examine the colours found on both the wares to which we have
tentatively traced back the enamelled porcelain of the Chinese--the
enamels on glass on the one hand, and those on metal on the
other--taking in each case the earlier specimens as examples, we find on
the mosque lamps from Cairo little except a deep blue generally used as
a ground for a design which is outlined in an opaque iron red. On the
famous flask from Würzburg, now in the British Museum, for which a
‘Mesopotamian’ origin of the thirteenth century is claimed, a turquoise
blue relieved by gilding is the predominant note; there is also a
sparing use of yellow, of an opaque white, and, what is especially
interesting, of a fine pinkish red, which is possibly obtained from
gold. (The way in which this colour is shaded into the opaque white
reminds us of the similar use of the _rouge d’or_ in later times in

If, on the other hand, we turn to the earlier Chinese enamels on metal,
the so-called Ching-tai vases, attributed to the fifteenth century, we
find among the colours used an opaque iron red, a yellow, an opaque
white, and finally two kinds of blue, a turquoise and a full deep blue
that looks like a cobalt colour.[46]

Some time, then, during the sixteenth century, whether before or after
the accession of Wan-li (1572), the Chinese began to decorate the
surface of their porcelain with jewel-like enamels _appliqués_ to the
glaze. At first, apparently, these colours were confined to three: a
copper green, a yellow generally of a buff tint, probably containing
antimony as well as iron, and a purple derived from manganese. These are
the _San-tsai_ or three colours of the Chinese writers, and it will be
seen that they differ from the colour triad of our ‘painted glazes’
(painted, that is, on biscuit and reheated in the _demi grand feu_) in
that the copper silicate is of a turquoise blue in the latter, and in
the former of a full leafy green. The Chinese authorities further tell
us that a second scheme of decoration was given by the _Wu-tsai_ or the
five colours which were made up by the three already mentioned, with the
addition of an opaque red derived from the sesqui-oxide of iron
(otherwise known as hæmatite, bole or red ochre),[47] and finally of a
cobalt blue, _sous couverte_, surviving as it were from the earlier blue
and white ware, for, as we have mentioned, the use of the blue as an
enamel over the glaze belongs to a later period.

So much for the teaching of the Chinese books; but when, attacking the
subject from the other side, we examine the specimens of enamelled ware
which for one reason or another--the coarseness and thickness of the
paste, the moulded form, and the irregular surface--we should be
inclined to attribute to the Ming dynasty, we are led to classify these
earlier examples somewhat as follows:--

1. On a white ground a design, often, it would seem, of textile origin,
roughly painted in an opaque red (like sealing-wax), with the addition
of a leafy green and very rarely of a little yellow. This is a class of
decoration much imitated in Japan at a later date, especially by the
artist potters of Kioto and at Inuyama.

2. The same colours with the addition of blue, _sous couverte_. The
design often takes the form of figures in a landscape, the whole broadly
treated. The earliest type of the Imari ware (apart from the Kakiyemon)
seems to be based on this scheme of decoration.

Both these classes are distinguished by the white ground, the sparing
use of yellow, and the almost complete absence of manganese purple and
turquoise blue.

3. A transparent enamel of leafy green, yellow and manganese purple
painted on in washes so as to cover the whole ground. When with these
colours we find the outline drawn in black, we have the basis of a large
part of the _famille verte_. On the other hand, it is this class of
decoration which probably carries on the tradition of the early Ming
ware, sometimes described as ‘enamelled,’ but more probably all of it
painted on the biscuit and fired in the _demi grand feu_.

In China it would seem that these enamelled wares

[Illustration: _PLATE VII._ CHINESE]

were at first treated with a certain disfavour, if not with contempt, at
least by the more cultivated classes. During Ming times, though
porcelain thus decorated was doubtless made at King-te-chen, it was, at
least up to the latter part of the reign of Wan-li, chiefly made in
private factories. In fact we find a censor, in the reign of that
emperor, protesting against the use of enamel colours (the _wu-tsai_) in
the porcelain supplied to the palace (Bushell, p. 241).

We have now sketched out a description of the various kinds of porcelain
made during the course of the Ming dynasty, and before going on at once
to an account of the period associated with King-te-chen and the great
rulers of the Manchu dynasty, it will be well to extract a few notes on
points that may interest us from the somewhat voluminous records and
descriptions of the porcelain of Ming times found in the books of the
Chinese authorities.[48]

YUNG-LO (1402-24).[49]--This great emperor, who sent out ships for
conquest and for commerce as far as Ceylon, is for us especially
associated with a white eggshell porcelain of which there are two
remarkable specimens in the British Museum (see above, p. 67). Bowls of
this thinness must have been pared down on the lathe, after throwing on
the wheel, in the manner described on p. 22, until a mere translucent
ghost of the original body was left, so that the name _to-t’ai_ or
‘bodiless,’ by which this ware is known to the Chinese, is not
inappropriate. The earliest blue and white porcelain of which there is
any definite record was made in this reign, but the evidence for this
is, of course, purely ‘documentary.’ The quality of the blue is said to
have been surpassed only by that of the Hsuan-te and Cheng-hua periods.

HSUAN-TE (1425-35).--The short reign of this emperor is connected in the
mind of the Chinese with the finest works both of the metal worker and
the potter. This period gave its name to the famous pale bronze so
admired in later days by the Japanese.[50] The blue of the Hsuan-te
period, unsurpassed in later times, we are told, was derived from Arab
sources, for the famous _Su-ni-po_ and _Su-ma-li_ blues are first
mentioned at this time. The word _Su-ma-li_ has been compared with the
low Latin _Smaltum_, the prepared silicate of cobalt used by the
mediæval glass-stainers, but from the description of this substance in
the Chinese books, it would seem rather to have been of the nature of a
native ore. When, however, we read in the same books of the origin of
the brilliant red for which this reign was equally famous, how it was
prepared from ‘powdered rubies of the West,’ we see how little reliance
we can place in their accounts. This red, derived of course from the
sub-oxide of copper, was applied either to cover the whole surface, as
in the little bowls mentioned on p. 81 (‘painted on the biscuit,’ says
Dr. Bushell, but is this necessarily so?), or for the painting of a
design in this case both alone and in combination with blue. We hear
also of large jars and garden seats of a coarse porcelain, with dark
blue and turquoise ground and decoration of ribbed cloisons, which were
first made in this reign. Of this class we have spoken at length when
treating of the ‘painted glazes.‘[51] Of what nature the decoration in
five colours, which is also referred to this reign, may have been, it
is difficult to say--we have no specimen so painted that we can assign
to so old a period, but in this connection we certainly must not think
of enamels painted over the glaze.

CHENG-TUNG reigned from 1435 to 1449; he was then captured by the
Mongols, and during the five years of his imprisonment his brother
Cheng-tai reigned in his stead. When Cheng-tung returned from his
captivity he adopted a fresh name.[52] This is the only instance of a
double nien-hao in later Chinese history. We hear of Cheng-tai in
connection with the introduction of enamels on metal, but for the
history of porcelain both reigns are a blank.

CHENG-HUA (1464-87).--This is a name familiar to collectors. It is found
more frequently than any other on highly finished vases dating really
from the eighteenth century. Strangely enough, this is the favourite
mark on the finest blue and white of this later time, although, as we
have already pointed out, the Chinese books tell us that, the sources of
the foreign cobalt blue being in Cheng-hua’s time exhausted, more
attention was given to coloured decoration. This was the time of the
famous ‘chicken-cups,’ for which such fabulous sums were given. These
cups are described as decorated with the wu-tsai or five colours; and
the subject painted on them, a hen and chickens by the side of a
flowering peony-bush, reminds one of the enamelled egg-shell cups of
Kien-lung (1735-95). The Ming cups were copied, we are told, at that
time; but it is difficult to connect this early ware, of which
unfortunately we possess no specimen, with the delicate enamel
decoration of the _famille rose_.[53]

HUNG-CHI (1487-1505).--This name appears especially on the back of
bowls in association with a yellow glaze of various shades, and, in
agreement this time with the material evidence, the Chinese books
mention this yellow as a speciality of the reign. Not that we can regard
all yellow ware with this mark as even of this dynasty; like other Ming
ware it was imitated in the eighteenth century. The yellow varies from
the pale brown of the raw chestnut to a full gamboge tint. There is at
South Kensington a dish or shallow bowl with a full yellow glaze; on the
back beside the nien-hao of Hung-chi, a Persian inscription and a date
corresponding to the sixteenth century has been cut in the paste.

CHENG-TE (1505-21).--The decoration of blue on a white ground is said to
have been revived in this reign. A new material, the _hui-ching_[54] or
Mohammedan blue, was obtained from Yun-nan. In connection with this, we
can point to a curious collection of bronze and porcelain, with both
Arabic and Chinese inscriptions, made probably for Mohammedan Chinese.
These objects were obtained by the late Sir A. W. Franks from Pekin, and
are now in the British Museum. Among them there are several pieces of
blue and white with the Cheng-te year-mark.[55] On one of these pieces
the Persian word for ‘writing-case’ forms part of the decoration (PL.
VIII.). It is in this reign that we hear for the first time of the
oppression exercised by the court officials upon the potters of
King-te-chen, and now also we find the court eunuchs in the highest
positions,--the great days of the Ming dynasty are already passed.

KIA-TSING (1521-66).--The name of this emperor is often found on blue
and white porcelain, and it is a favourite one with the Japanese
imitators. Some


specimens in our collections, of a fine sapphire blue (the colour is
indeed often inclined to run), may perhaps be referred to this reign.
The demands for the court were very extensive, and if we are to trust
the list of articles quoted by Dr. Bushell from the Fou-liang annals,
the porcelain made for the palace during this period was, with the
exception of a little of that with a brown ground, confined to blue and
white ware.

LUNG-KING (1566-72).--The bad reputation of this emperor is reflected in
the porcelain of the time--indeed the erotic character of the decoration
is the one point noted in the annals. The mark of this reign is rarely
found. There is, however, in the British Museum a large square support
or plinth, decorated with a blue of magnificent sapphire hue, which
bears the Lung-king nien-hao.

WAN-LI (1572-1619).--Of the porcelain surviving from Ming times, a very
large proportion probably belongs to this reign. It was now that the
European trade was beginning to reach large proportions, and the
exportation both to India and Persia was greater than ever. It was a
time above all for the manufacture of large pieces, but we must not look
any longer for the refinement and scholarly traditions of earlier Ming
periods. Dr. Bushell tells us that large bowls of the Wan-li ware are
still in use in the shops and stalls of Pekin. For us the difficulty is
to distinguish the blue and white ware of this reign from that made for
exportation during the next half century, a period during which the
annals of the Chinese authorities are a blank. The reign of Wan-li is
above all the period during which the use of enamel colours became
prevalent, and now, for the first time, some of the ware made for the
palace was, in spite of the protests of the censor, so decorated. But we
will reserve what we have to say on the origin of Chinese enamelled ware
until we come to treat of the progress made in the reign of Kang-he.


THE PORCELAIN OF CHINA--(_continued_).


KANG-HE.--After the death of Wan-li, in 1619, there is a long gap in the
history of Chinese porcelain. Some twenty years later, the last emperor
of the native dynasty was driven out by the Manchu Tatars, and the
dynasty which still reigns in the country was founded. But neither
during the reign of the first emperor of the new Tsing or ‘Pure’
dynasty, nor indeed during the first part of the long reign of his great
successor Kang-he (1661-1722), was much attention given to the imperial
factory at King-te-chen. The early years of Kang-he’s reign were
occupied with quelling the last efforts of the native Chinese party. We
may date the revival of active work from the appointment of Tsang
Ying-hsuan,[56] in the year 1683, to the post of superintendent at the
porcelain works. It was then, after an interval of more than sixty
years--almost a blank in the history of Chinese porcelain--that the
great renaissance set in, and we may date from that time the beginning
of the last great stage in that history--a stage which was to last for
another hundred years. During that period a succession of able and
enthusiastic men were in charge of the imperial works. With the support
of the great emperors who ruled in China for three long generations,
they were able to bring the manufacture of porcelain to a point of
perfection reached neither before nor since, and to produce that
wonderful series of vases, bowls, and plates that now fill the museums
and private collections of Europe and America.

It will perhaps be better to carry on our hasty historical sketch down
to the period of decline at the end of the eighteenth century, before
turning to the letters of the Père D’Entrecolles and his account of the
great city of the potter--King-te-chen. We shall then be in a better
position to understand the almost endless series of different wares that
were turned out from the kilns of that town in the eighteenth century.
We can finally make a rapid survey of the porcelain of China, picking up
many threads that have been dropped in the course of our historical

We have seen that the Chinese authorities when describing the coloured
ware of the Ming period speak of two ‘triads’ of colours. One, the
_turquoise_, purple and yellow group, we have identified with the ware
painted on the biscuit and reheated in the _demi grand feu_; while the
other, the _green_, purple and yellow class may be regarded as one of
the earliest forms of true enamel or muffle decoration. These two
classes were now in the earlier days of Kang-he brought to greater
perfection, and as by this time we have come to a period when the finer
wares began to be largely exported direct to Europe, we meet with many
specimens of these wares in our collections.

In the first of these groups the _Turquoise_ is the predominant
colour--indeed it is often found alone (PL. IX.). As a monochrome ware
it is distinguished by a fine crackle, which is always present but is
often only to be seen by a close examination. How much it is sought
after by collectors is shown by the fact mentioned by Dr. Bushell, that
in the Walters collection there are more than a hundred specimens of
this monochrome blue, and of these the majority probably date from the
reign of Kang-he. A combination of this turquoise with aubergine purple
derived from manganese was in favour at this time not only for the
little _magots_ and for small vases, but also for larger decorative
pieces as well as for tables and stands for other objects. It was above
all this combination that was copied by Zengoro and others for the
‘Oniwa’ ware of the Princes of Kishiu, and some of this Japanese
porcelain is very difficult to distinguish from the Chinese original.
The aubergine purple, like the turquoise, always finely crackled, is
seldom found alone in Chinese examples, but this is often the case on
the Kishiu ware. The third colour of the triad, the yellow, is quite
subordinate; there were evidently great difficulties in producing a fine
tint under the conditions of the _demi grand feu_. In like manner in the
early Ming ware, that with the ribbed cloisons, the yellow was only used
sparingly for the petals of a flower or for a chain of pearls. It should
be noted that this ware of Kang-he differs from its Ming predecessor in
the absence of the dark blue glaze.

FAMILLE VERTE.--In the first triad, that of the _demi grand feu_, the
turquoise blue, as we have seen, is the predominant colour. Its place is
taken in the triad of the muffle-stove by the green, which in many
shades of intensity, but with a prevailing leafy hue, has come to be
especially associated with the enamelled wares of this reign.[57]

[Illustration: _PLATE IX._ CHINESE]

It would be possible to make many subdivisions of this class--the
well-known _famille verte_. In the majority of cases the ground is
covered by a wash of one of the colours, so as to resemble a painted
glaze. It will, however, always be found on close examination that the
wash is _superimposed_ on the true colourless glaze, which may generally
be seen at the mouth and foot. A green of greater or lesser strength,
sometimes quite a thin wash, is the commonest colour for this ground; at
other times it is of a pale straw colour, or, more rarely, a purple of a
poor uncertain hue.[58]

It will be observed that in the muffle-stove the fine aubergine purple
that we noted in the class last described is rarely to be obtained from
manganese. In all cases the white ground is only left sparingly as a
reserve for the petals of flowers and for the faces. In addition to
these colours--the green, the yellow, and the purple--which are for the
most part used as washes, a dark brown or black is largely employed for
outlining the details of the decoration, as well as for tempering the
colour of the background by covering it with scrolls and spirals.

When this decoration is applied to the small moulded pieces--the
_magots_, for instance, so admired by the French collectors of the
eighteenth century--we have a class of objects to which the descriptions
(in the Bushell manuscript and elsewhere) of the decorated ware of the
fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries would seem to apply. As we have
seen, it is at the least very doubtful whether these early pieces were
decorated _over the glaze_, but in a general view it cannot fail to
strike one that the Kang-he decoration, in which washes of colour[59]
play so important a part, belongs to an earlier school than that of the
Wan-li porcelain, with its designs and medallions scattered over a white
ground. These last patterns are, it would seem, derived from textile
fabrics, from the rich brocades of the time, both Chinese and, possibly,
foreign. In the _famille verte_ of Kang-he’s time, on the other hand, we
may perhaps see a return, in general effect at least, to the _san-tsai_
and _wu-tsai_ painted glazes of earlier Ming time.

When in place of the wash of green (or may be of yellow) the background
is formed by a black enamel, we still feel the prevailing influence of
the green in the decoration, so that these black-ground vases are
rightly included in the _famille verte_. The black background itself is
often of a greenish quality, and in the designs the camellia-leaf green
is predominant; yellow and purple are but sparingly introduced, but the
effect is heightened by the white reserves (PL. X.). In many cases a
wash of green appears to have been carried over the black ground. This
green enamel may be often seen overlapping, as it were, on the foot of a

It would be difficult to find in the whole range of Chinese porcelain
anything more superbly decorative

[Illustration: _PLATE X_ CHINESE]

than some of these large black-grounded vases in the Salting collection.
We would call attention to one example on which the thin skin-like glaze
of the dull ground and the somewhat archaic drawing of the great dragon
that curls round the side suggest a date earlier than that of its
companions (PL. XI.). And yet these fine vases are wanting in two
elements which we are accustomed to regard as essential to the best
porcelain: they neither display to any extent the natural white colour
of the paste,[60] nor is the outline dependent on the motion of the clay
under the potter’s hand. Nearly all these vases, as indeed most of the
large vessels of this time, are built up from segments made in moulds.

What rich effects of colour are here obtained with a palette so
restricted! Perhaps not a little of the beauty of this decoration is due
to this very restriction. It will be noticed that we have in the more
characteristic examples a total absence of all shades both of red and of

In the other not less important division of the enamel decoration of
this time these last two colours are added, and we come again to a
pentad of colours--not, however, quite the same as the _wu-tsai_ of
Wan-li times. We are still under the influence of the _famille verte_:
the leafy green in two or more shades remains the predominant colour,
the opaque red is used more sparingly than in the later Ming enamelled
ware, and above all the cobalt blue is now used _as an enamel colour
over the glaze_. This latter use points to an important advance in
technique, and it affords an easy means of distinguishing the wares of
the two periods. The new method of employing the blue is, however, often
only to be recognised by close examination in a favourable light. What
at once distinguishes the newer ware is rather the displacement of the
opaque red of the Ming porcelain by the characteristic green of the
Kang-he time as the _dominant_ colour. When this full complement of five
colours is used, the general scheme of the design, however, follows more
on the lines of the Wan-li ware; we find sprays of flowers or figure
subjects relieved upon the white ground. But the drawing of the newer
ware is somewhat more realistic, and there is generally a greater
finish. In rare cases the five colours are combined with the black
ground, as may be seen on two large vases in the British Museum, but the
effect is not so happy as that obtained with a simpler range of colours.

There is another position in which these five enamel colours may be
found together--in the decoration of the white reserves left between
grounds of _bleu poudré_ and _fond laque_. This was a form of decoration
much admired in Europe, and one of the earliest imitated. This _fond
laque_ ware of various shades, with reserved panels decorated with
flowers or figures, has retained among dealers the designation of
Batavian porcelain, a name which, like our old terms Gombroon and East
Indian, throws light on the route by which it reached Europe. The deep
blue vases covered with elaborate designs in gold were also exported
before the end of the seventeenth century; of these large specimens have
been sometimes found in India. There is a tall vase of this ware in the
Indian Museum at South Kensington--the gilding, as is often the case,
has almost entirely disappeared.

In the historical development of our subject, which we are now following
with greater or less strictness, we are only concerned with important
developments and fresh types as they from time to time arise. We have
therefore little to say for the present of the blue and white and of the
wares with monochrome glazes of which we

[Illustration: Plate XI.

_Chinese. Black ground._]

have so many superb specimens dating from the reign of Kang-he. We must,
however, mention in passing the brilliant _sang de bœuf_ vases
especially associated with the early years of this emperor. As in the
case of the ‘transmutation’ or _flambé_ glazes, the deep red colour of
this ware is produced by the action of a reducing flame upon a silicate
of copper. It is known in China as Lang yao, and there has been some
misconception as to the origin of the term. If, as the best authorities
tell us, we are to derive the name from Lang Ting-tso, the famous
viceroy of the Two Kiangs (the provinces of Kiangsi and Kiangnan) at the
time of the accession of Kang-he, the earliest form of this Lang yao
must be associated with a period (say about the years 1654-1668) which
is otherwise quite sterile in the annals of Chinese porcelain.

YUNG-CHENG (1722-1735).--When in 1722, after a reign of more than sixty
years, Kang-he,[61] perhaps the greatest of all the emperors of China,
died, we find a note of alarm sounded by the Jesuit fathers. Unlike his
father, Yung-cheng the new emperor was regarded as a supporter of the
most conservative traditions, and no friend of the Christian
missionaries. What, however, is important to us is the fact that as
crown-prince he was known not only as a patron of the works at
King-te-chen, but as himself an amateur potter of distinction. The Père
D’Entrecolles, writing before Yung-cheng’s accession to the throne,
tells us that it was his habit to send down from Pekin examples of
ancient wares to be copied at the imperial factory. This influence,
exercised in a conservative direction, is reflected in the porcelain
produced during his reign.

This is indeed a critical point in the history of Chinese porcelain. We
are reminded of some similar periods in the development of our Western
arts, when it begins to become evident that a command of material and a
technical finish have been attained at the expense of all spontaneity
and freshness of expression. Some such tendency was accompanied at this
time in China by a careful and deliberate imitation of ancient forms and
glazes. Under Nien Hsi-yao, the new superintendent at King-te-chen, some
advance was certainly made--we shall speak of the _Nien yao_ and the new
colours that distinguished it directly. We must not overlook, however,
the influence of the foreign demand which more and more made itself
felt, an influence opposed to the conservative and classical tastes of
the emperor.

But when we run through the long list, under fifty-seven headings, of
the various wares copied at King-te-chen at this time,[62] we see how
strong this classical influence was. In fact, this catalogue is one of
our best sources of information for the ancient, and especially for the
Sung, wares. The chief concern of the compiler was with the glazes, for
no attempt seems to have been made to copy the thick and rough pastes of
the early days.[63] We can infer from some of the heads of the list that
most of the highly perfected glazes of the day, ranging through every
shade of colour, were considered to be but modifications of the old
simple glazes of Sung times. This was an essentially Chinese way of
looking at the matter, and by this indirect path it was possible to
reach the most novel effects. Among the later headings of Nien’s list
(it was to some extent chronologically arranged) we find mention of
copies of Japanese wares, and frequent reference is made to colours and
decorations of European origin. We shall have to make more than one
reference to this important catalogue in a later chapter.

It was under the _régime_ of Nien Hsi-yao that this list was drawn up.
He was the second of the great viceroys whose names are associated with
the emperors Kang-he, Yung-cheng, and Kien-lung respectively. He
succeeded to Tsang Ying-hsuan, and was followed in the next reign by
Tang-ying. The wares made during the administration of these
superintendents are known in chronological order as _Tsang yao_, _Nien
yao_, and _Tang yao_. This Nien did not regard his post by any means as
a sinecure. He frequently visited the works, and required samples of the
imperial ware to be sent every two months to his official residence for
inspection (Bushell, p. 361).

The _Nien yao_, to the Chinese collector, is especially associated with
certain monochrome glazes--above all with the _clair de lune_--the _yueh
pai_ or ‘moon-white,’ and with a brilliant red glaze with stippled
surface, a near cousin to the _sang de bœuf_ and _flambé_ classes. There
is another ‘self-glaze’ ware which dates from this time, of which the
mingled tints depend, as in the case of the _flambé_, upon the varying
degrees of oxidation of the copper in the glaze. This is the
‘peach-bloom,’ the ‘apple red and green’ of the Chinese. The charm of
this delicate ware is of another kind to that to be found in the
vigorous flashes of colour of the transmutation glazes.

We can trace at this time the gradual introduction of two new colours
that give so special a character to the wares of the next reign. I mean
the pink derived from gold and the lemon-yellow. These colours were used
sparingly and with great delicacy at first, but we come to associate
them at a later time with a period of decline and of bad taste.

KIEN-LUNG (1735-1795).--It was during the long reign of this emperor,
poet and patron of all the arts, that the new direction which we find
given to the porcelain made in the reign of his father, Yung-cheng,
became even more accentuated--on the one hand, the copying of old glazes
and the employment of archaic hieratic patterns for decoration, on the
other, the more and more frequent use of new colours and new designs of
non-Chinese origin. This latter tendency was fostered both by the
eclectic tastes of Kien-lung himself and also by the increasing
importance of the demand for foreign countries. Great care was given to
the paste--it was required to be of a snowy (or rather sometimes chalky)
whiteness, tending neither towards yellow nor towards blue, and so
carefully finished on the lathe that on the uniform glassy surface of
the finer specimens no signs were left of the movement of the potter’s
wheel;[64] for compared with the ware produced in Ming times, and even
during the reign of Kang-he, we now note the greater proportion of
pieces thrown on the wheel. At no time has the skill of the potter who
threw the clay, and of the workman who then pared and smoothed the
surface on the lathe, been brought to a greater perfection, and this
applies not only to the eggshell china, but to the large vases and
beakers, so perfect in their outline. The same perfection of technique
is found in the decoration, so that a blue and white vase of this period
can at once be recognised in spite of the pseudo-archaic decoration and
the Ming _nien hao_ inscribed on the base. When the new colours are
introduced the date is, of course, approximately fixed, and we may
probably associate with the beginning of this reign (or perhaps a little
earlier; see note on p. 110) the first use of the _rouge d’or_ which has
given its name to a well-known class of porcelain--the _famille rose_.

A manageable red had long been a desideratum. There was no more
treacherous material than the basic copper oxide, whether painted under
or mixed with the glaze. As an over-glaze source of red this pigment was
of course unavailable, while the opaque brick-like tints obtained from
iron, though in keeping with the rougher, picturesque decoration of
early times, did not harmonise well with the delicate style of painting
now in fashion,[65] so that it is not surprising that the beautiful pink
tint obtained from gold carried all before it. The gold was probably
incorporated with the enamel flux in the form of purple of Cassius,
which is readily prepared by dissolving gold in a mixture of nitric acid
and sal-ammoniac and adding some fragments of tin. The colour had been
known for some time in Europe--we can perhaps even trace this pink tint
on enamelled Arab glass of the fourteenth century (see p. 89).[66] A
very small quantity of this material goes a long way, especially when
used to give a gradated tint to a white opaque enamel, as on the petal
of a flower. As a colour it is singularly harmonious, and in a period of
decline helped to ‘keep together’ the motley array of enamels used along
with it.

There is nothing more popular in the work of this time than the little
egg-shell plates, decorated with flowers and birds, for which such high
prices are given by collectors. The original type, for both ware and
decoration, is probably in this case to be found in the ‘chicken-cups’
of Cheng-hua’s reign.

On the plates of this ware the borders are filled with elaborate and
minutely finished diapers and scrolls, evidently taken from silk
brocades; indeed, the gold threads of the woof are sometimes directly
imitated; the centre is occupied by a picture, either a flower piece or
a _genre_ figure scene (PL. XII.). We may connect these designs with the
works of the naturalistic colour school of the time, many of the finest
of which have been preserved by Japanese collectors. A very frequent
subject is a rocky bank from which grow peonies, narcissi, or other
flowers, and under which two or more chickens or sometimes quails are
grouped. The petals of the flowers are rendered by a white opaque enamel
in high relief, often with a flush of pink, imitating the _tour de
force_ by which the painters of the time, by a single stroke of the
brush, produced a full gradation of colour. Indeed, the same artists
doubtless painted both on silk, on paper, and on porcelain. We may
compare their work to that of the fan-painters and miniaturists who were
employed to decorate the panels of Sèvres porcelain, at this very time,
with pastoral scenes and flower pieces. The Chinese enamellers rarely
signed their work; but there is a plate in the British Museum with the
name of a Canton artist. This gives a hint as to where most of the work
was done. But the most remarkable instance of signed work of this period
is found on a series of large plates in the Dresden Museum. On these a
Chinese artist, some time before the middle of the eighteenth century,
has painted a series of designs of birds and flowers, and in one
instance at least a graceful female figure. On the field, in each case,
we find a seal character (accompanied either by a smaller mark contained
in a circle, or by an artemisia leaf) which indicates the painter’s
name. With true artistic feeling he has succeeded in filling the surface
of the plate with a graceful decoration, and at the same time he gives
us a series of delightful pictures, employing the full range of the
enamel colours at his command. And in thus combining a decorative design
with an accurate

[Illustration: _PLATE XII_ CHINESE]

rendering of natural objects, the Chinese artist has succeeded in doing
what has never been accomplished by any European painter on porcelain.

In decoration of this kind, however, only the very best work pleases; in
anything below this we get at once to what is vulgar and trite; and the
larger palette now at the painter’s command only makes it easier for him
to produce the unpleasant combinations of colours so frequent in the
wares exported from China after the end of the eighteenth century. On
the other hand, the older painters, confined to their three or at most
five colours, seldom fail to produce an agreeable effect, however
roughly their colours are daubed on.

In the _genre_ scenes, as in the case of the flower pieces, a realistic
tendency is prominent. We have no longer the Taoist saints or the
hunting and battle pieces of earlier times, but delicately executed
interiors with graceful figures of girls arranging flowers or painting
fans, or again, landscapes with men travelling by road or by river.
There is a refinement of colour and a charm of drawing and composition
in the better specimens of this somewhat effeminate school that appeals
to every one. It is difficult for us to find any marked European
influence in the designs of this time, and yet these pictures are
classed by the Chinese as European in style; and it is not quite clear
whether this refers only to the enamel colours employed or to the manner
of drawing as well. Most of the work of this kind was doubtless made for
the European market and painted at Canton. But is this the case with the
finest examples? Kien-lung himself was, it would seem, no despiser of
this carefully decorated ware. A poem of his composition, signed with
the vermilion seal, is often found on this egg-shell porcelain.

On some of the most highly finished of the little cups and plates we
find an elaborate scroll decoration in gold and sometimes in silver; and
in these designs we may perhaps trace the influence of the baroque
style in vogue at this time in Europe.

Nien resigned his post when his master in the year 1735 had ‘flown up to
heaven like a dragon,’ and the new emperor, Kien-lung, appointed in his
place Tang-ying, who had long served under him. The new director was no
less an enthusiast than his predecessor. He tells us in his memoirs--for
he was a man of literary taste like his master, Kien-lung--that he
served his apprenticeship with the workmen, sharing his meals and his
sleeping-room with them, following in this the proverb which says ‘the
farmer may learn something from his bondman, and the weaver from the
handmaid who holds the thread for her mistress.’

We hear that new tints of turquoise (_fei-tsui_) and of rose-red
(_mei-kwei_) were introduced by him, and we may perhaps identify these
colours with certain shades of pink and turquoise blue that became
prevalent about this time. In both these cases the pigment is mixed with
some amount of arsenic or tin so that the enamel is nearly opaque, and
this enamel is now spread over the ground, taking the place of the glaze
which lies beneath. The effect, though apparently admired by some
collectors, is heavy and unpleasant. The pink, which we may consider as
a Chinese equivalent of the _rose Pompadour_ (it is uncertain whether
the French or the Chinese were the first to use the _rouge d’or_
colours), is generally more or less opaque, with a granular surface; it
is often found covering a paste inscribed with fine scrolls.[67]

[Illustration: _PLATE XIII._ CHINESE]

In the case of the pale opaque blue (to which the name of turquoise may
be applied more aptly than to the sky-coloured transparent blues of the
_demi grand feu_), the surface of the enamel is sometimes painted with
an irregular net-work of black lines, as if in imitation of some kind of
marble. This turquoise enamel towards the end of Kien-lung’s reign was
often applied to the surface of large vases, and when in combination
with a lemon-yellow decoration the effect is even more unpleasant than
when used alone.

We have mentioned, when speaking of Yung-cheng’s reign, a valuable list
of the various kinds of porcelain made at that time at King-te-chen. We
must now refer to another document, quoted, like the list of Nien’s
time, in all the Chinese books dealing with the history of the imperial
porcelain works. The emperor Kien-lung, it would appear, when
overhauling certain manuscripts preserved in the palace, came upon a
series of twenty water-colour drawings illustrating the manufacture of
porcelain. He at once summoned Tang-ying, the famous superintendent at
King-te-chen, to Pekin, and, handing over the drawings, commanded him to
prepare a full description of all the processes illustrated in these
pictures. This was in 1743, shortly before Tang’s retirement. The
drawings themselves have never been made public; but we have in Tang’s
report what is, after the letters of the Jesuit father, our most
important source for the technical details of the manufacture of
porcelain in China. With these details we are not concerned just now,
but we will quote from Dr. Bushell’s translation a disquisition on
certain principles that should govern the forms and decoration of
porcelain. This is a kind of _obiter dictum_ of Tang-ying, _à propos_ of
the fashioning and painting of vases. In his flowery style he tells us
(I abbreviate in a few places): ‘In the decoration of porcelain correct
canons of art should be followed. The designs should be taken from the
patterns of old brocades and embroidery; the colours from a garden as
seen in spring-time from a pavilion. There is an abundance of specimens
of ware of the Sung dynasty at hand to be copied; the elements of nature
supply an inexhaustible fund of materials for new combinations of
supernatural beauty. Natural objects are modelled to be fashioned in
moulds and painted in appropriate colours. _The materials of the
potter’s art are derived from forests and streams, and ornamental themes
are supplied by the same natural sources._‘[68] It is a strange fancy
which connects the decoration of a vase with the source of the materials
with which it is made. Elsewhere, speaking of the painting of the blue
and white ware, Tang-ying says: ‘For painting of flowers and of birds,
fishes and water-plants, and living objects generally, the study of
nature is the first requisite. In the imitation of Ming porcelain and of
ancient pieces, the sight of many specimens brings skill.’ We see in
this a kind of hesitation, a balancing between two influences--the
naturalistic and the traditional--which is characteristic of the period.

We may call attention, by the way, to the important place that is given
in this report to the process of moulding in the fashioning of a vase,
especially as _supplementary_ to the throwing on the wheel, and above
all, to the care required in the turning and polishing on the jigger or
lathe to ensure accuracy of outline in the finished piece.

The last picture described by Tang-ying illustrates the worshipping of
the local god and the offering of sacrifice. And we are told the story
of how, when the great dragon-bowls failed time after time, and when, in
consequence, the workmen were harassed by the eunuchs sent down by the
Ming emperor, Tung the potter leaped into the furnace; and how, after
this sacrifice, when the kilns were opened, the bowls were at last found
perfect in shape and brilliant in colour. So Tung was worshipped as the
potter’s god; and, indeed, Tang-ying tells us, as a voucher for the
truth of his story, that in his time one of these very dragon
fish-bowls, ‘compounded of the blood and bones of the deity,’ still
stood in the courtyard of the temple, a witness to the sacrifice
(Bushell, chapter xv).

Tang-ying resigned his post in 1746; his influence was therefore only
felt during the first years of Kien-lung’s long reign. His is the last
name that can be personally connected with any Chinese ware, unless it
be that of the emperor his master.

Kien-lung was a poet, and a very productive one--his complete works were
published in an edition of 360 volumes, containing nearly 34,000
separate compositions. These are generally occasional pieces suggested
by the aspects of nature. Such verses are not unfrequently found on the
egg-shell porcelain of his time, signed, too, with the vermilion pencil.
There is quite a long poem of his on a dish of thin ware now in the
Musée Guimet in Paris.

The emperor interested himself in a new kind of opaque glass made in
Pekin by a skilful artist, one Hu, and he sent specimens of this ware to
King-te-chen to be imitated in the nobler material, as he deemed it.
This was effected by means of a very vitreous paste, and the little
snuff-bottles moulded in high relief in this material are much prized
both by Chinese and American collectors.

There was, indeed, at this time a rage for imitating other substances in
porcelain, which was doubtless fostered by the increased command of
technical processes and of new colours. A good deal of the porcelain
covered with black or sometimes brown lacquer,[69] inlaid with
mother-of-pearl, the _laque burgauté_ of the French, dates perhaps from
an earlier period. But the little snuff-bottles, imitating jade,
pudding-stone, agate, turquoise, as well as silver, gold, and bronze of
varied patinas, or again the rusted surface of iron--to say nothing of
wood, bamboo, and mother-of-pearl--may, with few exceptions, be
attributed to this time. We may compare such work to the contemporary
triumphs of the Japanese in lacquer.[70]

But by the middle of the century it is no longer the demand of the court
that gives the general tone to the productions of King-te-chen. The
taste for Oriental wares had spread among the middle classes in Europe.
The English were taking the place of the Dutch as the principal
exporters, and this change was reflected in a demand for a gaudy ware
crowded with a motley array of figures, the ‘mandarin china’ properly so
called. As to the extensive class of porcelain painted with
coats-of-arms and other European designs, a class well represented in
the British Museum, we will only mention that the greater part was
decorated at this time by a special school of artists at Canton, though
some pieces date from a somewhat earlier period.

KIA-KING (1795-1820), the son and successor of Kien-lung, was like his
father a poet, but a man of weak and dissolute character. The high
finish of the previous reign was, however, maintained, and the pieces
marked with this emperor’s name are sought after by Chinese collectors.

TAO-KWANG (1820-1850).--It is surprising that so much really good
porcelain was made at a time so troubled by foreign wars and internal
rebellion. In some of the blue and white ware of this and even the next
reign, we may sometimes see a return to the breadth and boldness of
treatment characteristic of earlier days. In the coral-red grounds of
this time, the intractable iron oxide appears to have been more
thoroughly incorporated with the glaze than at any previous period. It
is to this reign that we may assign the ‘Pekin’ or ‘Graviata’ bowls,
with reserved panels on the outside filled with flowers, landscapes,
etc., in many coloured enamels. The ground is often of a pinkish _rouge
d’or_, or in other instances of lemon yellow, blue or pale lavender. The
inside of the bowl has a decoration of blue and white.

HSIEN-FENG (1850-61).--As at the beginning of this emperors reign the
Taiping rebels broke into Kiang-si and burned down the town of
King-te-chen, this period is of necessity a blank in the history of

TUNG-CHI (1861-1874).--In the third year of this reign the rebels were
driven out from King-te-chen and the imperial works rebuilt. A large
order was at once sent from Pekin for porcelain of every description.
The details of this order, the latest of the lists of this kind to be
found in the _Annals of Kiang-si_, are only given in the edition of that
work published since the date of Julien’s translation. This list is
translated by Dr. Bushell, fifty-five headings in all, and we find in it
a curious instance of the survival of the old traditions. All the wares
mentioned in the older lists are now again requisitioned for the use of
the court.

The Empress-Dowager, who has held the reins during the minority both of
Tung-chi and of his successor, the present emperor, is reputed to be
something of a connoisseur,[71] and to take an interest in the imperial
manufactory. Some of the better class wares from the palace and from the
temples at Pekin have quite lately found their way to England, and
specimens may be seen on loan at South Kensington. I notice especially a
set of five vessels in deep blue from the Temple of Heaven. The
execution appears to be careful, but the forms are ugly and the blue of
an unpleasant tint. In vessels of this kind, however, both shape and
colour may be governed by tradition. Mr. Hippisley, who has lived long
in China, says that for some years past the _famille verte_ wares of
Kang-he’s time, especially the vases with black ground and prunus
flowers, have been fairly well reproduced at King-te-chen, as have,
later still, the so-called ‘hawthorn ginger-jars.’ But in China, as in
France, it is with the difficulties of the copper glazes, the _flambé_
and the _sang de bœuf_, that the majority of our contemporary ceramic
artists are striving.




We may here conveniently say something of the marks found on Chinese
porcelain. We do not propose to give any systematic account of these
marks--this is a subject indeed to which a disproportionate amount of
space has perhaps been devoted in some works on porcelain--but rather to
collect a few notes on points of interest.

Tang-ying in his report to the emperor on the manufacture of porcelain,
from which we have lately quoted, tells us that during all the processes
of turning on the lathe, painting and glazing, a solid bar is left at
the base of the vase by which it is conveniently handled. This bar or
handle is at length cut off short, and the base of the stump is scooped
out to form the foot of the future vessel. It is at this stage that the
inscription is written by a special artist on the centre of the base,
and then brushed over with a coat of the glaze, which does not extend
over the rim to join the rest of the glazed surface. Thus we see that
the writing of the inscription and the glazing of the base are
subsequent to and independent of the decoration of the rest of the vase.
In whatever style this decoration may be, the inscription is generally
written in cobalt blue under the glaze.

There are many varieties of Chinese writing. We pass from the oldest
‘tadpole’ forms, by way of the _chuan_ or seal character, to the
_kai-shû_, which takes the place roughly of our ordinary printed
letters. Of this last, the square detached strokes pass when written
with a brush into the more flowing ‘grass’ character. The _kai-shû_
style is the one most frequently found on porcelain, or at least a form
something between it and the grass hand. The seal character, however,
was much favoured by the Manchu emperors, and since the time of Kang-he
has been practically the only one used for the imperial _nien-hao_ (PL.
A. 10-12).[72]

The Chinese have two methods of indicating a date: first, by a cycle of
sixty years; second, by the name given to the whole or part of the reign
of an emperor. With the first we are not concerned, it is found so
rarely on porcelain.[73] The other, the imperial date or _nien-hao_, has
been in use ever since the time of the Han dynasty (say roughly from the
beginning of our era). Very early dates of this kind are often found on
bronzes, where, however, they are no more to be relied on than in the
case of porcelain. The inscription occurs in two forms:--first, the six
word form where the emperor’s name is preceded by that of the dynasty,
thus: _Ta Tsing Kang-he nien chi_,--‘Made in the reign of the Emperor
Kang-he of the great Tsing or Manchu dynasty’ (PL. A. 8); or second, the
first line with the name of the dynasty may be omitted, leaving only the
emperor’s name and the words _nien chi_, ‘year made,‘--for example,
_Cheng-hua nien chi_ (PL. A. 3).

The name by which we know the emperor of China was not his personal or
family name, but was assumed on ascending the throne, and in old times
was frequently changed. But from the time of the Sung dynasty such a
change has only once occurred. This was in the case of the unfortunate
Ming emperor Cheng-tung, to whom we referred on p. 93. We rarely find
the name of any emperor of an earlier time than the Ming dynasty on
porcelain, and the few instances that do occur are obvious forgeries.
Perhaps the earliest date on Chinese porcelain with any claim to
authority is the _nien-hao_ of Yung-lo (1402-25), in quaint ‘tadpole’
characters engraved in the paste beneath the glaze. This inscription
occurs on the thin bowl of Ting ware in the British Museum, described on
page 67 (PL. A. 1).

We have said before, and we cannot too strongly impress this fact upon
the reader, that the vast majority of the Ming marks so frequently found
on Chinese porcelain are of no value. They teach us nothing themselves,
and when we can accept them it is on evidence derived from other
sources. As Franks observed many years ago, all we can say is that a
piece of porcelain is not older than the date which it bears.

When we find the date inscribed in a horizontal line round the neck of a
vase, as is not infrequent in later Ming times, especially in the reign
of Wan-li[74] (1572-1619), more reliance may perhaps be put on it, as
regards ware of Chinese origin at least, for the Japanese were very fond
of decorating their blue and white ware with Ming inscriptions placed in
this position.

We have innumerable vases in our collections undoubtedly made in the
reign of the great Kang-he (1661-1722),[75] but his reign-mark is
comparatively rarely found. The absence of this _nien-hao_ is usually
explained by a proclamation, issued in 1677, which has been preserved in
the Chinese books, forbidding the inscription of the imperial name on
porcelain. With this proclamation the empty double ring of blue often
found on the base of vases of this time may perhaps be connected. Many
of the finest pieces, however, bear no mark of any kind.

In place of these date-marks we may often find an inscription stating
that the piece was made at a certain _Tang_--for example, _Shun ti tang
chi_--literally ‘Cultivation virtue hall made’ (PL. B. 17). We have here
translated the character _tang_ by the somewhat vague word ‘hall,’ but
it is doubtful whether the inscription should be rendered ‘made for the
Shun-ti pavilion,’ _i.e._ for the imperial palace, or rather, ‘made at
the Shun-ti hall,‘--that is to say, at the studio or factory of that
name, presumably at King-te-chen. The best authorities, however, are in
favour of the latter rendering (Bushell, p. 78 _seq._, and the Franks
_Catalogue_, p. 213), and they regard these so-called hall-marks as more
or less equivalent to the signature of the manufacturer. The character
_tang_ is sometimes replaced by other words, as _tsuan_, a balcony;
_ting_, a summer-house; or _chai_, a studio. This last word is the
Japanese _sai_, which so often forms a part of the adopted names of
Japanese artists, as for example Hoku-sai, which means the ‘northern
studio.’ The Japanese potter often signs his work, and even in China we
find in a few cases a name, that of the painter, inscribed in the field
of the decoration,--we have already mentioned some instances of
signatures found in this position (p. 108).

Of another kind is the inscription found on certain egg-shell cups of
the time of Wan-li (1572-1619). These cups, of which we have no
specimens unfortunately in our collections, were made by a famous
poet-potter who signs himself _Hu yin tao jen_, or ‘the Taoist hidden in
a pot.’ The reference is to a Taoist recluse (what the Japanese know as
a _Sennin_) who when disinclined for society was in the habit of
retiring into his gourd-bottle. At the same time, as Dr. Hirth has
pointed out, the words form an excellent motto for an artist--the true
expression of whose genius we seek in his works.

There is a third class of marks which celebrate the beauty of the vessel
on which they are inscribed or, more rarely, refer to the subject of the
decoration. A large number of these are illustrated in Franks’s
_Catalogue of Oriental Porcelain_. We will merely quote as examples ‘A
gem among precious jewels of rare jade’ (PL. B. 16), and, with reference
to the decoration, which in this case includes some red fishes,
‘Enjoying themselves in the waters’ (PL. B. 44). Such rather tame
sentences do not teach us much. More suggestive is the inscription we
find on a cylindrical vase for holding writing materials: ‘Scholarship
lofty as the hills and the Great Bear’ (PL. B. 15)--a fit motto for the
desk of the student.

The Emblems or Devices that so frequently occur in lieu of inscriptions
on Chinese porcelain are well illustrated in the British Museum
catalogue. They are, however, of little or no value in classifying or
dating the pieces on which they are found--they can seldom be connected
with any known manufacturer or artist. Such devices are generally
symbolic, above all of long life, riches, and honours, the three things
desired by a Chinaman, and I suppose that they are more or less vaguely
expected to bring to the owner the good luck that they suggest.

Some of these devices remind us of the ‘canting’ charges and badges of
our heraldry. Thus a bat (PL. B. 19 A.) is in Chinese called _fu_, but
the same word also means happiness; so again a peach is _shu_, but _shu_
means also long life. The characters for happiness (PL. B. 23) and long
life (PL. B. 19), we may mention, are of constant appearance, the first
usually as a mark on the base, the second as an integral part of the
decoration, on both Chinese and Japanese porcelain. Such interest, then,
as can be found in these marks is derived rather from the light they
throw upon the working of the Chinese mind than from any information
they give us about the porcelain on which they are inscribed.


THE PORCELAIN OF CHINA--(_continued_).


There is nothing more remarkable in the history of the porcelain of
China, than the fact of the concentration in one spot, for so many
centuries, of an industry for the supply of almost the entire
population. So that as regards porcelain, as China stands to the rest of
the world, so the town of King-te-chen stands to the rest of China. In
fact, to parody a French saying,--‘_Qui dit porcelaine dit la Chine, qui
dit la Chine dit King-te-chen_.’

Let us then consider the position of this town, above all in relation to
the three principal outlets of its trade--I mean the supply of the court
at Pekin, the export at Canton, and the general demand of the country.
If the reader will consult a good map of China, one that shows the
rivers, for these are the real trunk-lines of the commerce of the
country, he will soon understand in what a commanding position
King-te-chen is placed. It is true that the distance from Pekin is not
far short of a thousand miles, following the winding course of the Grand
Canal, the Yang-tse river, and the waters of the Po-yang lake; but by
this route there is water communication without a break for the whole
way.[76] So again the whole journey to Canton may be made by boat, with
the exception of a short portage over the watershed on the borders of
the provinces of Kiang-si and Kuang-tung. This was the route taken by
Lord Amherst in 1816-17, when returning overland from Pekin to Canton.
The journey is well described by Sir John Davis in his _Sketches of
China_. As they approached the Po-yang lake, the porcelain shops and
depôts in the towns became more and more prominent. These were supplied
from the emporium at Jao-chau Fu, the great city near the spot where the
river descending from King-te-chen falls into the Po-yang lake. Davis
describes the beautiful scenery and the classical associations of the
mountainous country surrounding the lake. Proceeding southward they
ascended the Kia-kiang river, passing by Nan-chang Fu, a great centre
for the commerce of southern China. The river is very shallow in its
upper course, but along it passes a constant stream of traffic, by means
of a narrow passage scooped out in the shingly bed. The Meiling Pass is
crossed by a paved road, partly excavated in the rock and in places cut
into steps--a road made some twelve centuries ago by an emperor of the
Tang dynasty. After a journey of some thirty miles on horseback another
stream was reached, down which they floated to the great Western River
and the waters of Canton. It is by this route that nine-tenths of the
Chinese porcelain that has reached Europe must have passed. How this
porcelain is packed at King-te-chen and forwarded to Canton and to other
parts of China is well shown in a series of native drawings exhibited by
the side of the cases containing the porcelain in the British Museum.

King-te-chen stands on a small river that flows south-west to fall into
the Po-yang lake. At this point, close by the lake, lies, as already
mentioned, the city of Jao-chau, the capital of the whole district and
the residence of the prefect. King-te-chen, however, the town of the
potter, is not directly subordinate to Jao-chau; to the official mind it
is a mere dependency of the sub-prefecture of Fouliang, a small walled
town or _hsien_ in the immediate neighbourhood. It is in the annals of
this _hsien_ that the early history of King-te-chen is to be found. We
may compare the relative positions of these three Chinese towns with
those existing in the eighteenth century between the long straggling
villages of Burslem or Stoke and the adjacent town of Newcastle in the
first place, and then between the latter and the county town of
Stafford. The importance of King-te-chen may, however, be inferred from
the fact that the superintendent of the imperial potteries was often at
the same time controller of the local customs and viceroy of the
surrounding provinces.

King-te-chen, then, was built where the little river flowed out from the
barren mountain tract to the east--a region made still more barren by
the cutting down of all the wood to provide fuel for the kilns, and
whose inhabitants were reputed to be as rude and rugged as their
surroundings. It is from the gorges of this rough hilly country that the
precious kaolin and petuntse are excavated. These substances are formed
locally by the decomposition of the rock of which the hills are
composed, a variety of graphic granite with much soda-holding felspar.

In a narrow space, crowded for more than four miles along the river bank
between shops, temples, and guardhouses, were built the kilns and the
workshops. Towards the south rises a small hill where the tiled roofs of
the temples and pavilions are seen half hidden among the trees. This is
the Jewel or Guardian Hill which commands the adjacent imperial
manufactory. This factory was first established here in the fourteenth
century, but since then it has been more than once burned to the ground
in times of riot and rebellion. The works were last rebuilt in 1866.

Dr. Bushell has translated an official description of the series of
workshops, from the mixing-house to the muffle-furnaces of the
enamellers, the whole enclosed by a wall about a mile in circuit. The
kilns are no longer within the enclosure as they were in Ming times. The
imperial porcelain is now fired in private furnaces scattered through
the town.

The French Jesuit missionary to whom, above any one else, is due the
credit of first describing to the people of the West the nature of
porcelain and how it was made, was living, at the time when the earliest
of his famous letters was written (in 1712), at Jao-chau, the capital of
the district. The letter is addressed to the _procureur_ of the order in
Paris, and it would seem that it was before long made public.[77] It was
followed in 1722 by a second supplementary letter, dated this time from
King-te-chen itself. The Père D’Entrecolles had already been many years
in China, and had before this sent home important letters on other
branches of Chinese industry. The first letter on porcelain gives proof
of long acquaintance with the subject, and it is not impossible that he
may already have corresponded with some one in Europe on the same
subject. I make this suggestion in connection with the curious
coincidence of date between the residence of D’Entrecolles in this
district and the first manufacture of porcelain in Saxony.

These letters were naturally read with avidity at this time in Paris and
elsewhere. The seed fell on fertile ground, and but one thing was
wanting, and that was--some actual specimens of the materials described
by the Jesuit father. The indications on this head, given in the
letters, were indeed quite insufficient, and would rather tend to put
inquirers on a false scent. The writer, for example, had no notion of
the real nature of kaolin, a substance which in one place he compares
to chalk. On the other hand, the technical details so fully given were
at that time new. Since then this information has filtered down through
many books, so that much of it now appears quite trite.

I will confine myself to a few extracts bearing on points of interest
that I may have overlooked elsewhere. These letters are written in the
clear, flowing language of the time, and they are delightful reading.
After giving some account from the _Annals of Fouliang_ of the early
history of porcelain, and describing how the industry was gradually
concentrated at King-te-chen, the Père D’Entrecolles goes on to say:
‘Apart from the pottery that is made all over China, there are a few
other provinces, as those of Fukien and Canton, where porcelain is
made.’ By Canton, in this case, we must understand, I suppose, the
province of Kuang-tung, and this is a piece of information of some
interest. The attempts made to establish workmen from King-te-chen at
Pekin, and again in the neighbourhood of Amoy, from which port so large
a commerce was already carried on with Europe, had, he says, wholly

There then follows a description of King-te-chen, with its long streets
and its population of more than a million, ‘as is commonly reported.’ He
tells us of a rich Chinese merchant who, after making his fortune in the
Indies, had built a magnificent temple to the Queen of Heaven (Kwan-yin,
probably). The European piastres he had brought back were well known in
the district, although this was not the case in other parts of China. We
have a picture of the busy quay and of the three ranges of junks closely
packed along the side, and for a background the whirlwinds of flame
rising from the three thousand kilns of the city.[78] After praising
the admirable police arrangements, he comes to his main subject, the
manufacture of porcelain.

The small vessels that bring down the kaolin and the petuntse (in the
latter he notes the scattered shiny particles--the mica) from a distance
of twenty or thirty leagues are even more numerous than the big junks
that take the finished ware down to Jao-chau. The details of manufacture
that follow--and to quote them would be only to go once more over the
ground covered in a previous chapter--were learned by the Père
D’Entrecolles not only from the Christian workmen, but by frequent
visits to the works themselves. ‘These great laboratories,’ he tells us,
‘have been for me a kind of Areopagus where I have preached’ (I quote
the rest in French) ‘_celui qui a formé le premier homme de limon et des
mains duquel nous sortons pour devenir des vases de gloire ou

In describing the preparation of the paste much stress is laid upon the
care taken to exclude all extraneous matter, especially that which may
have been introduced into the kaolin or petuntse by way of adulteration.
The slip for the glaze--for the latter the Chinese term ‘oil’ is
retained--is said to be brought down from the mountains, where it is
prepared, in a liquid form. The division of labour in the manufacture is
carried so far that a piece of porcelain before completion may pass
through the hands of as many as seventy workmen, to each of whom a
separate task is assigned.

The important part played by moulding, both as a direct process and
subsidiary to throwing on the wheel, is well brought out in this
description. I will give a rendering of the passage in which the process
of moulding is described, as in an English translation in a recent work
there is some apparent confusion. ‘When the piece to be copied is of
such a nature that it cannot be imitated with the potter’s hands on the
wheel, a special kind of clay used only for moulds is impressed upon it
[_i.e._ upon the model]. In this way a mould is made of several pieces,
each of a considerable size. These pieces are now dried, and when they
are required for use they are held near the fire for some time, after
which they are filled with the paste to the thickness desirable in the
porcelain. The paste is pressed in with the hands and the mould is again
placed near the fire. The impressed figure becomes at once detached from
the mould by the heat that consumes the moisture that has made it
adhere. The different parts of a piece separately moulded are now joined
together with a somewhat liquid slip, made of the same material as the
porcelain.’ Great numbers of these moulds are kept in stock, so that an
order from Europe can be quickly executed.

The porcelain painters, he tells us, are just as ‘poor beggars’
(_gueux_) as the other workmen; and he has evidently a very mean opinion
of the art of painting as practised at that time in China: ‘_Ils
ignorent les belles règles de cet Art_.’ But such an estimate of
Oriental art was universal at that time, when everything was measured
from the standpoint of Versailles and the _roi soleil_. ‘The work of the
painter is divided in the same laboratory among a great number of
workmen. It is the sole business of one to trace the coloured circle
that we see near the edge of the vessel; another draws the outline of
the flowers, which a third fills in. One painter does the mountains and
the water, another the birds and the animals. It is the human figure
that is the most badly handled.... As for the colours on the porcelain,
we find all sorts. Little is seen in Europe except that with bright blue
on a white ground. I think, however, that our merchants have brought
over other kinds.’ (The implication is, no doubt, ‘since I have left
France.’ This helps us to fix the date of the introduction of coloured
porcelain into Europe.) ‘Some we find with a ground like that of our
burning mirrors.’ (This is doubtless the _Wu-chin_, or metallic black of
the Chinese. This ‘mirror-black’ is compared to a concave glass
blackened behind.) ‘Other kinds are wholly red, and among them some are
_d’un rouge à l’huile_ (_yu-li-hung_), and some of a _rouge soufflé_
(_chui-hung_), and covered with little points almost like a miniature.
When these two varieties are executed with perfect success--and to do
this is difficult enough--they are highly esteemed and are very dear.’
The _yu-li-hung_, literally ‘red inside the glaze,’ may be taken to
include the various shades of red derived from copper, of the _grand
feu_. The _rouge soufflé_ is explained below. The word ‘miniature’ is
used, I think, in the old sense of an illuminated manuscript. ‘Finally
there are kinds of porcelain with the landscapes on them painted with a
mixture of nearly every colour, heightened by a brilliant gilding. These
are very beautiful, if no expense is spared. Otherwise the ordinary
porcelain of this kind is not to be compared with that which is painted
with azure alone. The _Annals of King-te-chen_ say that formerly the
people used nothing but a white ware.’

The source of the cobalt blue is now discussed and its mode of
preparation. The raw material is thrown into the bed of the furnace and
there roasted for twenty-four hours. It is then reduced to an impalpable
powder in a mortar of biscuit porcelain. The red is made by roasting
copperas to a high temperature in a crucible. The white that is used as
an enamel in decorating porcelain is prepared from ‘_un caillou
transparent_,’ which is also roasted on the floor of the furnace.[79]
This _caillou_ is mixed with two parts of white lead, and this mixture
forms a flux--the basis for the colours. There then follows some account
of the other colours used, but here it is difficult to follow the good
father. He makes some strange statements, which are not all of them
cleared up in his supplementary letter of 1722. There are indeed so many
amplifications and corrections in the latter that it will be well to
combine in our summary the gleanings from the two sources. This second
letter is dated from King-te-chen after an interval of ten years, and
shows a greater acquaintance with practical details.

Passing over the account of the _flambé_ and of some other glazes--to
avoid repetition we will defer our remarks till we come to speak of
these wares in the next chapter--we hear in the second letter of a
valuable material lately discovered which may take the place of kaolin
in the composition of the paste. This is described as a chalky-looking
body which is largely used by Chinese doctors as a medicine and is
called _Hua-shi_.

We will here interrupt the Père D’Entrecolles’s account to mention that
the _hua-shi_ is strictly speaking soapstone or steatite, a silicate of
magnesia. But whether magnesia ever enters into the paste or glaze of
Chinese porcelain is as yet a disputed question.[80] As far as I know,
it has never been found by analysis. The Chinese nomenclature of rocks
is necessarily based on their physical aspect alone. Some specimens sent
from King-te-chen, which were described on the labels as _hua-shi_, were
found at Sèvres to consist of an impure kaolin containing a large
quantity of mica.

To return to the father’s letters:--In China this _hua-shi_ is five
times as dear as kaolin. Four parts of it are mixed with one part of
petuntse to make the paste. The porcelain made with this material is
rare, and much more expensive than any other. Compared to ordinary
porcelain, it is as vellum compared with paper; it is, besides, of a
lightness that is quite surprising. It is, however, very fragile, and
there are great difficulties connected with the firing. For this reason
it is sometimes only applied as a coating to the surface of ordinary
paste. The _hua-shi_ is also used to form an ivory-white slip, with
which designs are delicately painted on the surface of the vessel. (We
may probably identify this _hua-shi_ ware with the _sha t’ai_ or ‘soft
paste,’ so called, of Western collectors.)

What we are told by the Jesuit father about the revival of the
manufacture of celadon is of great interest. ‘I was shown this year,’ he
says, ‘for the first time, a new kind of porcelain which is now in
fashion. It is of a colour approaching olive, and is called
_Lung-chuan_.’ The colour of the glaze is given by the same yellow earth
that is used for the _or bruni_ glaze, and it is often highly crackled.
With this statement we may compare the account which he gives in another
part of his second letter of the revival of the manufacture of archaic
wares. ‘The Mandarin of King-te-chen, who honoured me with his
friendship, made presents to his protectors at the court of pieces of
old porcelain [_sic_] which he has the talent to make himself. I mean
that he has found the art of imitating the ancient ware, or at least
that of a considerable age, and he employs a number of workmen with this
object. The material of these false antiques (Chinese _Ku-tung_) is a
yellowish earth brought from the Ma-an mountains. They are very thick--a
plate which the Mandarin gave me was ten times the usual weight. The
peculiarity of this ware is the glaze made from a yellowish rock, which
becomes sea-green on firing.’ This change of colour, of course, was the
result of a reducing flame, but note the keen observation of the


narrator. ‘When completed the pieces are boiled in a very greasy soup,
and then left for a month or more in the most foul drain that can be
found. After this process they may claim to be three or four hundred
years old, and to date from the dynasty preceding the Ming. They
resemble the real antiques in not giving a ringing note when struck....
They have brought me from the _débris_ of a large shop a little plate
which I value more than the finest porcelain made a thousand years ago.
On it is painted a crucifix between the Holy Virgin and St. John. Such
pieces were made formerly for Japan, but they have not been in demand
for the last sixteen or seventeen years.’ These plates, he thinks, were
smuggled into that country mixed with other goods, for the use of the
native Christians. (_Cf._ the Japanese dish, PL. XIV.)

The account given by the Père D’Entrecolles of the firing of porcelain
is so detailed and accurate that it forms an interesting commentary on
what we have said in a former chapter on this subject.[81] We have first
a description of the man who carries the unbaked ware to the furnace,
ranged on two long narrow planks. Balancing these on his shoulders, he
threads his way through the narrow streets, for the furnaces, as we have
seen, may often be a long way from the factory. He goes on to say, ‘the
place where the furnaces are presents another scene. In a kind of
vestibule in front of the kilns are seen heaps of clay boxes destined to
contain the porcelain.’ These, of course, are the ‘seggars’ already
described. Each piece of porcelain of any size has its own case. The
smaller pieces are packed many together in one seggar. On the bottom of
each of these cases is a layer of sand covered with a little powdered
kaolin. Each seggar forms the cover to the one below it, and so the
whole furnace is filled with these great piles of cases each packed
with porcelain. ‘By favour of this thick veil the beauty, and if I may
so express myself, the complexion of the porcelain is not tanned by the
ardour of the fire.’ The workman, without touching the fragile raw
pieces, rapidly transfers them to the furnace by means of a flexible
wooden fork. There are six inches of coarse gravel in the bottom of the
furnace, and on this rest the piles of seggars. The middle range is at
least seven feet high, the two lowest seggars in each pile being left
empty, as is also the one on the top. The middle of the furnace is
reserved for the finest porcelain, while near the front are the pieces
made with a more fusible paste. The piles of seggars are strengthened by
being battened together with clay, but it is the first duty of the
fireman to see that there is a free passage of air. The seggars are made
in a large village a league from King-te-chen, with a mixture of three
kinds of clay.

The furnaces, he tells us, which are now of larger dimensions than
formerly, are built over a capacious arched vault, and the hearth or
fireplace extends across the whole width of the front of the furnace. It
would seem that the process of firing is carried on more rapidly than in
former days, and to economise fuel and time the smaller pieces at any
rate are taken out a few hours after the extinction of the fire.
Sometimes on opening the furnace the whole contents, both seggars and
porcelain, are found to be reduced to a half-melted mass as hard as a
rock. A change in the weather may alter in a moment the action of the
fire, so that a hundred workmen are ruined to one who succeeds and is
able to set up a crockery shop.

The ware made in European style finds no favour with the Chinese, and if
not accepted by the export merchants remains on the maker’s hands.

We are told of the marvellous _tours de force_ executed in porcelain,
some years ago, for the heir-apparent, especially of certain open-work
lanterns[82] and strange musical instruments. We see from this at how
early a date the future emperor (Yung-cheng) showed an interest in
porcelain. The Chinese, it is said, succeed above all in grotesques and
in figures of animals; the workmen make ducks and tortoises that float
on the water. They make, too, many statues of Kwan-yin,--she is
represented holding a child in her arms, and in this form is invoked by
sterile women who wish for children.

The mandarins, he continues, who appreciate the talents of Europeans for
ingenious novelties, have sometimes asked me to procure for them from
Europe new and curious designs, so that they may have something singular
to present to the emperor.[83] On the other hand, the Christian workmen
strongly urged me to do no such thing. For the mandarins do not yield so
easily as our merchants when told that a proposed work is impracticable.
Many are the _bastinados_ given to the men before the official will
abandon the design from which he hoped so much profit.

‘What becomes of the vast accumulation of potsherds, both from the
seggars and from the firings?’ the writer finally asks. Mixed with lime,
they are largely used to form a cement with which the walls of gardens
and roads are constructed. They also help to build up the new ground
which is reclaimed from the banks of the river. Carried down thence by
the floods, they form a glittering pavement for many miles below the

In the detailed account of King-te-chen given by the Jesuit father, we
find no mention of the imperial manufactory. Are we to understand that
he found no admittance to these workshops? His acquaintance with the
higher mandarins makes this unlikely. Nor can we think that these works
were closed during the long period of his stay in this district. Another
omission that has been pointed out is, I think, more easy of
explanation. The Père D’Entrecolles, while giving in great detail the
method of preparation of the various colours used in the enamels and
glazes, does not say a word about the famous crimson derived from gold,
so largely used in the _famille rose_ decoration. I cannot but think
that this omission is an almost conclusive proof that the _rouge d’or_
was not known at that time.[84] The ignorance of the Chinese of chemical
processes is dwelt upon, and it is especially mentioned that they are
acquainted with neither _aqua fortis_ nor _aqua regia_.


THE PORCELAIN OF CHINA--(_continued_).

Forms and Uses--Description of the various Wares.

We have now given a summary sketch of the history and development of the
porcelain of China, and have seen something of the processes of
manufacture and decoration. Incidentally some account has been given of
the principal wares.

We now propose to take up the subject from the side of the paste, the
glaze, and the decoration, putting aside the question of age and of
historical sequence, and to run through the various classes into which
we can divide our material under these heads. We shall follow as far as
possible the arrangement adopted in the British Museum, passing from the
simpler forms of decoration to the more complex.

First, however, let us say a few words on the forms given to porcelain
by the Chinese, and the uses these objects are put to in the country of
their origin.[85]

In a first glance at any large collection of Chinese porcelain the bulk
of the objects shown appear to fall into four classes: plates and
dishes, bowls, vases for flowers, and covered jars.[86] But a closer
examination discloses an endless variety of other uses to which
porcelain has been applied by the Chinese.

The figures of the gods and the vessels associated with their worship
found in the temples and household shrines form by themselves a large
division. Here the use of porcelain has from a very early period been
encouraged at the expense of bronze and other metals. The ritual vessels
used in the imperial worship at Pekin have for ages been made of
porcelain. Many of them, as the jars for sacrificial wine, in the form
of elephants and rhinoceroses, are copied from the most archaic bronze
types; of the same origin is the small libation cup of peculiar shape
sometimes seen in our collections. The _Wu-kung_, or five vessels that
stand in front of a Buddhist shrine, the incense-burner in the centre,
with a candlestick and a vase on either side, are often in China made of
porcelain. In Japan these objects are always of metal. A similar set is
found in the Taoist temples. The colour of the vessels in ritual use at
Pekin varies with the temple in which they are found. Those of the
ancestral temple of the emperors are of imperial yellow; those of the
altar of heaven of a deep blue (a set of five of this colour, recently
brought from Pekin, may be seen at South Kensington). A red glazed ware
is connected with the altar of the sun, and white with that of the
planet Jupiter.

The objects used in the burning of perfume, the basis doubtless of the
highly elaborated apparatus of the Japanese, are usually made of
porcelain: these are the incense-burner, the boxes for the perfumes, and
the little vase to hold the fire-sticks and the tongs. From these we may
pass to the various objects found on the table of the cultured classes,
most of them connected with literary pursuits. This is an important
division in Chinese collections, as we may judge from the often-quoted
manuscript catalogue of Dr. Bushell. The slabs, the water-drippers, and
a dozen other small objects are modelled in a variety of forms. The
pen-rest is generally in the shape of a small range of mountains, the
highest in the centre (this, by the way, is the ancient form of the
Chinese character for ‘mountain,’ _cf._ PL. VIII.). One of the strangest
uses to which porcelain is put by the Chinese is the hat-stand in the
form of a hollow sphere supported on a tall, tubular column--the sphere
may be filled with either fine charcoal embers or with ice, according to
the season.

Pillows, too, are made of porcelain--there is one of the _famille verte_
in the Salting collection--but the native collector is warned against
those of a certain size and shape, as they may have been stolen from
tombs. Tall vases to contain arrows, either cylindrical or square in
section, are especially connected with the Manchus. These large vessels
may generally be known by their porcelain stands often surrounded by

The vases and bowls are of all sizes and shapes. The biggest ovoid vases
with dome-shaped covers may stand in the hall on carved stands; indeed,
they are found in similar positions in many of the palaces of India,
Persia, and Europe.

The flower vases form an important group, and as in Japan, there is
quite a library of illustrated work devoted to them. Both the shape and
the decoration of the vase are dependent upon the flowers it is destined
to hold, and the arrangement and combination of these flowers is
regulated by rival schools of specialists.

The combination of five pieces to form a _garniture de cheminée_ is not
altogether a European idea. The Chinese have a similar combination--the
_Wu-shê_, or set of five; but with them an uncovered vase is preferred
for the central piece. For the service of the dinner-table there are
many forms: among the cups, plates, and dishes of all shapes and sizes
we may select for mention the dishes with covers indicating by their
shapes the contents--fish, birds, or fruit. With these we may compare
the similar forms made at one time at Chelsea and elsewhere. There are,
again, the compound dishes in the form of flowers, each petal forming a
compartment. Finally, we must not forget the tall, cylindrical mugs with
crown-like tops, used for cooling drinks in summer, or among the Mongols
for their koumis.

There are also certain forms made chiefly, but not exclusively, for the
Mohammedan west. Of these, we may mention the bases for the hookah,
recognisable by the small, straight spouts at the side to which the
flexible smoking-tube is attached; the scent-sprinklers with tall,
narrow necks; and the hand-spittoons with globular body and
wide-spreading orifice,--these last, by the way, are used in China also.

It is not known to what date we can refer the oldest of the little
medicine-flasks (Chinese _yao-ping_) which have in later times been used
as snuff-bottles. They seem to have been carried westward in large
numbers by the Arab traders, and that from an early date. In shape and
size they have varied little.[87] Those found so abundantly in Egypt are
generally very small, and are often shaped in imitation of a flattened
vase with a square foot: some of them are of a rough-looking celadon,
others are covered with a green enamel with white reserves. These are
the little bottles that found themselves suddenly so famous towards the
beginning of the last century, when they were extracted by the Arabs
from Egyptian tombs of early dynasties. Somewhat later they encountered
some rivals in the small seals of white Chinese porcelain which were
discovered in the Irish bogs!

We can only mention in passing a few of the innumerable subsidiary uses
which porcelain is made to serve in China, taking the place of so many
other materials, above all of metal:--fittings for furniture, especially
for the bedstead, frames for the abacus, or calculating-table, knobs for
walking-sticks and hanging scrolls, boxes of various shapes and sizes
for cosmetics, buttons, bracelets, and hair-ornaments. Finally, the very
fragments, what we should call pot-sherds, of the oldest wares,
especially when fine in colour, may be found mounted in gold or silver
and worn as personal ornaments.

       *       *       *       *       *

We started our sketch of Chinese porcelain with a rough historical
division into three classes. We are now concerned only with questions of
glazes and decoration, and we shall find that the apparently innumerable
varieties of Chinese porcelain fall, with few exceptions, under one or
other of the following heads:--

1. White, or nearly white, ware, which may be glazed or unglazed.

2. Single-glaze wares, either true monochromes or, if of more than one
colour, the variety of colour arising from changes brought about in the
single glaze during the firing.

3. Porcelain decorated under the glaze. Chiefly blue, less often blue
combined with red, or red alone.

4. The decoration given by painting with glazes of more than one colour,
probably always on the biscuit. We may call this the class of polychrome

5. The decoration painted over the glaze with enamels more fusible than
the glaze on which they rest.

PLAIN WHITE WARE.--The white ware made at Ting-chou, a town in the
province of Chihli, to the south-west of Pekin, as early as Sung times,
served as a type for all the many kinds of similar ware made in later
days at King-te-chen. We have seen (p. 68) that there was a variety, of
the earlier ware, of creamy tint covered with a soft glaze containing
lead; this is the _Tu-ting_, of which there are several specimens in the
British Museum. It was, however, the pure white variety, the
_Feng-ting_, that was afterwards copied. The colour of this ware, when
not a pure white, tends to blue and greenish tints, and it is often
finely crackled. This ware, especially the thin, translucent, egg-shell
variety of the time of Yung-lo (1402-25), is much sought after by
Chinese collectors.

But the greater part of the plain white Chinese porcelain in European
collections was not made either at Ting-chou or at King-te-chen. It is
rather to be traced to the only other important centre for the
manufacture of porcelain that survives in China. This is the district of
Te-hua (Tek-kwa in the local dialect), in the province of Fukien. This
province had been famed in Sung times for its tea-bowls covered with a
dark glaze, and we must remember that somewhere along its rocky,
indented coast was situated the port of Zaitun, so famous in early days
for its Arab trade. In later times the roadstead of Amoy came to rival
Canton as a port of call for our ships; it is mentioned in this
connection by the Père D’Entrecolles, and from it most of the _blanc de
Chine_ which at that time reached Europe was probably exported. For it
was this Fukien ware rather than the white Ting porcelain that was
imported into Europe from the latter half of the seventeenth century, to
be copied in the earlier days of Saint-Cloud and Bow. In Spain it was a
great favourite from perhaps an earlier date, and when the Buen Retiro
works were started this ware was taken as a model.

This white ware does not seem to have been made at Te-hua before the
Ming period, but it soon established itself as the _pai-tsu_--the white
ware _par excellence_ of China. It is distinguished by the creamy white
of its paste and glaze--that is to say, the colour tends


towards a warm, yellowish tint rather than towards the cold, pure white
or bluish tone of most of the King-te-chen and still more of the
Japanese wares. The satiny glaze appears to melt into the subjacent
ground in a way that reminds us of some of the European soft paste

It is the moulded ware that is most characteristic of the ‘Kien
yao‘--vases with dragons in full relief creeping round the neck,
incense-burners in many complicated forms, figures of Kwan-yin (whom we
should _not_ call the ‘Goddess of Mercy‘) in many incarnations; or
again, Ta-mo (so well known in Japan as Daruma), the _Bodhi-dharma_ who
brought the faith to China, with overhanging brows and abstracted,
solemn gaze. Among animals, the favourite is the lion, the so-called
‘dog of Fo,’ sporting with an open-work ball.

Many of these figures are very ably executed; they stand firm and erect;
and the draperies, though here the mannerisms of the ‘calligraphic’
school of painting may be recognised, fall in simple folds from the
shoulders. The prevalence of Buddhist types (for the Taoist divinities
are here less frequently represented) may be connected with the
exceptional predominance of that religion in Fukien, a province somewhat
remote from the rest of China, whose inhabitants speak a dialect very
different from the standard Chinese.

Some very creditable work seems to be still turned out from the Te-kua
district, to judge by the ware that finds its way to the shops of
Fuchow. Some enamelled ware appears to have been at one time made in
this district. In the British Museum are some small pieces decorated
with five colours (among them a blue enamel _over_ the glaze), which on
the ground of the nature of the glaze and the paste have been classed as
Fukien ware; while from the style of the decoration they would appear to
date from the early eighteenth century.

Much white porcelain, both the Feng-ting and the Fukien, was imported
into Europe from the end of the seventeenth century, and it forms an
important element in old collections. Some of this white ware, at a
later time, was decorated with colours in England and elsewhere, giving
rise to a class of porcelain that has caused some confusion to

In China, white porcelain is used in time of mourning, at least that is
the case with that supplied to the imperial court.

Unglazed porcelain is comparatively rare in China, but figures of gods
or of animals are sometimes found in biscuit, and the little boxes in
which crickets are kept for fighting are generally of unglazed ware.
Again, where, as in the class of polychrome glazes, the glaze is applied
with a brush, some part may be left unglazed; and this practice has
survived in the case of the lions and kilins of the _famille verte_,
where we often find the biscuit exposed in parts of the face.

CELADON WARE.--As the white ware of King-te-chen--the _Ting_--has got
its name from the town of Ting-chou where it was first made, so the many
varieties of celadon[88] porcelain are connected in the Chinese mind
with the town of Lung-chuan, near the southern boundary of the province
of Chekiang. We have already given some space to this ware, so important
from the _cultur-historisch_ point of view, and we shall have to return
to it again when we come to investigate the routes by which the
porcelain of China passed in the Middle Ages to other countries. Here we
will merely call attention to the later revival of the celadon glazes
mentioned in a passage we have quoted from the letters of the Jesuit
father. But the highly finished porcelain, with a fine white paste
covered with a pale greyish-green glaze of uniform thickness and shade,
differs much from the old vases with ‘red mouth and foot.’ There is a
remarkably fine specimen in the Wallace collection at Hertford House
with chased metal mountings of the time of Louis XV., and other pieces
similarly mounted in the Jones collection.

CRACKLE WARE.--It would only create confusion to make a special class
for the many kinds of ware covered with a crackled glaze. It will be
remembered that we first came across glazes of this kind when describing
the Ko yao, the ‘ware of the Elder Brother,’ and a large class of
porcelain with white to yellowish grey glaze, always more or less
crackled, is still commonly known as Ko yao in China, so that ‘Crackle
ware’ and ‘Ko yao’ are in a measure equivalent terms. Such crackling may
vary from a division of the surface into large fissures several inches
in length, to the finest reticulation of minute lines hardly visible
without a glass. The first the Chinese compare to the cracks of ice, and
I think that it is to a variety of crackle with long spindle-shaped
divisions that they give the name of ‘crabs claw.’ The finer crackle
they know as ‘fish-roe‘--this is the _truité_ of the French. Certain
glazes, as the turquoise and the purple of the _demi grand feu_, are
always finely crackled. In other cases the crackling, which is caused,
as we have already said (p. 32), by the glaze after solidification
contracting more than the subjacent paste, may be produced or modified
at the will of the potter by adding various substances to the glaze. A
rock that has been identified with steatite has been often mentioned in
this connection, and the increase in the shrinkage of the glaze
attributed to the magnesia contained in it. Probably, however, a change
in the proportion of the silica to the alumina may be enough to bring
about a crackled glaze. The following extract from the letters of the
Père D’Entrecolles throws some light on this point. He tells us that
when the glaze is made of _cailloux blancs_ (probably little else than
felspar), without other mixture, we obtain the porcelain called
_Sui-ki_, or ‘shattered ware’ (this is the general Chinese term for
crackle), ‘marbled all over with an infinity of veins so as to look like
a piece of broken porcelain with the pieces remaining in their places.’
The glaze, we are told, is of a cindery white. We have here a
description of the Ko yao, which, however, seems to have been little
known in Europe at that time. To this class belong the vases with
yellowish grey ground and crackles of medium size. They are often
provided with mask handles and detached rings. These handles and rings,
as well as some broad bands round the neck, are covered, in imitation of
bronze, with a dark, roughened glaze. Another variety of this Ko yao is
decorated with scattered patches of white slip, laid on apparently over
the crackled glazed surface. On this slip is painted the design in
cobalt blue under what is apparently a second glaze. A frequent _motif_
on this ware is found in a series of horses in the strangest of
positions. These probably represent the eight famous steeds of the old
emperor Mu-wang. Both these classes of Ko yao are in great favour in
China and Japan as flower vases. The shapes and decorations are more or
less reminiscent of the old bronzes. It would seem that ware of this
kind is still manufactured at King-te-chen and perhaps somewhere in the
north of China also.

The brown glazes form a very distinct class. The well-known colour has
many names: in French _fond laque_; in Chinese _tzu-kin_, or ‘burnished
gold.’ It is also known as ‘dead leaf,’ but the average tint is perhaps
best described as _café au lait_. The Père D’Entrecolles, in mentioning
the _tzu-kin_, the colour of which he says is given by a ‘common yellow
earth,’ states that it was a recent invention in his time. He is perhaps
referring to some special tint, for the colour was well known in Ming
days. We have already spoken of the possible relation of this colour to


copper lustre of the fourteenth century Persian fayence. At a later time
in the seventeenth century it was a favourite colour with the Persians,
especially when decorated with delicate designs of flowers and ferns in
a thin white slip (PL. XVI.). It was largely exported at that time from
China and cleverly imitated in the fayence and frit-pastes of Persia.
Both the original Chinese ware and the Persian imitation are well
represented at South Kensington by specimens brought from the latter
country. This brown glaze is seldom found alone. It is a colour that
stands well the full heat of the furnace, and it may be combined with a
blue and white decoration or with bands of celadon. It forms the
ground-colour of the so-called Batavian ware, and at one time a brown
ring was by our ancestors held to be essential on the rim of a fine
plate or bowl of blue and white porcelain.

TURQUOISE AND PURPLE GLAZES.--As for the twin colours of the _demi grand
feu_ (the yellow in this group is quite subordinate), the so-called
turquoise (including the peacock green and kingfisher blue of the
Chinese) and the aubergine purple, the latter is seldom found alone.
Both colours are distinguished by a very fine-grained crackle. Of the
blue, when used as a single-glaze colour, we have spoken when describing
the glazes of the _demi grand feu_.

YELLOW MONOCHROME GLAZES.--There are many shades of yellow found on
Chinese porcelain: the imperial yellow of full yolk-of-egg tint, the
lemon yellow, the greenish ‘eel-skin,’ and the ‘boiled chestnut.’ Only
the first, the imperial yellow, is of importance as a monochrome glaze.
This is the colour first used in the time of the Ming emperor Hung-chi
(1487-1505), and his name is sometimes found on bowls and plates ranging
in colour from a bright mustard to a boiled chestnut tint. There are
some good specimens in the British Museum, and a curious piece, with a
Persian inscription, at South Kensington, has already been mentioned
when speaking of the reign of Hung-chi.

COBALT BLUE MONOCHROME GLAZES.--We may distinguish three varieties of
blue derived from cobalt, but the full sapphire of the blue and white
ware is not found as a monochrome glaze:--

1. The _Clair de lune_. The term _yueh-pai_, or moon-white, was applied
to more than one class of Sung porcelain, but above all to the Ju yao.
In later times, when these primitive wares were copied, the colour was
given by a minute quantity of cobalt, but it is very doubtful whether
that pigment was known in early Sung days. The _clair de lune_ glazes of
Nien were considered second in merit only to the copper reds of that
great viceroy. The uncrackled glazes of this class are often classed as

2. The Mazarin blue, known also as _bleu fouetté_ or powder-blue.[89]
This glaze is blown on to the surface of the raw paste, in the manner
described on page 30. It sometimes covers the whole surface, and is then
generally decorated with floral designs in gold, but more often it forms
the ground for vases and plates with large white reserves on which
designs in enamel colours are painted.

3. The _Gros Bleu_, in the form of large plates and vases, was a great
favourite with the Arabs and other Mohammedan races. This ware, too, was
often covered with a decoration of gold. There is a magnificent plate of
this class in the British Museum, and at South Kensington, in the India
Museum, a tall, dark-blue vase which we have already mentioned. From
Persia come many specimens of this deep blue ware, of a greyish or even
slaty tint, decorated, like the _fond laque_, with flowers in a white

BLACK GLAZES.--Very near to this last class of blue glazes we may place
the ‘metallic black,’ the _wu-chin_ of the Chinese. According to the
Père D’Entrecolles, this mirror-black is prepared by mixing with a glaze
containing much lime and some of the same ochry earth that gives the
colour to the brown glazes, a sufficient quantity of cobalt of poor
quality. In this case no second glaze is required, and the vessel is
fired in the _demi grand feu_, _i.e._ in the front of the furnace. Other
blacks are painted on and covered with a second glaze. The large
spherical vases with tall tubular necks show little trace generally of
the gold with which the black glaze was originally decorated.

GREEN GLAZES.--The peculiar tint of green, in varied intensity, that
distinguishes the _famille verte_ is seldom found as a single glaze; and
of the green Lang yao, made by Lang Ting-tso in the early part of the
reign of Kang-he, it is doubtful whether we have any representatives in
our European collections. This glaze is said to be somewhat in the style
of his more famous _sang de bœuf_.

The brilliant cucumber or apple-green of Ming times is shown in a pair
of exquisite little bowls in the British Museum. Over the green glaze
there is a scroll pattern of gold, and on the inside a blue decoration
under the glaze. Almost identical with these is the bowl set in a
silver-gilt mounting of English make dating from about the year 1540,
now preserved in the Gold Room (PL. V.). Of a similar but somewhat
deeper tint of green are the rare crackle vases, generally of small
size, of which there are specimens in the British Museum and in the
Salting collection.[90]

OLIVE AND BRONZE GLAZES.--The monochrome glazes of various shades of
olive and bronze are for the most part produced by a _soufflé_ process,
in which on a base of one colour a second colour is sprinkled. Thus to
form the ‘tea-dust’ a green glaze is blown over a reddish ground derived
from iron. The wonderful bronze glazes, of which there are good
specimens in the British Museum and in the Salting collection, are
produced in a similar way. But some of these (and the same may be said
of the ‘iron rusts‘) partake rather of the nature of the more elaborated
glazes of the _flambé_ class.

RED AND FLAMBÉ GLAZES (PL. XVII.).--We have left the red glazes to the
last, both from the complicated nature of the class and because one
variety, the _sang de bœuf_, forms a transition to the ‘splashed’ or
_flambé_ division. A red glaze or enamel, we have seen, can be produced
from three metals,--from gold, from copper, and from iron. With the
_Rose d’or_, which may be classed as a monochrome enamel, when used to
cover the backs of plates and bowls, we are not concerned here--it is
not properly a glaze in our sense of the word. The red derived from the
sesqui-oxide of iron was only successfully applied as a monochrome when,
at a late period, the difficulties attending its use were overcome by
combining the pigment with an alkaline flux. This is the _Mo-hung_ or
‘painted red’ of the muffle-stove, which was painted over the already
glazed ware, and therefore not properly itself a glaze. In fine
specimens it approaches to a vermilion colour; it is the jujube red of
the Chinese. It is with this colour, laid upon the elaborately modelled
paste, that the carved cinnabar lacquer is so wonderfully imitated.[91]

But it is the red derived from copper that presents the most points of
interest. Indeed we now enter upon a series of glazes, beginning with
the pure deep red of

[Illustration: _PLATE XVII._ CHINESE]

the _sang de bœuf_, and then passing over the line to the long series of
variegated or ‘transmutation‘[92] glazes that have more than any others
fascinated the modern amateurs of ceramic problems. We have already seen
how these magic effects are produced by carefully modulating the passage
of the oxidising currents through an otherwise smoky and reducing
atmosphere in the furnace (p. 42).

The typical _sang de bœuf_, or the ‘red of the sacrifice,’ as the
Chinese call it, was that made under the _régime_ of Lang Ting-tso a
forerunner of the three great directors of the imperial manufactory at
King-te-chen, and in later times it was always the aim of the potter to
imitate his work--the Lang yao--even in trifling details. According to
the Père D’Entrecolles, to obtain this red the Chinese made use of a
finely granulated copper which they obtained from the silver refiners,
and which therefore probably contained silver. Some other very
remarkable substances, he tells us, entered into the composition, but of
these it is the less necessary to speak, as he confesses that great
secrecy was maintained on the subject.

In looking carefully _into_ a glaze of this kind, the deep
colouring-matter is seen suspended in a more or less greenish or
yellowish transparent matrix, in the form of streaks and clots of a
nearly opaque material.[93] The hue, in general effect, varies from a
deep blood-red to various shades of orange and brown, but intimately
mixed with the red, certain bluish streaks are sometimes to be seen in
one part or another of the surface. The colours should stop evenly at
the rim and at the base, which parts, if this is achieved, are covered
with a transparent glaze of pale greenish or yellowish tint.

We have already seen that much depends upon the period of the firing at
which the glaze becomes liquid or soft, and upon the exact degree of
fluidity attained by it. Should the oxidising currents be allowed
further play at the critical period of the firing, the blue and greenish
stains and splashes will become more predominant, and we may either pass
over to the _flambé_ or ‘transmutation’ glazes, or finally the glaze may
become almost white and transparent.

But we must hark back to the wares of the Sung period, to the Chün yao,
to find the origin of these variegated glazes. These early Sung glazes
were copied in the time of Yung-cheng, and if we are to believe the
contemporary list, already quoted, of the objects copied, they were of a
very complicated nature. In this class of _flambé_ ware we must include
also a large part of the so-called _Yuan tsu_ (see p. 77), a heavy
kaolinic stoneware, certainly not all dating from the Yuan or Mongol
period--a ware, indeed, still common in the north of China. This ware is
roughly covered with a glaze of predominant lavender tint, speckled with
red, and thus approaches to the ‘robin’s egg’ glaze of the American
collector, though this latter is found on a finer porcelain of later

Another name which has been used to include many of these variegated
glazes is _Yao-pien_ or ‘furnace-transmutation.’ This last word very
well expresses the process by which the colour is developed, but it must
be remembered that this is not exactly the meaning that the word
_yao-pien_ conveys to the Chinese mind.[94] With this term the happy
accidents of the furnace were linked by the Père D’Entrecolles: he tells
us that it was proposed to make a sacrificial red, but that the vase
came from the furnace like a kind of agate. Dr. Bushell thinks that
most of the fine pieces of this ware date from the time of Yung-cheng
and Kien-lung (1722-1795), and he is of opinion that they were prepared
by a _soufflé_ process rather than by any ‘academic transformation’ of a
copper-red glaze. ‘The piece,’ he says, ‘coated with a greyish crackle
glaze or with a ferruginous enamel of yellowish-brown tone, has the
transmutation glaze applied at the same time as a kind of overcoat. It
is put on with the brush in various ways, in thick dashes not completely
covering the surface of the piece, or flecked as with the point of the
brush in a rain of drops. The piece is finally fired in a reducing
atmosphere, and the air, let in at the critical moment when the
materials are fully fused, imparts atoms of oxygen to the copper and
speckles the red base with points of green and turquoise blue’
(_Oriental Ceramic Art_, pp. 516-17). Some practical experiments lately
made in France would tend to show that the critical moment should be
placed a little earlier, _before_ the glaze is completely fused, for
after that point is reached the surrounding atmosphere has little
influence upon the metallic oxides in the glaze. It is to this
capricious action of the furnace gases that are due those wonderful
effects that may be observed in looking _into_ these glazes, curdled
masses of strange shapes and varying colour suspended in a more or less
transparent medium, and assuming at times those textures resembling
animal tissues which are graphically described by the Chinese as pig’s
liver or mule’s lungs. It must be understood that into many of the more
modern and _apprêtés_ specimens of _flambé_ ware the sources of the
violent contrasts of colour are found not only in the oxides of copper
and iron, but in those of cobalt and manganese also.

But in contrast to ‘the stern delights’ of these flamboyant wares there
is another kind of glaze, chemically closely allied, for it is also of
transmutation copper origin, of which the associations are of another
kind. This is the peach-bloom, the ‘apple-red and green,’ or again the
‘kidney-bean’ glaze of the Chinese. Although claiming an origin from
Ming times, this glaze is always associated with the great viceroy Tsang
Ying-hsuan. The little vases and water-vessels of a pale pinkish red,
more or less mottled and varying in intensity, are highly prized by
Chinese collectors.

DECORATION WITH SLIP.--There is a class of ware which might perhaps
claim a separate division for itself--I mean that decorated with an
_engobe_ or slip. We have already mentioned the most important cases
where this _engobe_ is applied to the surface of single-glazed wares:
these are, in the first place, the _fond laque_ (PL. XVI.), and in a
less degree certain blue and even white wares. The slip, of a cream-like
consistency, is as a rule painted on with a brush over the glaze,
generally, I think, after a preliminary firing.[95] This _engobe_ may
then itself be decorated with colours, as we have seen in the case of
the Ko yao, and the whole surface probably then covered with a second
glaze.[96] Sometimes when the ground itself is nearly white we get an
effect like the _bianco sopra bianco_ of Italian majolica. This
carefully prepared and finely ground _engobe_ contains, in some cases at
least, the same materials as those employed in the preparation of the
Sha-tai or ‘sand-bodied’ porcelain.

PIERCED OR OPEN-WORK DECORATION (PL. XVIII. 1).--We may here find place
for another kind of decoration, one much admired in Europe in the
eighteenth century.


This is obtained by piercing the paste so as to form an open-work
design, generally some simple diapered or key pattern, but sometimes
flowers or figures of cranes. The little apertures or windows thus
formed may be filled in by the glaze (if this is sufficiently viscous to
stretch across them) in the simple process of dipping. In this case the
glaze takes in part the place of the paste, and indeed in the closely
allied ‘Gombroon’ ware of Persia it is the thick, viscous glaze rather
than the friable sandy paste that holds the vessel together. It is the
plain white ware to which this decoration is generally applied in China.
There is one class where this pierced work is associated with groups of
little figures, in biscuit, in high or full relief--as is well
illustrated by a series of small cups in the Salting collection, some of
which bear traces of gilding and colours.

The term ‘rice-grain’ was originally applied to the open-work diapers
filled in with glaze. As a whole this kind of work may be referred to
the later part of the reign of Kien-lung, and especially to that of his
successor, Kia-king (1795-1820), so that it is not unlikely that the
Persian frit-ware, some of which is of earlier date, may have served as
a model.

BLUE AND WHITE WARE.--This is, on the whole, the most important as well
as the best defined class of Chinese porcelain. The Chinese name, _Ching
hua pai ti_ (literally ‘blue flowers white ground‘), defines its nature
well enough.

We have no information as to the origin and development of blue and
white porcelain in China, nor indeed do I know of any collection where
an attempt has been made to classify the vast material. We must here
content ourselves with a few notes which at best may indicate the ground
on which such a classification should be made. We have seen (p. 75)
that there is at least some presumptive evidence that the Chinese may
have derived their knowledge of the use of cobalt (as a material to
decorate the ground of their porcelain) from Western Asia, at a time
when both China and Persia were governed by one family of Mongol khans.
For we know now that in Syria or in Persia, in the twelfth or early in
the thirteenth century, a rough but artistic ware was painted with a
hasty decoration of cobalt blue and covered with a thick alkaline glaze;
while in China, at that time, we have no evidence for the existence of
any porcelain other than monochrome.

It is possible that the earliest Chinese type of the under-glaze blue
may be found in certain thick brownish crackle ware, decorated under the
glaze, in blue, with a few strokes of the brush. Plates and dishes of
this kind have been found in Borneo, associated with early types of
celadon.[97] A similar ware, not necessarily of great antiquity, is
often found in common use in the north of China and, I think, in Korea,
and with it we may perhaps associate the greyish-yellow Ko yao decorated
with patches of blue and white slip.

It is very likely that there would be a strong opposition on the part of
the Chinese literati to such a novel and exotic mode of decoration, but
that such opposition would be less felt in the case of ware made for
exportation, or it may be for use among the less conservative Mongols.
We have an instance of a similar feeling in the protest that we know was
made some two or three hundred years later against the application of
coloured enamels to the surface of porcelain.

Of the thousands of specimens of blue and white porcelain in our
collections there is probably no single piece for which we can claim a
date earlier than the fifteenth century. We can, however, distinguish


types among the examples, which for the reasons given on page 83 we may
safely assign to the Ming period. The first is distinguished by a pure
but pale blue, and the design (generally somewhat sparingly applied) is
carefully drawn with a fine brush. This, it would seem, was the ware
imitated by the Japanese at the princely kilns of Mikawaji. The other
type is distinguished by the depth and brilliancy of its colour, the
true sapphire tint, differing from the later blue of the eighteenth
century, in which there is always a purplish tendency. There are some
good specimens of this type in the British Museum, but we will take as
our standard a jar at South Kensington about twelve inches in height
(PL. XIX.). The remarkable thickness of the paste in this vase shown in
the neck, which has at some time been cut down, the marks of the
junction of the moulded pieces of which it was built up, the slight
patina developed in the surface of the glaze, are all signs that point
to an early origin. But what is above all noticeable is the jewel-like
brilliancy of the blue pigment with which the decoration--a design of
_kilin_ sporting under pine-trees--is painted.

When we come to the reign of Wan-li (1572-1619), to which time we may
assign the beginning of the direct exportation to Europe of Chinese
porcelain, a period of decline has already set in. The rare pieces of
blue and white so prized in Elizabethan and early Stuart days are in no
way remarkable either in their execution or in their decoration.

We come now to an important class of blue and white ware which looms out
large in many collections. I mean the big plates and jars with roughly
executed designs often showing a Persian influence. The blue is never
pure--indeed it is often little better than a slaty grey, and sometimes
almost black. Most of what the dealers now know as ‘Ming porcelain’ may
be included in this class. To understand the source of this porcelain we
must refer the reader to what we shall have to say in Chapter XIII.
about the trade of China with Persia in the time of Shah Abbas and with
the north of India, during the reigns of the great Mogul rulers of the
seventeenth century. The increasing demand from these countries
coincided with a period of decline in China, for the period between the
death of Wan-li in 1620 and the revival of the manufacture at
King-te-chen towards the end of that century, is almost a blank in the
history of Chinese porcelain. But the export trade that had sprung up at
the end of the sixteenth century was actively carried on in spite of the
political troubles, and at no other time was the nature of the ware
produced so largely influenced by the foreign demand. But this demand
was at first chiefly for the Mohammedan East, and what reached Europe
was mostly the result of re-exportation from India and from the Persian
Gulf.[98] This picturesque and decorative ware is well represented at
South Kensington by specimens obtained in Persia, and many fine pieces
have lately been brought from India. Of this class of blue and white
ware we have already spoken in a former chapter (see p. 84).

In Egypt, again, blue and white porcelain was greatly appreciated both
for decorative purposes and for common use. Large plates and dishes
painted with a scale-like pattern, formed of petals of flowers, are
still to be found in the old Arab houses of Cairo.

Already by the beginning of the seventeenth century plates and bowls of
the Sinico-Persian type must have reached Holland in large quantities,
and we find them frequently introduced into their pictures by the
still-life painters of the time. I will only give two examples: (1) A
large still-life at Dresden by Frans Snyders (1579-1657), where as many
as eight plates and bowls, mostly roughly decorated with a greyish
cobalt _sous couverte_, are introduced; (2) a small picture in the
Louvre by William Kalff (1621-1693). Here we see a large ‘ginger-jar’
with deep blue ground and white reserves. The porcelain introduced by
the Dutch painters is without exception of the blue and white class, and
in the earlier works the slaty blue tints are the most common.

But European influence must now and then have made itself felt in China
before this time, to judge by some large jars at Dresden decorated with
arabesques of unmistakable renaissance type. One of these has been
fitted with a lid of Delft ware, made to match the other covers of
Chinese origin, and this Dutch-made lid cannot be dated later than the
first half of the seventeenth century.[99]

But it is to the next age that the bulk of the vast collection of blue
and white brought together at Dresden by Augustus the Strong belongs.
The _lange Lijzen_, the famous dragon-vases, the large fish-bowls, and
the endless series of smaller objects collected by his agents from every
side, have made this royal collection a place of pilgrimage for all
china maniacs since his day. Not that the general average of the blue
and white ware is very high. We find here for the first time specimens
of the famous ‘hawthorn ginger-jars’ so dear to later collectors of
‘Nankin china.’ Of course this porcelain did not come from Nankin, the
jars were never used for ginger, and the decoration was not derived from
the hawthorn--a flower unknown in Chinese art. But it is in these jars
that the modern connoisseur, both in England and America, has found the
completest expression and highest triumph of the art of the Far East. No
words are too strong to express his enthusiasm. We are especially told
to look for a certain ‘palpitating quality’ in the blue ground. We hear
from Dr. Bushell that these ‘hawthorn jars’ are in China especially
associated with the New Year; filled with various objects they are then
given as presents. The decoration of prunus flowers (a species allied to
our blackthorn) is relieved against a background of ice, and it is the
rendering of this crackled ice in varying shades of blue that gives the
special _cachet_ to the ware.[100]

There is a curious variety of blue and white in which the outline of the
design is filled up by a hatching of cross-lines as in an engraving. The
prototype of this kind of decoration probably dates from Ming times, and
it may possibly be derived from some kind of textile.

ENAMEL COLOURS OVER THE GLAZE.--We have already attempted to follow the
stages by which the application of enamel colours over the glaze found
its way into general use. We saw that before the introduction of fusible
enamels melting at the gentle heat of the muffle-stove, somewhat similar
effects were obtained by painting with certain colours upon the already
fired body or paste--on a biscuit ground, in fact. The coloured slip
used in this way, differing in no respect from a true glaze, was then
subjected to a fire of medium intensity, that is to say, it was exposed
to the _demi grand feu_ of the kiln.

I think that the obscure problem of the nature of the coloured ware so
minutely described by Chinese writers and ascribed by them to early
Ming times, and the relation of this ware to the first forms of the
_famille verte_ can only find its solution by allowing a wider play to
the use of painting on biscuit and subsequent refiring, and that there
may probably have existed intermediate stages between the _demi grand
feu_ and the fully developed muffle-stove. It is indeed possible that
the same pieces may have successively been exposed to both these

The curious bowl, of very archaic aspect, lately added to the Salting
collection (see note, p. 89), illustrates well the difficulties in
accepting as final a decision as to date based upon the nature of the
enamel. This bowl bears the nien-hao of Ching-te (1505-21), and may well
date from that time, but among the enamel colours over the glaze we find
a cobalt blue (of a poor lavender tint indeed); we are told, however,
that the use of cobalt as an enamel colour was unknown before the time
of Kang-he.[102]

Of the many schemes and varieties of decoration that crop up in the
course of the eighteenth century as a consequence of the increased
palette at the command of the enameller and of the miscellaneous demand
for foreign countries, we have already said something. Many important
types must remain unmentioned, and some are indeed scarcely represented
in our home collections. Of this I will give, in conclusion, a striking
instance. In the whole of the great collection at Dresden, now so
admirably arranged by Dr. Zimmermann, there is perhaps nothing more
striking than the circular stand covered with a trophy of large vases,
the decoration of which, though bold in general effect, is entirely
built up by fine lines of iron-red helped out by a little gold. These
vases, from their fine technique, I should assign to the end of the
reign of Kang-he, or possibly to that of Yung-cheng (1722-35). It is a
curious fact that by these parallel lines of iron-red an effect is
produced at a distance very similar to that obtained by a wash of the
_rouge d’or_. Possibly the aim was to imitate that colour. I have seen a
similar effect produced by red hatching on some English ware of the
eighteenth century. I do not think that this porcelain was made for the
Persian market, as has been asserted, for in that case we should find
specimens of it in the South Kensington collection.[103] There is, I
think, only one example of this ware in the British Museum, and in the
Salting collection only a pair of insignificant cups and saucers. On the
other hand, in the Dresden collection, whole classes even of eighteenth
century wares are unrepresented. I mention these facts to accentuate the
vast field covered by Chinese porcelain. It must be borne in mind that
the Chinese manufactured for the whole civilised world, and that the
taste and fashion in each country influenced, though often very
indirectly, and in a way not always to be recognised at first sight, the
forms and the decoration of the objects exported to it. This influence,
making for variety and change, has been in constant conflict with, and
has counteracted, the native conservative habit. It is an influence that
has probably made itself felt from very early days, but it culminated in
the eighteenth century. Indeed the rapid decline of Chinese porcelain
that set in before the end of that century was in no small degree
promoted by the unintelligent demand from Western countries at that

We shall later on have to look upon this question

[Illustration: Plate XX.

_Chinese Design in red and gold._]

from a reversed point of view, and we shall have to notice how the
fictile wares of other countries were influenced, and finally in part
replaced by the products of the kilns of King-te-chen. For in any
general history of porcelain this influence of the East upon the West,
together with the return current from West to East, is the central
question. By bearing in mind these mutual influences a simplicity and
unity are given to this history which we might look for in vain in that
of any other art of equal importance.

How the porcelain of King-te-chen found its way at first to the
surrounding minor states--to Korea, to Indo-China, and to Japan--and was
more or less successfully copied in these countries; how, on the other
hand, in India and in Persia the foreign ware, though long in general
use, was never imitated;[104] and how, finally, after reaching the
Christian West this porcelain influenced and in part replaced the
homemade fayence, even before the secret of its composition was
discovered--these, I think, are the prime factors in the history of

It will, however, be convenient to say something of the porcelain made
in the surrounding countries, especially in Japan, before taking up the
subject of the Chinese commerce with Europe, for this reason among
others: the products of the Japanese kilns became so inextricably mixed
up with those of King-te-chen in the course of their journey to the
West, that it would be impossible to treat of the one class apart from
the other.

But before ending with the porcelain of China we must take a rapid
glance at a large and complicated group--that decorated wholly or in
part in European style.

Quite early in the century, perhaps before 1700, figures and groups in
plain white ware, for the most part attired in the European costume of
the day, were exported from China. Many of these grotesque figures may
be seen in the great Dresden collection, and a few in the British
Museum. Later on it became the fashion for the European merchants at
Canton to supply the native enamellers of that city with engravings, to
be copied by them in colours on the white ware sent down from
King-te-chen. In other cases the captain of a Dutch or English vessel
lying in the Canton roads would employ a native artist to decorate a
plate or dish with a picture of his good ship.

But the most frequent task given to these Canton enamellers was the
reproduction of elaborate coats of arms upon the centre of a plate or
dish, or sometimes upon a whole dinner-service. There is in the British
Museum a remarkable collection of this armorial china, brought together
for the most part by the late Sir A. W. Franks.[105] Orders came not
from England alone, but from Holland, Sweden, Germany, and even Russia.
Services were thus decorated for Frederick the Great and other royal
heads. The practice seems to have been kept up during the whole of the
eighteenth century, but we do not know the precise date at which it was
introduced. In a few cases--the large Talbot plate in the British Museum
is an instance (PL. XXI.)--the arms were painted in blue under the
glaze, and such decoration was probably executed at King-te-chen. The
small plate with the Okeover arms in the same collection was, according
to the family tradition, ordered as early as the year 1700, but the
decoration in my opinion would undoubtedly point to a later date[106]
(PL. XII. 2).


It is hardly necessary at the present day to mention that this armorial
china has nothing to do with Lowestoft. A fictitious interest was,
however, long given to this ware by its strange attribution to that

Much Chinese porcelain, either plain white or sparely decorated under
the glaze with blue, was imported during the eighteenth century, to be
daubed over, often in the worst taste, with a profusion of gaudy
colours, in Holland, in Germany, and in England. At Venice, too, the
plain Oriental ware was at one time elaborately painted with a black

More interest attaches to the porcelain enamelled at Canton for the
Indian market. The Chinese seem in some way to have associated the
_yang-tsai_ or ‘foreign colours’ with the enamels made in the south of
India, especially at Calicut, and it is possible that Indian patterns
and schemes of colour may have influenced some of the developments of
the _famille rose_. The Canton enamellers must at the same time have
been working on the richly decorated ware for the Siamese market, but it
is on their enamel paintings on copper that the Indo-Siamese influence
is chiefly seen (see next chapter).

Nor were these exotic schemes of decoration confined to the Canton
enamellers. At more than one time there was something like a rage for
copying foreign designs--Japanese, among others--at King-te-chen, and
that not for trade purposes alone, for as we have mentioned already,
both Kang-he and Kien-lung seem to have taken a passing interest in the
strange productions of the outer barbarian.

Of the many kinds of ceramic wares made in different parts of China
which from the opacity of the paste we cannot class as porcelain, we can
only mention two, both of which would probably come under the head of
our kaolinic stoneware:--1. The YI-HSING YAO, made at a place of that
name not far from Shanghai, which includes the red unglazed ware,
esteemed by the Chinese for the brewing of tea. This is the so-called
Boccaro successfully copied by Böttger. Sometimes we find this stoneware
painted with enamel colours thickly laid on, and the design is often
accentuated by ridges or _cloisons_. 2. The KUANG YAO, of which there
are two classes. The ware made near Amoy is a yellowish to brownish
stoneware, thickly glazed and rudely decorated. This coarse pottery is
much in favour with the Chinese colonists in America and elsewhere.
Again in the south of the province of Kuang-tung, at Yang-chiang-hsien,
a reddish stoneware has long been made. It is covered with a thick
glaze, often mottled, more or less blue, and sometimes resembling the
_flambé_ glazes of King-te-chen. Indeed this Kuang yao at one time was
copied at the latter place.[107] It is often stated that true porcelain
was made in Kuang-tung, but the evidence on the whole is against this.
We will quote, however, what the Abbé Raynal says (_Histoire du Commerce
des Européens dans les Deux Indes_, 1770). He states that competition
with King-te-chen had been abandoned ‘excepté au voisinage de Canton, où
on fabrique la porcelaine connue sous le nom de porcelaine des Indes. La
pâte en est longue et facile; mais en général les couleurs sont très
inférieures. Toutes les couleurs, excepté le bleu, y relèvent en bosse
et sont communément mal appliquées. La plupart des tasses, des assiettes
et des autres vases que portent nos négocians, sortent de cette
manufacture, moins estimée à la Chine que ne le sont dans nos contrées
celles de fayence.‘[108] Compare with this what we have said about the
rough porcelain exported to India in the seventeenth century (p. 85).

Since the extinction of the Ting kilns an opaque white stoneware has
been largely manufactured in the north, and near Pekin a commoner
earthenware is largely made (Bushell, pp. 631-638).

The bricks with which the Porcelain Tower of Nankin was constructed were
for the most part composed of a kaolinic stoneware.

Finally, we should point out that nearly all these various kinds of
stoneware are represented in the British Museum collection.




The self-contained culture of the Middle Kingdom spread at an early time
to the less advanced and more or less tributary countries that
surrounded it: on the south to the confused complex of states that are
conveniently grouped together as Indo-China; on the north to Korea; and
on the east, or more accurately on the north-east, to Japan. To these
islands, however, the Chinese civilisation for the most part spread by
way of Korea, and as this was in a measure the route taken in the case
of the potter’s art, it may be well to deal first with the great
northern peninsula.

The Chinese claim to have conquered and even incorporated Korea as long
ago as the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), and even before that time the
country had been overrun by the Japanese. The latter people have at all
times presented themselves to the Koreans as ruthless conquerors and
pirates, and indeed they succeeded during their last great expedition at
the end of the sixteenth century in sweeping the country so bare that to
this day its poverty and the low state of its artistic culture is
generally attributed to this gigantic razzia from which the country
never recovered. And yet Korea has always taken a place in Japanese
estimation second only to China as a source of their artistic and
practical knowledge, if not of their literature and philosophy; and this
is especially the case with regard to the potter’s craft--the technical
part of it above all. Time and again do we hear of famous Korean
potters, or even of whole families and tribes, being brought over and
set to work by the local Japanese ruler either with the materials they
brought with them, or with the clays and glazes that their experience
enabled them to discover in their new homes.

We need not, therefore, be surprised to find that after the wonders of
Japan had been laid open to the admiration of the West, the greatest
hopes were entertained of finding artistic treasures at least as
valuable in the great peninsula to the west which still remained a
forbidden land. Failing direct evidence of this wealth, it became the
habit to attribute to Korea any Oriental ware, old or new, of which the
origin was unknown. This tendency was taken advantage of by more than
one enterprising dealer, and when at a later time the country was in a
measure thrown open, cases of gorgeously decorated Japanese ware,
brand-new from Yokohama or Nagasaki, were sent round by way of Chemulpo,
the port of the Korean capital, so that their Korean origin could be
guaranteed. Long before this, the home of an important group of Japanese
porcelain, that now generally known as ‘Kakiyemon,’ had been found by
Jacquemart in Korea. Now that of late years these various fallacies and
_supercheries_ have been exposed, and that the extreme poverty of the
land in artistic work of any kind has been demonstrated, we may perhaps
see a tendency to an undue depreciation of the artistic capabilities of
the country in former days. We must at any rate remember that the
Japanese experts, who are in the best position to know, have always
maintained that the Koreans in the sixteenth century were possessed of
the secret of enamelling in colour upon porcelain, or, at all events,
that they were acquainted with the coloured glazes of the _demi grand
feu_, and that so good an authority as Captain Brinkley has accepted, as
of Korean origin, specimens of enamelled ware still existing in Japanese

Meantime we must be contented with the scanty examples of pottery,
stoneware, and porcelain that have been actually brought home from
Korea, and among these pieces we must discriminate between the wares of
native manufacture and the porcelain that had been imported from China,
either overland by way of Niu-chuang or across the Gulf of Petchili from
the ports of Shantung. Of late years many specimens have been collected,
chiefly at Seoul, the capital, especially by members of the various
foreign legations, and some of these have found their way into European

Apart from some small pieces of modern blue and white and enamelled
wares, undoubtedly of true porcelain, but very rough in execution and
poor in colour, which are said to be of local manufacture, we find:--

1. A plain white ware often showing signs of age, but apparently in no
way differing from the ivory-white ware of Fukien. Japanese experts,
however, claim to distinguish pieces of Korean origin. Such specimens
are much valued in Japan, and some are said to have been brought back
after the great expedition at the end of the sixteenth century. We find
also specimens of a heavy white ware, with decoration in a high relief,
which is undoubtedly of native origin. At Sèvres is a large white vase,
with dragons in relief, brought from Seoul.

2. Celadon porcelain, of many types. Of this ware there are many
specimens in our museums. At Sèvres we find two bowls of a fine rich
tint of olive green, presented by the King of Korea to the late
President Carnot ‘as the most valuable of the ancient productions of his
poor country.’ In the same collection may be seen a case full of
important specimens brought back in 1893 by M. de Plancy, the French
diplomatic agent at Seoul. Among them are some large rude celadon vases,
one with some attempts at blue decoration under the glaze. In the
British Museum are several celadon bowls, some with moulded floral
patterns in relief. Among some bowls of a greyish celadon from Korea, in
the Ethnographical Museum at Dresden, I noticed some with an unglazed
ring on the upper surface, pointing to a primitive method of support in
the furnace, perhaps similar to that formerly employed in Siam. Dr.
Bushell quotes from a Chinese work on Korea, written in the first half
of the twelfth century, an account of the elaborately moulded wine-cups
and vessels of all kinds made in that country. This ware is described as
of a kingfisher green, but it may probably be regarded as a
full-coloured variety of celadon. This interpretation is confirmed by a
later Chinese work (published 1387), which distinctly says--I quote from
Dr. Bushell’s translation--‘The ceramic objects produced in the ancient
Korean kilns were of a greyish green colour resembling the celadon ware
of Lung-chuan. There was one kind overlaid with white sprays of flowers,
but this was not valued so very highly’ (_Oriental Ceramic Art_, p.

3. An important class of Korean ware is formed by the coarsely crackled
pieces of brownish or yellow colour, which in China would probably be
classed as Ko yao. These are often roughly decorated with daubs of blue
under the glaze, resembling in this some of the older pieces brought
from Borneo.

4. A greyish ware, inlaid with designs of white slip, on the principle
of our ‘encaustic tiles’ of the Middle Ages. This is perhaps the only
original type that we can connect with Korea, and it would seem that
this is the ware alluded to at the end of the quotation we have just
given from an old Chinese book. This inlaid ware appears to have been
greatly admired by the Japanese, for it was closely imitated in more
than one district. The well-known Yatsushiro pottery, first made in the
province of Higo in the seventeenth century, is distinctly a copy of
this Korean model. Among the specimens at Sèvres brought home by M. de
Plancy, there is a tall vase of this type cut down in the neck decorated
with flying cranes in white slip. This ware, however, is not a true
porcelain; at the best it is a kind of kaolinic stoneware, and the same
may be said of most of the old heavy pieces brought back from Korea.

There is not much in the way of decorative design to be found on any of
the varieties of Korean porcelain or stoneware that we have now
described, and we may look in vain among the few ornamental _motifs_ to
be found on these wares for any marked divergency from Chinese types.


Under the somewhat vague heading of Indo-China we will collect a few
notes upon the specimens of porcelain that have been found in the
various states into which the great peninsula that stretches south
between the China Sea and the Bay of Bengal is divided.

In looking through the artistic productions of all these countries, we
find one marked characteristic; and that is the way in which Chinese
forms and Chinese decorative _motifs_ have pushed their way in and in
part replaced the old Buddhist and Brahmanistic styles.

As matters now stand, the most important for us of these states is Siam,
for here we are at once brought face to face with one of the places of
manufacture of the famous heavy celadon ware which in the Middle Ages
was carried by Arab and Chinese traders over all the seas of the then
known world. We shall have in a later chapter to come back to the
question of this trade, and then we shall be able to show that the
discussion as to the origin of this _martabani_ ware has been the means,
as is indeed often the case in such disputes, of throwing much light on
the early history of Chinese porcelain.

For the present we are only concerned with an important discovery quite
recently made not far from the frontier of Siam and Pegu. Many specimens
of celadon, some of the older type, have come in recent years from
various parts of Indo-China. In the museum at Sèvres are some pieces of
rough greyish ware, with a thick, irregularly crackled glaze, brought
back in 1893 by the _Mission Fournereux_ from Siam and Cambodia; among
these fragments of old celadon we find a pair of contorted bowls, fused
together in the kiln, in fact undoubted ‘wasters,’ such as could only be
found in the neighbourhood of the furnaces where they were fired. At the
instigation of Mr. C. H. Read of the British Museum, Mr. Lyle has lately
explored the remains of old potteries now hidden in deep jungle, at a
place called Sawankalok, not far from the western frontier of Siam.
These old kilns are situated some two hundred miles to the north of
Bangkok, and about the same distance from the port of Molmein (Malmen).
To show the importance of this discovery, we need only point out that
near to the latter town lies the old port of Martaban, which played so
important a part in the mediæval trade of the Arabs, and from which,
doubtless, the name of Martabani, by which celadon ware has always been
known in the Mohammedan East, is derived. Among the many fragments
brought back by Mr. Lyle are some which from their distinct
translucency, and from the whiteness and the conchoidal fracture of the
paste, may be unhesitatingly classed as true porcelain. The colour of
the glaze varies from a prevailing greyish green to a fine turquoise
tint in a few specimens. That the ware was made on the spot is proved
by the presence of many defective pieces--‘wasters’ that had been thrown
away--as well as by the numerous conical props (for the support of the
ware in the kiln) found mixed with the fragments. On these tall,
nozzle-shaped props the plates and bowls were supported in an inverted
position. It is by this unusual method of support that we may account
for the fact that the glaze covers the _whole_ of the lower surface--so
exceptional an occurrence in the case of porcelain--and at the same time
for the absence of the glaze from a ring-like portion of the upper
surface. We may note that a similar distribution of the glaze is found
occasionally on large plates of the old heavy ware brought from other
countries; of this there are notable examples in the museum at Gotha
(see p. 72). The ground in these Siamese specimens has assumed where
exposed, but there only, the deep red so admired by the Chinese in the
old Lung-chuan ware. The paste, in many of the examples, has been
moulded in low relief in the characteristic lotus-leaf pattern, while on
a few pieces there is a rough decoration in greenish black under the
glaze. All remembrance of these old kilns has completely passed away,
and at the present day the local market is supplied with a rough
stoneware brought overland from Yunnan.[110]

The porcelain now found in Siam, of which many specimens have been
lately brought to Europe, is of a very different character. This is the
highly decorated enamelled ware which may be classed with the _famille
rose_ from the prevalence of the _rouge d’or_ among the enamels. This
ware, none of which can be earlier than the middle of the eighteenth
century, is certainly made in China, but the presence in the decoration

[Illustration: _PLATE XXII._ CHINESE]

certain peculiar Buddhist types makes it rather difficult to believe
that the enamelling was in all cases executed in Canton. It is true that
in the colours, and in the general style of the decoration, we are often
reminded of the well-known Cantonese enamels on copper. The white
surface of the ground is, for the most part, entirely hidden by a floral
decoration; but amid this, on medallions surrounded by tongues of flame,
we find centaur-like monsters with human heads, above which rise
almond-shaped _nimbi_. From the top of the cover of the hemispherical
bowls--the commonest form--rises a knob in the shape of the Buddhist
jewel. The enamel of this ware appears to scale off readily, as if from
imperfect firing. The prevailing colours are a deep red for the ground,
and a bright green relieved with white and yellow for the design (PL.
XXII.). While the finer specimens, as we have already said, remind us of
the Canton enamels, others suggest rather, in the scheme of colour and
decoration, the painted and lacquered bowls of India and Ceylon. In the
Indian Museum at South Kensington may be seen an exceptionally fine
collection of this Sinico-Siamese porcelain, lent by Signor Cardu, and a
good opportunity is here provided for comparing its decoration with that
on the rough earthenware from Ceylon and various parts of India which is
exhibited in adjacent cases.

A coarse kind of porcelain is made in Annam. At Sèvres are some cups
presented by the envoy from that kingdom. The rude pattern of bamboos
painted in blue, _sous couverte_, on a greyish paste, does not give an
exalted idea of Annamese civilisation.

In Japan we sometimes find specimens of a somewhat rough but
picturesquely decorated ware, hardly a true porcelain, I think, which
from the country of its origin is known as Kochi. From the nature and
colour of its glaze it may be compared to some of the old Chinese wares
of the _demi grand feu_, and again, in certain points, to the earlier
types of the Japanese porcelain of Kaga and Imari. Kochi has been
identified with Cochin-China, but as the geographical ideas of the
Japanese as to foreign states were not very definite--derived as they
were from the Chinese geographers of the Ming period--we may perhaps be
justified in looking further north for the source of this ware, either
in Tonquin or in some part of Kuang-tung, the southernmost province of



In any assemblage of the ceramic products of Japan, more especially in
one of native origin, it will be seen that porcelain no longer, as in
China, holds the place of honour. This place would be taken, in such a
collection, by a series of small bowls and jars mostly of a
dark-coloured earthenware, which offer little to attract a European eye.
On the other hand, a Western collector of Japanese ceramics would be
likely to find more to interest him in the decorated fayence of which
the kilns of Kioto and Satsuma have furnished the most exquisite
examples. And yet, perhaps, in no country, not even in China, do we find
porcelain, and that of a high technical quality, so largely employed for
domestic use. The commonest coolie eats his rice or drinks his tea or
_saké_ from a bowl or cup of porcelain, while to find specimens of the
old rough stoneware or earthenware we must explore the _Kura_--the
fireproof storehouses of the rich noble or merchant--where, wrapped in
cases of old brocade, these little objects are carefully preserved and
classified. It would be out of place here to enter into the causes,
political, social, and, we may add, also psychological, that have
influenced the Japanese mind in thus associating all that is refined and
intellectual with a class of pottery in which, to say the least, the
artistic possibilities are confined within very narrow limits. But, as
is now well known, this tendency has been fostered by the ceremonies
connected with the social gatherings known as the _Cha-no-yu_ (literally
‘hot water for tea‘), when the powdered tea is prepared in and drunk
from examples of these primitive wares. On such occasions the criticism
and measured praise of the utensils employed forms an important--indeed
an almost obligatory--part of the conversation among the guests.

The merits of Chinese porcelain, however, have long been acknowledged by
the Japanese. Possibly as early as the ninth century specimens of
celadon were imported. Direct communication with China has indeed since
that time been subject to many interruptions, and it has at all times
been carried on subject to galling restrictions and heavy duties levied
by the governments of both countries. The Japanese have at many times
made piratical descents upon the coast of China, and among the loot thus
obtained many fine pieces of Chinese porcelain may have found their way
to Japan. There was, however, a period in the fifteenth century during
which a pretty steady trade was kept up, under the patronage of the
pleasure-loving Ashikaga Shoguns, and many specimens of the earlier Ming
porcelain must have reached Japan at that time. It has always been the
celadon ware that has found most favour with the Japanese, and fabulous
prices were, and indeed still are, given for fine pieces. We may note
that such specimens are as a rule associated in the Japanese mind with
the Yuan or Mongol dynasty. Speaking generally, however, it was not to
this direct intercourse with China that the Japanese attribute their
knowledge of ceramic processes. From an early date nearly all that they
knew of the continental lands of Asia seems to have reached them from
Korea, a country where they played alternately the part of ruthless
invaders and devastators, and of eager and submissive students.

Let us then rapidly glance over the records preserved by the Japanese of
their early lessons in the potter’s art, that we may better understand
the conditions under which the manufacture of porcelain was at length
established in the country at the end of the sixteenth century.

Of the early pottery of Japan--rude figures, coffins, and strange-shaped
vases of coarse earthenware dating from the early centuries of our
era--we know, thanks to the researches of Mr. Gowland, much more than we
do of the products of a similar stage of culture in China. In the
British Museum we may see a collection, unique of its kind in Europe, of
prehistoric objects, found most of them in or around the dolmen tombs of
the early emperors, and brought together in Japan by that energetic
explorer. As, according to Japanese tradition, Korean potters were in
those early days already settled in Japan, we need not be surprised to
find that vessels of very similar shape, but of a rather better ware,
have also been found in Korean tombs.

The earliest ware whose origin we can trace to a definite spot, is that
formerly made at Karatsu, in Hizen, near to the great porcelain district
of later days. Korean potters are traditionally reported to have been
established here as far back as the early part of the seventh century.
Of this primitive ware we will only note that the pieces were placed in
the kiln in an inverted position, either without supports (the
_Kuchi-nashi-de_, or ‘unglazed orifice ware‘), or supported by two props
of rectangular section (the _Geta okoshi_, or ‘clog supports‘). This is
a point of interest in connection with the similar devices used in
firing some of the early celadon. But, as Captain Brinkley points out
(_The Chrysanthemum_, vol. iii. p. 18), it was the introduction of tea
from China[112] early in the thirteenth century that gave rise, for the
first time, to a demand for a better kind of pottery.

Kato Shirozayemon, a native of Owari, made, we are told, a five years’
visit to China about this time (he returned to his native village of
Seto in 1223) in order to study the potter’s craft. The ware that he
succeeded in making on his return to Japan has a reddish brown paste
covered with a dark glaze, streaked and patched with lighter tints. This
was probably more or less an imitation of the Kien yao, the ‘hare-fur’
cups made in the province of Fukien in late Sung times.[113] These cups,
so prized by the Japanese, are of interest to us, as they may, in some
degree, be regarded as the ancestral type from which the long series of
Japanese tea-bowls is derived. But neither the ware of Toshiro (he is
generally known by this shortened form of his name), nor that of his
followers, has any claim to be classed as porcelain. It is, however,
from Seto, the native village of Toshiro, where he set up his kilns on
his return from China, that the commonest Japanese name for all kinds of
ceramic ware, but more especially for porcelain, is derived, and the
district is now a great centre for the production of blue and white

Apart from this dark ware and from the heavy celadon, it would seem that
at this time, and even later, the only true porcelain known to the
Japanese was the white translucent ware of Korea, itself probably an
offshoot of some early form of Ting ware. That Toshiro, who must have
travelled in Fukien barely two generations earlier than Marco Polo,
should only have learned to make this one kind of dark ware, shows how
locally circumscribed was the knowledge and use in China, in Sung times,
of different kinds of porcelain.

We have to wait nearly three hundred years for the first attempts at the
manufacture of porcelain in Japan. Gorodayu Shonsui, the second great
name in the history of Japanese ceramics, made his way to Fuchow early
in the sixteenth century. He probably visited King-te-chen, and returned
to Japan in the year 1513, bringing with him specimens of the materials
used by the Chinese, both for the paste and for the glaze of their
porcelain. But although Shonsui on his return settled at Arita, in the
centre of what was at a later time the principal porcelain district of
Japan, he appears never to have discovered the precious deposits of
kaolin in the neighbouring hills; for when the supplies brought from
China came to an end, he and his successors had to fall back upon the
manufacture of fayence. A few specimens of the ware he made have been
preserved in Japan, and it has often been copied since Shonsui’s
time--even in China, it is said. It is a fair imitation of the Ming blue
and white, and we may note that the plum-blossom often occurs in the
decoration. We are told that the secret of the process of _enamel
painting_ was rigorously kept from Shonsui. We have seen that it is at
least doubtful whether this process was known to the Chinese at that
time, but the reference may be to the ware covered with polychrome
painted glazes.

There are two pieces attributed to Shonsui, on native evidence, in the
historical collection of Japanese pottery at South Kensington, but it is
very doubtful whether these very ordinary pieces of blue and white are
even as old as the later date (1580-90) somewhat strangely attributed to
them on the same authority.

And now the Korean potter is found again on the scene. It was reserved
for Risampei, a native of that country, to recognise for the first
time--in 1599, it is said--the value of the white crumbling rocks
out-cropping on the hills that rise at the back of Arita. Here he built
his kilns and succeeded in making a fairly good imitation of the Chinese
blue and white which was now becoming more and more in request as an
article of commerce.

At this stage we are brought into contact not only with the local
history and the politics of the day, but with the great questions of
world traffic that were being fought out at the time. The rich western
island of Kiushiu had long been the principal seat of the efforts of the
Portuguese and Spanish missionaries. They had nowhere more converts than
on the coasts of Hizen and on the adjacent islands. So that to one or
more of these early kilns established near Arita we may reasonably
assign some at least of those strange plates, painted with Biblical
subjects, that have excited so much curiosity. I will only point to the
large dish with an elaborate picture of the Baptism of Christ in the
centre, now at South Kensington (PL. XIV.). The subject is painted in
blue under the glaze and heightened by gilding. Around the edge we find
a design of little naked boys--_amorini_, in fact--playing among

We can find nothing in the Japanese records to throw light on the
porcelain made in Hizen during the first half of the seventeenth
century, but much of the somewhat roughly decorated blue and white ware
(the larger dishes especially, made for India and Persia) has been
classed, on the ground of the occurrence of spur-marks, and of the
nature of the paste and decoration, as Japanese.[115] Some of this ware
may be as old as this time, when (I mean shortly before the middle of
the seventeenth century) the demand from the West was ever increasing,
and the Chinese supply was so uncertain and so inferior in quality.

Meantime the Dutch and English factories on the island of Hirado,
opposite to the pottery district of Imari, were finally closed (1641),
and all communication with the outside world prohibited. The only
exception made was in favour of the strictly limited commerce carried on
through the Dutch and Chinese merchants, who were confined in their
prison-like factories at Nagasaki.[116]

Now it is a remarkable fact that our first definite information
concerning the introduction of Japanese porcelain into Europe dates from
this very period, and it is to approximately the same date that the
Japanese ascribe the introduction of coloured enamels among the Hizen
potters. One Higashidori Tokuzayemon, a potter of Imari, is said to have
derived some knowledge of the precious secret from the captain of a
Chinese junk trading at Nagasaki in 1648. With the assistance of
Kakiyemon, a skilled potter of the same district, he succeeded in
imitating the five-coloured enamelled wares of the Wan-li period.
Another Japanese authority[117] gives the name of his assistant as Gosu
Gombei, and states that by 1645, after many fruitless experiments, they
were able to produce a ware decorated with coloured enamels and with
gold and silver, which was exported at first through the medium of a
Chinese merchant, and shortly after sold to the Dutch.

So far from Japanese sources. On the other hand, we hear of an early
Dutch ambassador sent from Batavia--‘_Le Sieur Wagenaar, grand
connoisseur et fort habile dans ces sortes d‘œuvres_‘--in fact himself a
designer of patterns, one of which, it is said--white flowers on a blue
ground--found great favour at this time. In the same work[118] we are
told that this gentleman, who combined the most delicate diplomatic
negotiations with practical commercial undertakings, took back with him
to Batavia more than twenty thousand pieces of _plain white ware_
(1634-35). It is, however, very probable that the Dutch may have had a
great deal to do with the introduction of coloured enamels into Japan.

We must remember that during this time (say between 1630 and 1650) two
important series of events were coming to pass which revolutionised the
Eastern trade. These were, first, in China the troubles attending the
expulsion of the Ming dynasty, including the burning of King-te-chen and
the stoppage of the supply of porcelain for shipping at Canton; and
secondly, the final triumph of the anti-Christian party in Japan, and
the closing of the country to foreigners. It is no wonder, then, if the
Dutch ambassador was empowered to offer almost any terms to the
Japanese, provided that the latter would only make an exception in
favour of the merchants of his country.

Turning now from the records of the Japanese and of the Dutch merchants,
let us examine the specimens of Japanese porcelain that we find in our
oldest European collections, and which we may reasonably assign to the
seventeenth century. Apart from the blue and white, we find here two
classes of enamelled ware which we now know to be of Japanese origin.


It may indeed be said that it was in the separation, and in the definite
attribution to Japan, of these two groups, that the first step was made
towards a scientific classification of Oriental porcelain, and for this
work we are chiefly indebted to the labours of the late Sir A. W.
Franks. We will first deal with what may on the whole be regarded as the
oldest group.

KAKIYEMON WARE.--Under this name it will be convenient to describe the
compact group of decorated porcelain that we find taking so prominent a
place in our old collections. Of this ware there is a most
representative series of specimens in the British Museum. There are also
many interesting pieces scattered through the rooms of Hampton Court.
The chief characteristics of this Kakiyemon ware are the creamy-white
paste, without the bluish tinge so common in other Japanese porcelain,
the moulded forms (in the case of the small vases and of the dishes with
scalloped edges), and above all the peculiar nature of the decoration
that is somewhat sparely scattered over the ground. Here we find the
well-known combination of the pine, the bamboo, and the plum (Japanese
_Sho-chiku-bai_) associated with quaintly executed figures in old
Chinese costume. In the foreground is often found a curious hedge or
trellis-fence of straw or rushes, and at times, at the side, a grotesque
tiger is seen disporting in strange attitudes (PL. XXIII.). Exotic
birds, singularly ill-drawn, are sometimes seen, but individual flowers
are introduced with great decorative feeling--witness the sprig of
poppy, a rare flower in Japanese art, on a plate in the British Museum.
There is a non-Japanese element in the design which seems to hamper the
native artist, but whether this element is to be sought in Holland or in
Korea--or perhaps in a degree in both--is quite uncertain.[119] As for
the enamel colours employed, the most important point is the use of a
blue enamel _over the glaze_. This colour is freely employed in
combination with the usual opaque red. The other colours, more sparingly
used, are a green of emerald tint, a pale yellow, and a poorish purple.
The full command of a fine-coloured blue enamel at so early a date is
interesting. In the earlier Chinese examples this colour is poor, and
the enamel is apt to chip off. On a few rare pieces of this Kakiyemon
porcelain we see the blue applied under the glaze, and there is one
specimen in the British Museum on which the two methods are combined. We
rarely come upon specimens of this ware in Japan. In China, at one time,
it was copied for exportation, and Dr. Bushell thinks that the porcelain
classed as _Tung-yang-tsai_ or ‘Japanese colours,’ in the time of
Kang-he, is of this class. A large octagonal jar at South Kensington,
somewhat crudely decorated in the Kakiyemon style, which came from
Persia, may possibly be of Chinese origin. There is, at any rate, no
doubt that this is the ware known, perhaps two hundred years ago, in
France as the _première qualité colorée_, and in England and Germany as
‘old East Indian,’ It was reserved for Jacquemart to class it as Korean.
It is, however, remarkable that in neither the Japanese nor the Dutch
records of the time do we find any notice of a decoration at all
resembling that found on this ware. Any hint that is given from these
sources would apply much better to the class of porcelain that we have
next to describe. In later chapters we shall see that the important
position given to this Kakiyemon porcelain by our ancestors is reflected
in the decoration applied to more than one of the early wares of Europe.

IMARI OR OLD JAPAN.--The many kilns that sprung up in the province of
Hizen during the

[Illustration: _PLATE XXIV._ 1. CHINESE. 2. JAPANESE.]

course of the seventeenth century, along the slope of the hills that
produced both the china-stone and the china-clay, were chiefly occupied
in making blue and white porcelain, the _sometsuke_ or ‘dyed’ ware of
the Japanese, and this, we may add, is still the case.

The underglaze blue indeed has always remained the dominant element in
the Imari porcelain, and to judge by the older pieces the employment of
other colours crept in gradually. This blue is generally of a peculiar
dark lavender or slaty tint, and with the addition to it of a little
gilding we obtain already the general effect of the ‘old Japan’
decoration. When to the blue and gold was added an opaque iron-red (from
this pigment the Japanese succeeded in obtaining a great variety of fine
tints), we attain to a scheme of decoration which, at first sight, gives
the impression of being built up with a full palette of colours; this is
the typical _nishiki-de_ or ‘brocaded’ ware of the Japanese (PL. I.).
Indeed in many of the finest specimens we find nothing beyond these
three colours--blue, red, and gold. But the blue, derived from the
native ore, the concretionary ‘wad,’ containing generally more manganese
than cobalt, is often wholly or in part replaced as the dominant colour
by a glossy black painted over the glaze, and this, too, in specimens
with some claims to antiquity. The other colours of the Chinese
‘pentad,’ the green, the yellow, and the purple, generally occupy quite
subordinate positions. It is to be noted that in this ware we never find
the blue applied as an enamel _over_ the glaze.

It would be a mistake to regard the whole series of Imari enamelled
porcelain as made only for exportation. It is true that the large vases
and plates with the well-known effective but somewhat overloaded
decoration are not found in Japan, although such pieces have been made
at Arita for the last two hundred years for exportation from Nagasaki;
but the more quietly decorated ware of Imari, in endless forms and with
decoration of the most varied kind, has long been in general domestic
use, and many smaller pieces of great artistic beauty have been lately
obtained from Japanese collections.[120]

In fact, the early enamelled wares of Imari are recognised by the
Japanese as the _fons et origo_ of most of the decorated porcelain, to
say nothing of the later pottery, of their country. We have seen how our
‘old Japan’ group started from a slight modification of the blue and
white, but we must find place also for an early ware decorated in five
colours, somewhat in the Wan-li style. Of this ware but few pieces
survive. The tradition, however, was carried on at Kutani and at many of
the Kioto kilns in the eighteenth century.

Late in the seventeenth century the Kizayemon family obtained the
privilege of supplying the porcelain, decorated with cranes and
chrysanthemums, for the personal use of the Mikado, and at the present
day a member of this family is said to still claim the right of
purveying to the imperial court. It is to one of these Kizayemons, but
not until the year 1770, that the merit of the invention of seggars for
holding the porcelain in the kiln is given by the Japanese. It would
seem that before that date no such protection was given. That such a
claim should be made shows how completely Japan at this time was shut
out from the rest of the world.

And here we may point out how self-contained was the development of
Japanese porcelain during the palmy days of the Tokugawa _régime_ (say
from 1650 to 1850). As in the case of the kindred arts of metalware and
lacquer, any European influence was quite of a casual and what we may
call fanciful nature; while the new methods of decoration that came into
use in

[Illustration: Plate XXV.

_Japanese. Imari ware._]

China in the eighteenth century were never recognised or copied, even if
they were known. What imitation there was of China was confined to the
copying of Ming types; the Manchus, in fact, were never acknowledged by
the Japanese, and their arts were under a taboo almost as strict as that
applied to the civilisation of the West. No better instance of this
conservatism could be given than the fact that the use of gold as a
source of a red pigment, the basis of the _famille rose_ in China,
appears to have been unknown until the beginning of the nineteenth
century, and even then the _rouge-d’or_ was but sparingly applied. On
the other hand, the Chinese were always eager, in the interest of trade,
to copy the wares exported from Nagasaki, and we shall see later on what
an influence the various products of the Hizen kilns had upon the
porcelain of Europe.

These, then, were practically the only kinds of Japanese ceramic ware
known in Europe until the opening of the country in our days--the blue
and white or _sometsuke_, the ‘old Japan’ or _nishiki-de_, and the
peculiar type which we have classed as Kakiyemon. To this list we should
perhaps add the plain white ware, much of which was subsequently
decorated in Europe.

These wares were all of them made in the kilns near Arita, nor do they
exhaust the products of even that district. But during the eighteenth
century the manufacture of porcelain spread to other parts of Japan
where porcelain was made exclusively for home consumption. Many of these
kilns were established under princely patronage, some in the very
gardens of the feudal lord, while a special interest is given to others
by their association with certain skilled potters and their descendants,
whose names, in opposition to what we found was the practice in China,
we can thus connect with the wares.

But we will first say something about the composition and the processes
of manufacture of the porcelain of Japan, dwelling, however, only on
those few points where we find divergences from the practices obtaining
in China.

In the first place, then, as to the composition of the paste. To judge
from the few trustworthy analyses of Imari ware that have been made, the
paste would seem to be of a very abnormal type; the amount of silica--70
to 74 per cent.--is quite unusual; there is an almost total absence of
lime, so important a constituent of Chinese porcelain; while we find
from 4 to 5 per cent. of the alkalis. But, in place of the potash found
in the wares of China, in the Japanese paste the prevailing alkali is
invariably soda.

The materials of the porcelain made in Hizen were obtained originally
from the famous ‘Hill of Springs‘--Idzumi Yama--which rises behind the
town of Arita. Of late years, however, large quantities of clay and
stone have been brought from the island of Amakusa, which lies to the
south. It is from the products of decomposition of a volcanic rock, a
kind of quartz-trachyte, that these materials are obtained, not from a
true granitic rock as in Owari[121] and in most other seats of porcelain
manufacture all over the world.[122]

In the neighbourhood of Arita the raw materials lie conveniently at
hand; and in the Japanese accounts there is no definite reference to two
distinct elements in the constitution of the paste. However, that
something corresponding to our china-stone is made use of, is shown by
the importance attached to the methods by which the stone is reduced to
powder. The primitive stamping-mill, worked by a long lever of wood,
moved either by the foot of a coolie or by a simple hydraulic
arrangement, has long been employed for pounding the stone, and the
hills around Arita re-echo with the thuds of these mills.

The potter’s wheel plays here a larger part than in China, and the
Japanese are exceptionally skilful throwers. Still, notwithstanding some
native statements to the contrary, the use of moulds either of wood or
of terra-cotta has long been known--witness the old Kakiyemon porcelain.

We now come to the most important departure from the Chinese procedure.
In Japan, the ware (as is, indeed, universally the case in Europe)
receives a preliminary baking in a specially constructed biscuit kiln
before the application of the glaze. The adoption of this practice would
seem to point to a greater tenderness in the raw clay.

The glaze (Japanese _kusuri_--‘medicine‘) is prepared by mixing the
finely powdered china-stone with the ashes of certain kinds of wood. The
ashes from the bark of the usu-tree (_Distylium racemosum_) are
especially in request for this purpose, and it is certainly remarkable
that these ashes contain nearly 40 per cent. of lime, the element that
is conspicuous by its absence from the paste.

The furnaces in which the principal firing takes place are of a bee-hive
shape: they are arranged in rows of from five to ten hearths placed by
preference on the slope of a hill, so that each succeeding hearth rises
two or three feet above its neighbour. This plan is probably a
modification of the old Ming type of furnace, and the system, it is
said, was introduced from Korea.

The use of seggars appears never to have become general, and this is
probably the reason why the marks of ‘crow’s-feet’ and other kinds of
struts, used to support the vessel in the kiln, are often conspicuous
on the base of the larger pieces.

Neither in their glazes nor for their enamels have the Japanese ever
made use of any colours unknown to the Chinese, nor until quite recent
times have they paid much attention to single glazes. There is, however,
one important exception to this last statement, in the _Sei-ji_ or
celadon ware, which with them has always been the ideal of classical
perfection, and which they have imitated with varied success. For their
reds they have always been confined to pigments derived from iron, but
with these opaque intractable materials they have obtained a great
variety of effects, especially by means of delicate gradations of
strength. In the case of the blue under the glaze, the Japanese have
never attained to the mastery of their teachers: there is very commonly
a tendency of the colour to run, and a bluish tint is thereby given to
the white ground; the blue, moreover, on the older specimens, is
generally dull, and in modern times often crude and unpleasant.

The shapes and uses of Japanese porcelain start, for the most part, from
Chinese models of Ming times, but there are a few forms that are not
found in China. The _hi-bachi_ or fire-bowl, though more commonly of
bronze, we sometimes find made of celadon or of blue and white
porcelain; the _kôrô_ or incense-burner, with a cover of pierced metal,
is a form characteristic of Japan; and the more elaborate _choshi-buro_
or ‘clove-bath’ is, I think, peculiar to the country; so, too, are both
the _saké_-bottle of cylindrical or square section, with a curved lip
for pouring, and the little cups, in sets of three, often of egg-shell
ware, from which the _saké_ is drunk. The use of the miniature teapot,
in which the better sort of tea is infused, is again confined to Japan;
but these little _kibisho_, unlike the vessels for powdered tea used in
the _Cha-no-yu_, have not, I think, been long in fashion.

We have described the three kinds of porcelain made in Hizen for
exportation to Europe, and we have seen that by the middle of the
seventeenth century this commerce, in the hands of the Dutch, and to
some extent of the Chinese, had already attained large proportions.
Before turning to the kilns that sprung up in other parts of Japan
during the eighteenth century--of these the origin in every case can be
traced back directly or indirectly to the early Hizen factories--we must
say a word about some other varieties of porcelain made in the same
neighbourhood, but not destined for foreign use.

The village or town of Arita, of which the better-known Imari is the
port, lies about fifty miles to the north-east of Nagasaki, and it may
almost be regarded as the King-te-chen of Japan. The clay and
china-stone used there is now brought, for the most part, from the
adjacent islands, from Hirado, from Amakusa, and even from the more
remote Goto islands. By a combination of some of the most important
potters of the district, and with the assistance of some wealthy
merchants, a company, the _Koransha_, was formed some twenty-five years
ago,[123] and an attempt was made to keep up the quality of the
porcelain produced, at least from a technical point of view. It was
certainly time for some such effort to be made, for about that period,
just after the Philadelphia Exhibition, the arts of Japan reached
perhaps their nadir.

MIKÔCHI OR HIRADO WARE.--It was with a somewhat similar object that,
long before this--about the middle of the eighteenth century--the feudal
lord of Hirado had taken some of the kilns near Arita under his
patronage, and had also attempted to regulate the wasteful and careless
way in which the materials were quarried on the slopes of Idzumi Yama.
This was the origin of the beautiful Mikôchi (_Mi-ka-uchi_) ware, which
was at first produced only for the use of the prince and of his friends,
or for presentation to the Shogun.

To understand the important influence of this aristocratic patronage
upon the scattered kilns of Japan (only a few of these, indeed, produced
porcelain), I cannot do better than quote the words of Captain Brinkley,
perhaps our first authority on Japanese ceramics: ‘During the two
centuries that represent the golden age of Japanese ceramic art, that is
to say, from 1645 to 1845, every factory of any importance was under the
direct patronage either of the nobleman in whose fief it lay, or of some
wealthy amateur whose whole business in life was comprised in the
cultivation of the _Cha-no-yu_. The wares produced, if they did not
represent the independent efforts of artists seeking to achieve or
maintain celebrity, were undertaken in compliance with the orders of the
workman’s liege lord, or of some other exalted personage. Considerations
of cost were entirely set aside, no expenditure of time and toil were
deemed excessive, and the slightest blemish sufficed to secure the
condemnation of the piece.’ All these conditions were swept away by the
revolution of 1868 and by the opening of the country to foreigners.
‘Codes of subtle æsthetics and criticisms of exacting amateurs had no
longer to be considered, but in their stead the artist found himself
confronted by the Western market with all its elements of sordid haste
and superficial judgment.’

To return to the Mikôchi porcelain, this Hirado ware, for it was known
also by that name, produced at the prince’s kilns, six miles to the
south of Arita, was for more than a hundred years regarded as the _ne
plus ultra_ among Japanese porcelain, and its value was enhanced by the
fact that the ware never found its way into commerce. In the _sous
couverte_ blue it was sought to imitate the paler type of the old Ming
ware. The best-known examples of this blue decoration are seen on the
little cups delicately painted with Chinese boys at play under
pine-trees--the more the boys the better the ware, it is said. Careful
manipulation of the clay and finish of surface has never been carried to
a higher point than in the varieties of this porcelain worked with
pierced patterns and ornaments in relief, so prized by Japanese
collectors. On these we find, in addition to the blue, a peculiar tint
of pale brown. Of this coloured ware there are some good specimens at
South Kensington.

ÔKÔCHI OR NABESHIMA WARE.--The same high technical finish has been
attained in the Ôkôchi porcelain made at the village of that name
(_Ô-kawa-uchi_) three miles to the north of Arita. The kilns here were
patronised by the Nabeshima princes, who belonged to one of the greatest
feudal families of old Japan. In this case also, the small highly
finished pieces were destined for presents only and were never sold.
This ware is generally to be identified by the comb-like pattern
(Japanese _Kushi-ki_), painted in blue round the base of the cups and
bowls.[124] Like the little Chinese boys of the Mikôchi ware, this
pattern is often seen on very inferior ware of quite modern manufacture.
A peculiar kind of finely crackled celadon was also made at Ôkôchi.

In the Arita district are many other factories, some of which, as those
at Matsugawa, have at times produced excellent ware. Of most of these
private kilns, however, the chief outturn has always been confined to
the blue and white _sometsuke_ for domestic use.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have now to follow the steps by which the knowledge of porcelain was
carried from the western island to other parts of Japan. We had better
pass at once to the Kioto kilns, for although the manufacture of
porcelain was not introduced at the old capital so early as at some
other places in the main island, yet the skill of its artist potters and
their connection with the imperial court led, in the course of the
eighteenth century, to the spread of their influence in every direction.

Kioto was already in the sixteenth century the seat of more than one
ceramic industry, but it was not so much the problem of the materials
for a true porcelain, as the questions connected with the coloured
enamels lately brought over from the West, that excited the curiosity of
the Kioto potter at this time. The story goes that one Aoyama Koyemon (I
quote again from _The Chrysanthemum_, April 1883), who came to Kioto
from the porcelain district of Hizen, to obtain orders for the new
enamelled ware, allowed the secret of its manufacture to be wormed out
of him by a crafty Kioto dealer, and that for this breach of trust the
wretched ‘traveller’ was crucified by his liege lord on his return to
Arita. This occurred just before the death of the great ceramic artist
Ninsei (about 1660), and the old potter at once obtained the knowledge
of the new enamelling process from the above-mentioned crockery
merchant. This man, we should add--the dealer--is said to have gone mad
when he heard the dreadful fate of his friend Koyemon--a fate for which
he was in so large a measure responsible. Such stories as this, and
there are other similar ones in the annals of Japanese ceramics, call to
mind the adventures of the experts of the eighteenth century, who
trafficked with the German princes in the _arcana_ of the newly
introduced porcelain, but for these German experts the penalties for
breach of confidence were not of so severe a nature.

Nomomura Ninsei is generally held to be the greatest ceramic artist that
Japan has produced. The decorated stoneware and pottery that he turned
out late in life may be regarded as the common source from which the
wares produced in the two main groups of kilns in the neighbourhood of
Kioto took their origin. With one of these groups, with the wares
produced in the factories around Awata, we are not concerned here, for
no porcelain was ever produced in that suburb of Kioto. But to the other
group of kilns, called after the beautiful temple of Kiyomidzu, to the
north of Kioto, belong some of the most artistic specimens of porcelain
in our collections. It was here that this somewhat uncongenial material
was forced for the first time to adapt itself to the fanciful genius of
the people. It was to this district that the great original artist
Kenzan, the brother of the still more famous Ogata Korin, came towards
the end of the seventeenth century. It is true that little of this
artist’s work is executed in a true porcelain, but his picturesque
signature, scrawled in black, is sometimes found on the so-called more
noble ware (PL. B. 21). Like his brother Korin, Kenzan obtained his
effects by the simplest means, sometimes by mere patches of colour
cunningly distributed over the surface. The work of both these men has
of late found many admirers and imitators in France.

It was not till the beginning of the eighteenth century that we have any
definite record of the manufacture of porcelain in Kioto. About that
time Yeisen devoted himself to the imitation of Chinese celadon. If we
are to find any common note in the wares produced in the various Kioto
potteries, it would be in a certain studied rudeness both in shape and
decoration, the very opposite of the delicately finished products of the
Hizen kilns. The rare pieces of Ming porcelain with coloured decoration
were eagerly sought for and copied, not in a slavish way, but rather so
as to catch the spirit of their design. In fact these Japanese copies
might be made to throw some light on that rather obscure subject, the
origin of enamel decoration in China in the days of the later Ming

An apparently early class of Chinese enamelled ware, somewhat rudely
painted with a predominant iron red combined with a subordinate green,
was a great favourite with the Kioto potters, but we find also copies of
the Wan-li ‘pentad,’ the designs in this case sparely scattered over the
ground, generally in formal patterns of a textile type. The blue and
purple ware with ribbed _cloisons_ which the Japanese associate with
their mysterious land of Kochi was also in favour, but at Kioto, I
think, this ware was not copied in porcelain. So of the blue and white
made at this time at Kiyomidzu, it is distinguished from both the Hizen
and the Seto wares by a certain rudeness in the shape and decoration, a
character preserved by a great deal of the _sometsuke_ still made in
this district.

Quite a different spirit was, however, brought in by Zengoro Riyozen,
the tenth descendant of a famous family of potters. This Zengoro was a
potter of universal genius, the foremost ceramic artist indeed of the
peaceful and luxurious period at the beginning of the nineteenth
century, when the Tokugawa Shogun at Tokiyo set an example of an
extravagant expenditure and brilliant display which was only too readily
followed at the courts of the great feudal nobles. In the art work of
that time, in spite of the unsurpassed perfection of execution and love
of gorgeous decoration, we can already trace the signs of a coming
decay. Zengoro, besides reviving with some success the deep sapphire
blue, _sous couverte_, of Ming times, succeeded in producing from an
iron-oxide a red ground which vied with the famous coral reds of the
previous century in China. But it was rather the Ming red, _sous
couverte_, that made from ‘powdered rubies of the West,’ that he
professed to copy. Over the red ground of his plates and little bowls he
painted his design in gold of the finest quality, and on the white
ground of the inside placed a scant decoration of his under-glaze
sapphire blue. Some of these dainty little cups are shown in a
table-case in the British Museum, but if we compare them with the
exquisite Ming bowls of a deep red derived from copper in the same
collection, the difference of the quality of the two tints is at once
apparent. As, however, it was a matter of _convenance_ to go back to a
Ming model, it was with the latter ware that Zengoro’s work was
compared. It was for his success in this kind of decoration (produced
about the years 1806-1817) that the great Kioto potter received from his
patron, the prince of Kishiu, a seal with the character _yeiraku_, or
reading in modern Chinese _Yung-lo_, the name of the Ming emperor
(1402-24) with whom the red copper glaze is traditionally associated
(PL. B. 22).[125] This, then, is the origin of the name _Yeiraku
kinrande_ for the ‘gold brocade’ ware of Zengoro. At a later time this
form of decoration was carried by Zengoro’s son to Kaga, where in a
debased form it became characteristic of a ware with which our markets
were at one time flooded.

KISHIU WARE.--This _kinrande_, however, is not the only kind of
porcelain with which the name of this protean artist is associated.
Although the name Yeiraku given him by the Prince Nariyuki is generally
connected with his brilliant red and gold ware, it was a porcelain of
quite another kind that our Zengoro the tenth, or perhaps his son Hozen,
the eleventh of the family, turned out from the kilns that had been
erected by that prince in the garden (the _Ô-niwa_) of his palace near
Wakayama. The Japanese tell us that this well-known Ô-niwa or Kishiu
ware was made in imitation of a kind of porcelain or fayence brought
long ago from Kochi, a name generally rendered as Cochin-China, in any
case a country to the south of China. We have seen grounds for
associating this _Ô-niwa yaki_ rather with an early type of Chinese
polychrome ware, painted on the biscuit with glazes of three or perhaps
four colours. In any case, in the Japanese ware the turquoise, the
purple, and the straw-coloured yellow (this last quite subordinate) are
applied in a similar fashion, and this is indeed practically the only
Japanese ware on which we find the turquoise colour that has played so
important a part in other countries. It is here the most important
colour of the triad, but occasionally we find it replaced by a deep,
rich green. On this Kishiu or Ô-niwa ware, known also to the Japanese as
_Kairaku_ from another seal used by Zengoro (PL. B. 20), the decoration
is formed by ribs or lines which separate the surface into shallow
_cloisons_. In other cases the turquoise or the aubergine purple is
found alone as a monochrome glaze.

Very few, however, of the large vases of this ware that have been
exported of late years to Europe, and especially to America (where the
turquoise blue has always been a favourite, as in the case of Chinese
porcelain), can have come from the kilns in the ‘prince’s garden.’ This
ware has, indeed, for some time since, been imitated at many other
places--at Tokiyo, and since 1870 especially at Kobe, where vast
quantities have been manufactured for exportation. These copies have
gone through the stages of degradation in design and colour that usually
accompany a large commercial production.

Another famous potter, Mokubei, who worked at Kioto about the same time,
is said to have made great improvements in the moulds employed by him,
especially in those used for copying old Chinese pieces. But we
certainly cannot accept the statement that he was the first potter in
Japan to use moulds. This same Mokubei is said to have copied the richly
glazed stoneware of Kochi, a ware that had long been prized by the
Japanese, and to which, or rather to the kindred porcelain, we have
already referred. It is described as a hard pottery, with archaic
moulded decorations, coated with lustrous glazes of green, purple,
yellow, and golden-bronze. Mokubei also worked for the prince of Kishiu,
and it would be interesting to know what relation, if any, he had with
Zengoro and his Ô-niwa yaki.[126]

SANDA CELADON.--The kilns set up at Sanda, a small town to the
north-west of Osaka, by the feudal lord of the district, have acquired
in Japan a great name on account of the celadon ware there made. This
_Sanda-seiji_ was first produced at the end of the seventeenth century,
and followed more closely the famous old heavy wares of Lung-chuan than
did the more delicately finished celadon porcelain made about the same
time at Ôkôchi in Hizen. In addition to these wares, the Japanese lay
claim to an ancient celadon of native manufacture, and much ink has been
spilt in Japan upon the question of the origin of certain archaic pieces
preserved in temples and private collections. The bulk of the Sanda
celadon, we should say, is a solid useful ware with small artistic

THE WARES OF OWARI AND MINO.--If, leaving Kioto, we take the old
high-road to Yedo--the Tokaido--we pass through a succession of villages
where the local wares are displayed in the stalls lining the route. Some
of this pottery is not without merit, and historical associations give
interest to more than one variety. But it is not till we have passed
Nagoya, a large industrial town at the head of the Gulf of Owari, that
we enter a true porcelain district--the only district in Japan that has
vied with Hizen in the production of porcelain for domestic use and for
exportation. Not far off is the village of Seto, the home of Toshiro; it
was here that on his return from China, early in the thirteenth century,
he set up the first kiln that produced in Japan a ware with any claims
to artistic merit. But, as we have said at the beginning of this
chapter, the ware made by Toshiro was no true porcelain, although the
expression _Seto-mono_, derived from his native village, is used rather
for porcelain than for other kinds of pottery. The term is, in fact,
about equivalent to our word ‘china.’

It was not till nearly six hundred years after Toshiro’s day that the
village of Seto again became prominent, when in the year 1807 the art of
making porcelain was, after many difficulties, successfully introduced
from Hizen. This was thanks to the energy of the potter Tamakichi, who
ventured a journey to Hizen to find out the secrets of the manufacture.
As a reward for his services the privilege of wearing two swords and the
rights of a _samurai_ were granted to Tamakichi by the lord of Owari.
Here again we find the new industry established under the fostering care
of the local prince.

Over a wide district, more especially to the east on the borders of the
province of Mikawa, the decomposing granite furnishes an excellent raw
material, and centres for the manufacture of porcelain have sprung up
sporadically over a tract stretching away to the north, as far as the
province of Mino. But most of these kilns have never produced anything
better than a common blue and white ware.

In composition the paste of the Owari porcelain is much closer to the
normal type than that of the Hizen wares (see note, p. 190). Of late
years the Owari potters have succeeded in turning out pieces of
unprecedented size, in the shape especially of dishes and of slabs for
the tops of tables. From the artistic side, however, little can be said
in favour of this ware: the blue is generally crude in quality, often
resembling that found on the commoner European porcelain of later days.

Another art was revived some years ago in the neighbourhood of Nagoya,
the chief town of this district--I mean that of enamelling in metallic
_cloisons_ (the _Shipô_, or ‘seven treasures’ of the Japanese), and of
late years the two industries have been combined by applying the
metallic _cloisons_ and the enamel to the surface of porcelain. A
similar ware has also been made at Kioto, but in this case the soft
fayence of Awata has been used as a base. Enormous quantities of both
these varieties of _cloisonné_ have been brought to Europe, and when we
consider the amount of skilled labour required in the manufacture, we
can only marvel at the prices for which this ware is retailed in London.

Much of the cheap Japanese blue and white sold in Europe comes from this
Owari district, but of late years more ambitious things have been
attempted there--monochrome glazes of the _grand feu_, including a
curious variety of _flambé_ ware with a chocolate-coloured ground.

KUTANI WARE.--There only remains one important centre of porcelain
manufacture for us to describe. This lies far away among the mountains
that skirt the western coast of Japan. The feudal lords of that country,
however, the princes of Kaga, were reputed to be the most wealthy of all
the daimios of Japan. A junior branch of this family, the lords of
Daichoji, as early as the first half of the seventeenth century
established a kiln at the mountain village of Kutani. In the year 1660
an emissary was despatched to Hizen to spy out the land and learn what
he could of the new processes lately introduced there. The story of his
difficulties is only another version of that told of Tamakichi, the
Seto potter. After many adventures, abandoning the wife that he had been
forced to marry at Arita and the child he had had by her, he returned to
Kaga, equipped with the desired information and experience. He succeeded
in making a true porcelain with a white ground, decorated in a style
founded, it is said, both on the contemporary Hizen ware and on the
enamelled stoneware of Kochi. Morikaga, a famous artist of Kioto, was
retained to furnish designs for the decoration. We have in the British
Museum a spherical vase, painted in the five colours with a series of
spirited figures, which may well date from that time (PL. XXVI.).
Examples of this period are rare, but some of the old drug-pots,
jealously guarded by their owners, that were still, a few years ago, to
be seen in the druggists’ and herbalists’ shops of Osaka and Sakai, may
perhaps be traced back to the potters of the seventeenth century, either
those of Kaga or those of Hizen. At this time, in fact, the Kaga ware
had hardly differentiated itself from that of the parent province. It
was not till the beginning of the eighteenth century that the typical
Kutani ware, one of the most original and decorative ever turned out
from Japanese kilns, was produced.

On a greyish paste, hardly to be reckoned as porcelain, the lustrous,
full-bodied enamels, almost unctuous in quality, are laid with a full
brush. The whole surface is generally covered, and a dark, juicy green
is the prevailing colour, over which a design of black lines is drawn.
Next in importance among the enamels there comes first purple, then a
heavy blue enamel which somewhat clashes with the other colours, and
finally a full-toned yellow. It would seem from Japanese accounts that
this kind of ware was not made after 1730, when there ensued a period of
decay, but it is difficult to believe the statement that the manufacture
was not revived till 1810. The picturesquely decorated bowls


and plates showing the greyish ground are probably later than those
wholly covered with the green enamel, and it might be possible to trace
the date of introduction of fresh means of decoration--gilding skilfully
and boldly applied or the use of white enamel in relief, especially for
the petals of flowers. Later, but still on ware of fine decorative
effect, we find these white petals tinged with pink, and this apparently
is the earliest appearance of the _rouge d’or_ among Japanese enamels.

When did this new colour come in, and from what source? We may perhaps
associate its first use with the wonderful period, early in the
nineteenth century, of which we have already spoken, when all the
restraints to which the Japanese artist had been so long subjected were
removed, the crabbed critic with his tradition of Ming times was
silenced, and a free rein at length given to native exuberance in the
use of gay colours and naturalistic designs. But this was the end; as in
the other arts, a period of decline set in before the middle of the
century, a decline that was accelerated, but not first originated, by
the throwing open of the country to European influences a few years

With the Kutani potter, the beginning of the end seems to have coincided
with the introduction of the iron-red and gold decoration. This was
brought about when the assistance of one of the Zengoro family, Zengoro
the eleventh or Hozen, probably, was obtained from Kioto. At the same
time the brilliant decoration in enamel colours was still carried on,
often enough with happy effect, and this was kept up to quite a late
period. In these latter days the use of a true white porcelain again
became prevalent--indeed the materials are at the present day brought
from Amakusa and other islands off the coast of Hizen.

There are two marks that have always been associated with the Kaga
ware--first, the character for Kutani, the ‘Nine Valleys,’ the name of
the little mountain village where the ware was first made; second, the
Chinese word _Fu_ (Japanese _Fuku_), meaning ‘prosperity’ or ‘wealth,’
written in the seal character. We find this last mark painted in black
on the back of the old pieces covered with a green glaze (PL. B. 23).

       *       *       *       *       *

In our account of Japanese porcelain we have been hampered by the
restrictions imposed by our subject. Among Japanese ceramic products
there is a big middle class, what we have called kaolinic stoneware.
Wares of this kind, when made in neighbouring kilns and differing in
their decoration in no way from what may be classed as true
porcelain--and this is the case in the pottery districts of Kaga and
around Kioto--have naturally found their way within our limits. Other
kinds quite as near to true porcelain, such as the picturesque fayence
of Inuyama or many of the old Raku wares, have remained unmentioned. The
temptation to overstep the line has been great, inasmuch as so many of
the wares showing originality and real artistic merit lie distinctly on
the further side.

We may say finally that a closer acquaintance with Japanese ceramics
will confirm what may be observed in the case of other branches of
Japanese art--in their painting, for example, and in their lacquer-ware.
I mean the important part played by the critic, using that term in a
wide sense, in restraining the native exuberance of the artist. The
first tendency of the European connoisseur is to regret the hampering
influence of Chinese tradition and the restrictions imposed upon all new
developments. But when these influences have for a time been removed,
the facile productiveness of the Japanese artist has always tended to
land him in that pretty and over-decorated style that has found its way
into middle-class drawing-rooms at home. We find a tendency to this
unrestrained decoration and reckless association of colours creeping
into favour long


before the opening of the country. Indeed, centuries ago at Kioto, and
even perhaps in the old Nara days, a somewhat similar love of the
trifling and effeminate may be recognised now and again. The services
rendered by the severe traditions of the old Chinese schools of the Tang
and Sung dynasties, and by the ascetic spirit of the _Cha-no-yu_ in
keeping within bounds the native tendency to luxuriant overgrowth, must
not be overlooked. When these influences were removed, the arts soon ran
to seed.



We have now followed the steps by which the dependants and the
neighbours of the ‘Middle Kingdom’ to the North, the East and the South,
acquired the essentially Chinese art of the manufacture of porcelain.
The next stage in our history brings us at one step to Europe. Before
making this stride of more than a thousand leagues from Japan to Central
Germany, it will be convenient to bring together some of the scattered
references to the porcelain of China that have been laboriously
disinterred from the works of the Arab and Christian writers of the
Middle Ages, and to compare these statements with the scant account of
the trade with Western lands to be found in the Chinese books of that
time. We shall then trace rapidly the history of the stages by which the
European nations became better acquainted with the porcelain of the Far
East so as finally to master the secret of the manufacture.

For the earlier period we are dependent almost entirely upon Arab and
Chinese sources. The love of the marvellous, the spirit of Sindbad the
Sailor, has to be discounted in the first, and we have seen what
reservations we have to make in accepting the statements of the latter.

There is no doubt that it is in the extraordinary development of trade
that followed the wave of Arab conquest in the seventh century that we
must find the first possibilities of direct communication with the Far
East. The great advance made by China in the early and palmy days of the
Tang dynasty (618-907) no doubt opened the way for this intercourse. At
that time China was in possession of a civilisation in many respects as
advanced as that to be found either at Constantinople or at Bagdad.

As early as the year 700 of our era we find mention of a foreign
settlement at Canton, so that that town can claim a longer record than
any other Chinese port. But it was rather at Khanfu, as the Arabs called
Hangchow (or rather its port), the Kinsai of Marco Polo, that, in the
time of the next dynasty, the Sung (960-1279), the chief trade was
carried on. Thus we find that Edrisi, who wrote a work on geography
(_c._ 1153) for Roger, the Norman king of Sicily, is eloquent upon the
riches of this port of Khanfu and the neighbouring town Susak (perhaps
Suchow), ‘where they make an unequalled kind of porcelain called
_ghazar_ by the Chinese.’

At this time, though many Arab merchants were settled at the ports of
Canton, Zaitun, and Kinsai, the bulk of the commerce, it would seem, was
carried on in the larger and stronger junks of the Chinese, and the best
account that we have of the intercourse of China with foreign countries
is to be found in the report on external trade, written by Chao Ju-kua,
early in the thirteenth century.[127] This Chao was ‘inspector of
foreign shipping’ at Chüan-chou Fu, a town on the coast of Fukien, which
may perhaps be identified with the Zaitun of Marco Polo. In any case it
was, at that time, the principal starting-point for foreign commerce. We
have in his report a curious account of the trade with Bruni, on the
north-west coast of Borneo, an island with which the Chinese had
already had some intercourse for several centuries, and ‘green
porcelain’ is mentioned by him in the list of the merchandise there

We need not dwell here on the well-known passion of the Dyaks of Borneo
for celadon porcelain, and the big prices that they are prepared to give
for fine old pieces (_Cf._ Bock, _The Head Hunters of Borneo_, p. 197
_seq._). Of the specimens of celadon and other wares brought from this
island we shall speak shortly. Modern travellers tell us that the larger
jars, ‘decorated with lizards and serpents’ (probably the early
smooth-skinned dragon of the Chinese), are preserved as heirlooms.
Besides their medicinal value they are a complete protection from evil
spirits for the house in which they are stored. From later Chinese
writers (of the sixteenth century) we learn that these large jars were
used in Borneo in place of coffins, and it is a significant fact that a
similar mode of burial is still in use in Fukien, the district from
which these vessels were exported, but not elsewhere in China.

To return to our Sung inspector of trade, as quoted by Dr. Hirth, Chao
tells us that at the ports of Cambodja, of Annam, and of Java, the
Chinese bartered both green and white porcelain against pepper and other
local products. But at that time the great emporium for the Western
trade was the port known to the Arabs as Sarbaya, the modern Palembang
in the island of Sumatra. Here, or at Lambri, in the same island, the
junks laid up for the winter, and in the spring the Chinese goods were
carried further west to Quilon, on the Malabar coast of the Deccan, this
time probably in Arab bottoms. The porcelain and the other Chinese
exports were now distributed to the various lands with which the Arabs
traded at that time. Chao Ju-kua, in this connection, mentions Guzerate,
and an island that most probably can be identified with Zanzibar. At
any rate, at this last spot fragments of celadon porcelain have been
discovered in recent days in association with Chinese ‘cash’ of the
tenth and eleventh centuries.

There are scattered notices of this Sinico-Arab trade in the works of
Arab geographers and travellers, from Edrisi to Ibn Batuta. The last
writer, indeed, states that Chinese porcelain has found its way as far
west as Morocco. It was a happy idea of the Director of the
Ethnographical Museum, in the Zwinger at Dresden, to collect from every
available quarter specimens of Chinese porcelain with the object of
illustrating the wide distribution of the ware in early days, apart from
and mostly previous to that brought about by European agencies. In this
collection the heavy celadon or ‘martabani’ occupies, as we might
expect, a prominent place, but the later enamelled wares, including even
some special types that may be included under the _famille rose_ of the
eighteenth century, have been found both in Cairo and in Siam. Here we
see large, heavy celadon plates, with thick glaze of pea-soup colour,
from the Celebes, from Mindanoa and Luzon in the Philippine group, from
Ceram and from other islands of the further Indies. On some of these
plates the glaze covers the whole foot, and the unglazed ring, of deep
red colour, on the upper surface, points to a primitive method of
support in the kiln similar to that formerly in use in Siam. Other
celadon plates (there are some huge ones, nearly a yard in diameter, in
the collection), differing little from those found in these southern
islands, came on the one hand from Cairo, and on the other from Korea
and from Japan. From Korea there are also specimens of a curious
crackle-ware with brownish glaze and a rough decoration in blue, and
from Java a figure of Kwan-yin of a native type, covered with a pale,
almost white, celadon glaze. In the same collection we find plates
roughly decorated with red and green enamels, a style of decoration
which may perhaps be traced back to the earlier enamels of Ming times.
Examples of this type of ware--some at least appear to be of
porcelain--have been found both in the Philippines and in Ceylon. To
come down to more recent times, pieces decorated with large
peony-flowers, enamelled with an opaque white tinted by the _rouge
d’or_, on a bright green ground of leaves, come from the Celebes, from
Siam, and especially from Cairo.[128]

At Gotha, in the public museum, is a collection of Chinese porcelain
brought together by the late Duke of Edinburgh. It is remarkable for the
number of fine pieces of early celadon that it contains. As the unique
collection of Lung-chuan, of Ko yao and of other Sung wares formed by
Dr. Hirth, is now comprised in it, this is probably the most important
assemblage of early Chinese porcelain in Europe. These two German
collections, in the Zwinger at Dresden and at Gotha, complement and
illustrate each other. But we have in England, scattered through our
different museums and private collections, the materials for a series of
at least equal interest--I mean as a commentary on the history of the
spread of Chinese porcelain over the world, a subject to which we must
now return.

In the early days of the Ming dynasty the commercial expeditions of the
Chinese took on a more aggressive character. In the time of Yung-lo
(1402-25) the eunuch Chêng-ho sailed with a fleet as far as Ceylon, and
exacted homage, so the Chinese records say, from the king of that
island. In the next reign, that of Hsuan-te (1425-35), the same admiral
conducted a more peaceful expedition to Hormus, at the entrance of the
Persian Gulf, and in company with merchantmen from India, traded with
the ports of the Red Sea, from Aden as far up as Jeddah. Both in Ceylon
and at Jeddah (Tien-fong is perhaps rather Mecca itself) we find mention
of green porcelain among the goods imported, and at this last port the
Indian and Chinese merchants established their factories at the very
centre of the Mohammedan world. (I follow the extracts from the Ming
Annals given by Dr. Hirth.)

Still more important was the trade with Hormus and other ports of the
Persian Gulf. We hear incidentally, at a later time, of a large fleet of
Chinese junks at anchor in these waters. To us the Chinese trade with
Persia is of special interest, for when, after a brief interval of
Portuguese rule, Hormus fell into our hands, it was in a measure through
the medium of the Persian ports, and of similar depôts and factories on
the Indian coast (as, for instance, Surat) that we in England obtained
our earliest specimens of Chinese porcelain.

And now we must take up another thread of our inquiry and return to the
China of the thirteenth century, the China of Kublai Khan, the greatest
of the Mongol rulers, as described in the book of the Venetian traveller
Marco Polo. Here, in what is for us a classical passage, we find the
first known instance of the use of the word porcelain. Marco Polo has
been describing the wonders and riches of Zaitun, and he proceeds in his
inconsequent way--we will quote first from the old French text, probably
the earliest--‘Et sachiez que pres de ceste cité de Çayton a une autre
cité qui a nom Tiunguy, là où l’en fait moult d’escuelles et de
pourcelainnes qui sont moult belles. Et en nul autre port on n’en fait,
fors que en cestuy; et en y a l’en moult bon marchie’ (Pauthier, _Marco
Polo_, chapter clvi.).

Translating from the later and more expanded Italian text, Colonel Yule
renders the corresponding passage as follows: ‘Let me tell you that
there is in this province a town called Tyunju, where they make vessels
of porcelain of all sizes, the finest that can be imagined. They make it
nowhere but in this city, and thence it is exported all over the world.
Here it is abundant and very cheap, insomuch that for a Venice groat you
can buy three dishes so fine that you could not imagine better.’ In the
still later version of Ramusio, printed at Venice in 1579, we find one
of the first mentions of the old fable that the porcelain earth was
allowed to weather for two generations before being used. (See Yule,
_Marco Polo_, vol. i. p. cxxii. and vol. ii. pp. 186 and 190.)

Confining ourselves to the old French version, the point to bear in mind
is the use of the word ‘pourcelainnes’ in this sense as one familiar to
the reader and requiring no explanation. And yet in the two other
passages of Marco Polo’s book, where the word is found, it is used, and
here too without further explanation, for the Cowry shells (_Cypræa_)
that then, as now, took the place of money in certain markets of the
East. There can be little doubt that the ware of which Marco Polo spoke
was some kind of celadon, and Dr. Hirth’s identification of Tingui with
Lung-chuan is perhaps more plausible than the rival claims of Tekkwa and

Ibn Batuta, the Arab traveller, who wrote nearly fifty years later, says
‘porcelain is made nowhere in China except in the cities of Zaitun and
Sinkalon (Canton).’ In this statement he is of course quite wide of the
mark. Like Marco Polo, however, he was struck by the cheapness of the
ware, and he mentions that it was exported as far as Maghreb (Morocco).

These ‘moult belles pourcelainnes,’ Marco Polo tells us, were to be
found all over the world. He was probably speaking, as we have said, of
a celadon ware, though it is possible that he may have seen the pure
white translucent porcelain of Tingchou. Our first distinct notice of
porcelain out of China is indeed of earlier date. In an Arab manuscript
in the _Bibliothèque Nationale_, treating of the life and exploits of
Saladin, we are told that in the year 1171 that great Emir forwarded
from Cairo to his feudal lord Nureddin, Sultan of Damascus, a present of
forty pieces of Chinese porcelain, doubtless found among the treasures
of the recently conquered Fatimite caliphs of Egypt.[129] We have every
reason to believe that this store of porcelain, found in the palace of
the heretic caliphs of ‘Babylon,’ can have consisted of nothing else but
the much prized ‘martabani,’ of which such wonderful stories are told by
the Arab and Persian writers.

The high estimation in which this ware was held in Persia at a later
date is well brought out in the following quotation from Chardin, who
was in Persia in 1672: ‘Everything in the king’s palace is of massive
gold or porcelain. There is a kind of green porcelain so precious that
one dish alone is worth 500 crowns. They say that this porcelain detects
poison by changing colour, but that is a fable.[130] Its price arises
from its beauty and the delicacy of its materials, which render it
transparent, though above two crowns in thickness.’ Again, in one of the
tales of the _Arabian Nights_, we hear of six old slaves who bring in a
salad in a huge basin of ‘martabani’ ware.

Fragments of porcelain, the fine white paste covered with a greyish
green glaze, have been found in the rubbish-heaps both of Fostât or Old
Cairo and of Rha (the Rhages of the book of Tobit), near Teheran, and as
both these towns were abandoned at least as early as the thirteenth
century, a corresponding age has been claimed for the pot-sherds found
among the ruins.[131] We now know that a true celadon porcelain was made
in Siam, and this ware, there is little doubt, was shipped from the port
of Martabani.[132] But in spite of this fact, and of the evidence of the
name by which the ware was known, by far the larger part of the
porcelain used by the Arabs was probably a true Lung-chuan ware exported
from the ports of the Chinese coast, Kinsai, Zaitun, and Canton.

The Memlook Sultans of Egypt encouraged commerce with the East. Makrisi
tells us that Kelaun received an embassy from Ceylon. During the
fourteenth century and later, the goods transhipped at Aden were carried
to the ports on the west coast of the Red Sea and then brought overland
to Assuan or to Koos, a town lower down the Nile, near to Koptos. Many
of the large dishes now to be seen in the museums of France and Germany
may have reached the West by this route, for among the presents that
the ‘Soldan’ of Egypt sent to Lorenzo de’ Medici in 1487, on the
occasion of an embassy (in addition to some sheep with long ears and
tails as big as their bodies), we find mention of ‘vasi grandi
porcellana mai più veduti simili ne meglio lavorati’ (Marryat, p. 240,
quoting a letter from Bibbiena to Clarice de’ Medici). Before this, in
1447, Charles VII. of France is said to have received from the same
source ‘trois escuelles de pourcelaine de Sinant,’ besides ‘_platz,
tongues verdes_’ (whatever they may be), and other vessels of the same
material. Again, in 1487 porcelain is mentioned in the maritime laws of
Barcelona among the exports from Egypt. In only one of these notices,
however, is the Chinese origin of the porcelain expressly stated, so
that in the other cases there remains a shadow of a doubt as to what
kind of ware is in question. For we must remember that the word
porcelain was at that time sometimes applied to Saracenic fayence.
Indeed in the old French inventories quoted by the Marquis de Laborde,
various kinds of shell-ware, such as frames inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
are referred to as porcelain.

It is doubtful whether we can point to a single specimen of porcelain in
our European collections whose history can be traced back as far as the
year 1500, nor can any exception be made to this statement in favour of
anything to be found in the Treasury of St. Mark at Venice. With the
exception of one small doubtful piece, I have been unable to discover
any specimen of porcelain in that collection. As for the tradition
concerning the little plate at Dresden inlaid with garnets cut into
facettes--that it was brought back from the East by a crusader--I am
afraid that this must go the way of so many similar stories. I have had
an opportunity of examining this often-quoted example of early Chinese
porcelain, as well as a cup similarly inlaid in the same collection,
and I quite agree with Dr. Zimmermann, the Curator of the Museum, that
the setting can hardly be earlier than the sixteenth century, and that
there is nothing in the ware itself, a plain white Ting porcelain, to
point to a great age.

There remains, then, the bowl of pale sea-green celadon, mounted in
silver gilt, preserved at New College, Oxford. This is known as the cup
of Archbishop Warham (1504-32): it is said to have been presented to the
college by that prelate, and the early date is confirmed by the style of
the mounting. It is at least a curious coincidence that this celadon
cup, the _doyen_, it would seem, of all the Chinese porcelain in Europe,
should prove to be a specimen of the ware first exported from

M. de Laborde, in his glossary, quotes from the inventory of the goods
of Margaret of Austria, the Regent of the Low Countries during the
minority of her nephew, the future Emperor Charles V., the following
items among others: Un beau grand pot de pourcelaine bleue à deux
agneaux d’argent. Deux autres esguières d’une sorte de porcelayne bleue.
Ung beau gobelet de porcelayne blanche, à couvercle, painct à l’entour
de personnaiges d’hommes et femmes.’

An additional interest is given to this inventory of the possessions of
the Regent Margaret when we remember that it was of her brother that the
following story is told:--In the spring of 1506 Philip started from the
Netherlands for Spain, along with his wife Joanna, to claim for the
latter the crown of Castile, vacant by the death of the great Queen
Isabella. Driven by a storm into Weymouth Harbour, the pair were
entertained by Sir Thomas Trenchard, the High Sheriff of the county, at
his house not far from Dorchester. On leaving, Philip gave to his host
some bowls of Oriental porcelain. Two of these bowls of blue and white
ware remain in the possession of the representatives of the Trenchard
family. One of them is set in a silver gilt mounting of about 1550, with
a London hall-mark on the inside. On the outside of the bowl is a bold
floral decoration, and inside some quaint archaic fish, similar to those
on the Cheng-te bowl in the Salting collection. They have been lately
described by Mr. Winthrop in Gulland’s _Oriental China_, vol. ii.

We have now come to a time when a new channel was opened by which the
porcelain and other produce of the Far East could reach Europe. In the
year 1517 Fernando Perez D’Andrada sailed from Malacca to the roads of
Canton, and the Portuguese not long after established some kind of
understanding with the Chinese, which permitted them to trade at that
port and at Ningpo. This arrangement, however, lasted but for a short
time. Some aggressive proceedings on the part of a new admiral sent out
from Portugal aroused the latent hostility of the Ming Government, and
the newcomers were before long confined to that ambiguous position at
Macao that they occupy to the present day. There does not seem to be any
direct evidence that porcelain formed part of the merchandise that they
at that time--I mean during the sixteenth century--sent back to Europe;
but after the end of the century, when Portugal and her colonies were
for a time absorbed in the vast empire ruled by Philip II. of Spain, a
considerable amount of the Oriental ware reached the Peninsula by way of
‘the Indies.’ Specimens of this old porcelain, chiefly of the plain
white that the Spanish have always preferred, may still be found, it is
said, in some of the royal palaces.

The Portuguese in some measure took the place of the Arabs, whose
shipping they had driven out from the Indian seas, and it was now in
their ships that the Chinese porcelain was carried to the markets of
India and Persia. But by the end of the sixteenth century the
Portuguese, now sailing under the Spanish flag, began to feel the
rivalry of a new power that was destined before long to monopolise
nearly the whole trade of the Far East. In 1604, three ships bearing an
ambassador and his suite arrived at Canton. The Chinese were alarmed at
the singular aspect of these new people, ‘with blue eyes, red hair, and
feet one cubit and two-tenths long.’ The Dutch, however--for such these
newcomers were--effected little by this embassy, and it is indeed
difficult to understand, when we read of the troubled relations of
foreign nations with the fast sinking Ming rulers in those stormy days,
in what manner and by what route the porcelain that was now reaching the
markets of India, Persia, and somewhat later, of Europe, in such large
quantities, found its way out from China. After the establishment of the
new Manchu dynasty in 1644, the three southern provinces, including the
ports of the Canton river and of the Fukien coast, long remained in the
hands of the native Chinese admiral or pirate, so well known to
Europeans as Coxinga, and it was not till some years after the accession
of Kang-he that the imperial authority was established in these parts,
and the trade road re-opened with the newly rebuilt kilns of

The English at that time had not much direct intercourse with China.
What little reached us from that country seems to have been obtained
rather by piracy than by trade. In the days of Elizabeth, when a Spanish
merchantman or carrack was captured, next to the bullion there was
nothing that was more eagerly sought for than porcelain, both that which
might form part of the cargo and any pieces in use at the officers’
table. As late as the year 1637, it was through the medium of the
Portuguese that the bulk of the English trade with China was carried on.
Meantime, however, we had established ourselves in the Persian Gulf, and
in the year 1623 we assisted Shah Abbas in driving the Portuguese out of
Hormus. We had at that time comparatively close relations with Persia,
and there was more than one English adventurer in the service of the
great Shah. There is some reason to believe that it was by way of our
factories or depôts on the Persian Gulf (especially the new
establishment at Gombroon,[135] on the mainland, opposite the island of
Hormus or Ormuz), as well as by those on the coast of India, that the
porcelain of China and Japan first reached England in any quantity. In
these commercial relations we may no doubt find one of the causes of the
confusion that so long existed with us between the wares of Persia,
India, and China.

But Chinese porcelain, as well as Persian fayence, must have reached
England by another route--by way of Venice--and this at a somewhat
earlier date. To this connection of ‘china-ware’ with Venice there is
frequent reference in our Elizabethan literature. Florio in his _Italian
Dictionary_ (1598) interprets the word ‘china’ as ‘a Venus basin,’ and
‘china metal’ is explained by Minsheu in his _Spanish Dialogues_ (1599)
as ‘the fine dishes of earth painted such as are brought from Venice.’
Here the reference probably is to Italian or Persian fayence--in fact
the tendency seems rather to have been to use the word ‘china’ for these
latter wares and to reserve the term ‘purslane’ or ‘porcelaine’ for the
true porcelain of the Far East.

Indeed there is every likelihood that we may find the origin of our term
‘china,’ used vaguely for the better kinds of glazed ceramic wares,[136]
in the Persian word _chini_, which has long been employed for Chinese
porcelain and for the finer kinds of fayence, both in Persia and in
India. The point to bear in mind is that with our ancestors this word
had no direct connection with the Chinese empire, but rather with Venice
and with Persia. On the other hand, the special ware known as
‘purslane,’ as we have said, was by them connected especially with that
vague country known as ‘the East Indies.’

At the New Year, 1587-88, Elizabeth received from Burleigh a porringer
‘of white porselyn’ garnished with gold, and from Mr. Robert Cecil ‘a
cup of grene pursselyne.’ It was not until the beginning of the next
century, apparently, that porcelain, decorated with blue under the
glaze, was imported in any quantity. To this time we must assign the
four pieces of this ‘blue and white’ ware (one bearing the mark of
Wan-li) (PL. XXVIII.) long preserved at Burleigh House, the old home of
the senior branch of the Cecil family (see p. 85).

By the middle of the seventeenth century Oriental porcelain had already
become an important article of commerce. At that time by far the larger
quantity was imported by the Dutch, and was distributed by them over
France and Germany. There is, however, some reason to believe that the
Portuguese continued to import certain classes of ware, but it is
difficult to

[Illustration: _PLATE XXVIII._ CHINESE]

find any direct evidence of this commerce.[137] As for the English
trade, porcelain is mentioned among the goods imported by the East India
Company as early as 1631.

For the most part this porcelain exported from Canton or from Nagasaki
was not carried directly to Europe, but found its way first to various
intermediate _entrepôts_ of trade: in the case of the Dutch, to Batavia;
with us, to certain Indian ports, or perhaps to Gombroon. This was one
cause of the strange names by which the products of China and Japan were
known, and of the confusion between the wares of the two countries,
which has only been cleared up of late years. We hear of Batavian
porcelain, and of East Indian or _porcelaine des Indes_.[138] No doubt
this ambiguity of origin was encouraged by the rival traders, who were
not eager to make too public the source of their goods.

As to the composition of the ‘purslayne’ brought from the Indies, the
wildest stories were current. Whether it was even of the same nature as
other kinds of pottery was disputed. Even so well-informed a man as Sir
Thomas Browne had his doubts. ‘We are not thoroughly resolved,’ he says,
‘concerning porcellane or china dishes, that according to common belief
they are made of earth.’ The quaint story of the clay being preserved
for long ages before it was fit for use, we find for the first time
apparently in some of the late versions of Marco Polo’s travels. From
Marryat, who collected a wealth of quotations[139] referring to
porcelain from writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, we
take as an example the following (it is from a book written by Guido
Pancirolli, a learned jurisconsult and antiquary of Padua, who died in
1599):--‘In former ages, porcelains were never seen. Now they are a
certain mass composed of gypsum, bruised eggs, the shell of the marine
locust [perhaps the _Langusta_ or Mediterranean lobster], and other
substances; and this, being well tempered and thickened, is hidden
underground in a secret place, which the father points out to his
children, etc.’ He then goes on to speak of the transparency of this
ware, and of its property of breaking when any poisonous substance was
placed in it.

We must remember that by this time attempts had already been made in
Italy, both in Tuscany and probably still earlier in Venice, to imitate
the porcelain of China. These experiments were soon abandoned, but the
more practical Dutch, not long after this time, succeeded in making with
their enamelled earthenware an imitation of the finer Chinese blue and
white, closer to the original, as far as external aspect is concerned,
than anything that has been produced in Europe since that time in ware
of any description. The name of Albregt de Keizer (_circa_ 1661) it
would seem is to be associated with these excellent copies. There are
some brilliant specimens of this seventeenth century delft at South
Kensington, both in the Keramic Gallery and in the Salting collection.

Early in the reign of Charles II., the fashion of drinking tea and
chocolate became fashionable, if not general, in England. Coffee had
been introduced somewhat earlier--it came from Turkey by way of Venice.
Along with these new infusions came the demand for the little cups from
which they were to be drunk, and for the pots in which to brew them. The
form and fashion of these came to us not from China but from Venice,
from Constantinople, and perhaps ultimately from Persia. One
consequence of this was that the confusion between the wares of the East
and of the Far East became for the time even greater. In the
drinking-song quoted on page 243, we find ‘tea-cups and coffee’
associated with ‘the Turk and the Sophi,’ while not a word is said of

At the same time larger pieces, _garnitures de cheminée_, _pots
pourris_, and fish-bowls began to find a place in the decoration of a
nobleman’s house. Before the end of the century there came in a rage for
quaint monsters and figures of Chinese gods, at first chiefly in white
porcelain. Many such pieces may still be found on the mantels and in the
china-closets of our country houses, but unfortunately we have in few
cases any record of the date of acquisition or of the _provenance_ of
ware of this kind.

At Hampton Court there is a quantity of old china now well displayed in
the rooms shown to the public. This is a collection that well repays a
close examination. Let us see first what it does _not_ contain. The
_famille rose_ is unrepresented. I do not think that the _rouge d’or_
enamel is to be found on a single specimen. The ‘Old Japan’ or Imari is
not found, at least not in characteristic specimens. On the other hand
there are many interesting examples of Chinese enamelled ware which we
may class with the five-colour group (the blue of course _under_ the
glaze). They are roughly painted with figures in Ming costume, but in
these pieces the green is scarcely prominent enough to allow of our
placing them among the _famille verte_. They belong rather to that class
of late Wan-li or early Kang-he enamels which formed the starting-point
of the earliest enamelled wares of Imari and Kutani. Of the three-colour
glazes of the _demi grand feu_, I would point to two interesting vases,
about twelve inches in height, with a mottled decoration of green and
dark purple, and with yellow handles. There are quite a number of large
fish-bowls of blue and white, but these pieces are not remarkable either
for colour or design. Of more interest are two cylindrical vases
decorated, _sous couverte_, with blue and pale copper red, and a curious
vase of Persian shape covered with flowers in white slip over a _café au
lait_ ground. Again, the plain white figures of Quanyin, with the
‘Maintenon’ coif, and in some cases with the boy patron of learning at
the side, are here as abundant relatively as at Dresden, and there is
finally a well-executed figure of a Buddhist ascetic in white biscuit.
Unless it be by the blue and white, Japan is represented solely by the
‘Kakiyemon’ enamelled ware, with the blue _over the glaze_.

But we must not pass over the little glazed cabinet filled with quaint
pieces of Chinese porcelain. The contents of this cabinet have, it is
said, remained untouched since the day, more than two hundred years ago,
when they were arranged by Queen Mary. Among many curious pieces on its
shelves may be seen two buffaloes of a pale celadon ware, four vases of
‘hookah-base’ form, with strange-shaped spouts, and some censers in the
form of kilins.

The general impression, we may finally say, given by a somewhat close
inspection of the porcelain at Hampton Court, confirms the little we
know of the date of its origin. It represents a period anterior to the
great renaissance at King-te-chen at the end of the seventeenth century,
but only just anterior to that time, and it is the absence of the finer
and more brilliant wares made subsequently to this renaissance, examples
of which we are accustomed to see in our modern collections, that gives
a certain air of poverty to this porcelain collected by our ancestors.

In some of the palaces and castles of Germany may still be seen
collections of china made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
crowded together in the porcelain cabinet. Of these the best known,
perhaps, is that at the ‘Favorite,’ near Baden, but there are others in
the castle of the Waldstein family at Dux in Bohemia, and in Hungary in
the castle of Prince Esterhazy. Many of these collections have remained
unaltered since the time when they were first brought together, and it
is in this fact that their principal interest lies.

These china-cabinets are, of course, all eclipsed by the vast collection
brought together, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, by
Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and (at intervals) King of
Poland. But this collection has undergone many vicissitudes since the
time when it was first established in the handsome palace in the
Neustadt at Dresden. It escaped, indeed, with little damage from the
Prussian cannons during the Seven Years’ War; at the end of the century,
however, it was removed to a gloomy basement, but so carelessly was this
done that we hear of whole chests packed with broken fragments. In this
ill-arranged and dark room the collection remained for nearly a century,
until at last it has found a home in the well-lit galleries of the
Johanneum. Here it is now seen to full advantage, thanks to an
arrangement which combines historical sequence with a regard to general

Augustus the Strong died in 1733, and it is doubtful whether his
successor, August II. (August III. of Poland), who was above all a
collector of pictures, added to the collection.[140] There were, it
would seem, some examples of porcelain in the electoral collection at a
much earlier date.[141] In an inventory of 1640 several pieces of
porcelain are mentioned, and these are said to have been presented by
the _Herzog von Florentz_ in the year 1590. Among them (they cannot now
be identified) we find a vase of porcelain (_ein Pokal von Porcellana_),
blue and red with gilding, in the form of a crab; another in the form of
a dragon, coloured green and blue; a lantern of porcelain, green and
gold, adorned at the top with a standing figure; a small ‘pokal,’ gilt
and painted with all kinds of colours; and finally some large
eight-sided dishes decorated with blue. We should have expected to find
some examples of the new Medici porcelain along with these, but in the
inventory in question there is no mention of anything of the kind.

Augustus the Strong obtained most of his porcelain from Dutch dealers--a
certain Le Roy at Amsterdam is specially mentioned. Already in 1709 we
find him lending eight statuettes of white Chinese ware to Böttger, then
engaged with his experiments on the Königstein. In the year 1717 he
received from the King of Prussia nearly a hundred important vases and
dishes. In return for these, it is said, the king obtained a regiment
(or company) of tall dragoons, but this part of the bargain is not
mentioned in the official receipt for the porcelain, which has been

I have more than once referred to individual specimens in this famous
collection, and I shall not attempt to describe it now. Suffice to say
that the general impression given is that it is of a somewhat later date
than that at Hampton Court. Apart from a few early pieces which have
been already mentioned, and from some specimens of the _famille rose_
(and on these the new _rouge d’or_ is for the most part sparingly and,
as it were, tentatively applied), the coloured enamel ware in the
Dresden collection belongs in the bulk to the _famille verte_, and upon
intrinsic evidence might be attributed to the later years of Kang-he and
to the reign of his successor Yung-ching, say from 1690 to 1730. On the
Japanese side, we notice a number of dishes and vases in blue and white,
rather in the style of the later Ming ware exported to India and Persia,
a few choice specimens of the enamelled ‘Kakiyemon,’ and then the vast
series of ‘Old Japan’ or Imari porcelain--plates, vases, and bowls, many
of large size. Much of this last class was made to order, and this part
reflects the bad taste of the day. We find tall vases ‘adorned’ with
figures and flowers modelled in full relief in a kind of stucco and
gaudily painted with some oil medium or varnish. Some are converted into
cages for birds or squirrels by an external railing of brass rods.

With the exception of a few fine _garnitures_ in blue and white in ‘’t
Huis ten Bosch’ at the Hague, there appear to be no public collections
in Holland dating from the eighteenth century. But in spite of the
repeated razzias of dealers, both native and foreign, many old families
still retain collections of Chinese porcelain (of blue and white
especially), some of which may date from the latter part of the
seventeenth century, and many a rough-looking farmer, in country
districts, prides himself on the china-cabinet that he has inherited
from his ancestors.

Francis I. of France and his son Henri II. were, as is well known, great
collectors of works of art, and their collections at Fontainebleau may
be regarded as the foundation of the national museums of France. The
Rev. Père Dan, who described these collections at a later date, in his
_Trésors des Merveilles de Fontainebleau_ (1640) says--‘La étoient aussi
des vases et vaisselles en porcelaines de la Chine,’ and in an
eighteenth century notice we hear of a ‘vase de porcelaine de première
qualité ancienne de la Chine,’ which is said to have come from the
collection of Sully, the minister of Henri IV. In the second half of the
seventeenth century, at the great yearly fairs held in the
neighbourhood of Paris, Portuguese travelling merchants set up their
stalls for the sale of _les besognes de Chine_.[142] In 1678 the Duchess
of Cleveland’s porcelain was sold at the fair of St. Laurent. The
_Mercure_ of the day gives a list of the figures and mounted pieces.
Louis XIV., we are told, was surprised at the knowledge of Oriental
porcelain shown by James II.

At the end of the seventeenth century it became the fashion among the
_grands Seigneurs_ of the court of Louis XIV. to collect the _porcelaine
des Indes_, the Dauphin and the Duke of Orleans leading the way, and
through the agency of the short-lived _Compagnie de la Chine_[143]
(1685-1719) the latter prince was able to obtain from the East vases
decorated with his arms,[144] while of the Dauphin we hear that he
arranged his collection of blue and white in cabinets constructed by the
famous ebonist Boule. Unfortunately the gallery at Versailles where they
were placed was burned down soon afterwards (Du Sartel, _La Porcelaine
de la Chine_, p. 121). The porcelain of these princely collectors was
sold at a later time, and most of it passed into the hands of the
Vicomte de Fonspertuis; it was again dispersed when the works of art in
that famous collection were sold by auction in 1747. The catalogue on
this occasion was prepared by Gersaint,[145] the great dealer of the
day, for whose shop on the Pont Notre-Dame Watteau painted his famous
_Enseigne_. The notes in this catalogue are of some interest, in that
they are, perhaps, the earliest attempt, at least from a Western point
of view, at a critical description of Oriental porcelain. We can only
call attention to the remarks of Gersaint on the new enamel colours,
which in opposition to the blue and white ‘_on voit seulement depuis
quelques années_’; on the white ware with its ‘_ton velouté, doux et
mat_,’ which he tells us Spanish collectors prefer to all others, and on
the figures, animals, and ornaments which the Dutch ‘_souvent mal à
propos_’ painted over the beautiful white ware of China. Gersaint
ridicules also the fashion that will have nothing to say to any piece
without the brown line upon the lip or edge, so characteristic of the
porcelain imported about this time, and finally he calls attention to
the excellent imitation of the ‘Ancien Japon,’ made _some time since_ at
Dresden. A few specimens of this Saxon ware are the only examples of
European pottery in this extensive and varied collection.

Some twenty years later the collections of another friend and patron of
Watteau, M. de Jullienne, were sold by auction in the _Salon Carré_ of
the Louvre, and a detailed catalogue of the Oriental ware was drawn up
by the dealer Julliot. But for a more detailed account of the French
collections and collectors of the eighteenth century, we must refer the
reader to the chapter on this subject in M. Du Sartel’s already quoted

In the lengthy treatise of the Abbé Raynal on the history of the
_Commerce des Européens dans les Deux Indes_, there is an interesting
section treating of the porcelain of China and Japan, and of the
relation of these Oriental wares to the porcelain of Saxony and France.
The work was first published in 1770, but the remarks on porcelain were
probably written several years earlier. We have already noticed the six
classes into which he divides the wares imported from the East. We can
only note here that Raynal distinguishes the two classes of _porcelaine
blanche_--one of creamy tint, and the other cold and bluish. This ware,
he says, was imitated at Saint-Cloud, but with ‘frit’ and lead glaze.
His sympathies are all for the true porcelain of Dresden, and for the
ware lately made in France by the Count Lauraguais.

We have attempted in this chapter, perhaps at too great a length for a
work of this kind, to follow the steps by which the knowledge and
appreciation of Oriental porcelain spread gradually through the West. It
will be our next task to show, as briefly as possible, how on the ground
thus prepared there arose on all sides a desire to imitate this
beautiful ware.



What, then, were the wares with which the porcelain of the Far East came
into competition, when during the course of the seventeenth century it
reached Europe in ever increasing quantity? It was not the ordinary
lead-glazed pottery, or the salt-glazed stoneware in common use, that
felt this competition. Crockery of this sort would always be protected
by its cheapness. The rivalry was rather with the more artistic ware
found on the tables of the richer sort of people, much of it made for
ornament only. Now at this time, ware of this latter kind all came under
the class of _enamelled fayence_--earthenware, that is, whose dull
surface was rendered bright and shining by a coating of stanniferous
enamel; on this artificial surface the decoration, often pre-eminent in
artistic merit, was painted. It is not our business here to show how
this great ceramic family of stanniferous enamelled ware, which had now
spread over Europe, had its origin in the nearer or Saracenic East, just
as the porcelain, which in a measure was destined to replace it, can all
be traced back to a Chinese source. Suffice to say that, starting from
the Moorish potteries of Spain, this enamelled fayence gradually
replaced the old lead-glazed slip ware of the Italian _quattrocento_,
and in the sixteenth century was carried by Italian workmen to France,
where important centres of manufacture were established at Rouen and at

But it was rather the fayence of Delft, a ware of essentially the same
class as the last, and one which, during the seventeenth century, was
pushing its way into the markets of France and of England, that first
felt the competition of the porcelain now imported from the Far East.
The fact is that all these enamelled wares suffered from one great
defect. It was not so much their lack of translucency or the softness of
their paste that was at fault, but rather the fact that they made
pretence to be something better than they really were ‘at heart.’
Compared to porcelain, they are as plated ware to real silver, and time
and wear are apt only too soon to reveal the base nature of their body.
Wherever the enamel is chipped off, the dirt lodges, and greasy matter
finds its way into the porous paste, causing a wide spreading stain.
This is a practical, and, we may also add, a hygienic defect, that is
now sometimes forgotten, the more so as nowadays our common table ware
is free from this fault, and resembles fine porcelain in so far that the
white, compact body is covered by nothing but the transparent glaze. In
fact, as far as European experience is concerned, we may say, broadly,
that the merits of porcelain compared with those of fayence are rather
of a practical than of an artistic nature.[146]

It will be convenient to divide the history of European porcelain into
two periods. The first, with which we are alone concerned in this
chapter, deals with a time of isolated and tentative experiments. We are
concerned in Italy with the experiments of the Venetian alchemists which
form an introduction to the porcelain made by the Tuscan Grand-Duke; in
England with the early researches of Dr. Dwight and others; and finally,
in France with the more successful efforts of the potters of Rouen and
Saint-Cloud. The second period opens with the great discovery of Böttger
at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The porcelain made
subsequent to this may be divided conveniently into three groups: (1)
the true porcelain of Germany; (2) the artificial soft paste of France;
and (3) the so-called natural soft paste of England. These are the most
important types; and other wares such as the ‘mixed or hybrid pastes’ of
Italy and Spain, and the hard, true porcelains of England and France,
can be most conveniently treated in connection with the second and third

EARLY VENETIAN PORCELAIN.--Of all the cities of Europe we might, on
theoretical grounds, expect to find in Venice the place above all others
where the question of the composition of porcelain would at an early
date attract attention, and indeed, the evidence brought to light by the
Baron Davillier (_Les Origines de la Porcelaine en Europe_, 1882) and by
the late Sir William Drake (_Notes on Venetian Ceramics_, London, 1868,
privately printed) fully proves that more than one alchemist or
‘arcanist’ of that city, in one case as early as the fifteenth century,
produced specimens worthy to be called ‘_porcellane transparente e
vaghissime_,’ and this by contemporaries who had some opportunity of
seeing the real porcelain of China.[147]

This ‘transparent and beautiful porcelain’ was made in 1470 by Master
Antonio, the alchemist, at his kiln by San Simeon, and the writer of a
notice that has been preserved sends two specimens of this ware to his
friend in Padua. Again, in 1518 we hear of ‘a new artifice not known
before in this illustrious city, to make all kinds of porcelain like to
the transparent wares of the Levant’; and a year later the ambassador of
the Duke Alfonso writes to his master at Ferrara, sending him specimens
of the _porcellana ficta_ made by a certain Caterino Zen, whom he has
persuaded to emigrate to the latter city.

There cannot be the slightest doubt that in all these instances the
writers are referring to attempts at the manufacture of something
resembling, in its transparency at least, the porcelain of China. There
is no question of any confusion with the majolica of the day, with whose
properties these men were well acquainted, and we may therefore
reasonably regard the Venetian ‘archimisti’ as the first in Europe to
make a soft-paste porcelain. As in the case of later experimenters,
translucency, rather than hardness or refractory qualities, was the
point aimed at; and from the few hints we get as to the substances
employed, we may infer that these old ‘archimisti’ started with the idea
of combining the properties of glass and of fayence by mixing a ‘frit,’
or glassy element, with various kinds of pure white clay.

It is unfortunately true that we can point to no single existing
specimen of Italian porcelain that can safely be referred to so early a
date; but it must at the same time be remembered that it was only in the
year 1857 that the first piece of Medici porcelain was identified by
Signor Foresi, and that as late as 1859 a flask-shaped vase of this ware
was sold at the Hôtel Drouot as a specimen of Japanese porcelain!

MEDICI PORCELAIN.--The first mention of this now well-known ware is
probably to be found in Vasari’s _Lives of the Painters_. It is in his
account of Bernardo Buontalenti, painter, sculptor, architect, and
mechanical genius, who, in all these capacities,


was in great favour with Cosmo, the first Grand-Duke of Tuscany, and
still more with his son Francesco. ‘Bernardo,’ says Vasari, who was a
contemporary, ‘applies himself to everything, as may be seen by the
vases of porcelain which he has made in so short a time--vases which
have all the perfection of the most ancient and the most perfect.’ He
could make objects of all kinds in porcelain. ‘Of all these things our
prince [Francesco the Grand-Duke] possesses the methods of manufacture.’

Francesco Maria, the second Grand-Duke of Tuscany, was neither a good
prince nor a faithful husband. He was, however, by nature an
enthusiastic and patient experimenter, and a chemist after the manner of
the day. Soon after his accession, in 1576, the Venetian envoy writes of
him--I abbreviate here and there: ‘He has found the way to make the
porcelain of India; he has equalled them in transparence, in lightness,
and in delicacy. With the help of a Levantine he worked for more than
ten years, spoiling thousands of pieces, before producing perfect work.
He passes his whole day in his _casino_ [in the Boboli Gardens]
surrounded by alembics and filters, making, among other things, false
jewels, and fireworks.’

We learn also, from a contemporary manuscript, that the paste of this
porcelain was formed by mixing certain white earths from Siena and from
Vicenza with a frit, itself made from pounded rock crystal fused with
soda and glassmakers’ sand. The Vicenza clay, at all events, was
probably of a kaolinic nature. After shaping on the wheel and drying,
the decoration was painted on the raw paste, and the vessel subjected to
a preliminary firing; the plumbiferous glaze was then applied to the
biscuit. This Medici ware is decorated for the most part with cobalt
blue alone, but occasionally a little purple, and still more rarely
other colours are added. The design is made up of sprigs of
conventionalised flowers and leaves connected by fine stalks,
suggesting, on the whole, a Persian rather than a Chinese influence. In
a few cases we find the renaissance arabesques (or, more properly,
grotesques) of the time combined with masks in relief. The usual mark is
a hasty outline of the dome of the Cathedral of Florence, and below it
the letter F; on a few pieces, those especially which are decorated with
the grotesques, we find the six roundels, or ‘palle,’ of the Medici,
surmounted by the ducal coronet. A few pieces are dated. The earliest
date that has been discovered--1581--is on a bottle of square section,
rudely painted, under a crackle glaze, with the arms of Spain.

As might be expected in the case of an experimental ware of amateurish
origin, the extant pieces differ much in technical merit. Some are
heavily moulded, with a rough decoration of dark blue (I refer to some
pieces now in the Louvre); while on others, as on the fine but damaged
bowl at South Kensington, a delicate design is carefully painted (PL.
XXX.). The ground, however, of this Medici porcelain is seldom of a pure
white, and the colours have a tendency to run. Now that the specimens
from the Davillier and Rothschild collections have found their way into
the Louvre, this ware is best represented in that gallery. There are,
however, several pieces at Sèvres, and some good examples at South
Kensington. The later history of this ware is obscure. The kilns appear
to have been removed to Pisa, and their existence cannot be traced later
than 1620.

ROUEN PORCELAIN.--For a period of two generations and more after this
date it would seem that little was attempted. The vague assertions found
in patents taken out during this time in England and in France are of
slight value for us, for the claim is only made to an _imitation_ of the
Eastern ware, and such an expression might apply to many kinds of
enamelled fayence.


In France,[148] Claude Reverend, in 1664, is authorised to ‘_contrefaire
la porcelaine à la façon des Indes_.’ A more serious interest attaches
to the letters-patent granted in 1673 to Louis Poterat of Rouen. This
Poterat was a man of some position; he belonged to a family that had
long been connected with the manufacture of enamelled fayence at St.
Sever, near Rouen. In the diploma of 1673 facilities are granted him by
the king for making vessels of porcelain similar to those of China by
means of the secret process that he had discovered for manufacturing
‘_la véritable porcelaine de la Chine_.’ There exist certain little
pieces of soft-paste porcelain, sparely decorated with arabesques and
_lambrequins_ in blue _sous couverte_, in the style of Louis XIV., and
marked with the letters A.P. surmounted by a small star.[149] These are
now generally classed as Rouen ware of the time of Poterat; in that
case, we must see in them the earliest specimens of the French family of
_porcelaines tendres_. We have seen specimens at Sèvres and at Dresden,
in both cases little cylindrical boxes divided into compartments. A
similarly decorated cup, of very translucent ware, in the Fitzhenry
collection, is also attributed to Rouen.

There were probably at this time and later many others, _arcanistes_ or
practical potters, working at the problem in France. M. Vogt quotes,
from the _Comptes des Bâtiments du Roi_ for 1682, two singular payments
for the transport of ‘terre de porcelaine’ from Le Havre to Rouen and
thence to Paris. This porcelain earth had, it is stated, been previously
shipped to Civita Vecchia. It has been suggested that this might refer
to a cargo of kaolin sent from the East (_La Porcelaine_, p. 34).

In 1695 the king granted to the Chicoineau family the privilege of
making porcelain, by means of a secret process, reserving only the right
previously granted to Poterat of Rouen.

With the establishment, however, of the Saint-Cloud kilns we pass out of
the stage of tentative experiment, and the porcelain of Saint-Cloud
forms the proper introduction to the soft-paste wares of France.

EARLY EXPERIMENTS IN ENGLAND.--The potters art was at a very low ebb in
England in the seventeenth century. The Dutch with their Delft ware had
taken up a position comparable to that held by our Staffordshire potters
a century and a half later. They supplied us for many years with the
ordinary crockery in use among the middle classes (indeed, in parts of
Ireland such ware is still known as ‘delf’). From the scattered local
potteries were produced only the roughest kinds of earthenware. But in
this rude ware we see at times a certain barbaric, almost Oriental
feeling for colour and decoration, giving more promise of artistic
possibilities than we can find in the tame imitative work of the
eighteenth century porcelain maker.

Quite early in the seventeenth century, however, certainly by the time
of Charles I., pottery works were established by the banks of the Thames
at Lambeth and elsewhere, where successful imitations of Delft were
made, probably with the assistance of Dutch workmen. Not far off, at
Fulham, Dr. John Dwight experimented upon various clays and glazes, in
the reign of Charles II. His is the earliest name that occurs in the
history of English ceramics. In the letters-patent granted to him in
1671, he claims that ‘at his own proper costs and charges he hath
invented and set up at Fulham ... several new manufactories.’ Not only
was he prepared to deal with ‘the misterie of the stoneware vulgarly
called Cologne ware,’ but he also lays claim to ‘the mysterie of
transparent earthenware, commonly knowne by the name of porcelaine or
china, and Persian ware.’ This claim is made even more definitely by his
friend Dr. Plot, in the _History of Oxfordshire_, which he published in
1677. Dr. Dwight, he tells us, ‘hath found ways to make an earth _white
and transparent as porcelane_, and not distinguishable from it by the
eye or by experiments which have been purposely made to try wherein they

We may compare this claim with the similar statements made about the
same time in the petitions of Poterat and others. In neither case is
there any sign of an acquaintance with the Chinese _materials_. In
France the aim was to make something that should combine the properties
of earthenware and glass; while in the case of Dr. Dwight’s ware,
hardness and infusibility were the points sought for.

The portrait busts and statuettes in the British Museum, and a famous
piece at South Kensington, are all that remain of Dr. Dwight’s wares.
These were until lately in the hands of his descendants, and are,
therefore, thoroughly authenticated.[150] In the former collection are
two figures, a sportsman and a girl with two lambs, which in spirit and
sharpness of execution compare favourably with our later imitations of
Meissen porcelain in soft paste. A thin, apparently non-plumbiferous
glaze covers a white body, which is undoubtedly of great hardness and
possibly just translucent (‘approaching in some cases to translucency,’
says the writer of the ‘Jermyn Street’ Catalogue). Unfortunately there
has survived nothing to illustrate his imitations of Chinese and Persian
ware. Dr. Dwight was a man of some social position, and a Master of
Arts of Christ Church, Oxford. The very considerable merit of his
stoneware figures (and we may add, the pathetic interest attaching to
the little figure of a dead child, at South Kensington, inscribed ‘Lydia
Dwight, dyed March 3rd, 1673’) have established his position as the
father of English ceramics, and on this ground he has found a place
along with Duesbury and Wedgwood in the _Dictionary of National
Biography_. For us his stoneware has a special interest. It is perhaps
the only ceramic ware in existence that has so many of the
characteristics of true porcelain--its hardness, its resistance to high
temperatures, and to some extent also its translucency and whiteness of
paste--but which in origin and chemical composition differs so entirely
from the normal type.

Dr. Place of York was a contemporary of Dwight; he devoted much time to
experiments on various kinds of clay. Although he has some claim to rank
as an artistic potter, I do not think that there is any proof that he
ever made porcelain of either hard or soft paste.

It is certainly remarkable that during the following fifty years and
more we hear nothing in England of any attempt to manufacture porcelain,
nor is there any patent or contemporary notice bearing on the subject
during the interval between Dr. Dwight’s specification of 1684 and the
date of Frye’s first patent. A claim to make porcelain by working up the
ground fragments of Oriental ware with some gummy materials is perhaps
the only exception.

But in England, as elsewhere, the ‘ware of the Indies’ was coming more
and more into favour, and its partial victory over foreign and native
stoneware and pottery is, as we said above, closely connected with the
increasing popularity of tea and coffee. Sack and claret were still
served in bottles of Delft ware, and beer in stoneware jugs and
tankards. A certain suspicion of effeminacy and degeneracy came to be
associated both with tea and coffee, and with the ware in which they
were served.[151] Even now, any ridicule to which the china-collector is
exposed is generally associated with a teapot.

We have in this chapter traced the early attempts made in Italy, as well
as those in France and England, to imitate the porcelain of the Far
East. We must now turn aside to Saxony, where, at the dawn of the
eighteenth century, the problem was solved by the genius of a poor
chemist’s assistant. We will then run rapidly through the many centres
where hard-paste porcelain was made in Germany, before returning to the
soft-paste wares of England and France.




We have already more than once come across the famous Elector of Saxony,
who found time, between his Polish wars and his innumerable amours, to
bring together the nucleus, at least, of more than one of the great
collections that have since his time attracted visitors to Dresden. In
the historical collections of the Johanneum and in the Grüne Gewölbe, we
find his name associated with many things of great beauty--arms and
armour, silver plate and jewellery; but still, even after making every
allowance for the strange taste of the time, the general impression of
the man which we get from the objects brought together by him is not
exactly that of a refined amateur. In fact, the German phase of the
school that had its origin in the Rome of Bernini and in the Versailles
of Louis XIV. found in the court of Augustus the Strong its true home.
Nowhere else can we find more characteristic examples of that mixture of
pomposity and childishness, that absence of all feeling for purity of
line, which distinguishes the German ‘rococo,’ than in these collections
and in the buildings that hold them.

Now, it was under the direct patronage of this prince that the
manufacture of porcelain was first established in Europe, and what we
may call the taint of its original home has hung about the ware ever
since. Of the porcelain of Europe as a whole--and this is especially
true of the earlier and more interesting period--we may say that it
belongs to the rococo school, tempered now and again by a more or less
ill-understood imitation of Chinese and Japanese shapes and designs.

Augustus collected works of art of nearly every kind, with the important
exception, indeed, of pictures and sculpture--these branches were at
this time comparatively neglected. But his heart was set, above all,
upon gathering to his new palace in the Neustadt, every fine specimen of
the Oriental porcelain that reached Europe. What more natural than that
he should be seized with the ambition of himself producing in his own
capital something that would rival the wares of China and Japan? No one
had better opportunities--if not himself in direct communication with
the East, his agents were in a position to glean and to bring to him
whatever meagre information about the manufacture of porcelain might
reach Europe. His court was a Catholic centre, and he must have taken
interest in the accounts of the industries of China sent home by the
Jesuit missionaries. The first of the famous letters of the Père
D’Entrecolles on the porcelain of King-te-chen is indeed of just too
late a date for us to think of it in this connection. By that time
(1712) Böttger was already making true porcelain. But what would seem
more probable than that other private letters, with valuable information
about the manufacture in which the Elector took so great an interest,
may have reached him a few years earlier? The Père D’Entrecolles, we
know, had already for several years previous to 1709 (the approximate
date of Böttger’s discovery) been living at Juchou, in the neighbourhood
of King-te-chen.

When we consider the rapidity with which Böttger’s experiments were
brought to a successful issue, and compare this with the long and
fruitless research in other countries, it is impossible to resist a
suspicion of some such infiltration from Chinese sources, and this
suspicion is enhanced by the somewhat suspicious story of Böttger’s
career. But, on the other hand, no confirmation has, so far, been found
for any such theory. On the contrary, I understand that researches made
of late in the State archives of Saxony have rather tended to show that
some injustice has been done to Böttger in the common tradition; that we
must look upon him as a man of considerable scientific attainments for
his age and as a born experimenter, and it must also be remembered that
at that time no great distinction was made between the chemist and the

Johann Friedrich Böttger was born in the year 1685 at Schleiz, in the
Voigtland, where his father had a charge connected with a local mint. He
was early apprenticed to an apothecary at Berlin, and here he was
initiated into the secrets of alchemy by no less a master--so at least
the story goes--than the Greek monk Lascaris, a man who is mentioned
with admiration by Leibnitz, and who is claimed as one of the ‘five
adepts.’ In 1701 Böttger fled from Berlin--it is not quite clear for
what reason--and placed himself under the protection of the Elector of
Saxony. At Dresden and, later on, the rock fortress of the Königstein,
he continued his search for the philosopher’s stone, and about this
time, probably in conjunction with the mathematician and physicist
Walther von Tschirnhaus, began making experiments upon clay--in search,
at first at least, of a refractory material for his crucibles.
Tschirnhaus had already been occupied with improvements in the
manufacture of glass in Saxony, and as early as the year 1699 had made
attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain.[152]

In spite of an unsuccessful attempt at flight we find Böttger, in the
years 1705 to 1707, established in a laboratory in the old castle of
Meissen. Here, after another effort to escape, for which he narrowly
missed being hanged--at any rate so we are told--Böttger, when
experimenting on some red fireclay from the neighbourhood of Okrilla,
fell upon the famous red ware that resembles so closely the Chinese
‘boccaro.’ This was in 1707. The next year Tschirnhaus died, and by
1709, if we are to trust the statement of Steinbrück, the brother-in-law
of Böttger and his immediate successor, the latter had succeeded in
making a true white porcelain.

Shortly before this time he had been working, in company with
Tschirnhaus, in a laboratory constructed for them on the Jungfern-Bastei
at Dresden, and it must have been about the time of the death of the
latter that the critical experiments were made that led to the
production of a white translucent paste. If this be so, it would seem
that it was, after all, at Dresden, and not at Meissen, that the first
true porcelain was made. It was not till the year 1710 that Böttger was
again removed to the old castle of Meissen, where the requisite secrecy
could be more effectually preserved.

In any case, in the year 1709 Böttger was able to show some specimens of
a true porcelain--somewhat yellowish in tint, indeed--to the royal
commissioner, and at the Leipsic Fair in 1710 not only was the red ware
offered for sale for the first time, but a few specimens of the white
porcelain were on view.

Soon after this we find Böttger established in the Albrechtsburg at
Meissen as administrator of the newly established porcelain works. Even
now he was little better than a prisoner, and in 1712 he requested the
elector-king to allow him to resign. He was consoled, however, by a
substantial present, and, so says one account, he was at the same time
ennobled--at any rate he was offered the title of Bergrath. But
Böttger’s extravagant way of life led to his being constantly in need of
money, and in the year 1716 he entertained proposals to sell his great
secret to a syndicate of Berlin merchants. In 1719, on the discovery of
this treachery, he was again imprisoned. In the same year Böttger died
at the age of thirty-four. To the end, it would appear, he held out
hopes to his master that he was on the way to success in his gold-making
experiments, and his brother-in-law, in a solemn memorial, asserted that
he was actually in the possession of the _lapis philosophorum_. How far
Böttger, in making these claims, was playing a double game in order to
obtain money from Augustus, it is impossible to say, but we must
remember that at the same time Tschirnhaus, a man of culture and high
intellectual attainments, was engaged in a search for the ‘universal

The red stoneware which was turned out already in 1708--it is now
generally known as Böttger ware--resembles closely the boccaro imported
at that time from China. Besides the red varieties, of two shades, there
is a third kind, in which the surface, as it comes from the kiln, has
been left untouched, and such pieces the Germans know as
_Eisen-porzellan_. It is wonderful what a number of forms and
applications Böttger was able to give to this stoneware during the short
period during which it was produced. Of the red ware some of the
carefully modelled pieces were polished on the lapidary’s wheel. A
child’s head at South Kensington is a good specimen of this polished
stoneware. In the Franks collection, now at Bethnal Green, is a
remarkable series of the different varieties of Böttger ware. A tankard
of polished marbled paste is marked with the year 1720, showing that the
stoneware continued to be manufactured for some time alongside of the
true white porcelain. _À propos_ of a beautiful little head of Apollo,
we are reminded in the catalogue that in 1711 there were sixty of these
_Apollo-köpfe_ in stock. They were priced, unpolished, at nine groschen,
or polished at sixteen. The difference, seven groschen, does not seem a
high charge for the labour and skill involved in this polishing. In
other cases the body is covered with a dark brown glaze, in which a
design is traced in incised lines, brought out by gold. This glazed
stoneware was afterwards imitated at Berlin and elsewhere in Germany.
There are some curious pieces at Dresden, which show that Böttger also
attempted, not very successfully, to apply enamelled colours over his
dark glazes.

Not till the Easter Fair of 1713 was the white porcelain offered for
sale at Leipsic, and even then the specimens on sale were far from
faultless. Only in the year 1716--in the interval a new description of
white paste had been discovered--was the ware exhibited technically

Thus in the space of some eight years, Böttger had not only succeeded in
making an excellent imitation of the Chinese boccaro ware, of which the
special merit was to withstand rapid changes of temperature, but he had
once for all solved the great problem: he had produced a hard white
porcelain, which has remained since that day the type for the whole of

Where, we may ask, did Böttger acquire the technical knowledge and the
practical experience, so essential in work of this kind? All the other
men who have made a name for themselves as breakers of new ground in the
art of the potter--Palissy, Poterat, Wedgwood, and to these we may add
the great Chinese superintendents at King-te-chen and the Japanese
artists Ninsei and Zengoro--were either working potters themselves or
directors of large factories. What opportunities had this youth--he was
only sixteen when he came to Dresden, and already, it would seem, ‘well
known to the police’--of acquiring the practical details of the kilns,
the mixing vats, and the wheel?[154]

So again with regard to the materials he employed. Not much light has so
far been thrown on this point. We have a somewhat childish story about a
certain hair-powder--the _Schnorrische Erde_--which turned up at the
psychological moment and solved the question once for all. But porcelain
is not to be made from kaolin alone. That is only the skeleton, as the
Chinese say. We must find also the right kind of flesh to make the bones
hang together. No mention, however, is made in the current narrative of
any experiments on felspathic rocks. We know at least that this famous
‘hair-powder’ was a very pure white kaolin, found at Aue, near
Schneeberg, in the Erzgebirge, and that china-clay from this source was
the principal ingredient in the earliest porcelain produced. So in later
accounts we find mention merely of different qualities of kaolin from
Aue, from Seilitz, and other sources.[155] A few years ago the Meissen
paste, it is stated, was composed of kaolin from three different
sources 72 per cent., of ‘felspar’ 26 per cent., and of old clay worked
up again 2 per cent. In this and in most other cases where felspar is
mentioned as a constituent of a porcelain paste, we must probably
understand some kind of petuntse or china-stone containing quartz and
perhaps other minerals in addition to the felspar. The following figures
show the composition of the paste at the beginning of the last century:
silica 59 per cent., alumina 36 per cent., and potash 3 per cent. The
glaze was at that time composed of calcined quartz 37 per cent., Seilitz
kaolin 37 per cent., limestone 17·5 per cent., and porcelain pot-sherds
8·5 per cent. From this it will be seen that the Meissen porcelain is of
a somewhat ‘severe’ type. To judge from its composition it must require
a high temperature in firing; on the other hand, the paste should
possess considerable plastic qualities. The absence of lime from the
paste and its presence in considerable quantity in the glaze is a point
of interest. In this, the Saxon ware resembles the porcelain that is
made in the Owari district of Japan. At Sèvres, on the other hand, we
shall see that the glaze of the hard porcelain contains no lime, while
that substance is an essential constituent in the paste.

The Meissen porcelain, and indeed the German porcelains generally, form
a typically hard and refractory group. But they have in a full measure
_les défauts de leurs qualités_. Among them we may look in vain for that
blending of the glaze and body that gives to the best Chinese porcelain
a surface like that of polished marble; still less do we find in the
enamel decoration the brilliancy and transparence of Oriental wares. In
place of this we see a chalky surface of a cold, neutral tone, over
which is painted, in dull opaque tints, elaborately executed pictures
that look often as if they had been _stuck on_ as an afterthought.
Apart from the influence of the taste of the time, and the general
absence of the colour sense among the German race, this dulness and
opacity is the result of the high temperature required in the
muffle-stove to enable the coloured enamels to adhere to the refractory
glaze beneath them. As a consequence of this the choice of colours is
limited, and even the enamels that are available never become thoroughly
incorporated with the glaze.

To return to the porcelain made by Böttger in the few remaining years of
his life, it is surprising in what a number of directions we find him
making experiments; for indeed all the many varieties of porcelain made
during his lifetime may be classed together as experimental. It is only
in the museum at Dresden that we can study this interesting period. The
moulds that had been used for the red stoneware served at first for the
new porcelain. The ornaments in relief were modelled by hand and laid on
the surface. Böttger attempted at one time to replace the enamel
colours, so difficult to use with effect, by employing a kind of lacquer
or mastic as a vehicle. His greatest triumph in this department was the
so-called mother-of-pearl glaze, a thin wash of rosy purple with a
slight lustre,[156] and this he combined with a free use of metallic
gold and silver. The plain white of the Chinese was copied closely, but
the early attempts at the decoration with blue _sous couverte_ were
strikingly unsuccessful. The larger pieces made at this, and even later
times, have generally suffered from overfiring or from imperfect support
in the kiln, and would now be regarded as ‘wasters.’

After the death of Böttger in 1719 there follows an intermediate period,
still in a measure experimental, during which the factory was under the
charge of four


commissioners. The blue and white of the Chinese was imitated, but not
very skilfully. They were more successful with the _café au lait_ glaze,
which at that time was in great favour.

It is to the Viennese painter, Johann Gregorius Herold, or Höroldt (_b._
1696; 1720-65 at Meissen), that the credit must be given of establishing
a definite school of decoration. He began, however, with the imitation
of Oriental designs. At this time the Japanese Kakiyemon ware (both the
paste and the pattern) was closely copied. The blue and white with
Chinese designs was at length more successful, and now the _poudré_ blue
and other monochrome grounds of the Chinese were also imitated. On the
other hand, to this time (1730-40) also belong the earliest armorial
dinner-services--those with the arms of Saxony and Poland for the
electoral court, and more than one set with the arms of the Count Brühl
for that pomp-loving nobleman.[157]

A new direction was given to the manufacture soon after the appointment
(in 1731) of Johann Joachim Kändler (1706-1775) to the place of chief
modeller. He it was that, abandoning the clumsy imitations of Chinese
gods and monsters, first recognised the capabilities of porcelain as a
material for those little statuettes and groups of figures that we have
since that time come to associate above all else with the European
porcelain of the eighteenth century, and especially with that of
Germany. The subjects were taken partly from the social life of the day.
In part also they carried on the tradition of the ‘Italian comedy’ and
of the conventional pastoral life that we find in the French art of a
somewhat earlier date. The pictures of Watteau and Lancret were much
sought after at that time by the princely collectors in Germany, and a
few choice works of these artists, as well as many somewhat muddy
copies and imitations of native origin, may be seen in the gallery at

The plastic qualities and the infusibility of the paste, together with
the thinness of the coat of glaze, enabled the artist to obtain a
clearer and sharper reproduction of his model than was ever possible
with the soft pastes and the thick lead glazes of the English
imitations.[158] The best of these little figures, however, belong to
rather later times, for during the last years of Augustus the Strong
(he died in 1733) Kändler was occupied with more ambitious
commissions--life-sized figures of the twelve apostles, an equestrian
statue of the king, and figures of animals, to decorate the new rooms of
the Japanese palace. But these attempts to employ porcelain as a
material for monumental sculpture (in the style of Bernini) ended in
failure. There is at South Kensington a series of figures in plain
white, dating from this period, apparently destined to form part of a
small fountain, and from these a very good idea of this application of
the ware can be formed.

It was about this time, or a little earlier, that the passion for
porcelain flowers, generally in plain white ware, spread through Europe.
These or similar ornaments were even fastened to ladies’
dresses,--witness the _gros papillons en porcelaine de Saxe_, which we
hear of as sewed on to the state-dress of a French _marquise_. This was
the ware that it paid best to manufacture, both here and at Saint-Cloud
and Vincennes. Porcelain flowers were applied at a later time to the
whole surface of a vase. These ‘Schneeballen vasen,’ as they are called
in Germany, were even reproduced at King-te-chen for exportation to

With the employment of professional artists--flower-painters,
landscape-painters, and painters of _genre_ scenes--to adorn the surface
of the already glazed ware with miniature pictures, a style of
decoration came in, if decoration it can be called, which became more
and more the dominant note of European porcelain during the next hundred
years. The flower-painter came first with realistic, well-shaded little
nosegays, in the style of the Dutch painters of the day; then
landscapes, views of real towns, sometimes in a purple-red monochrome,
and surrounded by a gold rococo frame to imitate that of an oil picture.
The free use of gold, however, in the European porcelain of this time,
was to some extent a saving point. It helped, as gold always does, to
pull together the decoration. On the earlier Meissen ware the gold is
most solidly applied and has worn well.

The palmy days of the Meissen factory, when seven hundred workmen were
employed and large profits made, came to an end with the Seven Years’
War. Frederick, in 1759 and again in 1761, looted the Albrechtsburg and
carried away to Berlin the models and moulds as well as many choice
pieces of porcelain. The rest of the stock was sold by auction, and the
archives of the works were at the same time destroyed.

It was about this time that the most violent of the several porcelain
fevers that distinguished the eighteenth century was raging, and the
period of the Seven Years’ War may be regarded as the culminating epoch
in the history of European porcelain. Both at Sèvres, and with us in
England, this is certainly the case. But at Meissen the best had already
been produced; the _vieille saxe_ of our ancestors is a product of an
earlier period--the thirties, the forties, and the early fifties. During
the decade succeeding the close of the war there was little falling off
in France and England. At Meissen, however, there now followed a period
of decline both artistic and financial. We find a ‘professor of
painting,’ one Dietrich, at the head of a ‘school of design,’ and he
seems to have been the most prominent man associated with the works at
the time. Such an association is a sure sign of the wrong direction now
being given to the manufacture. There was some fitful revival later in
the century, after the appointment of Count Marcolini to the direction.
He was an active minister of the last elector and first king of
Saxony--Frederick Augustus the Just--and he held the post of director at
Meissen for more than forty years (1774-1815). Marcolini’s name is
associated with certain changes of style which in the main reflected the
various phases of a taste, or rather fashion, which took its watchword
from Paris.

There are indeed two main divisions of this later period: during the
first, sentimental _motifs_ and an affectation of domestic simplicity
prevailed; the second period was more especially the time when classical
models were followed, and it culminated in the _Empire_ style. The first
phase is represented in Saxony by the works of the French sculptor
Acier; in the later classical time the fashion came in of copying
antique sculpture in white biscuit.

The Marcolini period is the last that has any interest for us. It was
commercially at least a time of decline. It is said that Josiah
Wedgwood, when he visited the factory at Meissen in the year 1790,
offered to run it as a speculation of his own, paying a rental of £3000
to the king. The marvel is that the manufacture survived the troubles
of the Napoleonic wars when Saxony suffered so much.

During the nineteenth century Meissen has followed more or less in the
wake of Sèvres. Huge pieces were produced for presentation, heavily
painted with copies of famous pictures in the Dresden Gallery, or
adorned with frieze-like bands in monochrome, in imitation of ancient
sculpture. During the same time, imitations of the _vieille saxe_, the
marks included, were made with some success, and much cheap ware has
been manufactured for the market, so that commercially the Meissen works
have for some time had a flourishing career. The change that has come
over Sèvres of late, the search after new methods, both in the
composition of the paste and in the decoration, has not, I think, been
reflected to any extent at Meissen, nor has the scientific side of the
potter’s art been illustrated by any works such as those of Brongniart
and Salvétat. Indeed the old traditions of secrecy have been maintained
in a measure up to the present day. It was only in 1863 that the
porcelain factory was removed from the castle rock at Meissen, where it
had been carried on for a century and a half, to a more roomy and
convenient position in the neighbourhood.

The well-known mark of the two swords (PL. C. 27) cannot be traced by
means of dated specimens further back than the year 1726. This mark had
its origin in the privilege claimed by the Saxon electors of carrying
the two imperial swords before the Emperor at his coronation. On the
earliest pieces we find either the letters A. R. in blue (PL. C. 26), or
else a roughly painted caduceus, or rather rod of Æsculapius (PL. C.
25), the first on ware for court use, the second on that made for the
market. An incised mark cut with the wheel across the two swords is said
to indicate the ware that was sold undecorated, generally pieces with
some slight defect. We may note that a similar practice was at one time
in use at Sèvres. The addition of a star to the swords indicates the
Marcolini period. These eighteenth century marks, however, were copied
not only in England and by private firms in Germany, but also on the
imitation of the _vieille saxe_ made in the last century at the royal
works at Meissen, so that their presence on a piece of china is of
little value in identifying the date or place of origin.





In spite of the elaborate precautions that were taken--the oaths of
secrecy, the military guards that accompanied the relays of china-clay
to the fortress at Meissen in which the works were established--by the
middle of the eighteenth century, at nearly all the courts of Germany,
imperial, royal, or serene, we find a porcelain manufactory already in
full work. It was the fashion of the day, and took its place, like the
opera company or the stud, in the equipment of an up-to-date
_Residenz-Stadt_. Only one or two of these princely factories survived
the time of turmoil at the end of the century and the Napoleonic
invasions. In no single one of the works can we find that any fresh line
was struck out or any important improvement made either in technique or
in design. The products of these different factories are often to be
distinguished only by the marks they bear, and these marks are as often
as not forgeries. We shall therefore confine ourselves to a somewhat
summary description, pointing out especially the relations of the
different centres to one another. The starting of a new manufactory
generally depended upon the successful bribing of some official or
foreman of works: at the beginning such aid was sought from Meissen,
but later on the assistance came from Vienna or from Höchst, so that on
this ground the relation of the works to one another might be
represented by a rough kind of genealogical tree.

VIENNA.--The beginnings of the factory at Vienna were humble. Claude du
Paquier, a Dutch adventurer, took out a patent for making porcelain in
1718, and with the aid of an enameller and gilder from Meissen, one
Hunger, a man with some knowledge of chemistry, carried on the work on a
modest scale, until in 1744 his factory and his secrets were bought by
Maria Theresa for 45,000 gulden. The Viennese porcelain was henceforth,
until the extinction of the industry in 1864, marked with the Hapsburg
shield, generally in blue, under the glaze (PL. C. 28), with the
addition, after 1784, of a contracted year-mark.

So long as the kaolin from Passau was employed the paste was inferior to
that of Meissen and Berlin, but in later days a better material was
obtained from Bohemia. The most flourishing period was from 1770 to
1790, and in 1780, we are told, there were three hundred and twenty men
employed. In early years the porcelain did not differ much from that of
Dresden, but in 1784, when Conrad von Sorgenthal became director, a new
style was introduced which has made the Viennese in some respects the
typical ware of a bad period. Much attention was paid to the gilding and
to the pigments employed, and the surface of the porcelain was covered
by an elaborate and often gaudy decoration. We are, however, informed by
an eminent German authority that ‘from 1785 to 1815 the Viennese
porcelain among all the manufactures of the time took, from an artistic
point of view, the highest rank’ (Jaennicke, _Keramic_, Stuttgart,
1879). It is in any case remarkable that, during a period of disastrous
war and foreign occupation, so much bad porcelain and good music should
have been produced at Vienna. It was at this time that the chemist
Leithner obtained, for the first time, an intense black from uranium and
perfected the process by which platinum is applied in low relief.

To the same chemist we must also attribute another speciality of the
Viennese porcelain of this time,--the decoration with designs in
polished gold upon a dead ground of the same metal. There are some
elaborately decorated plates at South Kensington which well illustrate
the merits or demerits of this ware. In spite of the early foundation of
the factory, the Viennese porcelain, as a whole, falls into the later
‘sentimental to classical’ period, that contemporary with Marcolini at
Meissen and with the earlier hard paste of Sèvres. The historical
development of the ware is well illustrated in the Industrial Museum at
Vienna, and it may be acknowledged that some success was obtained with
small figures and even life-sized busts. A good deal of cheap and
meretricious stuff made in the numerous private kilns in and around
Vienna in the latter half of the nineteenth century has lately found its
way into the English market.

BERLIN.--The porcelain of Berlin is of some interest to us for two
reasons, one historical and the other of a technical nature. On the one
hand it was thanks to the fostering care of the great Frederick that the
factory first assumed any importance, and on the other it was the great
attention given in later days to choice of materials (together with the
refractory nature of the paste) that led to this pure white ware being
employed above all others in the laboratory of the chemist. As at
Vienna, the origin of the works was humble, and in this case one perhaps
might even say ‘shady,’ if we are to believe the story that it was the
workmen who had stolen from the pocket of Ringler, the arcanist of
Höchst, the papers containing his recipes and private notes, who were
engaged in 1750 by the merchant Wegeli, the first to set up a kiln for
porcelain at Berlin.[160]

The ware that Wegeli made is not important. We find little figures and
groups in imitation of Kändler as well as cups and teapots decorated in
blue, _sous couverte_, with little sprigs; his mark, a W., has
unfortunately been used at other factories. It was indeed rather the
banker Gotzkowski who was the practical founder of the Berlin works, for
Wegeli had abandoned his enterprise at the commencement of the Seven
Years’ War.

German writers are not agreed as to what share should be given to the
king in the removal of the staff and workmen of the Meissen works to
Berlin in 1761. Frederick at that time was hard pressed by his enemies
and in great want of money; in the letter, quoted below, he writes that
he has nothing left but his honour, his coat, his sword, and _his
porcelain_. He has been accused of forcibly removing to Berlin, not only
the workmen, but the artists also and other members of the staff at
Meissen. On the other hand, it is claimed that the removal was
voluntary, and brought about by the offers of good pay made by
Gotzkowski. Frederick at that time had other things to do,[161] and it
was not till the close of the war in 1763 that he purchased
Gotzkowski’s new works for a large sum. He now had leisure to take a
personal interest in the manufacture. About this time the kaolin which
had been previously brought from Passau, in Bavaria, was obtained, of
better quality, from the quarries near Halle which still supply the
Berlin works. The sale of the porcelain was forced with true Prussian
energy: its purchase was obligatory for lottery prizes, to the amount of
10,000 thalers every year, and no Jew could obtain a marriage
certificate except on the production of the receipt for the purchase of
a service of porcelain. It is for this reason that the Berlin ware is in
Germany sometimes known as _Juden porcellan_. Grieninger, a Saxon, was
the practical manager of the works from the time of their foundation by
Gotzkowski to the end of the century. During this period the porcelain
produced differed little from that previously made at Meissen. A shade
of pink, derived from the purple of Cassius, was much admired by
Frederick, and forms the _pendant_ to the famous rose-colour of his
bitter enemy, Madame de Pompadour.

The changes made after this time were chiefly of a practical nature. The
horizontal furnaces were early replaced by the cylindrical type now
generally in use in Europe, and as long ago as 1799 steam power was
employed in the preparation of the materials. The chemist, above all,
has at all times played an important part at Berlin.

Many strange applications of porcelain, some more curious than really
beautiful, were introduced about the beginning of the nineteenth
century. A close imitation of lace and _tulle_, made by dipping into a
specially prepared slip a real tissue which was afterwards burned away,
was a nine days’ wonder when first introduced. (A veiled bust in white
biscuit of Queen Louise of Prussia, now at Dresden, is perhaps the most
famous example of this ware.) Another application of porcelain was to
the ‘transparencies’ or _lithophanie_, in which the design, as seen by
transmitted light, was given by variations in the thickness of the

The only mark of interest on the porcelain of Berlin is the sceptre (PL.
C. 31), the prized ensign that the electors of Brandenburg bore on their
shield as an emblem of their position as Arch-Chamberlains of the Holy
Roman Empire.[162] It was this sceptre (very slightly indicated on the
earlier examples, and resembling, perhaps intentionally, the Saxon mark)
that the Prince de Ligne observing on his plate, when dining with the
king, affected to take for a sword, and made the occasion of a
‘two-edged’ compliment.

HÖCHST.--The fayence of Höchst, a town lying between Frankfort and
Mainz, had acquired some reputation early in the eighteenth century, and
already, by the year 1720, one of the manufacturers, Göltz, had
attempted to make porcelain. But not until he had obtained the
assistance of a runaway workman or ‘arcanist’ from Vienna, one Ringler
(a name which occurs over and over again in similar connections--see
note, p. 262), was anything of importance accomplished.[163] The kilns
were now rebuilt on the Viennese model, and by the year 1746 porcelain
of good quality was produced. The works had already received many
privileges from the local prince, in this case the archbishop-elector of
Mainz, and about 1778 (or perhaps earlier) the whole establishment was
purchased by him. This prince was a patron of art and fond of display,
so that during his day the manufacture was conducted on a non-commercial
basis. The chief claim to attention of the ware made at Höchst depends
upon the little lifelike figures that were modelled by a clever sculptor
who worked there from 1768 or 1770 to 1780. The work of this Johann
Peter Melchior, who survived till 1825, is preferred by some collectors
to anything made at Meissen. He migrated late in life first to
Frankenthal, and then to Nymphenburg. The wooden models from which he
worked are now much sought after in Germany. It is stated that the
kaolin used at Höchst was obtained from Limoges, but this can only apply
to a comparatively late period. The works came to an end with the
invasion of the French in 1794. The mark, a six-spoked wheel, sometimes
surmounted by a crown (Pl. c. 29), is derived from the arms of the
arch-episcopal see of Mainz,--indeed the Höchst ware is sometimes known
as _porcelaine de Mayence_.

FÜRSTENBERG.--The Duke Karl of Brunswick was one of the earliest German
princes to establish a porcelain factory; this was at the castle of
Fürstenberg, on the Weser. The works were organised about 1746 by the
Baron von Langen, who was something of an arcanist; and from Höchst, in
1750, the assistance of an experienced potter, one Bengraf, was
obtained. Bengraf had to escape by stealth from Höchst, where he had
been in the employ of Göltz, and reached Fürstenberg after many
sufferings and privations. A point of interest in connection with the
porcelain made at a later time at this factory is that flour-spar
(fluoride of calcium) has formed an important element in the composition
of the glaze. In the Museum at Brunswick may be seen more than eight
hundred specimens of this porcelain, and any want of originality is made
up for by the extraordinary variety and number of the different wares
that have been copied. It is not perhaps surprising, in view of the
close family ties existing between the dukes and our second and third
Georges, to find copies of our English soft pastes, especially of
Chelsea. The clarets and maroons of this latter ware were imitated with
some success. A landscape-painter of some local fame, whose works may be
seen in the gallery at Brunswick, one Pascha Weitsch, was employed to
paint views on this porcelain, and good portrait-busts--of Lavater and
of Raphael Mengs, among others--may be found in the adjacent museum. The
factory has continued in operation up to quite recent times. The
Fürstenberg mark, a large F in a flowing hand (PL. C. 30), may be
observed not unfrequently on china in old collections in England. There
was more than one specimen at Strawberry Hill.

LUDWIGSBURG.--We now come again upon the arcanist Ringler. In 1758 he
was tempted away from Höchst by the Duke Karl Eugen of Würtemberg, and
placed at the head of a manufactory of porcelain which had lately been
established at Ludwigsburg, the Versailles or Potsdam of the dukes,
situated some nine miles to the north of Stuttgart. The paste of this
ware is not remarkable for purity of tint, and I do not know whether we
are to believe the statement that the materials came in part from
France. The enamel painting is distinguished by its high finish; on the
gala services made for the court, among wreaths of flowers in low relief
we find carefully painted beetles and butterflies. The little, highly
finished statuettes and groups are of some merit. In the Museum of
National Antiquities at Stuttgart is now to be seen an extensive
collection of porcelain, purchased in 1875 from Herr Murschel, and here
the Ludwigsburg ware can be well studied. The shield of Würtemberg,

[Illustration: _PLATE XXXII._ 1. MEISSEN. 2. LUDWIGSBURG.]

its three pairs of antlers, is sometimes found on this ware (PL. C. 35),
but more often the initials of the reigning duke--or (after 1806)
king--with or without a crown (PL. C. 36). It is this last mark that has
probably given rise to the absurd name of Kronenburg by which this ware
is sometimes known among dealers. Soon after 1775, when the dukes
abandoned Ludwigsburg as a place of residence, the factory declined in
importance, but the manufacture lingered on till the year 1824.

NYMPHENBURG.--About the middle of the eighteenth century the electoral
prince, Max Joseph, established some works at Neudeck, on the Au, in
ducal Bavaria, and this factory, it is said, was visited and reorganised
by the ubiquitous Ringler in 1756. In 1758, however, the manufactory was
removed to the summer residence of Nymphenburg, near Munich. Heintzmann
painted landscapes, and other artists copied famous pictures from the
Munich Gallery, on the fine white ground of this porcelain. The
elector-palatine inherited the ducal territory in 1778, and hither, in
1799, came many workmen from Frankenthal when the palatinate was invaded
by the French. This ware is best represented in the National Museum at
Munich. The works are still carried on, but they are now in private
hands. The Nymphenburg porcelain may generally be recognised by the
shield of Bavaria, ‘fusilly’ (PL. C. 35), but this shield takes various
forms and the mark is often very small.

FRANKENTHAL.--Somewhat more interest attaches to the porcelain made at
Frankenthal, a town of the palatinate, not far from Mannheim, if only
because at its foundation we are brought into connection not only with
the earlier German works, but at the same time, indirectly, it is true,
with Sèvres. Here, according to one account, came Ringler, in 1751,
leaving Höchst in disgust, after he had been robbed of his papers and of
his secrets. At any rate, a few years later, in 1755, Paul Antoine
Hannong, a member of a famous family of potters at Strassburg, was
granted a privilege to found here a factory of porcelain. Hannong had
graduated as a porcelain arcanist, and had already fruitlessly
endeavoured to sell his secrets to the authorities at Vincennes. As the
royal porcelain works, on their removal to Sèvres, now began to claim
the monopoly for the whole of France, Hannong was not allowed to set up
his kilns at Strassburg.

The electoral prince Karl Theodor bought the works at Frankenthal in
1761, and devoted himself to obtaining the best artists (Melchior, among
others, was brought from Höchst) and most skilful potters, so that for a
few years the porcelain here produced was in its way as good as any made
in Germany--indeed it was attempted to rival the contemporary work of
Sèvres in the delicacy of the painting and the brilliancy of the
gilding. This ware is always to be associated with the Elector Karl
Theodor, and its glory came to an end when, in 1778, he abandoned the
palatinate on becoming elector of ducal Bavaria. The factory, however,
was not finally closed till about 1800. The most usual mark is the
lion-rampant crowned, from the arms of the palatinate (PL. C. 32); the
initials of Karl Theodor are also found surmounted by a crown (PL. C.
33). There is a curious plate of this ware in the Franks collection; it
bears a Latin inscription (containing a chronogram for 1775) which
states that all the various colours and gilding used at the works are
made use of in the decoration.

FULDA.--Porcelain was probably made at Fulda as early as the year 1741,
but it was only in 1763, or perhaps even later, that the prince-bishop
set up the ‘_Fürstliche Fuldaische feine Porzellan-Fabrik_’ close by
his palace. The daintily modelled and carefully finished ware here made,
marked with a double F or by a cross (PL. C. 37 and 38), is seen
occasionally in English collections. The fireclay as well as the
beechwood for his kilns was obtained from the adjacent volcanic hills of
the Hohe Rhön. As not only the bishop himself but the canons of the
church also availed themselves somewhat freely of their privilege of
appropriating whatever pleased them, as presents to their friends, a
heavy loss was incurred, and the works were closed soon after the death
of the founder.

Porcelain was also made during the latter half of the eighteenth century
at Gotha and several other places in the neighbourhood of the Thüringer
Wald. There are specimens of the ware made at many of these kilns--at
Kloster Veilsdorf, at Wallendorf, at Gross Breitenbach, Limbach, Gera,
and especially at Gotha--in the Franks collection of continental
porcelain. A good deal of common porcelain for table use is still made
at scattered factories in this district.

STRASSBURG.--Without committing oneself to any political _parti-pris_,
we may conveniently say a word of the ceramic history of Strassburg at
this point, although in the eighteenth century the town already belonged
to France.[164] The Hannong family had here from the beginning of the
eighteenth century been making fayence, and this family is of interest
to us as forming a link between the porcelain of Germany and that of
France. Charles François Hannong, probably with the assistance of a
German arcanist, attempted the manufacture of hard porcelain as early as
1721. It was his son Paul Antoine who first entered into negotiations
with the French for the sale of the secret of making hard porcelain.
This was in 1753. Not only did these negotiations come to nothing, but,
as we have already mentioned, Hannong was hampered in his attempts to
establish a porcelain factory in his native town. In 1755 we find him
with the elector-palatine at Frankenthal. After his death in 1760, the
factory at Strassburg was carried on for a time by his son, Pierre
Antoine, but in 1766 the latter went to France and started a factory
first at Vincennes, and later in the Faubourg St. Lazare, under the
patronage of the Comte d’Artois. Later still we find him employed at the
Vinovo works in Piedmont. His eldest son, Joseph Adam Hannong, struggled
on for some time at Strassburg under the protection of the local
magnate, the Cardinal de Rohan. Thus for more than sixty years four
generations of this family played a prominent part in the dissemination
of the knowledge of hard porcelain in Europe, although the actual wares
made by them are of little importance.[165]

The factory at the adjacent town of Niderwiller appears to have derived
its inspiration directly from Meissen. Porcelain was here made from
German clay as early as the sixties. At a later time the works belonged
to the Comte de Custine, and some well modelled biscuit figures, the
clay for which was obtained from Limoges, were then turned out.

SWITZERLAND.--A good deal of porcelain was made in the eighteenth
century both at Zurich and at Nyon, on the Lake of Geneva. The various
wares are well represented in several of the local Swiss museums.

The porcelain of ZURICH belongs essentially to the Saxon group. The
hard, greyish or dead-white paste, and the flowers or landscapes
carefully painted in opaque colours, point at once to the origin of the
ware. The factory was established as early as 1763, with the assistance
of an arcanist, one Spengler, from Höchst. The Swiss poet, Solomon
Gessner, took a great interest in the works, himself painting landscapes
on several pieces. From Ludwigsburg also came Sonnenschein, to model
some clever and lifelike figures. A coral-coloured ware made at this
time was much admired. The Zurich factory did not long survive the
French invasion: it was closed in 1803. This porcelain is marked in blue
under the glaze with a capital Z of German form (PL. D. 49).

At NYON, on the other hand, the influence came from Sèvres, in later
times at least, for on the earlier specimens the tulips, birds, and
landscapes are of a Saxon type. The white ware, _semé de
fleurettes_--blue violets and roses--is perhaps the most characteristic.
There were probably two factories here at the end of the eighteenth
century. Of these the better known one was established by Maubrée, a
flower painter from Sèvres, to whom is attributed the porcelain marked
with a hastily sketched fish in blue (PL. D. 50). Some of the Nyon
porcelain was decorated at Geneva, and at a later date we find more than
one artist of the latter town holding an important position at Sèvres;
indeed under Charles X., a Genevese, Abraham Constantin, who copied the
pictures of Raphael on porcelain, was director of the art school
attached to the royal factory.

HUNGARY.--A factory was established by Moritz Fischer at Herend, in
Hungary, early in the nineteenth century. The porcelain of Herend is of
especial interest to us, for Fischer appears to have mastered the
problem of producing the brilliant and jewel-like enamels of the
Chinese. Some of his imitations of the _famille rose_ are excellent. He
appears to have devoted himself to making coffee-cups and other small
objects for the Turkish market. There is an interesting collection of
his ware at South Kensington. The _rouge d’or_, the green and even the
black grounds of the Chinese are well imitated, but the blue, _sous
couverte_, and the iron red are not so successful. He also imitated the
porcelain of Sèvres and Capo di Monte. Fischer stamped his ware with the
word Herend in very small characters, and the Hungarian coat of arms is
sometimes added over the glaze (PL. C. 39).

       *       *       *       *       *

At the time of the great porcelain fever of the eighteenth century, of
which the culminating period may be held to be coincident with the Seven
Years’ War (1756-63), the North of Europe--Holland, Denmark, and
Russia--formed part of the great province that had its metropolis at
Meissen, while the southern countries--Spain and Italy (in part)--may be
said to have looked to Sèvres for their inspiration. As for England, its
allegiance was divided, but at the beginning, and certainly during the
best period, the French influence was predominant; and later on, as
regards the materials at least, we struck out a line of our own.

HOLLAND.--There is little of novelty or originality to be found in the
hard-paste porcelain made at this time in the North of Europe. The great
days of Dutch art were over long before the introduction of porcelain
into Holland, and the little that was then made fell readily into the
Saxon school of decoration. Somewhere about 1760 the Count of Gronsfeld
Diepenbroik established some of the Meissen workmen at Weesp. The mark
on this early ware is doubtless derived from the Saxon swords (PL. C.
40). Later, when removed to OUDE LOOSDRECHT, the works were under the
superintendence of a Calvinist _pastor_--his name is given as Moll. The
mark on his porcelain, however, M. O. L., certainly referred in the
first place to the place of manufacture (PL. C. 41). On the death of
the reverend director in 1782 the factory was removed to Amsterdam,
where the porcelain known generally as OUDE AMSTEL--a name that is often
made to include the other Dutch porcelain of the time--was manufactured.

At THE HAGUE, in 1778, a company was formed to make porcelain. This was
under the patronage of the local magnates. They obtained the assistance
of German workmen, and took the well-known badge of their town--a stork
holding a fish in its mouth--as a mark (PL. C. 42). This was painted in
blue _under the glaze_--for the native porcelain at least. In the case
of the foreign white ware, much of which was decorated here--the soft
paste of Tournai especially--the mark was painted _over the glaze_. The
somewhat heavily decorated porcelain of the Hague, painted with
landscapes, sea-pieces, and flowers, is now much sought after by the
Dutch. At the time, however, the competition of both Oriental and German
porcelain, of the enamelled fayence of Delft and later of the English
wares, left little place in Holland for a native porcelain.

SWEDEN.--The fayence and soft-paste porcelain made at Marieberg and at
Rörstrand--both places in the neighbourhood of Stockholm--received their
inspiration from Delft and Sèvres (or rather perhaps from Mennecy)
respectively. Some hard paste was also made at Marieberg about 1780. The
rare specimens of this ware are of considerable artistic merit. Of the
soft-paste Swedish porcelain there are some custard-cups, closely
imitating the Mennecy ware, both at South Kensington and in the Franks
collection. The hard porcelain (and also, it is said, a ware that
appears to be of a hybrid paste) bears as a mark the three crowns of the
house of Vasa (PL. C. 44).

DENMARK.--At Copenhagen there were some early attempts at a soft paste
made by a Frenchman named Fournier about 1760.[166] The mark--F. 5.--on
this ware refers to Frederick V., the reigning king. But the famous
factory of hard-paste porcelain, that has of late years shown so much
enterprise and originality,[167] was founded in 1772 by F. H. Müller, a
chemist and Government official, the materials being obtained from the
island of Bornholm. In this case the German influence came from Meissen,
and also, it would seem, by way of Fürstenberg, for we hear of a certain
Von Lang from that town (probably the Von Langen mentioned above), baron
and arcanist, who helped in the founding of the works. The factory was
taken over by the Government in 1779, and it was long worked at a loss.
The mark of three wavy lines in blue on this ware stands for the Sound,
the Great and the Little Belt (PL. C. 43). The curved mouldings,
radiating in sets of three from a central medallion, sometimes found on
bowls and plates, may also have a similar reference. This latter
decoration is shown well on a bowl at South Kensington, painted with
birds and flowers in gold frames. The handsome _cabarets_ and
dinner-services produced in the eighteenth century belong to the German
school of the time, and have little relation to the more recent
developments about which we shall have a word to say in chapter xxiii.

RUSSIA.--Peter the Great, at the instigation of his friend and ally,
Augustus of Saxony, is said to have projected a manufactory of porcelain
at St. Petersburg, but the scheme was not carried out till the time of
the Empress Elizabeth. This was probably about 1756, or perhaps
earlier, and she doubtless, a few years later, welcomed the Meissen
potters driven out by her mortal enemy, Frederick.[168] Under Catherine
II. these works rose to some importance, and among the many artists and
sculptors attracted to her court, not a few--Falconet, among
others--were employed as modellers or painters on porcelain. But on the
whole the Russian porcelain was influenced more by Saxon models, and we
hear that the gaps in the court services of Meissen ware were so well
replaced by native pieces that the new dishes and plates were not to be
distinguished from the old. The kaolin and the china-stone were derived
from native sources.

After the Napoleonic war the manufacture of gigantic vases, in the style
of those made at Sèvres under Brongniart’s _régime_, was attempted, and
several skilful artists migrated from France. Technically the porcelain
was not inferior to the hard paste of the latter country. The only mark
is the initial of the reigning Emperor or Empress in Russian characters
(PL. C. 46), surmounted sometimes by a crown, but beyond these letters
there is nothing Russian about the ware. The factory, which is still
carried on, has always been an appanage of the court, and its chief
produce has consisted in gala pieces for imperial presents.

Not much seems to be known about a certain Gardner, an Englishman, who
in 1787 organised a porcelain factory at Tver, near Moscow. Some
statuettes with his initials, written in Russian, have been attributed
to him. His name occurs in full, again in Russian letters, on some
small pieces of ribbed porcelain, decorated with green and gold. The
factory seems to have long preserved his name, for on a statuette of a
Russian peasant, in the Franks collection, the words _Fabrika Gardnery_
are accompanied by the initials of Alexander II. (PL. C. 45).




We have now to take up the history of the soft-paste porcelain of
France, and in the first place to follow the stages that intervene
between the early tentative ware made by Poterat at Rouen (see p. 239)
and the fully developed ‘artificial’ porcelain of Sèvres. We have, then,
to deal first with the wares of Saint-Cloud and Chantilly, and in part
with those of Lille and Mennecy-Villeroy.

But before saying anything of the different wares we had better go back
to the technical side of our subject, and give some explanation of the
term soft paste,[169] artificial paste, or frit paste.

We have come across something of this sort before in the case of the
Medici ware. This was essentially the combination of a glass with a fine
white clay. When we come to the French soft paste we find the kaolinic
element replaced by something between a calcareous clay and an impure
limestone, the _marne_ of the French, which may be rendered by our
somewhat vague expression, marl.

M. Vogt (_La Porcelaine_, Paris, 1893) quotes from a memoir drawn up in
1753 by Hellot, a prominent member of the Academy of Science, which well
illustrates the point of view of the time. Hellot knew all about kaolin
and petuntse, as described by the Jesuit missionaries, but he despaired
of finding the materials in France. M. de Réaumur, he tells us, made, it
is true, a greyish refractory ware from what he (Réaumur) claimed to be
the French equivalent of these materials, but the ‘firm, compact,
snow-like porcelain of China, what we commonly know as _Ancien Japon_
(_sic_) has yet to be imitated.’ After giving an outline of the history
of French soft paste up to this time (to this important contemporary
evidence we shall return shortly), Hellot claims that this soft paste is
equal to the real ‘Japan,’ except that the grain is less fine, while as
for ‘the Saxon ware, it is no porcelain at all except on the exterior.
When broken it is easy to see that it is merely a white enamel, only
harder than the ordinary enamel of painters.’ This, be it noted, is
written forty years after Böttger’s great discovery. We see by it how
well the secret was kept.[170]

_There is no question, therefore, but of soft-paste porcelain._ It is
thus that Hellot sums up his report, written at the critical period when
it was proposed to remove the Vincennes works to Sèvres, and place them
under more immediate royal protection, and for this verdict we have
every reason to be thankful.

It is from this same memoir, _Recueil de tous les procédés de la
Porcelaine de la Manufacture Royale de Vincennes_, that we obtain the
most accurate details of the composition of the soft paste made at this
time. It was a strictly private document, written expressly for the king
by Hellot, who had recently been appointed to the direction of the
Vincennes factory. This report was unearthed some time ago from among
the archives at Sèvres.

According to Hellot, writing in 1753, just as the Chinese combine the
more fusible petuntse with the kaolin--‘a kind of talc which neither
calcines nor vitrifies’--so with our frit, an artificial petuntse, we
must mix, not an unctuous fusible clay, but some fine white infusible
substance. Such a material is found in certain _marnes_ obtained from
the gypsum quarries near Paris.

The frit employed at Vincennes at this time--and the composition seems
to have varied little up to the last days of soft paste in France--was
essentially an alkaline silicate, containing also some lime and alumina,
as will be seen from the following recipe:--

  Fused nitre,             22 per cent.
  Sea salt,                 7    ”
  Alicante soda,            3·7  ”
  Rock alum,                3·7  ”
  Montmartre gypsum,        3·7  ”
  Fontainebleau sand,      60    ”

These ingredients, some of which are soluble in water, are fritted
together--that is to say, imperfectly fused--in a part of the kiln
specially reserved for them, great precautions being taken to regulate
the heat. After reducing the frit to powder, the superfluous salts had
to be thoroughly washed out by means of boiling water, before the
substance was fit for mixing with the ‘body’ constituent of the paste.

This body is prepared from the _grosse marne_ found at Argenteuil, by
careful sifting and decantation. Six parts of the prepared frit are
mixed with one part of the washed marl and with one part of a kind of
chalk called _blanc d’Espagne_ (this last substance was afterwards
dispensed with), and the whole thoroughly united by a grinding process
which lasted for nine days. The resulting paste was made up into balls
and allowed to ‘ferment’ for seven or eight months.

Now, if we glance over the various materials that have entered into the
composition of this very ‘artificial’ paste, we see that alumina, the
substance which, together with silica, we regard as the essential
element in all fictile materials, is present in very small quantities;
what there is of it can only be derived from the marl and from the alum
in the frit; and this inference is confirmed by an analysis made by
Salvétat--he found, indeed, only 2·23 per cent. of this earth in a
fragment of old Sèvres. It may safely be said that in no other fictile
ware is so small a quantity of alumina present. With this poverty of
alumina we may associate the want of plasticity--the extreme ‘shortness’
which distinguishes this clay, if clay it can be called. In order to
throw it on the wheel it had to be worked up with a certain quantity of
_chimie_, a mixture of black soap and fine glue; at a later time gum
tragacanth was used. Most of the soft paste, indeed, was made in moulds,
but even in this case the _pâte chimisée_ had to be employed. It was not
till a later time that these difficulties were in part overcome by the
introduction of the English process of ‘casting.’

The kilns at this time were small, with only one hearth, in which poplar
wood was burned, but the firing was sometimes continued for more than a
hundred hours. Hellot tells us that after the first firing more than
two-thirds of the charge had generally to be rejected. The
remainder--the successful biscuitware--was now polished with grit-stone,
before being dipped into the soup-like glaze slip: in the case of
vessels of complicated outline, the glaze was painted on with a brush.
This ‘enamel,’ as the French sometimes call it--the term must not be
confused with our use of that word--was essentially a silicate of lead,
soda, and potash--a flint or crystal glass, in fact, containing nearly
40 per cent. of litharge. Hellot describes its preparation as follows:
the constituents of the glaze, thoroughly mingled together, were melted
to a glass, which had then to be reduced to a fine powder, and mixed
with water and vinegar to form the slip. The presence of vinegar
hindered the deposition of the solid particles in the soup-like liquid,
and at the same time promoted the adhesion of the slip to the surface of
the biscuit. This biscuit, with its thick coating of glaze, was now
again fired, this time at a more gentle temperature.

The plain white ware was now handed over to the painters and gilders,
and it is at this stage that the advantage resulting from this thick
coating of an easily fusible, lustrous glaze asserts itself. The
pigments themselves, suspended in a flux of similar constitution, are at
the temperature of the muffle-stove completely incorporated with the
subjacent glaze, and do not, as in the case of the German and still more
of the later Sèvres hard paste, lie as a dead coating on the surface.

Hellot gives in his report numerous recipes for these enamel
colours--there are as many as twenty-five for the blacks alone--but from
these empirical data little is to be learned. It would seem, however,
that the ‘enamels of Venice,’ prepared doubtless by the Murano
glassblowers, were imported for this purpose.

The muffle-firing was a long and complicated process--the preliminary
heating in the case of large pieces occupied twenty-five hours. The
superintendence of the firing of each batch was delegated to one of the
painters--a most arduous and responsible task which often occupied as
much as fifteen days, for each piece had to pass to a fresh position
when a requisite degree of heat had been obtained.

The above summary will give some approximate idea of the complicated and
delicate processes involved in the fabrication of the _porcelaine de
France_ at the time when the ware that is now most prized by collectors
was being produced at the works. We must now give some account of the
forerunners--the soft-paste porcelains made at Saint-Cloud and at
Chantilly in the early part of the eighteenth century.

SAINT-CLOUD.--In 1695 the widow and children of Pierre Chicoineau (or
Chicanaux) petitioned the king for the sole privilege of making the
‘_véritable porcelaine de la même qualité, plus belle et aussi parfaite
et propice aux mêmes usages que la porcelaine des Indes et de la
Chine_.’ In granting the petition, the rights of the Poterat family of
Rouen are reserved; but it is stated that no porcelain had been made at
Rouen for several years. The earliest description, curiously enough, of
the manufacture of porcelain in France, is to be found in _An Account of
a Journey to Paris in the year 1698_, by Dr. Martin Lister. In speaking
of what he saw at the ‘potterie of Saint-Clou,’ Lister declares that the
painting of the ware surpassed that of the Chinese, nor was the glaze
inferior in whiteness and ‘smoothness of running without bubbles....
Again, the inward Substance and the Matter of the Pots was to me the
very same, firm and hard as Marble, and the self-same grain, on this
side vitrification. Further, the transparency of the Pots the very
same.’ After more than twenty-five years of experiment it was only, says
Dr. Lister, within the last three that the process had been brought to
perfection. We may therefore place the beginning of the porcelain of
Saint-Cloud about the year 1695.


In the _Mercure Galant_ of October 1700 we hear of frequent visits of
princes, lords, and ambassadors to the works of ‘M. Chicanaux,’ above
all of the young Duchesse de Bourgogne, who ‘stopped her carriage at the
gate to see the manufacture of fine porcelain which has not its like in
all Europe.’ This reads very like a modern _réclame_, but it is
important as showing the interest already taken by great people in the
new ware.

At a later time the Saint-Cloud works came more directly under the
patronage of the Dukes of Orleans, both the regent and his son ‘Louis le
Dévot.’ It was then in the hands of Henri Trou, who had married
Chicoineau’s widow. Earlier Chicoineau pieces (1702-1712) bear as a mark
the sun of Louis XIV. roughly traced in blue (PL. D. 51). At a later
time, under the Trou _régime_, we find a roughly drawn T surmounted by
the letters S.-C. (PL. D. 52). The specimens of this ware--there are
plenty of them in the French museums and several at South
Kensington--are seldom of any size, and the decoration is generally
sparingly applied to the milk-white ground. In the earlier pieces the
_lambrequins_ borders in under-glaze blue carry on the tradition of the
seventeenth century renaissance style in use at Rouen, and we find
similar patterns moulded in low relief.[171] The moulded surface is
often covered with a scale-like pattern (PL. XXXIII.): with this we may
probably identify ‘the quilted china of Saint-Cloud,’ of which there was
a tea-service at Strawberry Hill. But it is rather the Oriental
influence that is generally predominant; and the white ware of Fukien,
decorated with sprigs of prunus blossom, is closely copied. Of special
interest are some very successful imitations of the _famille rose_. On a
_trembleuse_ saucer at South Kensington[172] the _rouge d’or_ is used
with great effect; the way in which the pink is gradated with the white
enamel shows full command of the materials. This saucer bears the T of
the Trou family as a mark, but we unfortunately do not know the exact
date when this mark was first introduced, and still less for how long it
was employed.[173]

LILLE.--A manufactory of porcelain was founded at Lille as early as the
year 1711. The founders, in their petition to the mayor and council of
the town, acknowledge that their aim was to follow in the wake of the
Chicoineau family of Saint-Cloud, the only place in Europe, they say,
where porcelain was made. At the same time they seize the occasion to
attack the head of the Rouen works, who, they affirm, has attempted to
palm off his inferior wares at Paris, to the prejudice of the real
Saint-Cloud porcelain. Some side-light is thus thrown on the rivalry of
the Poterat and Chicoineau families. In fact, the porcelain made at
Lille closely resembles the Saint-Cloud ware. We find this especially in
the pieces with a white ground sparely decorated with _lambrequins_ of
blue. It was, however, evidently made with less care, and we do not find
the milky paste which is so great a charm in the Saint-Cloud porcelain.
The mark, the letter L, stands for the town of Lille. This factory of
soft paste does not seem to have lasted more than twenty years. Late in
the century hard porcelain was made for a short time in this town, and
it is claimed that it was at Lille that coal was first used for the
firing of porcelain. There is a plate in the Sèvres Museum inscribed
‘_Faite à Lille en Flandre, cuite au charbon de terre_.’ The manager,
Leperre Durot, was unsuccessful, however, in an attempt to introduce his
new fuel at Paris. In 1786 the Dauphin (he was only five years old at
the time) became patron of the factory at Lille, and the mark for the
few remaining years of its existence was a dolphin crowned.

CHANTILLY.--We have seen how close to nearly every _Residenz-Stadt_ in
Germany there sprang up a porcelain manufactory under the patronage of
the prince. In somewhat similar way the fashion spread in France. Here
the head of each branch of the royal house either took some already
established factory under his protection, or promoted the setting up of
new works. At this time, I mean at the beginning of the eighteenth
century, it was the mark of a loyal subject and good citizen to send the
family plate to the melting-pot and to forward the resulting bullion to
the mint to be coined into money, in this following the example of the
king. This was the case above all in 1709, when Louis was in great want
of money. We are told that the Duc D’Antin, ‘the perfect courtier,’
after a sacrifice of this kind, ‘_courut à Paris choisir force
porcelaine admirable qu’il eut à grand marché_.’ So that, in the words
of Saint-Simon, the goldsmiths were being ruined, and the makers of
fayence and porcelain enriched. This fashion gave, of course, a great
stimulus to the establishment of new factories. Thus the head of the
great house of Condé became the patron of the works established in 1725
by Ciquaire Ciron at Chantilly. In the letters patent granted in 1735 we
are told ‘_Notre bien aimé Ciquaire Ciron nous a fait représenter que
depuis plus de dix ans il s’est appliqué à la fabrique de la porcelaine
pareille à celle qui se faisait anciennement au Japon_.’ The prince,
Louis Henri,[174] already possessed a remarkable collection of this
Oriental porcelain, and some sixty examples of this ware made
_anciennement au Japon_, what we now know as Kakiyemon, are still to be
seen in the Château of Chantilly.

The earlier porcelain of Chantilly is remarkable in this, that following
the example of the enamelled fayence of the day, it is coated with an
opaque stanniferous glaze. On this ground, which resembles closely that
of the earliest Japanese ware, the peculiar decoration of the Kakiyemon
porcelain is closely copied.[175] Indeed, the delicate yet spirited
handling of this decoration--I would point especially to two cylindrical
vases mounted in silver in the Fitzhenry collection (PL. XXXIV.)--is
something that we are quite unaccustomed to in European porcelain. It
will be noticed, however, that the over-glaze blue enamel is somewhat
heavy in tone, and has evidently given trouble to the decorator.

At a later time the tin enamel gave place to a vitreous glaze similar to
that used at Mennecy, and the decoration most in favour was a somewhat
poor underglaze blue. On such ware, especially on plates, we find the
well-known ‘Chantilly sprig,’ so often imitated on English porcelain.
This pattern is distinguished by a leaf, or rather bract, of peculiar
shape at the branching of the twigs, and the design would seem to be of
Persian origin. It is interesting to compare it with the very similar
sprigs often seen in the decoration

[Illustration: _PLATE XXXIV._ CHANTILLY]

of the Medici porcelain. The shield of the Condé family is sometimes
found on plates of this ware, the ‘baton of cadency’ between the lilies
so reduced in size as to look like an accidental spot. The mark, a
hunting-horn, is carefully painted in red on the older pieces; later on,
it is found rapidly sketched in blue under the glaze[176] (PL. D. 53).

MENNECY-VILLEROY.--This time it is not a prince of the blood, but a
_très grand seigneur_, whose name we find associated with a group of
French porcelain. It was on the estate of the Duc de Villeroy, the son
of Louis XIV.’s notorious marshal, at Les Petites Maisons, near
Mennecy,[177] that Barbin began to make porcelain in the year 1735. The
ware he turned out is remarkable for a translucent body covered by a
brilliant and uniform glaze. Many kinds of decoration were tried by
Barbin and his successors during the forty years of the existence of
these works. This period of time well covers the culminating period of
soft-paste porcelain in France, and the Mennecy ware fairly represents
the school as a whole in its more modest efforts. The decoration with
scattered flowers (_bouquets de style français_) is perhaps the most
characteristic design on this ware, but more ambitious work in imitation
of Sèvres was attempted later. As at Saint-Cloud and at Chantilly, much
attention was given to the little daintily painted ‘toys’--patch-boxes,
cane-heads, and knife-handles--many of which were copied a little later
at Chelsea.

But the reputation of Mennecy rests above all upon its
_figurines_--little statuettes, generally brilliantly painted, though
some are covered with the plain white glaze only (PL. XXXV.). Others,
again, are in a biscuit of peculiar quality, and these last are at
times remarkably well modelled. The mark D. V. (PL. D. 54), doubtless
referring to the patron, was maintained up to the time of the removal of
the works to Bourg-la-Reine, near Sceaux, in 1773.

We have taken up the porcelain of Mennecy at this point, as the date of
its foundation is earlier than that of Vincennes. From its general
character, however, we might rather class it as a ‘younger sister’ of
Sèvres, while the other wares we have described, Saint-Cloud, Chantilly,
and Lille, form a distinct and earlier group by themselves. These latter
are distinguished from the later soft pastes of France, on the one hand,
by the predominance of designs either of Oriental origin or derived from
the French enamelled fayence of the seventeenth century; on the other,
by the restrained way in which the coloured decoration is applied, or
even by the total absence of colour, so that, as a whole, these wares
form an essentially white group of porcelain.

SMALLER FACTORIES OF SOFT PASTE.--There were already, in Paris, during
the early or Saint-Cloud period, some small private works where
soft-paste porcelain was made. We hear of one in the Faubourg St. Honoré
as early as 1722, belonging to the Veuve Chicoineau. De Réaumur, in
1739, mentions a factory in the Faubourg St. Antoine. Some other
porcelain works under the patronage of princes of the blood were erected
at a later date. The Duc de Penthièvre took a keen interest in the
porcelain made near to his _château_ at Sceaux, and this ware, first
made in 1751, is distinguished by its high finish and careful
decoration. So much cannot be said of the produce of the ducal kilns at
Orleans, where both fayence and soft-paste porcelain were made about the
middle of the century. Not long after, hard-paste porcelain was made at
Orleans by


Gérault, but it is doubtful whether all the pieces marked with the
Orleans label (of three points) (PL. D. 60) can be attributed to these
works rather than to the factory at Clignancourt. The works at Arras,
probably the last started with the object of making a soft-paste ware,
cannot be traced further back than 1771. Here the Demoiselles Delesseux,
with the support of M. de Calonne, manufactured blue and white ware in
competition with the neighbouring factory at Tournai.

TOURNAI.--Soft-paste porcelain was first made at Tournai in 1750, and
although the town is now in Belgium, the ware there manufactured in the
last century forms, with that made at Lille and Arras, a distinct group.
The mark of two swords in saltire and four small crosses (PL. D. 48) is
derived from the arms of Peterinck of Lille, the founder of the works.
At first a tower (PL. D. 47), from the town arms, was also used. Many
varieties of decoration were employed here both for blue and white and
enamelled ware. But before long the commercial spirit prevailed, and a
common ware was turned out in large quantities.

VINCENNES AND SÈVRES.--‘_La porcelaine de Sèvres est sans contredit la
plus belle qui existe._’ This is the dictum of no less an authority than
the late Baron Davillier, and we may doubtless accept it if we limit
ourselves to the porcelain of Europe. There can be no doubt but that the
work turned out by the royal porcelain works during the first fifteen or
twenty years of their existence takes an important, if not an essential,
place in the decorative art of the eighteenth century, and that, too, at
the best period of that art. As to the intrinsic artistic merit, if such
a thing exists, or even to the general decorative value of this ware,
compared, for instance, with the fayence of the Saracenic East or with
the porcelain of China and Japan, these are questions which we are
fortunately not called upon to answer here.

The _Porcelaines de France_, for that is the name given in the
eighteenth century to the ware produced under royal patronage, were
first made in the factory established in the riding-school at Vincennes,
and at the present day the works are within the confines of the park of
Saint-Cloud. It will, however, be convenient to include the whole series
under the name of Sèvres.[178]

Our knowledge of the technical side of the subject is derived, as we
have seen, from the report that Hellot presented to the king in 1753.
For the history of the foundation of the works and the selection of the
artists, we are chiefly dependent upon a memoir, written in 1781 for the
information of the Government, by Bachelier, an artist who had been
attached to the works as painter on porcelain since the year 1748.[179]
In this memoir we can trace the troubled history of the years of
ill-success and financial difficulties that preceded the final
establishment of the royal works at Sèvres--_Tantæ molis erat!_ ...

There were two names that we must always associate with this long
struggle: during the earlier period, at Vincennes, Orry de Fulvi, the
brother of the _contrôleur général de finance_; and after his death,
Madame de Pompadour. It is rather a shady story upon the whole, and at
the opening we are reminded of the adventures of the arcanist Ringler at
the various German courts. M. de Fulvi, who had long been interested in
experiments on the manufacture of porcelain, started at Vincennes with
the assistance of two worthless and drunken ‘experts’ (the equivalent
of the German ‘arcanists’) who had been tempted away from
Chantilly.[180] After repeated failures and much loss of money, the
recipes were stolen from one of those men by an astute and sober
assistant, one Gravant, to whom the whole charge of the mixing of the
materials was now confided.[181] Other workmen, and further secrets
relating to the preparation of the enamels were obtained from Chantilly
by means of a free expenditure of money, and a certain success was the
result. But meantime the funds of M. de Fulvi are exhausted, and resort
must be had to his brother, Philibert Orry, the finance minister. This
was in 1745, and we see in this step the first definite intervention of
the Government. A company was now formed, with important privileges for
thirty years, and by the influence of the minister, Hellot, from whose
report we have already quoted, was appointed chemical adviser,
Duplessis, the kings goldsmith (or rather silversmith--_argentier_) was
placed at the head of the mechanical department, and a few years later,
in 1748, Bachelier, to whom we are chiefly indebted for the history of
the works, became inspector of painting and gilding. Bachelier was not
of much note as an artist.[182] It was to his organising power and
energy, however, that the group of artists and sculptors who have given
such fame to the porcelain of Sèvres was first brought together.

On his appointment, says Bachelier, his first care was to abandon ‘_la
grossière imitation du Japon_’, and to furnish the _ateliers_ with
pictures, models, and prints, ‘_dans tous les genres, pour remplacer les
productions chinoises qu’on y copiait encore_.’[183]

Both M. de Fulvi and his brother died in 1751, the company was broken
up, and but for the energy and influence of a certain M. Hultz, of whom
nothing further is known, the manufacture would have come to an end. We
must remember that on the death of the finance minister, his former
enemy, Madame de Pompadour, practically took his place. Her power was at
that time at its height (she ‘reigned’ from 1745 to her death in 1764),
so that we may perhaps regard the M. Hultz of Bacheliers memoir as one
of the favourite’s ‘ghosts.’

It was certainly the influence of the Marquise de Pompadour that induced
Louis XV., in 1753, to sign the _arrêt_ by which the title of
_Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine_ was conferred on the establishment.
At the same time many important privileges were granted. The
establishment was now removed to Sèvres, where a plot of ground
containing some glass-works, the property of the favourite, was bought
for 66,000 livres, and the new factory set up in an adjacent domain that
had formerly belonged to the musician Lully. The king subscribed for a
quarter of the new capital. The troubles, however, were not yet ended:
the workshops were badly built and badly arranged. Finally, in 1759,
Louis took over all the shares of the company, which was at that time in
liquidation. A yearly grant of 96,000 livres secured the financial
position. In all these arrangements we see the hand of the Pompadour,
and still more in the keen way in which the business side of the
establishment was pushed. At the New Year a sale took place at
Versailles, in the palace. The king presided, and fixed the prices of
the porcelain. A large purchase of china on these occasions was a sure
way to royal favour and promotion.[184]

A good deal of uncertainty hangs over the nature of the early work
produced at Vincennes, and no definite mark has been assigned to the
factory, before the time when the permission to use the double L was
granted, in 1751 or 1753. When, however, the royal cipher occurs without
a year letter, there is some presumption in favour of a date previous to
the latter year (PL. D. 55).

We should infer from what Bachelier tells us that up to 1748 the designs
were chiefly derived from Oriental china. But in addition the following
forms and styles were in use in the pre-royal period at Vincennes:--

1. A rage for the production of artificial flowers, especially in plain
white ware, existed at one time, and when the Vincennes artists were
able to rival the Dresden flowers that had previously been imported,
from this department alone was a steady source of income obtained. The
flowers first produced were confined merely to small detached blossoms,
but in 1748 M. de Fulvi presented to the queen a trophy of white
porcelain which surpassed anything yet manufactured. On a base or
pedestal of white ware, mounted in gilt bronze, rises a small tree
completely covered with blossom of white porcelain, under which stand
three female figures of the same material. The whole trophy is about
three feet in height.[185] So again in 1750 we hear that the king had
ordered similar bouquets of flowers, ‘_peintes au naturel_,’ which were
to cost 800,000 livres! This for the famous Château de Bellevue, and for
Madame de Pompadour.[186]

2. Much of the porcelain made at Vincennes at this time (1740-50) was
decorated with scattered groups of flowers on a white ground, a style
then known as _fleurs de Saxe_. These flowers were often in high relief,
and in this case they formed a passage to the first group.

3. There exist certain small pieces, chiefly cups and saucers (of the
_trembleuse_ type, as usual at this time), with a ground of a deep blue.
A great vigour and depth is given to the colour (known later as _bleu du
roi_) by its somewhat irregular or mottled texture, a result, it is
said, of the manner in which it was painted on to the biscuit (it is an
underglaze colour) with a brush. We may note that the use of a dark
ground for porcelain was exceptional at this time in France. This _bleu
de Vincennes_ was imitated with some success by Sprimont at Chelsea.

Gravant (he who had the secret of the paste) had before 1753, so Hellot
tells us in his report, succeeded in making a paste much whiter than
that of Chantilly, so as to allow of a ‘_couverte crystalline et
parfaitement diaphane_’ in place of the opaque ‘_vernix de Fayance_’
(_sic_) used by Ciron at that factory. It is indeed important to
remember that before the works were removed from Vincennes, the soft
paste that we know as Sèvres had already reached its highest development
both as regards the materials and the decoration. The most

[Illustration: _PLATE XXXVI._ SÈVRES]

beautiful and characteristic colours were already used with complete
mastery, and (certainly by the year 1753) the paintings of the _cartels_
had attained a delicacy and finish never surpassed in later times,--this
is at least true of certain classes of subjects, the _amorini_ and
wreaths of flowers, for instance. In proof of this I need only point to
certain pieces of turquoise in the Wallace collection (Gallery XV., Case
A.), above all to the _soupière_ (No. 7), modelled, no doubt, after a
silversmith’s design. If we compare such pieces to the porcelain of
Saint-Cloud and Chantilly, or to the somewhat tentative work turned out
at Vincennes itself but a few years earlier, it is difficult to account
for this rapid advance, especially at a time of change and financial
difficulties. This is certainly the most interesting period--(I mean the
years just at the middle of the century)--in the whole history of French
porcelain, and we must remember that the change came about precisely at
the time (1751) when Madame de Pompadour’s influence became predominant.

The free access to the royal factory--the workshops seem to have been
regarded at one time as a fashionable lounge--made the preservation of
any secret processes very difficult. Bachelier says that ‘_on vient s’y
promener comme dans les maisons royales_,’ and he complains bitterly of
the loss of time, the dirt, and the accidents caused by the throng of
people. A succession of edicts, one as early as the year 1747, was
issued, restricting the access of visitors.

When the difficulties connected with the paste and the decoration had
been surmounted, a demand arose for protection against the competition
of outside works. With this object a whole series of edicts, many of
them of a contradictory nature, was issued between the years 1750 and
1780. Of these the special aim was to prevent or hamper the production
of porcelain in other works, above all in those within a certain radius
of Paris, or failing that, at least to restrict the use of colour, and
especially of gilding, by such works as had to be tolerated.

At the time of the removal to Sèvres the staff consisted of more than a
hundred workmen. Duplessis, the silversmith of the king, was intrusted
with the modelling and with the general artistic direction, and Hellot,
as we have seen, was what we should now call ‘scientific adviser.’[187]

Bachelier complains that the nature of the paste and glaze was
unfavourable to the production of small figures, ‘_luisantes et
colorées_,’ like those of Saxony. He claims to have been the first--this
was as early as 1748--to recommend the use of white biscuit to reproduce
in porcelain, among other things, ‘some of the pastoral ideas of M.
Boucher,’ and this style, he tells us, ‘had a great success up to the
time when M. Falconet, to whom the department was intrusted in 1757,
introduced a more noble style, one more generalised and less subject to
the evolution of fashion.’ Falconet was carried off to Russia in 1766,
to execute for Catherine II. the great statue of Peter the Great, and
Bachelier then took his place. It was under Falconet that the best work
was produced in this department, although at a later date such
well-known names as Robert le Lorrain, Pajou, Clodion, Pigalle, and
Houdon are found upon the books of the Sèvres works. No biscuit
statuettes of _pâte tendre_ were made after the year 1777.

The models after which the vases and other objects were designed--and
each year some fresh form was introduced--are still preserved at Sèvres.
We can trace in them, as in the mountings of the contemporary


furniture, the passage from the _haute rocaille_ of the fifties to the
simpler forms in favour at the beginning of the reign of Louis XVI.

The fashion of encasing the porcelain of China in metal mounts--for this
the large monochrome pieces were preferred--had come in at an earlier
period. The contorted forms of the gilt metal undoubtedly bring out by
contrast the simple outlines and smooth surfaces of the crackle and
celadon vases. In the Jones collection at South Kensington there are
some superbly fine examples of this collocation of French and Chinese
work. During the sixties and later it became the fashion to combine the
ormolu and other kinds of metal-work with the Sèvres porcelain in many
new ways, and the _pendules_ of the time show ingenious combinations of
the two materials in endless variety. It must be borne in mind that the
simpler forms that we associate with the reign of Louis XVI. were
already asserting themselves several years before the death of his

If we examine the choicer pieces in any collection of Sèvres china, we
find that the date-marks range within a very small interval of time--a
few years on either side of 1760. This narrow limit for the best work is
well exemplified both in the Jones collection and at Hertford House. We
shall return to this point when describing the turquoise and rose
grounds of this time.

Once established at Sèvres under direct royal patronage, the principal
efforts of the staff were directed to the designing and the execution of
elaborate dinner-services, destined to be presented in turn to the
various crowned heads of Europe. As early as 1754 a service was made for
Maria Theresa, _la Reine-Impératrice_. In 1758 a service with a green
ground and figures, flowers, and birds in cartels was commanded by Louis
XV. for presentation to the King of Denmark; in 1760 a _service de
table_ of two hundred and eighty-one pieces is presented to the
Elector-Palatine Karl Theodor, the porcelain enthusiast of Frankenthal.
In 1764, and again in 1772 and 1779, the _Ministre d’État_ Bertin
forwarded to the Chinese Emperor Kien-lung, through the medium of the
Jesuit missionaries, presents of Sèvres porcelain.[188] In 1768 and 1769
a further grand _service de table, fond lapis caillouté_[189] is
presented to the Danish king; in 1775 it is the turn of a Spanish
princess, and in 1777 of the emperor. In 1778 the king sends to the
Sultan of Morocco a tea-service, and at the same time presents other
pieces of china to the Moorish ambassador. In the same year the Empress
Catherine ordered at Sèvres the famous service of seven hundred and
forty-four pieces, _bleu céleste_ (_i.e._ turquoise) ground, decorated
with _camées incrustés_. The flowers in this set were painted by
Taillandier, and the gilding executed by Vincent and Le Guay. There is a
plate from this service at South Kensington: on the centre the letter E,
formed of minute flowers, and the Roman numeral II, stand for Ekaterina
the Second. To this set belong also the three large _brûle-parfums_
vases at Hertford House, and there are other pieces in private
hands.[190] The empress disputed the price (328,188 livres) demanded for
the service, and a long diplomatic correspondence on the point has been
preserved. M. Davillier gives some details of eight other royal services
made between this time and the end of the century, among them one with
green ground, for Prince Henry of Prussia (1784), of which

[Illustration: _PLATE XXXVIII._ SÈVRES]

several of the pieces were jewelled (_ornées d’émaux_), and in 1788 a
_grand service de table_ with vases, cups, pictures, and busts sent to
Tippoo Saib, Sultan of Mysore.

It is usual to distinguish the different services, _cabarets_ or
_garnitures_, by the colour of the ground which is maintained throughout
the set. Thus we find the _fond lapis_ mentioned above and the _fond
vert_, a peculiar shade of green very much admired at the time and often
repeated in the lacquered furniture and even in the panels of a whole

We have already spoken of the TURQUOISE BLUE, but the colour is so
important that we will quote more fully the somewhat enigmatical account
of it given by Hellot. ‘The _bleu du roi_ ground, called before the
Christmas fêtes of 1753 _bleu ancien_ (Oriental turquoise by daylight,
emerald or malachite by artificial light), with which his majesty has
been so satisfied, is composed as follows....’ We are then told that we
should purchase at the Sieur Moniac, in the Rue Quincampoise, opposite
to, etc.;--but it is needless to follow these details--in fact I only
quote a few words as a sample of Hellot’s innumerable recipes for
colours. This blue enamel, for it is an enamel, and not painted _sous
couverte_ like the old Vincennes blue, is composed of ‘_aigue-marine_’
(some preparation of copper) three parts, Gravant’s glaze one part, and
of minium one and a third parts. The ingredients are melted together, _à
très grand feu_, and the resultant glass finely powdered. ‘This powder
is dusted through a silk sieve, upon the _mordant_ that has been applied
to the surface of the already glazed porcelain. The piece is then heated
in the “painter’s stove” (the muffle). The first layer of colour comes
out sometimes crackled, and always irregular (_mal unie_). To make the
enamel uniform, the piece is again coated and again passed through the
painter’s stove.’ Not only the strength and quality of the enamel, but
its tint also, vary much, even in pieces dating from the best period;
some examples tend more to green than others. In the more brilliant and
intense examples of the _bleu céleste_, to give the colour its old or
one of its old names, the ground on close examination appears to be more
or less mottled, darker clots, as it were, floating about in a lighter
medium. Indeed some such ‘texture’ seems to be necessary to bring out
the full effect and brilliancy in the case of other glazes and
transparent enamels on porcelain, and to its absence the dull and
‘uninteresting’ aspect of much of our modern porcelain may be

ROSE POMPADOUR.--We have seen that the various shades of pink derived
from gold (see the note on p. 284) had for some time been used in the
decoration of porcelain, but that the recipes for them were regarded as
precious trade secrets. The _rose carnée_, or _Pompadour_[191] (often
wrongly called _rose du Barry_), belongs to this class. The credit of
its first successful employment as a uniform ground-colour is probably
due to the chemist Hellot.[192] This colour was in use at Sèvres for
only a short period of years, say between 1753 and 1763. The dated
specimens in the Wallace collection range between 1754 and 1759. One is
almost tempted to associate its sudden disappearance with some whim of
Madame de Pompadour; perhaps having in her possession nearly all that
had been made, she wished to ‘corner the market.’ The manufacture seems
to have ceased _before_ her death (1764), and afterwards the

[Illustration: _PLATE XXXIX._ SÈVRES]

secret was lost. The _rose carnée_ ground is often associated with one
of apple-green, but the combination is not a very pleasing one.

Great attention has always been paid to the GILDING at Sèvres. When
applied heavily to the handles and feet of vases, it replaces, in some
measure, the ormolu mounts. So, when surrounding the little pictures
painted on the _cartels_ of vases and bowls, or on the centre of plates,
this gilding represents in position and design the gold frame of the
period. At the time of the reorganisation of the works in 1753 we find,
along with Bachelier and Duplessis, a certain Frère Hippolyte, a
Benedictine monk, mentioned as the possessor of secret processes of
gilding, and he was well paid for his periodical visits to the works.
Bachelier, writing in 1781, has a note protesting against the excessive
employment of gold. The prohibition of its use at other porcelain
factories at this time was based, he says, on ‘economic grounds,’ that
the metal might not be lost for commerce. ‘This enormous expenditure of
gold,’ he protests, ‘is the more revolting, inasmuch as it is in bad
taste.’ Bachelier distinguishes the ‘_or bruni en effet_’ from the ‘_or
bruni en totalité_.’ By the use of the first, in opposition both to the
unburnished and to the plain polished gold, it was intended to imitate
chiselled metal (the ormolu mounts), and this method of burnishing, we
are told, should be confined to large vases which are not subjected to
any wear and tear by cleaning or otherwise. The gold, in all cases, was
simply sprinkled on without the admixture of any flux, and the
burnishing was carried out chiefly by women in a special department of
the works. This burnishing was effected _au clou_, that is, by means of
a stump of iron inserted at the end of a stick. Agate burnishers were
not introduced till a later period. Great pressure was required in the
earlier method, resulting in deeply incised lines, and there is less
uniformity of surface than where the agate is used.

The JEWELLED SÈVRES has never found much favour in France, and the only
name the French have for this decoration--_porcelaine ornée d’émaux_--is
not very distinctive. A transparent, glassy, or sometimes an opaque
enamel of very brilliant tint is applied in the form of little beads
standing out in relief and set in gold mountings. This application of
‘_appliqués_ gems in chased gold setting,’ unless used with great
delicacy and moderation, produces a tawdry and overloaded effect, above
all when applied upon coloured grounds. But when these little
‘paste-jewels’ are set upon the soft white of the Sèvres _pâte tendre_
the result is sometimes very pleasing. On a cup and saucer belonging to
Mr. Currie, now at South Kensington, the ruby and turquoise jewels are
connected by branches of gold overlaid with a transparent green enamel
(PL. XL.). On the other hand, on a large ewer and basin of turquoise,
with a decoration of gold, in the ‘Londonderry Cabinet’ at Hertford
House, which has the date-letter for 1768, the original design is
capriciously overlaid by a series of jewelled chains which (if we are to
trust the date-mark on the ewer) must certainly have been added at a
later time. Indeed the manufacture of this jewelled ware seems to have
been confined to the years 1780-86.

When a school of painting was first established at Sèvres, it was to the
fan-painters and to the miniature-painters in enamel that Bachelier
turned for assistance, and we can detect the mannerisms peculiar to
these two schools in the decoration of some of the earlier pieces made
at Sèvres.

MARKS.--By the royal decree of 1753, from which


we have already quoted, it was ordered that all pieces should be marked
with the well-known royal cipher, the double L, and that a letter-mark
indicating the year should be added (PL. D. 56). The single letters of
the alphabet carry us from 1753 to 1776; after that double letters were
used till 1793, when the king’s initial was replaced by the letters R.
F., with the addition of the word Sèvres. A mark of this latter kind was
in use till the end of the century, after which time no more soft paste
was made.

Each artist marked his work with a monogram or a private sign, often
suggested by a play upon the syllables of his name, as in the case of
the canting arms of heraldry. For example, ‘2000’ (vingtcents) was
adopted by Vincent, the famous gilder; a branch of a tree by Dubois;
and, more strangely still, a triangle, the sign of the Trinity, by an
artist named Dieu. These marks were placed underneath, or by the side
of, the royal cipher. The marks of more than a hundred artists have been
identified from the records kept at Sèvres--painters of flowers,
garlands, landscapes, marines, genre-subjects, and finally gilders. A
complete list of these men, with their marks, may be found in Garnier,
Chaffers, and other writers on the subject.

The manufacture of true kaolinic porcelain was begun in 1769, but the
soft paste continued to be made for another thirty years, side by side
with the new ware. It was not till the year 1804 that it was finally
abandoned by Brongniart, the new director. He found the soft-paste ware
unsuitable for the big pieces now ordered by the Imperial Government.
The paste was difficult to work, the preparation was expensive, and the
dust formed both from the paste and from the lead glaze was injurious to
the health of the workmen. One or two attempts have since been made at
Sèvres to revive the old ware, but they have fallen through in every

Brongniart, in 1804, to provide funds for the impoverished works and to
pay the arrears of wages to the workmen, threw on the market the large
stock of plain white soft paste that had accumulated in the magazine.
Now at that time there were in Paris many skilled porcelain painters,
some of them ex-employés at Sèvres, and others, men who made a living by
painting on the plain ware sent from Limoges and other factories. These
‘chambrelans’ (they painted at home, _en chambre_, and corresponded to
our English ‘chamberers’) were now employed by the dealers who had
eagerly bought up the ware that Brongniart had parted with.[193] They
painted and gilt this white ware in imitation of the Sèvres porcelain of
the best period so successfully that the services they turned out have
found their way into royal collections. This ware, in fact, forms a
group by itself, quite apart from the later imitations of the _pâte
tendre_, which, in every degree of merit and demerit, are now found in
the china-shops of Europe and America. M. Garnier points out three signs
by which this pseudo-Sèvres may be recognised: 1. The green prepared
from the newly introduced chromium is of a warm yellowish tint, and
displays none of the submetallic tints so often to be seen in enamels
coloured by copper, as in the _famille verte_ of China. 2. The gold on
this bastard ware, burnished with an agate polisher, differs in quality
of surface from the old gilding worked _au clou_. 3. The date-marks and
painters’ monograms were copied at hazard from the old pieces--at that
time no list of these marks had been made public--so that, for example,
the monogram of a gilder may be found on a piece decorated in colours



The soft paste of Sèvres, even during the period of the fifties and
sixties, when the most exquisite ware was being made, seems always to
have been regarded somewhat as a make-shift, to be employed until the
materials for making a true porcelain should be discovered in France.
For it was the ignorance of the true nature of kaolin, and where to look
for it, that so fortunately delayed its introduction at Sèvres. As early
as the Vincennes days, one of the Hannongs of Strassburg had offered to
sell his secret, and this offer was repeated at a later time by himself
and by his son. At Sèvres, before 1760, two German workmen were retained
to teach the Saxon process, but the materials had still to be obtained
from Germany.

Meantime Macquer, who had succeeded to the post of scientific adviser on
the death of Hellot, had been experimenting on his own account, and
above all encouraging others to search for the precious white earth
within French territory. At length, in 1760, some samples were sent from
Alençon, from which a true porcelain was made, but of poor quality and
of a grey colour. Outside the Sèvres works the younger Hannong had set
up a factory at Vincennes, and the Comte de Brancas Lauraguais, whom we
shall meet with again in England, had by 1764 begun his experiments and
his search after deposits of kaolin. There still exist a few
portrait-medallions moulded in hard porcelain, which, on the ground of
the letters B. L. engraved on the back, have been attributed to that
energetic nobleman.

The introduction, however, of the hard-paste porcelain at Sèvres dates
from the discovery, in 1768, at Saint-Yrieix, near Limoges, of those
famous deposits of kaolin which have ever since that time been the main
resource of the French porcelain industry.[194] Before the end of the
year 1769 Macquer was able to show to the king the first samples of this
new ware. The hard paste made for some years after this date was not of
the ‘severe’ type adopted later on. Not only did it contain as much as 9
per cent. of lime, but, the kaolin employed being less pure, contained
probably a good deal of mica--in fact, this first type of French hard
paste approached in composition that of the Chinese. It is even more
important to note that the glaze used at the same time was of an
entirely different nature from the pure felspathic covering afterwards
adopted. It was composed of Fontainebleau sand 40 per cent., potsherds
of hard porcelain 48 per cent., and chalk 12 per cent. As a result, it
was possible to decorate the surface with brilliant translucent enamels
of some thickness.

It was the introduction of the felspathic glaze in 1780 that gave the
final blow to the effective decoration of Sèvres porcelain. This glaze
is made by simply fusing a natural rock (pegmatite) consisting of a
mixture of potash felspar with a small quantity of quartz. The ease with
which this glaze can be prepared, its hardness and uniformity of
surface, led to its universal adoption not only at Sèvres but in the
porcelain works of the Limoges district that have for the last hundred
years supplied France with ordinary domestic wares--for such use its
hardness renders it eminently suitable. But, as we have said, this
combination of refractory paste and hard glaze is incompatible with any
brilliancy of decorative effect, the enamel colours are quite unable to
incorporate themselves with subjacent glaze, they lie dull and dead on
the surface, and the faults of the German porcelain are exaggerated.

So with the paste, a much harder and more refractory type was introduced
at the beginning of the next century, and (apart from the recent partial
introduction of a milder type for special purposes) this type has
remained in use to the present day. The lime in Brongniart’s new paste
was reduced to 5 per cent., while the amount of kaolin (65 per cent.) is
probably greater than in any other porcelain. There has been a reaction
lately at Sèvres against this refractory ware, but the old formulas are
still employed for the porcelain made for practical domestic use. When,
however, brilliancy of effect and artistic decoration are aimed at, a
completely new type both of paste and glaze has been in use since the
year 1880, and concomitantly with the imitation of the Chinese
monochrome wares, an attempt has been made to follow as closely as
possible the pastes and glazes of the Chinese. M. Vogt, the present
technical director at Sèvres, who has had so much to do with these
changes, gives the following formula for the composition of the new
porcelain: kaolin 38 per cent., felspar 38 per cent., quartz 24 per
cent. The lime, it will be seen, has been completely eliminated from the
paste; on the other hand, the glaze contains as much as 33 per cent. of
the _Craie de Bougival_.

It would be a dreary task to enter with any detail into the history of
the Sèvres works during the hundred years following the first
introduction of the hard paste. This period is associated in most minds
with the colossal vases that are to be found in so many of the palaces
and museums of Europe. To judge from these examples, it would seem that
the chief object both of the design and the decoration was to conceal as
far as possible the nature of the material used in their composition.
You have first to persuade yourself that you are looking at something
made of porcelain: once convinced of this, you marvel at the technical
difficulties that have been overcome in its manufacture, but what it
never even occurs to one to look for in these monstrous vases, is any
trace of that beauty of surface and brilliancy of decoration that we are
accustomed to associate with the substance of which they are composed.

The ‘Medici Vase’ now in the Louvre is probably the earliest of this
long series. This vase dates from the year 1783, and it is nearly seven
feet in height. But it was in the pseudo-classical style of the empire,
when encouraged by Napoleon’s love of the gigantic, and by his desire
‘_à faire parler la porcelaine_,’[195] that this new application of
porcelain found its full expression. It is then that we find vases,
candelabra, _surtouts de table_ and clocks, in styles distinguished as
Egyptian, Etruscan, Imperial, and Olympian. After this we can follow the
decline of taste in the succeeding _régimes_ till, with the total
extinction of all feeling for harmony of colour and unity of
composition, we are landed--in the reign of the ‘bourgeois king’--in the
style or absence of style which is the French equivalent of our ‘Early

There is one name above all others that is associated, at Sèvres, with
this long period, that of Alexandre Brongniart, who was director of the
works from the year 1804 until his death in 1847. The son of a
well-known architect, and himself a fellow-worker with Cuvier, he
attained some distinction both as a geologist and as a chemist. It was
indeed from the point of view of a man of science that he approached the
subject of ceramics,--as a geologist to examine the position and
stratigraphical relation of any material suitable for fictile purposes,
as a chemist to analyse these materials and to discover fresh metallic
combinations suitable for glazes and enamels.

It was at this time, and chiefly under the influence of Brongniart,[196]
that the palette of the enameller was enlarged by the introduction of so
many new colours, the employment of which gives a new _cachet_ to the
decoration of the nineteenth century. Perhaps the most important advance
was in the employment of oxide of zinc in the flux, by means of which
the colours of many metallic oxides are developed and sometimes altered.
The green derived from chromium is essentially a nineteenth century
colour, and as it resists the highest temperature this green can be
used, like the cobalt blue, as an under-glaze colour. From the chromate
of lead an orange-red is obtained--the _rouge cornalia_, a crude and
dangerous colour, and one that does not withstand high temperatures. An
orange-yellow from uranium, and a deep and uniform black from iridium,
were also introduced at this time or not long afterwards. The ‘English
pink,’ the lilac tint so extensively used in the transfer-printing of
earthenware, was successfully imitated by adding a small quantity of
oxide of chromium to a flux containing oxides of tin, lime, and alumina.
The celadon green of Sèvres is derived, not from the protoxide of iron,
but from the sesqui-oxide of chromium, with the addition of a minute
quantity of copper.

Brongniart’s great work, the _Traité des Arts Céramiques_, still remains
our main authority on the technical and scientific side of the art of
the potter, and it was he who, by establishing the museum and
organising the laboratories at Sèvres, made that town a centre for all
who are interested not only in the special branch of porcelain, but in
the whole field of ceramic art. The position established by him has been
well maintained by his successors, by Salvétat, by Ebelmen, by Deck, and
at the present time by MM. Lauth and Vogt on the technical side--above
all by Édouard Garnier, the present director of the Sèvres Museum.[197]
These men have succeeded, in spite of much opposition, in again bringing
the national manufactory of porcelain at least on to a level with the
artistic movement of the day.

In tracing the history of the Sèvres porcelain during the last hundred
years and more we can find at least one interesting aspect--we can
follow the steps by which the ware has responded to the social and
political changes that have followed one another in France during that
time. The affectation of simple and homely tastes, and the sentimental
tone fashionable in society during the years preceding the Revolution,
are reflected in both the forms and the painting of the ware then made.
The classical spirit that already in the time of Louis XVI. had found a
place alongside of these idyllic aspirations somewhat later, under the
lead of David, ruled every form of art. The various phases of the
Revolution are reflected in the decoration of the porcelain, which even
became a means of political propaganda. At the Hôtel Carnavalet, the
museum at Paris consecrated to the history of the city, the political
changes of this period may be traced in a series of plates and cups,
some of them of Sèvres porcelain, decorated with emblems and allegorical
figures relating first to the liberal monarchy of the early years of the
Revolution, and then in the sterner days of the Convention (when indeed
the existence of the works was only saved by the presence of mind of
the minister Paré) to the patriotic efforts of the leaders, and to the
successes of the republican armies. Portraits of the heroes of the
national assemblies and of the clubs, surmounted by caps of liberty and
framed in arrangements of pikes and drums, replaced the nymphs and
flowers of an earlier period, and even the guillotine, it is said, has
found a place in the decoration. A few years later the military element
was even more predominant. Eagles and thunderbolts, surrounded by
trophies of war, battle-scenes and the entry into Paris of the
victorious legions, commemorate the conquests of Napoleon.

After the Restoration the decoration of the gigantic vases, each new one
overtopping its predecessor, became more and more pictorial. To obtain a
better field for this pictorial display the greatest pains were taken to
produce large plaques of porcelain, some as much as four feet in length,
on which a school of accomplished artists painted laborious
reproductions of famous pictures, ancient and modern. Not a few of these
enamel-painters, at this time, came from Geneva, and some of the ablest
were ladies. Many remarkable specimens of this misdirected skill may be
seen in the Sèvres Museum, and also in a room of the picture-gallery at

Under the republican _régime_ that succeeded the revolution of 1848, it
was again proposed for a moment to sever the connection with the State,
but with the establishment of the second empire a fresh life was given
to the manufactory, on the appointment of Dieterle, an artist of repute,
to the directorship. Some new developments were now attempted,
especially in the introduction of coloured pastes. It was only after
many fruitless attempts that any results were obtained by this new
system. It is indeed a process quite foreign to the nature of porcelain,
and even when technically successful the result is far from
satisfactory. At a later time, however, the experience gained by the
experiments of Salvétat enabled a potter of great skill and some feeling
for art to employ the coloured pastes with greater simplicity and better
effect. M. Solon, since so well known in England, was the most
successful worker in this material. The decoration in his hands took the
form of a white slip, or _barbotine_, laid on a coloured ground. After
firing, the light and shade of the design is brought out by the varying
thickness of the now translucent coating, which allows more or less of
the coloured ground to be seen through it. In spite of its delicacy and
refinement the effect of this work is somewhat effete, both in style and
colour. In inferior hands, working with poorer material, the result is

At the present time, after experiments with many materials--the
crystalline glazes made with bismuth were at one time in favour--it is
to the production of artistic effects by means of single glazes that the
greatest attention is given at Sèvres, following more or less in the
lines of the _flambé_ wares of China. Not long since, a proposal was
again made in the Chamber of Deputies that the support of the Government
should be withdrawn from the factory. It is said that a timely report in
an English paper to the effect that, in such a case, the works would be
run by an Anglo-American syndicate, had not a little to do with the
defeat of this motion.

edicts and proclamations by which it was attempted to maintain the
monopoly of the royal works at Sèvres, there were in Paris, in the time
of Louis XVI., a number of private factories, some of them under the
patronage of members of the royal family.

It was in Paris that Brancas Lauraguais, as early as 1758, made his
experiments with kaolin, and here, in the Saint-Lazare district, one of
the Hannong family (Pierre Antoine, of the third generation, the same
who had lately failed at Vincennes) made porcelain after the German
style, perhaps before 1770. These works were patronised at a later day
by the king’s brother, the Comte d’Artois.

Again, in 1773, one Locré started in the Rue Fontaine au Roi the
‘_manufacture de porcelaine Allemande de la Courtille_.’ His marks of
arrows (PL. D. 59), torches, or later, ears of wheat, crossed in
imitation of the Saxon swords, are found on ware of some artistic merit.

But perhaps the most remarkable of the Parisian factories was that
started at Clignancourt, in 1775, by Pierre Deruelle, under the powerful
protection of Monsieur (the king’s brother, afterwards Louis XVIII.).
The royal edicts (as indeed was often the case elsewhere) against the
use of gold were ignored in this case, and the Sèvres ware--the simpler
forms then in fashion--was cleverly imitated. The earlier mark, a
windmill (PL. D. 61), pointed to the famous _moulin_ on the neighbouring
Montmartre. At a later time the letter M, under a crown, referred to the
royal patron.

The queen herself took under her patronage the factory started in 1778
by Lebœuf in the Rue Thiroux. This is the ‘_Porcelaine de la Reine_,’
marked with the letter A under a crown (PL. D. 62), often decorated with
leaves and little sprigs of the _barbeau_, the cornflower, then so much
in fashion. These flowers, indeed, may be found on many other wares,
English and French, about this time.

The Duc d’Angoulême was the patron of the works started in 1780, in the
Rue de Bondy. It is noteworthy that this factory survived, still under
the original founders, Guerhard and Dihl, to the days of Louis XVIII.
Dihl was, as it were, a forerunner of Brongniart, being the first potter
in France to employ the newly discovered colours derived from rarer
metallic bases. The Rue de Bondy factory had also the credit of
producing elaborate copies of pictures on plaques of porcelain before
such things were attempted at Sèvres.

The factory established in 1784 at the Pont aux Choux is chiefly
remarkable for the patronage of the Duc d’Orléans, Philippe Égalité.
Starting with the brother of Louis XIV., whose arms are found on
gigantic vases of ‘old Japan,’ this was the fifth member of the Orleans
family who had interested himself with porcelain, in one way or another.

I have only mentioned a few of the more important Parisian factories.
Franks, in his _Catalogue of Continental Porcelain_, gives a list of
seventeen works. Examples of most of these may be found either in the
Franks collection or in that of Mr. Fitzhenry.

After the Restoration the work done in Paris became more and more
confined to the decoration of porcelain made elsewhere. A special
industry--for such it may well be called--was the imitation of older
wares, both Oriental and European. For this somewhat ambiguous work the
Samson family has acquired a European reputation.

At the present day many more or less amateur potter-artists are working
in Paris. Specimens of their work may be studied in the yearly _salons_.
It is no uncommon thing to see--in the neighbourhood of the Panthéon,
for instance--a notice in a window pointing out to those interested,
that a kiln for porcelain or fayence will be fired at such and such a

During the last hundred years Limoges has become more and more the
centre of the porcelain industry of France. A very hard, refractory
porcelain is here made from the excellent kaolin of Saint-Yrieix, and
this ware not only occupies in France the position of our Staffordshire
earthenware and semi-porcelain, but competes with these wares in the
markets of the world. One of the largest works was started some years
ago with American capital, and the United States, until lately, drew
their principal supplies of porcelain from this district.[198] It is to
a chemist attached to one of these factories, to M. Dubreuil, that we
are indebted for our best account of the technical and chemical
processes employed at the present day in the manufacture and decoration
of porcelain (see the work quoted on p. 15). At Limoges there is a
ceramic museum, the most important in France after that at Sèvres, the
contents of which have been described by M. E. Garnier in a catalogue
which, as far as continental porcelain is concerned, has, so far, no



The porcelain made in Italy in the eighteenth century is not of much
importance either from a technical or an artistic point of view. With
the exception of the Capo di Monte ware and its imitations, examples are
rarely found in English collections. On the whole the decoration is poor
in effect, and closely follows in the wake of the German wares. This is
the case at least with most of the porcelain made in the north of Italy.
Following, probably unconsciously, the example of the early Medici ware,
the refractory element in the eighteenth-century porcelain of Italy has
generally been found in a natural kaolinic clay which here replaces the
quartz-sand and the lime of the French soft paste, and it is this
peculiarity in their composition which led Brongniart to form a special
class for what he called the hybrid pastes of Italy.

VENICE.--There is, as we have seen, strong evidence that porcelain was
made in Venice in the sixteenth century, but such evidence is,
unfortunately, only documentary. We are in almost as bad a position when
we come to the ware manufactured in the city, perhaps as early as 1720,
by the Vezzi, a family of lately ennobled goldsmiths (see Sir W. R.
Drake, _Notes on Venetian Ceramics_, London, 1868, privately printed).


ware was made by Saxon workmen with clay obtained from Saxony. To this
factory, however, we can safely attribute the tall cup and saucer, with
the arms of Benedict XIII. (1724-30), and the mark ‘Ven^a’ (PL. D. 63),
in the Franks collection (No. 446).

At this time Hunger, the Saxon painter and gilder, was in Venice. He was
already back at Meissen in 1725, and Dr. Brinckmann thinks that he may
have brought back from Venice the process of passing the gilding through
the muffle, which about that time replaced, at Meissen, the older plan
of ‘lac-gilding.’ The Vezzi works were closed in 1740, and not till 1758
do we hear of fresh attempts to imitate the Meissen ware. This time it
was a Saxon family driven out from Meissen by the war, one Hewelcke and
his wife, who set up a short-lived factory in which they attempted to
make porcelain ‘_ad uso di Sassonia_.’

It was probably with the assistance of Hewelcke that Geminiano Cozzi in
1764 established the porcelain works where (as we learn from the report
drawn up by the _Inquisitor alle Arti_ a few years later) he gave
employment to forty-five workmen. Cozzi made porcelain ‘_ad uso di
Giappone_,’ much of which was exported to Trieste and the Levant.[200]
This ware, decorated in Oriental style, must have been made exclusively
for the trade with the East, for, to judge from the specimens in our
museums, it was rather the ware of Meissen than that of Imari that Cozzi
took as his model. We find on his porcelain small views, especially
coast-scenes and ports, outlined in black and gold; again, on tea-and
coffee-services, flower-pieces and _chinoiseries_. He turned out also
some biscuit and glazed statuettes of considerable merit. Cozzi’s
factory survived until 1812. An anchor in red, larger than that used at
Chelsea, and of a different shape, is the mark usually found on this
china[201] (PL. D. 64).

LE NOVE.--A Venetian family, the Antonibon, had early in the eighteenth
century established an important manufactory of majolica at Le Nove,
near Bassano. Later on they turned their attention to porcelain and,
after the year 1760, Pasquale Antonibon produced some successful ware
marked with a star (PL. D. 65). One or two well modelled and carefully
finished specimens of this porcelain at South Kensington show the
influence of both Meissen and Sèvres. These works were in operation as
late as 1825.

VINOVO.--In the royal castle of Vinovo or Vineuf, near Turin, some
unsuccessful endeavours to manufacture porcelain were made with the help
of one of the younger Hannongs of Strassburg. A Turin doctor, Vittore
Amadeo Gioanetti, who had already made numerous experiments with the
clays and rocks of the district, met with better success about 1780. The
paste of this ware contains a considerable amount of silicate of
magnesia, obtained from a deposit of magnesite discovered in the
neighbourhood by the doctor.[202] This hybrid ware is more easily
fusible than a true porcelain, but it resists well rapid variations of
temperature. The usual mark is the letter V surmounted by the cross of
the house of Savoy (PL. D. 66).

CAPO DI MONTE.--Here in the northern suburbs of Naples, just beneath the
Royal Palace, an important factory of soft-paste porcelain was
established in 1742. Don Carlos, of Bourbon-Farnese extraction, had
recently exchanged his dukedom of Parma for the throne of the Two
Sicilies. In 1738 he had married a Saxon princess, but there is little
sign of any German influence either in the design or composition of the
ware made at his new porcelain factory at Capo di Monte. Like his cousin
at Versailles at a later date, he took the keenest interest in the sale
of his porcelain. An annual fair was held in front of the palace, and a
large purchase there was a sure passport to the favour of the king, who
is even said to have worked as a potter himself. When in 1759 Don Carlos
succeeded to the throne of Spain as Charles III., he, as it were,
carried his porcelain works with him, taking away the best workmen, so
that little of interest was made at Naples after that date.

To this earlier period belong the plain white pieces often in imitation
of sea-shells, or again resting on a heap of smaller shells moulded
probably from nature (a very similar ware was made at Bow and other
English factories). We find also highly coloured statuettes and groups
of figures. But the name of Capo di Monte is associated above all with
another style of decoration. The surface of the ware in this case is
covered by groups of figures, mythological subjects by preference, and
by vegetation, moulded in low relief and delicately coloured. This was
the ware imitated at Doccia in later days, and also, it would seem, at
Herend, in Hungary. But perhaps the most characteristic pieces then made
at Naples are the little detached figures, generally grotesques,
delicately modelled and painted (PL. XLII.).

In this Capo di Monte porcelain we may note generally the prevalence of
extreme rococo forms. The glaze of the white ware has a pleasant warm
tone resembling that of some of the Fukien porcelain, which may in part
have served as a model.

When the factory was re-established first at Portici and then again at
Naples, a very different influence is perceptible. There is a service at
Windsor presented by the King of Naples to George III. in 1787,
decorated with ‘_peintures Hetrusques_,’ that is to say, with
reproductions of antiques in the Museo Borbonico. This later ware
generally bears as a mark an N surmounted by a crown.

DOCCIA.--The interest of the factory at Doccia, some five miles to the
west of Florence, where majolica and many varieties of porcelain have
been made for the last one hundred and seventy years, centres round the
Ginori family. The founder of those works, the Marchese Carlo
Ginori,[203] who belonged to an old Florentine family, was sent, in
1737, by the Grand Duke on a diplomatic mission to the Emperor Francis
I. He had already, at his villa near Sesto, succeeded in making some
imitations of Oriental porcelain, and on his return from Vienna he
brought back with him the arcanist Carl Wandhelein. With his assistance
Ginori was able in a short time to turn out some well modelled
statuettes. The paste, however, was not very white or uniform, and the
larger pieces are generally disfigured by fissures. To this time belongs
probably a large statuette of a crouching Venus at South Kensington.
This kind of ware had its inspiration, no doubt, in the ambitious
attempts to replace the works of the sculptor with which the Meissen
factory was occupied about this time. Ginori was soon after appointed
Governor of Leghorn,[204] and he is said to have despatched a vessel to
China expressly to bring back the kaolin of that country.

[Illustration: _PLATE XLII._ 1, 2 AND 3--CAPO DI MENTE 4--DOCCIA]

The works at Doccia and the schools and museums attached to them are
frequently referred to by our eighteenth century travellers. There
appears to have been a period of decline, as was not unnatural, during
the Napoleonic wars, but by the early part of the nineteenth century the
factory at Doccia had become one of the most important in Europe. On the
death of the founder, in 1757, the works had been carried on by his son
Lorenzo, and he in his turn was succeeded by Carlo Leopoldo, who
introduced a new type of furnace. This remarkable dynasty of noble
potters has carried on the Doccia works to the present day.

Beside a large outturn of enamelled fayence and of hard porcelain, _ad
uso di Francia_, a milder or hybrid type of paste has been largely made,
and the materials have been obtained from many sources, native and
foreign. The dealers’ shops in Italy have been inundated with imitations
of the old majolica, and with the help of moulds obtained from the
moribund Capo di Monte works, close imitations of that ware have long
been made at Doccia. Indeed the bulk of the porcelain decorated with
mythological figures in low relief (more especially the larger pieces so
often seen in dealers’ shops and in salerooms) has its origin in Tuscany
rather than at Naples.

The mark, a star formed of two superimposed triangles, is derived from
the arms of the family, but this mark has often been omitted.

In the eighteenth century many kinds of ware were imitated; the plain
white porcelain is, however, the most interesting, such as the already
mentioned statuettes and the imitations of the Fukien ware, specimens of
which were sent by Sir Horace Mann to Walpole in 1760. This kind of ware
is whiter and of a more dead aspect than that made at Naples and at Buen
Retiro. In the Franks collection are specimens from an interesting
series of small medallions with portraits of the grand ducal and other
families, in white relief on a grey-blue ground. These were made at
Doccia, probably towards the end of the eighteenth century.


BUEN RETIRO.--During the sixteenth century we have frequent references
to the importation of Oriental porcelain into the Peninsula--the white
ware of Fukien is said to have been above all prized. In the seventeenth
century we find Portuguese travelling merchants selling porcelain at the
fair of St. Germain, and we hear that their stalls were visited by
people of quality from Paris. (_Cf._ p. 230.)

But this ware of the Far East has left little or no mark upon the
fayence or porcelain made in Spain. In the former, at least, the
influence of the nearer Saracenic East has always remained
predominant.[205] The porcelain fever that raged at times in the rest of
Europe seems to have left Spain untouched until the advent of the
half-French, half-Italian king in 1759. Charles III., who abandoned his
Neapolitan throne in that year to succeed his brother as King of Spain,
was on the whole the best of the many descendants of Louis XIV. who
ruled in France, Spain, and Italy in the eighteenth century. We have
seen that he was an enthusiastic potter, and his first care, even before
leaving Naples, was to see to the transhipping to Spain of practically
the whole of the staff, to say nothing of the moulds and other
appliances in use at the Capo di Monte factory. Don Juan Riaño, in his
_Handbook of Spanish Arts_, gives the names of nineteen modellers and
fourteen painters who sailed for Alicante in a vessel specially
chartered for this purpose. Among these Italian emigrants two names are
worthy of mention--Buonicelli--he and his son after him superintended
the new works till the end of the century--and Gricci (there were three
men of this name among the modellers), the designer of the famous
porcelain chamber at Aranjuez.

The new factory, known as La China, was erected in the garden of the
Buen Retiro, a palace in the suburbs of Madrid. Here for the next thirty
years, that is until the death of Charles III. in 1788, supported by a
large yearly grant, and surrounded by the strictest secrecy, was made
the porcelain destined for the decoration of the royal palaces and for
presentation to other courts. Only in the time of Joseph, Napoleon’s
brother, and of Ferdinand VII., was the ware from the royal works
allowed to come into the market, and this was at a period of decline.
The Buen Retiro gardens were the scene of desperate fighting between the
English and the French in the year 1812, during which the porcelain
works were completely destroyed.

We hear, at the commencement, of quarrels between the Spanish and
Italian workmen, and of breakdowns in the kilns. But Charles and his
director, Buonicelli, must soon have surmounted the preliminary
difficulties, for already, during the years 1763 to 1765 (as we learn
from an inscription on one of the slabs), Giuseppe Gricci was occupied
in decorating the porcelain chamber, the famous _Gabineto_ of the palace
at Aranjuez, which surpassed in magnificence the earlier room of the
same description at Portici. The large plaques which surround this
chamber are decorated with groups of Japanese figures in high relief,
carefully modelled and painted. Between these plaques rise tall
looking-glasses brought from the king’s new glass-works at La Granja,
and the porcelain frames of these mirrors are elaborately decorated with
fruits and flowers. There is another of these porcelain cabinets in the
Royal Palace at Madrid; this time the plaques are ornamented with
children in high relief. Here and in the other Spanish palaces, at
Aranjuez, at La Granja, and at the Escurial, may still be seen vases of
porcelain from Buen Retiro, some of them six or seven feet in height.
These vases are often set in gilt bronze mountings and filled with
branches of porcelain flowers.

Among the specimens of Spanish porcelain that we see in English
collections, it is the plain white ware that interests us most. This is
of a very beautiful warm tint, and the vases are surrounded by _amorini_
in full relief among flowers, or again by sea-shells modelled from
nature, as in the case of the Capo di Monte ware. But many other things
were made--imitations of Wedgwood, for example, white relief on a dull
blue ground.

In its last days the factory fell under French influence, and an attempt
was made to imitate the hard paste of Sèvres with the aid of native
clays. It would seem that some of the paste made at an earlier time was
of a hybrid nature, containing magnesia, like that of Vinovo.

The factory was re-established by Ferdinand VII. after his restoration,
at the Moncloa, near Madrid, but with little success. Close at hand, at
La Florida, near the well-known Paseo, an attempt has been lately made
to revive the works. Zuluaga, the famous metal-worker, has interested
himself in these new works, but the ware made is of little interest.

The fleur-de-lis of the Bourbons, generally painted in blue under the
glaze, is the only mark that need be mentioned; it is probable that this
mark was already in use at Naples (PL. D. 67).

At Alcora, in the province of Valencia, the Conde d’Aranda had
established an important factory of artistic fayence as early as the
year 1725. Aranda played no small part in the short-lived revival of
prosperity in Spain that followed the accession of Charles III. In 1764
we find him sending to Dresden for an arcanist, and in 1774 he obtained
the services of a French expert, one Martin, from Sèvres. Each in his
turn covenanted with the count to make true porcelain, and we are told
that he sent specimens of his ware to his friend Voltaire at Ferney. Don
Juan Riaño gives a full account of this factory, but there do not seem
to be any specimens of Aranda’s wares in English collections that are
anything better than a fine fayence.

In the Museo Arqueologico at Madrid there is a large collection of
porcelain and fayence from Buen Retiro, La Moncloa, Alcora, and

PORTUGAL.--Some hard-paste porcelain was made at Lisbon before the year
1775, and at Vista Alegre, near Oporto, the factory started about 1790
is still carried on. Certain medallions of biscuit porcelain, in the
style of Wedgwood, have found their way into the Schreiber and Franks
collections. To judge from an inscription on a minute plaque suitable
for setting in a ring, in the latter collection, these medallions were
made at the Royal Arsenal at Lisbon in 1792.




In spite of the considerable literature that has sprung up upon the
subject, we know little of the early history of English soft-paste

We have already spoken of the experiments made by Dr. Dwight in the
seventeenth century. Dr. Lister, writing in 1699 (see above, p. 282),
shows a remarkable acquaintance with the technical qualities of various
kinds of porcelain: he speaks of ‘the inward Substance and Matter of the
Pots’ made at Saint-Cloud as the very same as that of the Chinese, ‘hard
and fine as Marble, and the self-same grain _on this side
vitrification_. Further, the transparency of the Pots the very same.’ He
had expected that at best they ‘might have arrived at the Gomron ware,
which is indeed little else but a total vitrification.’[206] The man who
wrote this must have been thoroughly acquainted with the physical
qualities of porcelain; he must already have made some study of the
subject. And yet not only at that time, but for the next forty-five
years, there is a total absence of any evidence, documentary or
practical, that porcelain was made anywhere in England.[207]

Meantime new porcelain works were springing up in various parts of
Germany, and in France the factories of Saint-Cloud and Chantilly had
long been at work. It is indeed from a French document that we get our
first hint as to the existence of porcelain works in England before the
year 1745. In an ‘_arrest du Conseil d’État du Roy_’ of that year, by
which Charles Adam is authorised to establish a porcelain factory at
Vincennes, a note of alarm is sounded. ‘A new establishment that has
lately been founded in England for the manufacture of porcelain, which
appears by the nature of its composition more beautiful than that of
Saxony,’ will probably, so the document states, lead to the new English
ware replacing that of French origin (Marryat, p. 371).

For one reason or another there appears to have been a great outburst of
interest in porcelain about the year 1745. The works at Bow were
probably started at that time. There are in existence dated pieces of
that year which were almost certainly made at Chelsea, and these were no
first efforts. As early as this, some porcelain figures may possibly
have been made at Derby,[208] so that we may perhaps take the ten years
preceding 1750 as the period during which the industry was obscurely
passing through its experimental stage. After this time, those who had
been first in the field reaped a good harvest, for during the next
decade the china mania was at its height, and afforded much material for
the satirical and comic writers of the day.

To sum up the history of English porcelain in the eighteenth century, we
may take it that about the year 1740 the first attempts were made to
imitate the various kinds of Oriental and Continental porcelain that
were every year coming more and more into use; that by the year 1750
several factories were at work; and finally, that by 1780 the best had
already been accomplished, and the decline had already begun.

Taken as a whole, our English porcelain, whether of soft or hard paste,
shows little originality. From the point of view of design and
decoration we may divide the ware made during the eighteenth century
into two schools:--

(_a_) The Oriental school, the wares principally imitated being--1. The
white porcelain of Fukien, with decoration in relief, often of prunus
blossom. 2. ‘Blue and white,’ the blue under the glaze--this is often
combined with the previous class. 3. The earlier type of Imari, that
known at the time as ‘old Japan,’ or ‘partridge and wheatsheaf.’ 4. The
somewhat later type of Imari with brocaded pattern, what we _now_ call
‘old Japan.’ The enamelled wares of the great revival under Kang-he and
his successors, though valued by collectors both here and in France,
were less often copied.

(_b_) The European school, which derived its inspiration from--1. The
early wares of Saint-Cloud, and later from those of Vincennes and
Sèvres. Speaking generally, the influence of Sèvres became predominant
after 1755, and to some extent ousted the earlier Oriental _motifs_. 2.
Dresden, which gave the type for the statuettes and also for the
elaborate painting of flowers and realistic landscapes on plates and
dishes. This German influence, favouring a dullish scheme of colour and
a ‘tight’ execution, was more apparent at an earlier and again at a
later period; during the best time, say from 1755 to 1770, it was
eclipsed by that of Sèvres.

It must be remembered that England is the only country where porcelain
has been successfully made without royal or princely patronage. The
various kilns were here without exception founded as commercial
speculations--they were essentially the outcome of middle-class
enterprise. There was, it is true, at one time some question at Chelsea
of royal patronage, as represented by the Duke of Cumberland, but this
came to nothing. Some interest was taken and some advice given on the
artistic side by one or two great noblemen--by the third Duke of Argyll,
for instance, an admirer of the ‘Kakiyemon’ decoration--but the capital
to start and maintain the works came from the pockets of the more
enterprising and businesslike of the designers and decorators
themselves, men like Sprimont and Duesbury, assisted by local bankers,
merchants, and physicians.

As a result, we find that a great feature in the commercial management,
one that was quite peculiar to our island, was formed by the annual
sales by auction, advertised beforehand in the local papers. It was by
careful search through these advertisements and through the old sale
catalogues that the late Mr. Nightingale was able to clear up some at
least of the difficulties and misconceptions that have surrounded the
history of English porcelain. The too ready acceptance of anecdotes and
‘pleasant stories,’ copied from one writer to another with occasional
embellishments, has been the cause of much confusion. These have
originated in many cases from the senile gossip of decayed workmen. The
same may be said of the disproportionate attention given to marks, to
which more care has been given than to a critical discrimination of the
differences that distinguish the paste, the glaze, and the decoration of
different wares.

How little was known a few years ago about the composition of our
English porcelains is shown by the general acceptance of the statement
that Spode, about the year 1800, introduced the use of bone-ash. It is
now known that nearly fifty years before that time the use of a
phosphatic paste was general in England, and, according to Professor
Church, in ninety per cent. of the specimens in our collections
bone-ash is an essential constituent. Thus the one original discovery
that we can claim for our country was either forgotten or ignored.

Apart from the hard porcelain of Plymouth and Bristol, our English
pastes may be divided into three classes. That first used was probably
copied as closely as possible from the pastes of Saint-Cloud and
Chantilly. It was a mixture of sand from Alum Bay and pipeclay from
Dorsetshire, with an amount of glass, in the form of a frit, sufficient
to ensure translucency. Before long the sand and clay were replaced in
great measure by bone-ash, and we get the ‘natural soft paste’
especially characteristic of English eighteenth century porcelain.
Finally, at the beginning of the next century Spode replaced the glassy
frit by a mixture of kaolin and china-stone, retaining the bone-ash. A
paste of this type has been in use ever since. Thus, in the year 1840,
the ordinary commercial porcelain of Staffordshire, which in its origin
was a development of the artistic wares of the eighteenth century, was
made from Cornish kaolin 31 parts, Cornish china-stone 26 per cent.,
flint 2·5 per cent., and ‘prepared bones’ 40·5 per cent.[209] The last
material is made from the roasted bones of oxen, now largely imported
for this purpose from South America. The glaze on the earlier wares was
essentially a silicate of lead and potash, compounded from white lead,
nitre, and salt. But at present a harder glaze is used for the
Staffordshire porcelain: it contains, in addition to the above
substances, a considerable quantity of china-stone and china-clay,
together with a little borax.

Our English porcelain of the eighteenth century may be divided roughly
into five periods:--

1. The early or primitive period, very often characterised by Chinese,
and especially Japanese, schemes of decoration. Oriental wares are
closely copied, sometimes perhaps with the object of deception. The
paste, containing no bone-ash, is soft and very waxy in appearance. Much
of the ground is left unpainted, and there is no gilding. There is a
great uncertainty as to the place of manufacture of many of these early

2. The fine period--approximately 1755 to 1768--especially associated
with the name of Sprimont, at Chelsea. The influence of the contemporary
production at Sèvres is very marked.

3. The Duesbury period, 1768 to 1786. Simple classical forms are
predominant at Chelsea and Derby. The rich decoration previously in use
at Chelsea is continued at Worcester, but applied to pieces of simpler
outline, the vases often copying Chinese forms.

4. The early commercial period. The business firms at Derby and
Worcester almost monopolise the market. Somewhat later the factories in
the Severn valley form a link with the next period.

5. The Staffordshire commercial period, equally commercial and
essentially eclectic. Everything is copied, and there is a constant
tendency to hark back to older types.

It is possible that some such historical arrangement, combined with a
division according to types of decoration, might be made the basis of an
account of English porcelain; but it will be a safer course to follow
the usual topographical division, treating the different factories more
or less in the order of the date of their foundation.

CHELSEA.--The year 1745 is the earliest date to which any piece of
Chelsea ware can with certainty be assigned. The factory ceased to exist
as an independent seat of manufacture before 1770. In this short
interval there were apparently some years during which very little
china was made. It is thus essentially an early ware, and Horace Walpole
in his catalogue already speaks of ‘old Chelsea.’

We know absolutely nothing about the origin of the works. The Duke of
Buckingham, in the time of Charles II., is said to have been interested
in some glass-works in this neighbourhood, and to have brought over
workmen from Venice. The duke’s glass-houses were, however, more
probably at Lambeth. At any rate, at that time, the ‘cones,’ as the
glass-houses were called, appear to have been regarded as places
suitable equally for the making of glass or the firing of pottery--so at
least I glean from the terms of an advertisement in which some of these
‘cones’ are offered for sale. The origin of the well-known anchor-mark
of Chelsea has been sought in Venice, but, as far as porcelain is
concerned, it was probably in use at Chelsea at an earlier date than in
the latter town.

Our knowledge of the existence of a factory at Chelsea before 1749 rests
on the survival of two little cream-jugs of white ware moulded in the
so-called ‘goat and bee’ pattern. Like some other pieces to which an
early date may be assigned, these little jugs bear as a mark a rough
triangle scratched in the paste (PL. E. 68), but they stand alone in the
fact that beneath the triangle has been added, _before baking_, in a
scrawly hand, ‘Chelsea, 1745.’[210] Thanks to them we are able, upon
material evidence, to put back the origin of English porcelain for five
years at least.[211]

In the year 1747, we are told in the _London Tradesman_, that at a
house at Greenwich, and at another at Chelsea, _the undertakers had been
for some time trying_ to imitate the porcelain of China and Dresden, and
in the same year a number of Staffordshire potters migrated to London to
find work in the Chelsea factory (Shaw’s _Rise and Progress of the
Staffordshire Potteries_). In a London paper of December 1749 there is
an advertisement of the sale of a freehold messuage in ‘Great China Row,
Chelsea.’ This was no mere misprint--China for Cheyne--(the two words
were pronounced alike at that time), for we come across the same
spelling in more than one instance at a later date.[212] There is a real
confusion of the two names, arising probably from the interest taken in
the porcelain factory lately established in the neighbourhood; and this
very confusion is good evidence of the extent to which the china
question was occupying people’s minds at the time.

Two months later, in January 1750, we hear for the first time of Mr.
Charles Gouyn, but he is already, at that date, the _late_ proprietor
and chief manager of the ‘Chelsea House.’ Of this Gouyn, presumably the
founder of the works, we know nothing. He was probably of French or
Belgian origin.[213] Of Gouyn’s successor, Nicholas Sprimont, we know
something more. Like his contemporary Duplessis, at Sèvres, he was a
silversmith, working at one time in Soho. Sprimont entered his name at
Goldsmith Hall in 1742, and his mark is found on a pair of silver dishes
ornamented with shells and corals now at Windsor.

For twenty years (1749-69) the factory at Chelsea was dependent upon
Sprimont’s efforts. He was financier, director, and designer. When he
was ill the kilns were not lighted. When finally, in 1764, he had to go
in search of health to ‘the German Spau,’ the stock and plant were
offered for sale. At an early period--soon after 1753, it would seem,
but possibly somewhat later--he appealed to the Government against the
connivance of the custom-house officials at the smuggling in of Dresden
china. In this ‘_Case of the Undertaker of the Chelsea Manufacture of
Porcelain_,’ Sprimont points out that ‘as the law stands, painted
Earthenware[214] other than that from India is not enterable at the
Custom House, otherwise than for private use.’ ‘The regulation,’ says
Sprimont, ‘is, however, evaded, especially by a certain foreign minister
whose official residence has become a warehouse for this commerce. What
chance had a private person in a match with a crowned head?’

From this ‘Case’ we learn that no porcelain or other ware, apart from
the importations of the East India Company, was allowed to enter the
country, but that an exception was made in the case of plain white ware
suitable for subsequent decoration in England.[215] Private individuals,
however, might import a certain amount of European porcelain for their
own use on payment of a small duty. ‘This concession,’ says Sprimont,
‘was greatly abused.’ Who, however, is the ‘crowned head’ who is so
anxious to push the sale of his own goods in the English market? The
Elector of Saxony, it is usually said; but if we could put the date of
the ‘undertaker’s case’ a few years later, between 1759 and 1761 (there
are, I allow, some difficulties in so doing), this charge would fit in
well with the efforts of Frederick the Great to convert the stock of
porcelain he found at Meissen into the much-needed cash.[216]

The factory at Chelsea was situated beyond the west extremity of the
original Cheyne Row, just before you come to the old church. The works
extended for some distance along the west side of Lawrence Street.
Nothing is left of them now, but during some excavations made near at
hand, in 1843, many fragments of porcelain were found. These pieces
belong, it would seem, to an early period of the manufacture.

We have already pointed out that neither the Chelsea works, nor indeed
any other English porcelain factory, at any time received direct
financial support either from the royal family or from the Government.
Sir Everard Fawkner, however, secretary to the Duke of Cumberland, was a
collector of china, and took some interest in the works. It was through
his influence, perhaps, that the ‘butcher of Culloden’ appears at one
time to have been brought, in some way, into connection with the Chelsea
factory.[217] Again, soon after his accession, the young King George
III. sent to the Duke of Mecklenburg a complete service of Chelsea
porcelain which cost £1200. This is, I think, our first known instance
in England of royal patronage, even in this restricted sense.

In common with the other porcelain made at the time, the decoration, and
even the shapes, of much of the early ware of Chelsea were derived from
Oriental models. Of these Eastern types, the ‘wheatsheaf and partridge’
(more properly quail) was most in favour. The Chelsea imitations of the
old Japanese ware are distinguished by the abundant use of a heavy
iron-red enamel. There are several specimens of this ware at South
Kensington, but I would call attention, above all, to a very curious
_compotier_ in the Jermyn Street collection.[218] This dish has a brown
rim, and round the margin a quaint decoration of foxes amid clusters of
red grapes. This is a very old Chinese _motif_, only we should have
squirrels in place of foxes. But the Chelsea ‘Kakiyemon’ never equalled
that of Chantilly, or perhaps even the copies made at Bow. On the other
hand, the Chelsea plates made in imitation of the brocaded ‘old Japan’
are unsurpassed among European wares (PL. XLV). Equally early, perhaps,
are the plates and dishes with decorations of flowers and birds on a
large scale sprawling over the surface. In these last examples the
colours are poor and heavy, and the general execution very rough. Many
of the plain white pieces also belong to this early period.[219]

In the year 1754 Sprimont introduced the system of periodic sales by
auction;[220] and we can in some measure trace the progress of the
manufacture in the advertisements and in the rare catalogues that have
been preserved. Thus in the advertisement of the first sale of 1754 we
already find mention of groups of figures. The next sale, a few months
later, was made up of ‘the entire Stock of PORCELAIN TOYS ...
Snuff-boxes, Smelling-Bottles, Etwees, and Trinkets for Watches (mounted
in Gold and unmounted) in various beautiful Shapes of an elegant Design
and curiously painted in Enamel.’ There was also in this sale a large
parcel of porcelain hafts for table and dessert knives and forks.

This is the first mention that we have of these fascinating little ‘toys
and trinkets.’ They often bear inscriptions in a somewhat lame French,
which we might have looked for rather on the rival wares of
‘Stratford-atte-Bowe’ than at a factory where we have reason to believe
more than one Frenchman was employed. Of these toys a representative
collection was made by Lady Charlotte Schreiber, and there are many
charming specimens in the British Museum. We must remember that about
this time, and perhaps earlier (1740-50), Saint-Cloud and, above all,
Mennecy, were turning out a similar class of objects.

The Chelsea sale of 1756 is the earliest of which a catalogue has been
preserved, and in it we find the first mention of the ‘mazareen’ blue, a
colour after this time largely used as a ground for the more elaborate
vases, both at Chelsea and at other English factories. The rage for
porcelain was then at its height, and we see traces of this in the
advertisements of the time; but in 1757 Sprimont fell ill, and little
was made at Chelsea. In 1759 the collection of Chelsea porcelain made by
the already-mentioned Sir Everard Fawkner, lately deceased, was sold by
auction. The sale occupied several days, and in the advertisement we
come across the earliest reference to the use of green _en camaïeu_--‘a
tea and coffee equipage, exquisitely painted in green landscapes.’

It was about this time, Professor Church thinks, that the artificial
frit-paste was replaced at Chelsea by one containing a large quantity of
bone-ash (as much as fifty per cent. in some cases). The earlier
material of the French type must have been very difficult to work, and
it softened so readily in the kiln that many specimens were spoiled in
the firing. It had, however, a certain mellow charm given by its
translucency and by the close unison of paste and glaze, that was never
equalled in the later material.

Indeed the high-water mark of the Chelsea factory was reached in the
years that succeeded Sprimont’s first illness of 1757. It was then that
the use of gilding became more general.[221] The gold was laid on by
means of an amalgam, the mercury being expelled by the heat of the
muffle. The result, after burnishing, was to give a brilliant surface of
pure gold unlike the solid chiselled lines and bands of dullish surface
seen on Sèvres china. But from an artistic point of view this result is
not very satisfactory--indeed, nothing has helped more to give a certain
garish and vulgar air to much of the English porcelain made at this

In the notice of the spring sale of 1760, Sprimont sings the praises of
‘a few pieces of some new colours that have been found this year at a
very large expense, incredible labour and close application.’ Among
these new colours we must probably reckon the beautiful claret or deep
purplish crimson, the one colour of our English porcelain that has never
been surpassed or even equalled on the Continent. It differs from the
contemporary _rose Pompadour_ not only by the greater intensity of its
hue, but by being a transparent colour. This claret is, of course,
derived from the purple of Cassius, and the peculiar tint is said to be
due to the addition to the gold of a small amount of silver. Among the
other colours introduced at this time was probably a blue made in
imitation of the famous turquoise of Sèvres. This blue is very rare as a
ground colour at Chelsea, and the tint is generally greenish and opaque.
It is found at its best on a large vase in the British Museum with
open-work cover and handles. In a diluted form the turquoise blue is
often found as a wash upon the drapery of statuettes. The _rose
Pompadour_ of Sèvres was also imitated at a later date, but not very

This is the time of the more ambitious vases, with a monochrome ground
generally of deep blue and reserved panels painted with pastoral or
mythological subjects, or with fantastic ‘exotic’ birds and flowers. The
painting, even in the finest examples, never attained the delicacy of
the Sèvres prototype, and it is often lamentably inefficient, but at the
same time this very rudeness of execution sometimes adds to the
decorative effect of the _ensemble_. These vases are above all
distinguished by the strangely contorted shapes that Sprimont so loved
to give to the handles, covers, and feet. All these points are well
illustrated in the vases (made in the years 1762 and 1763) that Dr.
Garnier gave to the Foundling Hospital and to the British Museum. The
painting on these specimens is particularly bad and heavy. The
mythological subjects, in the style of Boucher, on the famous
_garniture_ with claret ground, now belonging to Lord Burton, show a
greater delicacy--in execution at least. This exaggerated rococo
treatment--in the extreme forms even the bilateral symmetry is
abandoned--was doubtless suggested by the forms of the ormolu mountings
(for handles and feet especially) then much in vogue.[222]

To a somewhat earlier date belong the moulded reproductions of animals,
vegetables, and fruit so well represented in the Schreiber collection.
In the case of some of the models of birds, the plumage is admirably
reproduced, and in a sufficiently bold style. Notice especially some
covered dishes in the form of partridges and doves. There was a sale of
these ‘Chelsea Tureens in the shape of hen and chickens, swans, rabbits,
carp, etc.,’ in 1756.

How brilliant and decorative in general effect was some of the ware made
by Sprimont in his later days may be well seen in the collection
presented to South Kensington by Miss Emily Thomson. It consists chiefly
of plates and cups with grounds of deep Mazarin blue, and more
especially of the rich claret or maroon of Chelsea (PL. XLIII.).
Technically, however, many of these pieces are very imperfect--the thick
glaze accumulated in pools and fissured by cracks, the painting
rude--and yet for all this a plate of this ware which has found its way
by some accident into an adjacent case, full of the finest Sèvres of the
best period, shines out from its surroundings like a jewel.

The single figures and groups are mentioned in the earliest
advertisements--some of the plain white statuettes date back probably to
the first days of the works. Here the English potters, in applying the
soft paste covered with a thick, brilliant glaze to such a purpose, were
breaking fresh ground. The crispness and the finish of the Dresden
statuettes they could never attain to with these materials. The English
figures and groups, whether made at Chelsea or elsewhere, are generally
wanting in sharpness and precision of outline, a consequence in great
measure of the thick-flowing glaze. In the kiln they had to be supported
by an elaborate system of struts to prevent the fusible material from
collapsing, and this alone must have hampered the modeller in the
selection of the design. Many of these

[Illustration: _PLATE XLIII._ CHELSEA]

English statuettes are childishly and hastily modelled, and yet here and
there, perhaps almost by an accident, the modeller has succeeded in
giving a naïve charm and vivacity to the little figure that disarms all
criticism. I could point to perhaps a dozen examples in our museums to
illustrate this. Many of these statuettes are disfigured by the tawdry
gilding, and by the ugly rococo or ‘scroll’ bases which are always
present in the Chelsea examples. The colouring is distinguished by the
skilful use of pale and gradated tints: the greenish turquoise, the
_rouge d’or_--both the English and the French tints--and the pea green,
are--thanks, perhaps, to the crystalline glaze into which these colours
melt--boldly combined without any unpleasant effect[223] (PL. XLIV.).

Sprimont, who after all is perhaps the most interesting figure in the
history of English porcelain, was after the year 1761 constantly
interrupted by ill-health, and the outturn of the kilns was for several
years very irregular; finally in 1769 the remaining stock was sold by
auction. The next year, the contents of the factory, the moulds, the
models--in wax, brass, or lead--the mills and the presses were purchased
privately by Duesbury _en bloc_, greatly to the disappointment of
Wedgwood, who had his eye upon certain of the models. Duesbury also took
over the lease of the Chelsea works, and carried them on conjointly with
his main factory at Derby until the year 1784. In that year, on the
expiration of the already prolonged lease, the factory at Chelsea was
finally abandoned and the kilns pulled down.

The sales which had previously taken place at Burnsall’s in Charles
Street, Berkeley Square, were now held at Mr. Christie’s ‘in his great
room, late the Royal Academy, in Pall Mall.’ It was there that ‘Messrs.
Duesbury and Co.’ disposed at intervals of the produce of the combined
works. But the history of Chelsea porcelain as a _genre_ apart comes to
an end with the departure of Sprimont. During the remaining years of
their existence, the Chelsea works formed merely a dependency of those
at Derby.

As to the marks used at Chelsea, of the early incised triangle, which
was formerly ascribed to Bow, we have already spoken. The anchor in
relief on a raised oval cartouche (PL. E. 69) is found on relatively
early ware; it is associated with a waxy, translucent paste, and a
simple decoration without gilding. The mark, _par excellence_, of
Chelsea is the red anchor (PL. E. 70), but on richly decorated pieces,
and especially those with much gilding, the anchor is often inscribed in

BOW.--From the beginning of the eighteenth century to the year 1744
there is no trace of the issue of any English patent relating to the
manufacture of porcelain. In the latter year, however, a specification
was registered according to which Edward Heylyn, of the parish of Bow,
merchant, and Thomas Frye, of the parish of West Ham, painter, professed
to make porcelain, by mixing with ‘an earth the produce of the Cherokee
nation in America, called by the natives Unaker,’ a glass composed of
flint and potash. This unaker, no doubt a kind of kaolin (we are told
that the sand and mica had to be carefully washed away), was much talked
of at this time (especially in Quaker circles), and its use preceded by
some years that of the Cornish china-clay.

Possibly something resembling porcelain was made at Bow for a short time
with these incongruous materials; but in the winter of 1748-49 a second

[Illustration: Plate XLIV.

_Chelsea. Coloured enamels._]

was taken out, this time by Frye alone, ‘for a new method of making a
certain ware which is not inferior in beauty and fineness, and is rather
superior in strength than the earthenware that is brought from the East
Indies, and is commonly known by the name of China, Japan, or porcelain
ware.’ In the description of the materials employed under the vague
denomination of ‘a virgin earth’ produced by the calcination, grinding,
and washing of certain animals, vegetables, and fossils, we probably
have, as Professor Church has pointed out, the first mention of bone-ash
as a material for porcelain. According to the specification, the paste
should contain four-ninths by weight of the ‘virgin earth,’ and taking
this to mean bone-ash, this proportion corresponds most closely with the
amount of phosphate of lime found by Professor Church in some of the
fragments from the site of the works which we shall describe directly.
Frye’s glaze was to be compounded from a mixture of red lead, saltpetre
and sand, with the addition of a small quantity of smalt, to correct the
yellow colour of the paste.[224]

Thomas Frye was an artist of some standing who, towards the close of his
life, ‘scraped’ some mezzotints still valued by collectors. He died in
1762, and in his epitaph it is claimed for him that he was ‘the inventor
and first manufacturer of porcelain in England.’ The works of which Frye
was the manager before the failure of his health in 1759 were situated
close to the high road just beyond the bridge over the river Lea. Close
by, in 1868, when making some excavations for a drain in the grounds of
a match-factory, a number of fragments of porcelain were found, among
them pieces of plain white with prunus ‘sprigs’ in relief, and others
poorly decorated with under-glaze blue. Some of these fragments were
evidently ‘wasters.’ With them were found some broken ‘seggars,’ and,
what is still more interesting, a circular cake of frit, so that the
site of the kilns must have been near at hand.[225]

The model of the Bow factory, we are told, was taken from that at
Canton, in China. It would be interesting to know to what building the
reference is made, for it is doubtful whether porcelain was ever made at
Canton. In any case, the name given to the factory, ‘The New Canton
Works,’ is interesting. Here in the east of London, one was then, as
now, perceptibly nearer to China and the East Indies than at Chelsea.
The river and the docks are at hand, and there is indeed only one
stage--a long one, it is true--between us and Canton. So at Bow we find
the Oriental decoration more prevalent and surviving longer than

The outturn of the kilns, like that of Chelsea, was sold periodically by
auction, but the sales took place in the city for the most part, and the
principal warehouse was in Cornhill. Though so difficult to identify
nowadays, a large quantity of porcelain must have been produced by the
Bow factory during the thirty years of its independent existence. Like
its rival at Chelsea, the works had many ups and downs, and Crowther,
the proprietor, became bankrupt in 1763. Compared with Chelsea, however,
the bulk of the ware produced was no doubt of a common and cheap kind.
Sprimont, in his ‘Case of the Undertaker,’ says somewhat contemptuously,
‘The chief endeavours at Bow have been towards making a more ordinary
ware for common use.’ This is, of course, the dictum of a rival, but
the Bow firm, in their advertisements, only claim to provide ‘china
suitable for gentlemen’s kitchens, for private families and taverns.’

There has been the widest difference of opinion as to the actual
specimens of porcelain that may with certainty be classed as the produce
of the kilns at Bow. The earliest dated pieces are of a very modest
kind--certain little cylindrical ink-pots. There is one in the
collection formerly at Jermyn Street, with the inscription ‘Made at New
Canton, 1751’; another in a private collection is dated a year earlier.
The execution is rough, and the hastily coloured decoration of flowers
is in the Japanese style. Some little time after this, in 1753, we find
proof that the kilns were turning out much more ware than the proprietor
could find painters to decorate.[226] They advertise in a Birmingham
newspaper for ‘painters in the blue and white potting way and enamelers
in china-ware’; also for ‘painters brought up in the Snuff-box way,
Japanning, Fan-painting, etc.’ They are at the same time in search of
persons ‘who can model small figures in clay neatly.’ Such
advertisements seem to come from a commercial house with a large but
perhaps irregular outturn. Sprimont would probably have exercised more
care in the selection of his artists.

There is a famous punch-bowl in the British Museum which is above all
the _pièce justificative_ of the Bow porcelain works. On the inside of
the cover of the box in which it is preserved is a long inscription,
signed at the foot by T. Craft, and with the date 1790.[227] Thomas
Craft, formerly an enamel-painter at Bow, was probably at that time a
very old man. This bowl, he tells us, was made at Bow about 1760, and
painted by him ‘in what we used to call the old Japan taste, a taste at
that time much esteemed by the then Duke of Argyle.’ This is
interesting. Craft refers probably to the so-called ‘partridge and
wheatsheaf’ style, and the duke was doubtless a collector of this ware,
like his contemporaries at Chantilly and the Palais Royal. But the
decoration of this bowl has unfortunately nothing Japanese about it,
except to some degree in the colour of the enamels employed. The heavy
wreaths made up of minute flowers, upon which Mr. Craft tells us that he
expended two dwts. of gold and about a fortnight of his time, take their
inspiration rather from Meissen. (Compare the wreaths, PL. XLV. 2.) The
works, he continues, which employed ninety painters and about two
hundred turners, throwers, etc.,[228] had now, in 1790, ‘like
Shakespeare’s cloud-capt towers, etc.,’ shared the fate of ‘the famous
cities of Troy, Carthage, etc.’ The site was occupied by a manufactory
of turpentine and some small tenements. Mr. Craft, however, tells us
that he never used this punch-bowl _but in particular respect of his
company_, and he hopes that those to whom it may pass may be equally
abstemious. It is at present in the charge of the trustees of the
British Museum.

Many of the more elaborate figures and highly finished vases classed as
‘Bow’ in the Schreiber collection at South Kensington are now regarded
by most specialists as the production, some of the Derby works, and
others of the Chelsea and even the Worcester kilns. In view of the
uncertainty and difference of opinion about the ware that is to be
attributed to Bow, it is important to note the physical qualities of
undoubted specimens. Professor Church lays stress upon the


general thickness of the ware, the remarkable translucency of the
thinner parts, and upon the fact that the transmitted light is of a
somewhat yellowish tint, not greenish, as in the Worcester porcelain.
The glaze, though nearly white, is of a pale straw colour, and it tends
to accumulate round the reliefs; it contains much lead, and is liable to
become iridescent and discoloured (_English Porcelain_, p. 31). I would
add that a majority of the undoubted examples--I rely especially upon
those collected by the late Sir A. W. Franks, now in the British
Museum--are distinguished by a certain dirty and speckled appearance of
the surface of the glaze. I think that the Bow china has been less
influenced than other of our wares by French and German examples. Apart
from the Oriental decoration of some of the earlier pieces, it is on the
whole a very _English_ ware.

The process of transfer-printing, which had been first applied to china
by Sadler of Liverpool about the year 1750, and which had been in use at
perhaps as early a date on the enamels of Battersea, where Hancock was
working at this time, was employed a few years later at Bow.[229] A
preliminary outline was sometimes printed under the glaze, and this
subsequently enlivened by enamel colours laid on by hand, as we see on
some barbarously painted dishes with Chinese subjects in the British
Museum. This transfer-printing is an essentially English process: it has
since been carried round the world in the wake of our Staffordshire
pottery, and the process has even been applied to porcelain in Japan. To
the general adoption of this mechanical process, more than to any other
cause, we may attribute the dying out of the school of artist-craftsmen
who painted on china, and the extinction of all feeling for the
decorative value of the designs applied to the ware.

I would call attention to some small figures in the collection formerly
in the Geological Museum. These little statuettes are in a white glazed
ware of a slightly greenish tint, and they are attributed to Bow. The
‘Draped Warrior’ and the ‘Seated Nuns’ appear to be taken from models of
a considerably earlier period, and their artistic merit is undeniable.

John Bacon, the fashionable sculptor of George III.’s time, is said to
have found employment, when young, both as a modeller and painter of
porcelain. He was certainly apprenticed in 1755 to a Mr. Crispe of Bow
Churchyard, the proprietor of some pottery-works at Lambeth, and he may
very likely have worked for Crowther, at Bow, after the expiration of
his apprenticeship.

A dagger or sword with one or more dots near the hilt, associated with
an anchor, is the mark especially characteristic of the ware made at Bow
(PL. E. 71), but much porcelain attributed to this factory carries no
mark. A monogram formed of the letters T and F found on some early ware
is perhaps to be referred to Thomas Frye, but the Worcester factory also
used this mark (PL. E. 72).

LONGTON HALL.--It has lately been recognised that porcelain was made in
the Staffordshire potteries, probably as early as the middle of the
century.[230] This was at Longton Hall, in the borough of
Stoke-upon-Trent. From an advertisement in a Birmingham paper (July 27,
1752) we learn that W. Littler and Co. were ready to supply ‘a great
variety of ornamental porcelain in the most fashionable and genteel
taste.’ It was Mr. Nightingale, I think, who first traced certain pieces
of china, marked with two L’s crossed (PL. E. 81), to Littler’s factory.
This porcelain had previously been attributed to Bow. The Longton Hall
ware has no claim to any artistic merit. A crude blue is the prevailing
ground colour, and the contorted shapes copy rudely the rococo of
Sprimont’s Chelsea ware. The mouldings on the dishes and plates often
take the form of leaves. Some of this porcelain is exceptionally thin
compared with other English wares of this comparatively early period.
The flower-painting on the reserved panels of the plates should,
however, be noticed. The carefully executed bunches of roses, somewhat
realistically treated, are perhaps the earliest specimens of a style
very prevalent at a later time in England, one which found its most
famous exponent in Billingsley’s work at Nantgarw and elsewhere. William
Duesbury, a native of the district, was working at Longton Hall early in
the fifties as a painter in enamel. Nothing is known of this factory
after the year 1758.[231] There is some reason to believe that it fell
into the hands of Duesbury, but this is a disputed question. Professor
Church has analysed several specimens of the Longton Hall china. It
contains no bone-ash, and is in composition very close to the early
Chelsea ware.


ENGLISH PORCELAIN--(_continued_).


Derby.--Porcelain of some kind was probably made at Derby not much later
than the date of the first establishment of Frye’s works at Bow. Mr.
Bemrose quotes entries from the work-book of Duesbury, which show that
during the years 1751-53 he was busy enamelling the products not only of
the ‘Chellsea and Bogh’ kilns, but that, although resident in London, he
received work from Derby also. Indeed the price, eight shillings, that
he got for enamelling ‘one pair of Darby figars large,’ is higher than
his usual charge for painting the Chelsea statuettes (_Bow, Chelsea, and
Derby Porcelain_).[232]

William Duesbury was a Staffordshire man. As early as the year 1742,
when he was only seventeen, he was working in London as an enameller for
weekly wages. This we know from his work-book, which has been preserved.
It would be interesting to know what it was that he enamelled at this
early date. From the same book we learn that in the years 1751-53 he was
in London decorating china figures for the most part. These he
distinguishes as Bow, or Bogh, Chellsea, Darby, and Staffordshire. In
1752 he paid a bill of £6, 19s. for colours, although at that time
little gold was used by him. Among other entries in his work-book at
this period we find the following note: ‘How to color the group, a
gentleman Busing a Lady--gentlm a gold trimd cote, a pink wastcot
crimson and trimd with gold and black breeches and socs, the lade a
flourd sack with yellow robings, a black stomegar, her hare black, his
wig powdrd.’ Each piece that he coloured is carefully noted, and the
price that he obtained given. For instance, ‘pair of le Dresden figars,’
‘Chellsea Nurs,’ ‘a pair of Baccosses,’ ‘a hartychoake.’[233] We have
already referred to Duesbury’s connection with Littler’s works,--we may
note that his father was living at Longton Hall at this time.

In December 1756 there was a sale in London, by order of the ‘Derby
Porcelain Manufactory,’ of figures, services, etc., ‘after the finest
Dresden models.’ For some time the ‘Derby China Company’ sold their
goods through their factor at ‘Oliver Cromwell’s Drawing-Room’ near the
Admiralty. It would seem that in 1756 Duesbury entered into some kind of
partnership, at Derby, with Heath and Planché, the first a banker and
proprietor of pottery-works at Cockpit Hill, and the latter a
‘china-maker,’ of whom various more or less apocryphal stories are told.
All we can safely say is that Planché had probably been working for some
time at Derby as a modeller of figures.

In the year 1758 the Derby works were enlarged and the number of workmen
doubled, and this change has been coupled with the closing of Littler’s
factory at Longton Hall about the same time. But from this date to the
year 1769, all that we know of the Derby factory is derived from a few
advertisements in London papers. It is indeed a very remarkable fact
that, in spite of the most persevering researches--for how thoroughly
the ground has been gleaned we can judge by looking through the
elaborate works of Haslem, Bemrose, and the late Mr. Nightingale--we can
hardly point to a single specimen of porcelain made at Derby before the
year 1770, nor do we know of any mark that can be assigned to an earlier
period than this. Can it be that up to this time the works were chiefly
occupied in copying the wares, and perhaps the marks, not only of
Dresden, but also of Chelsea and Bow?

When the Chelsea factory and its contents were sold in 1769, it was
Duesbury, and not the Derby China Company, who was the purchaser. After
the year 1775, when the Bow works were also purchased, he had, with the
exception of the Worcester manufactory, practically no rival in the

We may take the year 1770 as the turning-point in the history of English
porcelain. In France, by this time, the rococo of Louis XV.’s reign was
already giving way to the simpler, and in part more classical, forms
that distinguish the next reign, for it is common knowledge that the
style known as Louis XVI. came into vogue several years before the
accession of that king. In England the change can be best traced in the
work of the silversmith, seeing that in such work there can be no
uncertainty as to the date. Already, before the end of the sixties, we
find in the silver plate then made outlines formed of simple curves and
even straight lines replacing the troubled rococo scrolls, and by the
year 1770 the new classical forms have carried the whole field. And in
like manner the china made by Duesbury, both at Chelsea and Derby,
follows the new fashion.

But the vases bearing the Chelsea-Derby mark of an anchor crossing the
down-stroke of the letter D (PL. E. 73) differ from those made by
Sprimont not only in outline. A new scheme of decoration has come in,
one that continued with no radical change for the next fifty years and
more. Let us take the Chelsea-Derby vase in the Jones collection--it
stands in company with several others of the Sprimont rococo type.
Notice the oblique fluted mouldings of the upper part (a _motif_ taken
directly from the silversmith), which are accentuated by deep blue and
gold lines on a white ground (this is a scheme of decoration above all
characteristic of Derby china). The reserved panels on the body of the
vase are painted with pastoral subjects. Here there is little change,
but around these panels the ground is completely covered with flowers of
various kinds--each species can be made out, but full-blown double roses
predominate. These full-blown roses are a note that distinguishes
English porcelain from this time onwards. As they become larger, and
occupy a more prominent place, the painting loses all trace of
decorative feeling. Billingsley carried them in his wanderings to all
the porcelain factories of England, and we are finally landed in the
monstrosities of Rockingham and the insipidities of Nantgarw.

One point we have omitted to mention in our description of the
Chelsea-Derby vase at South Kensington. The handles, winged figures
somewhat classically treated, are of unglazed ware. This is an example
of the famous Derby biscuit, or bisque, as it is sometimes called, which
we now know was made as early as 1771. The greatest care was taken in
the preparation of this biscuit ware; any piece with the slightest
defect was rejected. The material allows of a sharpness and high finish
which would be lost in the thick covering of the glazed ware. The paste
in many of the examples has acquired a somewhat shiny surface, as if
covered with a skin of glaze. The best known specimens date from the
last years of the century, when Spengler, a modeller from Zurich, was
engaged by the second Duesbury. In them we see exemplified that mixture
of the sentimental and the pseudo-classical so much admired at this
time. The shepherd with his dog (there is an example at South
Kensington) is taken from a Roman relief, the head perhaps from an
Antinous. The shepherdess has been reading Richardson, if not Jean
Jacques, and they both take life very seriously.

We find, however, the Chelsea-Derby mark on enamelled figures that
differ little from the earlier and more frivolous type. These survivals,
as it were, of the rococo school stand no longer upon a scroll pediment,
but on a rocky ground, amid careful reproductions of natural objects,
stumps of trees, shells, or what not. The colours, too, have become
somewhat stronger; the pale, greenish blue of the earlier pieces is
replaced by a fuller turquoise hue.

It was at this time, or a little later, that the process of ‘casting’
was introduced for these statuettes. This was a process of English
origin, though it is now extensively used at Sèvres and elsewhere
abroad. We have described the various modifications of this plan in a
previous chapter (p. 25). In the case of these statuettes, the figure is
first modelled in tough clay; the head and limbs are then cut off. A
plaster-of-Paris mould is then made of each of the separate parts, a
cream-like slip is poured into the mould and quickly poured out before
all the water is absorbed, a layer of the paste remaining on the sides
of the mould. This layer is detached when sufficiently dry; the pieces
are then joined together by means of the same slip, and the outline of
the figure sharpened with a modelling tool.[234] Porcelain made by this
casting process is not so dense as that made on the old system; its
specific gravity is appreciably lower. The moulding or repairing knife
may be, to some extent, replaced by the use of a brush, but a less sharp
outline is obtained in this case. In the furnace these figures have to
be supported by an elaborate scaffolding of props, and the shrinkage of
the clay during the firing is another source of difficulty.

In the British Museum may be seen a garniture of vases, of a type very
characteristic of the early Chelsea-Derby time. A pale turquoise ground
is overlaid with white flowers in low relief. This is but a modification
of the German _schnee-ball_ decoration. Somewhat later the _pâte tendre_
of Sèvres is evidently taken as a model, as in the _cabaret_ which was
given by Queen Charlotte to one of her maids of honour. This ‘equipage,’
to give it its English name, has also found its way into our national
collection. It has the rare jonquil ground with a border of blue and

For smaller objects, for cups, saucers, and plates, a simpler style of
decoration is in favour. The wreaths of little blue flowers,
forget-me-nots, and corn-flowers (the French _barbeau_), relieved with
touches of green and gold, remind one of the similar ware made at
Sèvres, and more especially at some of the smaller Parisian factories
during the early years of Louis XVI.

The elaborately decorated ‘old Japan’ was much copied at Derby, but so
unintelligently that the patterns degenerated into meaningless forms,
known as ‘rock Japan,’ ‘witches Japan,’ and even ‘Grecian Japan’! This
was the beginning of a barbarous style of decoration, in vogue in the
Staffordshire potteries at a later time both for porcelain and
earthenware, in which scattered members of the original scheme are
jumbled together at the whim of the ignorant painter.[235]

The subsequent vicissitudes of the Derby factory may be traced in the
marks in use at successive dates. The combined anchor and D was
apparently employed at Chelsea as long as the factory existed, but at
Derby a crown with jewelled bows was introduced in 1773 (PL. E. 75),
perhaps on the occasion of some _velléité_ of royal patronage, although
we have no definite evidence of anything of the kind.[236]

Somewhat later we find two batons crossed, with three dots in each angle
(similar to the ‘billiard’ mark on some Dutch porcelain) inserted on
Derby porcelain between the crown and the letter D (PL. E. 74).

William Duesbury died in 1786. His son, the second William, shortly
before his death in 1796, took into partnership Michael Kean, a
miniature-painter, and now a K was combined with the D on the mark. In
1813 the factory was leased to Robert Bloor by the third William
Duesbury, and after that time we hear no more of that family in
connection with Derby. Bloor conducted the works on ‘business
principles’ until his death in 1846. If for nothing else, his name
should be remembered in connection with a wonderfully brilliant claret,
or _rouge d’or_, that he succeeded in making. There is a vase with this
ground in the Jermyn Street collection which has excited the admiration
of foreign experts. Bloor used the old mark, in red, up to 1831 at
least. Before that time, however, the crown had lost the jewels upon its
bows. At this period china-clay and china-stone were more and more used,
and the porcelain became harder and somewhat opaque. As a consequence
of the higher melting, or rather softening, points of both body and
glaze, the enamels lost something of their brilliancy and lustre.

The present porcelain factory at Derby cannot strictly be regarded as a
direct descendant of the old works on the Nottingham Road, whose career
came to an end after Bloor’s death in 1846.

WORCESTER.--We have seen how William Duesbury, an obscure and illiterate
painter of china images from the Staffordshire potteries, had after the
absorption of the factories of Chelsea and Bow (as well probably as that
established by Littler in Duesbury’s own country) become a kind of china

There was one factory, however, skilfully managed and established on a
firm financial basis which remained entirely independent of him. Of the
origin of this factory--the Worcester China Works--we have, quite
exceptionally, a full record. These works, we may add, are also
exceptional in another respect--they have had a continuous history from
the year of their foundation to the present day, that is to say for more
than a century and a half. Mr. R. W. Binns has in his possession a copy
of the articles of association ‘for carrying on the Worcester Tonquin
manufacture.’[237] They are dated January 4, 1751. The forty-five shares
of £100 each were divided among fifteen original partners, of whom two
claim to possess the secret, art, mystery, and process of making
porcelain. These two were John Wall, doctor of medicine, and William
Davis, apothecary. We have no record of the preliminary experiments said
to have been made by these two men in a laboratory over the apothecary’s
shop, nor do we know for how long these experiments had been carried
on. Two workmen, however, who had already been employed by them for some
time, were retained by the new company and well paid as an inducement to
keep secret the process of manufacture. It was the apothecary Davis,
probably, who brought the scientific knowledge, but Dr. Wall also,
besides being a portrait-painter who had acquired some renown at Oxford
and in his native town (he had made designs for painted glass among
other things), was an energetic, practical man with some scientific
pretensions; nor must we forget the two workmen, who probably had a good
deal to say in the matter.

A site for the new factory was found in Warmstry House, a fine old
mansion that had belonged to the Windsor family, situated some hundred
yards to the north of the cathedral, and the kilns were erected in the
grounds which sloped down to the river. The biscuit kiln and the
glazing-kiln were enclosed in long roofed buildings apparently without
conspicuous chimneys. Only the great kiln for the ‘segurs’ takes the
conical shape that we associate with pottery-ovens.[238] The pressing,
modelling, and throwing galleries were established in the old house
itself, where there was also a ‘secret room.’

The little that we know of the composition of the paste, or rather
pastes, for there were two or more varieties used for the fine and
common ware respectively, is derived from a paper (now in the possession
of Mr. Binns) drawn up in 1764 by Richard Holdship, one of the original
partners. In that year Holdship (he was an engraver who had been
associated with the introduction of the transfer process) became
bankrupt, and now entered the service of Duesbury and Heath at Derby.
From this paper we learn that the ordinary paste used at Worcester
contained about two-thirds of a glassy material (a mixture of
flint-glass, crown-glass, and a specially prepared frit), and one-third
of a soapy rock, that is to say of a steatite, from Cornwall. The
composition of the glaze is interesting:--it contained, besides the
usual constituents, 14 per cent. of ‘foreign china,’ 2½ per cent. of
‘tin-ashes,’ and 0·3 per cent. of smalt. We should add that on the whole
the glaze of Worcester china is somewhat harder than that of other
English soft-paste wares. Along with this recipe is ‘a process for
making porcelain ware, without soapy rock or glass, in imitation of
Nanquin, being an opaque body.’ This ‘Nanquin’ ware was made by mixing
bone-ash with an equal weight of a very silicious frit: to the mixture 8
per cent. of Barnstaple clay and a small quantity of smalt were added.

We learn from other sources (_e.g._ Borlase’s _History of Cornwall_,
1758) that the agents of the Worcester company were busy searching for
and purchasing steatite rock, especially at Mullion, in the Lizard

Of the porcelain produced during the first sixteen years of the
Worcester factory we know a little more than of that of the
corresponding time at Derby. This was an eclectic period: the wares (and
the marks also) of Chantilly, Meissen, and Chelsea were copied. It was
the Oriental models, however, that were most in favour, especially the
blue and white of China, small pieces of which were imitated with some
success. For the enamelled ware, the brocaded Imari, our ‘old Japan,’
rather than the older Kakiyemon ware, served as a type. At this time,
too, a strange attempt was made to copy the marks of the Chinese
porcelain. We can trace, sometimes, the well-known characters of the
Ming dynasty (‘great’ and ‘bright’) (PL. E. 76). In other cases Arabic
numerals are arranged so as roughly to resemble a Chinese character. The
idea was probably taken from old Delft ware on which similar marks are
found, as also occasionally on Bow and on some Salopian porcelain.
Again, we find a degenerate seal character, perhaps derived from the
popular Japanese mark _Fu_ (happiness), taking a form something like the
design of a Union Jack (PL. E. 78). The decoration of the Chinese
_famille rouge_ was also copied--we find it, for example, on the edges
of little white cups and bowls with basket-work designs in low relief,
of which there are some specimens at South Kensington.

To an early period, also, belongs the ware decorated in black (or less
often in lilac), with figures and landscapes, ‘transferred’ by a variety
of ingenious processes, which we need not describe here, from an
engraved copper-plate. Used before this time on enamels at Battersea and
on earthenware at Liverpool, it was with the ‘jet enamelled’ ware of
Worcester, printed from the plates specially made for the purpose by
Robert Hancock (who had previously been employed at Battersea under the
Frenchman Ravenet), that the new process was above all associated. Here,
for the first time perhaps in its history, porcelain was ‘made to
speak,’ to use Napoleon’s phrase. On it the hero of the day was
immortalised: in 1757 we find Frederick the Great, crowned by a winged
Genius; at a later time the Marquis of Granby and the elder Pitt. It is
Hancock, it would seem, that we must regard as the _capo scuola_ of
another ‘school of decoration,’ one which, spreading at a later time to
Staffordshire, has been carried to all parts of the world where
transfer-printed English crockery has penetrated. The basis of this
decoration is a classical ruin--generally a fragment of the entablature
of a Roman temple supported on a few columns; add to this a pointed
building something between an obelisk and a pyramid,[240] the whole
enclosed in a framework of conventional trees. Upon how many millions of
jugs and basins was this pattern repeated, in black, in green, and in
lilac! At some future day, by the study of potsherds so decorated
collected in many lands, an archæologist may be able to trace the course
of English commerce in the nineteenth century, and to draw strange
inferences as to the state of the arts at that time in our country.

This ‘jet-enamelled’ transfer was printed over the glaze; sometimes, to
enliven the effect, other colours, painted by hand, were added, with
disastrous results. In the blue and white printed ware, on the other
hand, the cobalt pigment is applied under the glaze. The paste of this
transfer-printed porcelain is often of good quality and very
translucent, and the finer earlier specimens are much sought after by
collectors. We have seen that at least from the _cultur-historisch_
point of view this printed china is not without interest.

After 1763 Sprimont’s factory at Chelsea was only working at irregular
intervals. Some time later, about 1768, many of the enamel-painters
migrated to Worcester, where capable artists seem to have been in great
demand. It is usual to attribute to this migration a new scheme of
decoration that came into vogue at Worcester in the seventies. This was
the period of the vases with deep blue grounds and panels brilliantly
painted with flowers and bright-plumaged tropical birds. The _bleu du
roi_ ground (we must remember that, like the similar grounds at Chelsea
and Longport, this pigment was painted _sous couverte_) is often
covered with the salmon-scales in a deeper tint so characteristic of the
period; at other times it is replaced by a _poudré_ blue. The hand of
the Chelsea artist is to be recognised in the decoration of the panels,
but the vases are generally of simple contours, often octagonal and, on
the whole, following Chinese shapes. It is this richly decorated ware,
produced especially between 1770 and 1780, which now commands such
extravagant prices in the London market.

On the other hand, the new classical forms already in favour at Derby
and in France were not as yet adopted at Worcester--they came in later,
and then in a more debased form. In fact, the special mark of this, the
finest period in these works, is the application of a rich style of
painting that we generally associate with rococo shapes, to vases which
otherwise retain the form and decoration of their Chinese prototypes.
Somewhat later, from Sèvres, no doubt, came the canary yellow, generally
poor in tone and of uneven strength. The simple floral wreaths of the
Louis XVI. period are here represented by the pretty ‘trellis’ design,
green festoons hanging from reddish poles (PL. XLVI.).

Much of the Worcester porcelain was from an early time decorated in
London. In 1768 we find Mr. J. Giles (no doubt the ‘Mr. Gyles of Kentish
Town’ to whose kiln Thomas Craft took his famous punch-bowl to be
‘burnt’ at a charge of 3s.) described in an advertisement as ‘china and
enamel painter, proprietor of the Worcester Porcelain Warehouse, up one
pair of stairs in Cockspur Street.’ Here the nobility and gentry may
find ‘articles useful and ornamental curiously painted in the Dresden,
Chelsea, and Chinese taste.’

At a later time the Baxter family occupied much the same position as
Giles. The elder Baxter had

[Illustration: _PLATE XLVI._ WORCESTER]

workshops at Goldsmith Street, Gough Square,[241] and here white
porcelain from many sources was decorated. There is a curious
water-colour drawing, representing the interior of this workshop, at
South Kensington. It is the work of the younger Baxter, famous in his
day as a painter on porcelain. The pale, anæmic faces of the
artists--one of them wears a large pair of spectacles--crouching over
their work in a narrow, crowded room, may be taken as evidence that this
occupation was injurious both to the eyesight and to the general health

To return to the general history of the Worcester factory. In 1770 we
hear of a strike among the painters, who were alarmed at the spread of
the underglaze printing process. The movement was not unconnected,
probably, with the introduction of new blood from Chelsea. In 1772 there
was a general shuffling-up and reorganisation of the company, with the
result that Dr. Wall and the two Davises, father and son, finally gained
possession of nearly all the shares. But the doctor died in 1776, and
seven years later the whole concern was sold to Mr. Flight, a London
jeweller, who had previously acted as agent for the company. At the same
time Chamberlain, an original apprentice, and a man who had taken a
leading part of late in the artistic management, seceded from the
company, and, with his son, set up an independent manufactory.

After the visit of George III. to the works in 1788, the factory became
‘Royal,’ and this is, perhaps, the nearest approach to a royal patronage
that we can find in the history of English porcelain. In time the
Chamberlain offshoot came to flourish more than the original stock, and
finally, in 1840, the older firm, then known as ‘Flight and Barr,’ was
absorbed by it. Towards the end of the eighteenth century many
magnificent services of china were made for the royal family, painted
with finished pictures in the style admired at the time. The porcelain
was again ‘made to speak.’ In answer to the Napoleonic victories figured
on the ware of Sèvres, we in England painted naval emblems and portraits
of Lord Nelson on our plates and dishes.

The joint-stock company which now owns the Worcester factory was founded
in 1862. Since that time great efforts have been made to keep on a level
with the artistic movements of the day. Much attention has been paid to
the modelling of the handles, the stands and the covers of the vases, so
that some of them are works of art by themselves. The porcelain has been
designed and decorated in ‘the style of the Italian renaissance,’ in the
‘French style,’ then for a time a Japanese influence prevailed, to be
followed by vases in ‘Persian style,’ and then back to the ‘Florentine
renaissance’ once more. But running through the whole, we may perhaps
trace a _soupçon_ of the French art of the later nineteenth century.

Apart from the imitative marks of the early period which we have already
mentioned, we find at an early date the letter W, either for Wall or
Worcester (so the D of the rival works may stand either for Derby or
Duesbury). Another early mark, borrowed probably from Frye and the Bow
works, is the T. F. monogram which occurs on some underglaze blue and
white pieces. The crescent (PL. E. 77), used up to 1793, is chiefly
found on ware decorated with transfer printing: when this printing is in
blue under the glaze, a solid or ruled crescent is found. The later
firms, as ‘Flight and Barr’ and ‘Chamberlain,’ print their names in
full. A number of small marks found on Worcester china--more than
seventy have been noted--were added in most cases to identify the
painters and gilders.


This will be the most convenient place to say something of a small group
of factories where china was made towards the end of the eighteenth
century. It is a distinctly West of England family, owing its origin in
a measure to Worcester, but also forming a link between that factory and
the Staffordshire works. We include in it the Shropshire porcelains of
Caughley and Coalbrookdale, together with Swansea and Nantgarw.

CAUGHLEY.--The ‘Salopian Porcelain Works’ were started in 1772 at
Caughley, near Broseley, in Shropshire, a neighbourhood long famous for
its earthenware. It was here that Thomas Turner, a man of some social
standing who came from Worcester, devoted himself more especially to
printing in blue under the glaze. It was at Caughley, it would seem,
about 1780, that the famous ‘willow pattern’ was first used. There is in
the British Museum a curious little oblong dish that shows this design
in an undeveloped form. Turner, it is said, first printed complete
dinner-services, in dark blue, with this pattern. Not long after this he
went to France, and brought back a batch of French painters, whose
influence may perhaps be seen in the ware made at a later time at
Coalport. Some of the printed work is delicately executed, and when the
decoration is judiciously heightened with a little gilding, the effect
is not unpleasing. We hear also of dinner-services painted with
‘Chantille sprigs,’ and Turner also supplied Chamberlain with plain
white ware to be subsequently decorated at Worcester. At a later time
much gilding was applied to a richly decorated porcelain. Some of this
ware is stamped with the word ‘Salopian,’ other pieces have the letters
S or C printed or painted under the glaze; but both Dresden and even
Worcester marks were also used. Two men, at a later time representatives
of the industrial phase of porcelain, John Rose and Thomas Minton, were
trained in these short-lived works.

COALPORT OR COALBROOKDALE.--Here, on the left bank of the Severn, nearly
opposite the last-named factory, John Rose began making porcelain soon
after 1780. In 1799 he purchased from Turner (whose apprentice he had
been) the Caughley works, and in 1814 he removed the whole plant to
Coalbrookdale. Here, too, came Billingsley after the closing of the
Nantgarw works, and here he worked till his death in 1828. During the
first half of the nineteenth century the firm of John Rose and Company
was a successful rival to the Davenports, Mintons, and Copelands. Rose
excelled in the production of gorgeous vases decorated with picture
panels, and Billingsley kept up the supply of his English roses. The
older wares of Sèvres and Chelsea were copied not unsuccessfully, and
the appropriate mark was not omitted. The firm seems to have above all
prided itself upon the beauty of its _rose Pompadour_ grounds, and at a
later time, after 1850, both this ground and the turquoise blue were
largely applied to the pseudo-Sèvres porcelain that found its way to the
London china-shops. In 1820 Rose was granted a medal by the Society of
Arts for a leadless glaze, compounded of felspar and borax. The factory
at Coalport continues to produce much china on the same lines.

Near at hand, at Madeley, some very close imitations of the old Sèvres
were made by Randall between 1830 and 1840. For the origin of this
English Sèvres we must go back to the year 1813, when we hear of the
agents of London dealers buying up white and slightly decorated Sèvres
soft paste. Any enamel colour on them was removed by hydrofluoric acid,
and the surface was richly decorated in the Pompadour style. Randall
soon after this time was engaged with similar work in London: his
turquoise blues are especially praised.

[Illustration: Plate XLVII

_Water-colour Drawing. Enamel Painters at work._]

SWANSEA AND NANTGARW.--At the beginning of the nineteenth century some
works at Swansea, where a so-called ‘opaque porcelain’ had been lately
manufactured, were purchased by Mr. Lewis W. Dillwyn. Mr. Dillwyn was a
keen naturalist: he induced Mr. Young, a draughtsman who had been
employed by him in illustrating works on natural history, to learn the
art of enamel-painting on porcelain. Young devoted himself to painting
birds, shells, and above all butterflies. In spite of the aim at
scientific accuracy, the artistic effect of these delicately painted
butterflies, scattered here and there over the dead white paste, is not
unpleasant. There were some good specimens of this form of decoration in
the old Jermyn Street collection, but most of them, I think, are not
painted on a true porcelain.

Meantime, at Nantgarw (_Anglicè_ Nantgarrow), some ten miles north of
Cardiff, a small porcelain factory had been established by one William
Beely and his son-in-law, Samuel Walker.

Mr. Dillwyn, who visited the Nantgarw works in 1814, at the instigation
of his friend Sir Joseph Banks, found these two men making an admirable
soft-paste porcelain, remarkable for its translucency. ‘I agreed with
them,’ so Mr. Dillwyn reported, ‘for a removal to the Cambrian pottery
[_i.e._ to Swansea], where two new kilns were prepared under their
direction. When endeavouring to improve and strengthen this beautiful
body, I was surprised at receiving a notice from Messrs. Flight and Barr
of Worcester, charging the parties calling themselves Walker and Beely
with having clandestinely left an engagement at their works.’

Beely was in fact no other than Billingsley, the wandering artist and
‘arcanist’ who in 1774 was apprenticed to Duesbury at Derby, and had
there learned the art of painting flowers on porcelain. We hear that in
1793 he was also landlord of the ‘Nottingham Arms,’ but in spite, or
perhaps rather in consequence, of thus having two strings to his bow,
he soon after left Derby, and for twenty years led a roving life. In
1796 he was at Pinxton, and it was here, says Mr. W. Turner (_The
Ceramics of Swansea and Nantgarw_), whom I now follow, that he perfected
his famous granulated frit body. Then follows an obscure period, during
which we hear of Billingsley at Mansfield, and again as a china
manufacturer at Torksey, in Lincolnshire. Finally, in 1808, he settled
down to work at Worcester under the name of Beely. His later migrations
to Nantgarw, to Swansea, and finally to Coalport, we have already
referred to.

Three years after Billingsley’s removal to Swansea, the manufacture of
porcelain was abandoned by Mr. Dillwyn: this was in 1817, barely six
years from the time when Billingsley started the Nantgarw works.

It is not quite certain whether the marks that distinguish the two
wares--‘Nantgarw’ above the letters ‘C. W.’ in one case, ‘Swansea’
sometimes with the addition of a trident (PL. E. 80) in the other--can
always be relied on to distinguish the two factories: the former mark
may have continued in use after the removal to Swansea.

The paste of some of the ware made at Swansea was very different from
that of Billingsley’s glassy porcelain. We know that both china-clay and
steatite from the Lizard were employed here, producing a somewhat hard
and opaque body.

Apart from their paste, renowned for its absolute whiteness and
considerable translucency, Billingsley and his pupils, Pardoe and
Walker, have acquired a certain fame by their enamel-painting on this
Nantgarw porcelain. Life-size roses, auriculas, tulips, and lilies were
their favourite flowers. This was the culmination, as it were, of the
school that delighted above all in the double rose, a not very paintable
flower, at least in a decorative point of view. We saw its beginnings at
Derby more than thirty years before this time. But Baxter the younger,
whom we have come across at his father’s workshop in Gough Square,
painted figure-subjects on the Swansea porcelain, and some of the
translucent ware of the Nantgarw type was sent up to London unenamelled,
there to be converted into the old soft paste of Sèvres.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before we return to the West of England to treat of the true hard
porcelain of Plymouth and Bristol, there remain to be mentioned briefly
a few unimportant factories of soft paste--unimportant, that is, from
the point of view of art.

LOWESTOFT.--Taking advantage of some suitable clay found in the
neighbourhood, and of the fine silvery sand of the shore, a manufactory
of soft paste was established at Lowestoft about 1756. Later on we find
some references to a ‘Lowestoft Porcelain Company.’ The ware produced
was chiefly blue and white, with views of the neighbourhood, but other
small pieces are found crudely painted in colour. The execution of much
of this ware is very summary, and the glaze is often dull and spotted. A
blue and white plate in the British Museum, with _poudré_ ground and
panels painted with views of Lowestoft and the neighbourhood, is an
unusually favourable specimen. More commonly we find jugs and ink-pots
with inscriptions--‘A Trifle from Lowestoft,’ etc.--and with dates in
one or two cases ranging from 1762 to 1789. Whether any hard porcelain
from other sources was ever painted at Lowestoft is very doubtful.[242]

The ‘Lowestoft porcelain’ of the dealers is now known to have been
painted by Chinese artists at Canton. That this is so was conclusively
proved many years ago by Sir A. W. Franks. The thrashing out of the
question had the advantage of throwing much light on the origin of this
curious pseudo-European decoration. The greater part of this porcelain
painted at Canton is covered with elaborate armorial designs, and it was
made not only for England but for other European countries that traded
with the East. The history of this Sinico-European ware is well
illustrated in a large collection brought together chiefly by the late
Sir A. W. Franks and now in the British Museum.[243]

LIVERPOOL.--Pottery had been an article of export from Liverpool from an
early date, and much of the ware exported (it went above all to America)
was made in the neighbourhood. During the sixties of the eighteenth
century more than one of the local potters began to make a soft-paste
porcelain. One of these men--Richard Chaffers--we find scouring the
county of Cornwall in search of soap-stone and china-clay, as early
probably as the year 1755. Professor Church gives the recipe for the
‘china body’ used in 1769 by another potter--Pennington. The materials
are bone-ash, Lynn sand, flint, and clay,[244] the latter probably from

There is a good deal of uncertainty as to the identification of the
Liverpool china: some of it has perhaps been classed as Worcester or
Salopian. Examples of the ware attributed to this town may be found at
South Kensington; they are somewhat rudely printed in a heavy dark blue.
But it is probable that very little true porcelain was made at Liverpool
in the eighteenth century.

Early in the next century an important factory for pottery and
porcelain was founded on the opposite side of the Mersey, and thither
many workmen were brought from Staffordshire. Porcelain was made there
until the year 1841. The ware was marked ‘Herculaneum,’ the name of the
works. We find at times a bird holding a branch in its beak used as a
mark. This is the ‘liver,’ the crest of the town of Liverpool. The
liver, indeed, is occasionally found on ware of an earlier date.

PINXTON.--Our chief interest in the factory established in 1795 at
Pinxton, on the borders of Derbyshire and Northampton, by John Coke, is
derived from the temporary residence there of Billingsley. This was his
first stopping-place after leaving the Derby works: here he remained
until 1801, and it was here, probably, that he developed the ‘china
body’ used by him afterwards at Nantgarw. There were some pleasing
specimens of the Pinxton ware in the old Jermyn Street collection simply
decorated with ‘French twigs’ in blue and green. The ice-pail at South
Kensington, with canary ground and frieze of roses, illustrated in
Professor Church’s little book, was probably painted by Billingsley.

At CHURCH GRESLEY, in the extreme south of Derbyshire, an ambitious
attempt to make a porcelain of high quality nearly ruined Sir Nigel
Gresley, the representative of the old family long settled there. This
was in 1795, and after three successive owners had sunk their fortunes
in the factory, the works were finally closed in 1808. I can point to no
example of porcelain that can with certainty be attributed to these
kilns. Pottery and encaustic tiles are, however, still made in the

ROCKINGHAM PORCELAIN.--At Swinton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, not
far from Sheffield, pottery-works were established in the eighteenth
century on the estates of the Wentworth family. These potteries were
called after the Marquis of Rockingham, who was more than once at the
head of the Government, and the name was carried over to the porcelain
which was made there by Thomas Brameld in the next century. This
factory was in existence from 1820 to 1842, and the ware turned out well
represents the taste of the time. ‘Brameld,’ we are told, ‘spared no
labour or cost in bringing his porcelain to perfection, and in the
painting and gilding he employed the best artists.’ The ornate
dinner-services made by him for William IV. and other royal personages
probably surpassed in elaborate decoration and expense of production
anything of the kind ever made in England. At South Kensington is a
gigantic vase--it is more than three feet in height,--on the top is a
gilt rhinoceros, an oak branch embraces the sides, the base is modelled
in the form of three paws, and the whole body of the vase is covered
with a series of highly finished pictures, chiefly flower pieces. This
vase is a unique example of everything that should be avoided in the
modelling and decoration of porcelain. On some of the Rockingham china
we find a griffin as a mark, in honour of Lord Fitzwilliam, who had
succeeded to the Wentworth estates on the death of his uncle, Lord

       *       *       *       *       *

Already, at the commencement of the nineteenth century, the manufacture
of porcelain in England was beginning to be concentrated in the hands of
a few large firms in the pottery district of North Staffordshire, and
here a definite type of ‘china body’ was established suitable for
practical use. Bone-ash mixed with china-stone and china-clay from
Cornwall were and still remain the essential constituents of this paste:
to these materials ground flints are sometimes added.

Although it is apart from our purpose to trace the history of the great
Staffordshire firms, we must say a word of one family--the Spodes of
Stoke-upon-Trent. The firm founded by them was in a measure the common
centre from which the later establishments had their origin. Josiah
Spode the elder had been making pottery of various kinds at Stoke since
the year 1749; he it was who introduced the blue willow pattern to the
Staffordshire potteries. It was to his son, the second Josiah, that the
credit of first using bone-ash as an ingredient of porcelain was so long
ascribed. The statement thus put is of course absurd. His real merit lay
in abandoning the use of a frit and adopting a china-body consisting
simply of a mixture of china-stone and china-clay from Cornwall, with a
large proportion of bone-ash, and thus settling once for all the
composition of the industrial porcelain of England, a ware differing in
many respects from the eighteenth century soft pastes, and one capable
of being manufactured on a large scale without the risks that always
attended the firing of the latter. His ‘felspar porcelain,’ often so
marked, is of less consequence, but by using pure felspar instead of
china-stone he forestalled the practice since adopted by many
continental works, where felspar of Scandinavian origin is now largely

Later on, when William Copeland joined the firm, they became the most
important makers of porcelain and earthenware in England, and the
Continent was inundated with their wares. The founder of the rival firm
of Minton was a Shropshire man: at the end of the eighteenth century he
had been apprenticed to Turner at Caughley, and he, too, worked at one
time in the Spode factory. At a later date both firms claimed the credit
for the invention of an improved kind of biscuit, the Parian ware, of
which much was heard about the middle of the last century.

There is at South Kensington a representative collection of the finer
Spode wares, presented by a niece of the second Josiah. Great technical
perfection was attained, and the enamel colours are remarkably brilliant
and effective. I have already referred to a large tray, on which the
brocade pattern of the old Imari is seen in the last stage of decay. The
elements of the design have fallen to pieces, and lie helplessly
scattered over the surface. Yet this is a carefully finished piece, and
the enamels are of good quality. I take this tray as a typical example
of a style of decoration with coloured enamels both on porcelain and
earthenware which prevailed not many years ago on wares in domestic use.
Along with the transfer-printed _camaïeu_ mentioned on page 360, these
wares found their way to most parts of Europe and America.

BELLEEK.--Probably the last attempt that has been made with us to
establish a new factory of porcelain was at Belleek, near Lough Erne, in
northern Ireland. Here, under the direction of Mr. Armstrong, a very
fine and translucent paste was first made in 1857, and a peculiar
nacreous lustre was given to the ware by the use of a glaze prepared
with a salt of bismuth. The local felspar was employed together with
china-clay brought from Cornwall. Some care was given to the modelling
in imitation of shells and corals. Little of this ware, which may be
classed as a hard-paste porcelain, has been made of recent years.


ENGLISH PORCELAIN--(_continued_).


The manufacture of true porcelain had but a short life in England. The
ware has no especial artistic merit, nor was it ever commercially of
much importance. And yet in the history of this short-lived attempt to
imitate the porcelain of China and Saxony, we find so many points (in
the composition and technique of the ware above all) that illustrate and
confirm what we have said in some early chapters, that we shall have to
follow up this history somewhat closely.

Moreover, the two men, thanks to whose energy and scientific knowledge
the difficulties attending the first manufacture of the new substance
were overcome, interest us in more ways than one. There is, in the first
place, Cookworthy the quaker, who, once he had solved the practical
problem that had hitherto baffled all the potters and arcanists of
England and France, was content to return to a quiet life among the
little _coterie_ of ‘friends’ at Plymouth. The other is Champion, the
friend of Burke, who, after his business had been ruined by the American
War, preferred to end his life as a farmer in the new country, with
whose struggle for independence he had throughout sympathised.

The two letters of the Père D’Entrecolles on the manufacture of
porcelain in China were known through their publication in Du Halde’s
collection soon after the date (1722) at which the second one was
written. The search for the essential constituents of a true porcelain
at once began. One of the first results of this search was the
appearance of the ‘Unaker, the produce of the Cherokee nation of
America,’ which is mentioned in Frye’s patent of 1744. Shortly after the
middle of the century, as we learn from Borlase’s _History of Cornwall_
(published in 1758), the attention of more than one manufacturer of
porcelain was directed to that county. But no one probably was so well
equipped for the search as William Cookworthy, the druggist of
Plymouth--he was already thoroughly acquainted with the geology of the
county. Cookworthy, too, must have carefully studied the letters of the
Jesuit missionary. In the memoir written by him at a later date (it is
given in full in Owen’s _Two Centuries of Ceramic Art at Bristol_) he
clearly distinguishes ‘the _petunse_, the _Caulin_, and the _Wha-she_,’
or soapy rock.[245]

In fact it is this that gives to Cookworthy so important a place in the
history of porcelain. He was probably the first in Europe to attack
practically, and finally to conquer, the problem of making a true
porcelain strictly on the lines of the Chinese as interpreted by the
Père D’Entrecolles. Böttger’s success, if one is to accept the official
German account, was rather the result of some happy accident--an
accident, it is true, of which only a man of genius knows how to avail

Cookworthy had his attention directed to the subject by an American
quaker, of whom he writes, in May 1745: ‘I had lately with me the person
who hath discovered the China-earth. He had several examples of the
China ware of their making with him, which were, I think, equal to the
Asiatic; ... having read Du Halde, he discovered both the China-stone
and the Caulin.’[246]

Both the petuntse and the ‘Caulin’ were first identified by Cookworthy
at Tregonnin Hill (between Marazion and Helston)--this was about 1750.
The nature and mode of occurrence of both the growan or moor-stone and
of the growan clay, to use the local names, are admirably described by
him. Soon after this he found the two materials at St. Stephen’s,
between Truro and St. Austell, in the centre of what is now the great
china-clay district of Cornwall.

There must have been many experiments with the new materials, and many
failures, before the year 1768, when Cookworthy took out his patent, and
with the pecuniary assistance of Thomas Pitt of Boconnoc (later Lord
Camelford) started his factory at Plymouth. It is doubtful whether this
factory was in existence for more than two years. In any case there is
evidence that already, by the year 1770, the ‘Plymouth New Invented
Porcelain Manufactory’ was at work at Bristol.

We have proof, too, that before this time Richard Champion and others
had been working in the latter town with the new Cornish materials.
Champion had been asked by Lord Hyndford to make a report upon some
kaolin sent to him from South Carolina. In his reply he says: ‘I had it
tried at a manufactory set up some time ago on the principle of the
Chinese porcelain, but not being successful, is given up.... The
proprietors of the works in Bristol imagined they had discovered in
Cornwall all the materials similar to the Chinese; but though they burnt
the body part tolerably well, yet there were impurities in the glaze or
stone which were insurmountable even in the greatest fire they could
give it, and which was equal to the Glasshouse heat.... I have sent some
[_i.e_. of the Carolina clay] to Worcester, but this and all the English
porcelains being composed of frits, there is no probability of success.’
This is written in February 1766, before the date of Cookworthy’s

Meantime, in France, two men of some scientific pretensions, both of
them members of the _Académie des Sciences_, Lauraguais[248] and
D’Arcet, had discovered the kaolin deposits near Alençon. Lauraguais had
soon after 1760 succeeded in making some kind of porcelain with the
materials he had found. He was, however, forestalled by Guettard, a
rival chemist in the service of the Duke of Orleans, who in November
1765 read a paper before the _Académie_ on the kaolin and petuntse of
Alençon. Lauraguais, in disgust, after a violent rejoinder, came over to

In a curious letter dated April 1766, Dr. Darwin, writing to Wedgwood,
says: ‘Count Laragaut has been at Birmingham & offer’d ye Secret of
making ye finest old China as cheap as your Pots. He says ye materials
are in England. That ye secret has cost £16,000--y^{t}He will sell it
for £2000--He is a Man of Science, dislikes his own Country, was six
months in ye Bastile for speaking against ye Government--loves every
thing English’; but, adds Darwin, ‘I suspect his Scientific Passion is
stronger than perfect Sanity’ (Miss Meteyard, _Life of Wedgwood_, vol.
i. p. 436). Lauraguais, in 1766, proposed to take out a patent for
making not only the coarser species of china, but ‘the more beautiful
ware of the Indies and the finest of Japan.’ The specification was never
enrolled, and nothing came of it. There exist, however, a few specimens
of china marked with the letters B. L. (Brancas Lauraguais) in a flowing
hand, which are attributed to the Count.[249] The paste, says Professor
Church, is fine, hard, and of good colour. An analysis gives 58 per
cent. of silica, 36 per cent. of alumina, and 6 per cent. of other
bases. It will be observed that the percentage of alumina in this
porcelain is exceptionally high.

We see, therefore, that before the year 1770, when Cookworthy removed to
Bristol, true porcelain had been made in more than one place in England,
but not with enough success to allow the new ware to compete with the
soft pastes of Worcester and elsewhere. So in France, although the new
paste was introduced at Sèvres in 1769, it was only in 1774, so
Brongniart tells us, that the manufacture of hard porcelain was firmly

Champion seems to have been on friendly terms with Cookworthy, and in
1773 he bought from the latter the entire patent rights. In the two
previous years much of the new porcelain had been made. It is claimed
for it in advertisements that, unlike the English china generally, it
will wear as well as the East Indian, and that the enamelled porcelain,
though nearly as cheap as the English blue and white, ‘comes very near,
and in some pieces equals, the Dresden, which this work more
particularly imitates.’ This is from a local journal of November 1772,
and we may add that not only the ware was imitated, but also the
well-known marks of Dresden.[250]

Now, if we turn from these general considerations to examine the nature
of the West of England ware, we find some difficulty in drawing a line
between the early, partly experimental, porcelain made at Plymouth and
the later, more successful, products of the Bristol kilns. Nor will the
mark, the alchemist’s sign for Jupiter[251] (PL. E. 83), first used on
the Plymouth porcelain, help us much, for the same mark was certainly
used to some extent after Cookworthy’s migration to Bristol.

To Plymouth we must attribute the plain white ware with a glaze of dull
hue, disfigured by dark lines where the glaze lies thick in the
interstices. Cookworthy, we know, attempted to make his glaze from the
Cornish stone without the addition of any other substances.[252] In
other cases he followed the recipe given by the Père D’Entrecolles, and
gave greater fusibility to the growan-stone by adding a small quantity
of a frit made from a mixture of lime and fern ashes. Cookworthy even
ventured to follow the Chinese plan, and applied the glaze to the raw


or very slightly baked paste. The blue and white made by him, if we may
judge from the little mug in the British Museum, with the arms of
Plymouth and the date, March 14, 1768, was of very poor quality. The
Oriental designs on his enamelled porcelain seem to have come to him by
way of Chantilly. More successful was the plain white ware modelled in
relief, in a way that often calls to mind the early work of Bow. A good
example is the ‘Tridacna’ salt-cellar in the former Jermyn Street

At least one French modeller and enameller was employed at Plymouth, and
after the removal to Bristol we find the name of a German also. Henry
Bone, a Truro man, who afterwards became famous as a miniature-painter
in enamels, entered the works at Bristol as a lad, and passed there the
six years of his apprenticeship. Bone, who later on wrote R.A. after his
name, was the principal representative in England of the school of
painters in enamel upon slabs of porcelain, that played so important a
part at Sèvres at the beginning of the last century. At one time a
modeller of some skill must have been employed. Perhaps this was the
mysterious Soqui or Le Quoi.[253] Some little statuettes in the
Schreiber collection at South Kensington, ‘the Seasons,’ as represented
by boys and girls, are charmingly modelled. But we must not look for any
brilliancy of colour in the enamels. The highly infusible nature of the
paste, and what is even more important, of the glaze, added immensely to
the difficulty of obtaining anything of the kind. If we compare the
enamels on these statuettes with those on the Chelsea and Derby figures
in the same collection, the difference is at once apparent. The two most
important colours in the latter wares, the rose-pink and the turquoise,
it was impossible to develop at the high temperature required to soften
the refractory glaze of the hard porcelain. The greens, however, and the
coral reds of the Bristol figures are more successful. In the
specifications of 1775 there is mention of a glaze containing much
kaolin mixed with some arsenic and tin oxide.[254] Such a glaze might
allow of more brilliancy in the enamels, and it is to be noticed in this
connection that some statuettes long classed as Chelsea have only
comparatively lately been recognised as consisting of the Bristol paste.

Perhaps what we may regard as the most remarkable, certainly the most
original, work produced by Champion are the little circular or oval
plaques of white biscuit. These medallions vary from four to nine inches
in diameter. The central field contains a coat-of-arms modelled in low
relief, or more rarely a portrait bust, and among these last we find
heads of Benjamin Franklin and of George Washington, pointing to the
political sympathies of Champion. A wreath of flowers in full relief
surrounds the field--the sharpness and the finish in the modelling of
these minute leaves and blossoms has never been approached in this or
other material. In the manner of treatment, these wreaths are thoroughly
English, and we are reminded of the flowers carved in wood by Grinling
Gibbons (PL. XLIX.).

Champion made also a commoner ware, which he called ‘cottage china.’
This was summarily decorated in colours without any gilding. The glaze
on this ware was applied over the raw paste, on the Chinese plan that
had already been tried by Cookworthy.

Champion was an active politician and a vehement


supporter of the American colonists in their dispute with the mother
country. The visit of Edmund Burke to Bristol in 1774, and his election
as member for the city, may be regarded as the climax of his career.
Then it was that the famous tea-set was presented by Champion and his
wife to Mrs. Burke, as a _pignus amicitiæ_. Still more elaborately
decorated was the other service that Burke gave to Mrs. Smith, the wife
of the friend of Champion, at whose house he stayed on this occasion.
The shapes and the decoration of this service were founded on Dresden
models, and the wreaths of laurels that formed an essential part of the
design afforded a good field for the display of the green colour in
which Champion excelled.

But Champion’s troubles were now to begin. In 1775 his petition to
Parliament for a renewal of his patent was vigorously opposed by
Wedgwood. Champion must have been put to great expense--he exhibited
before a committee of the House some selected specimens of his
porcelain. He, however, won his case, though the monopoly in the
employment of the Cornish clays was restricted to their use as a
material for _transparent_ wares, a point of some importance to the
Staffordshire potter. But meantime the American War was ruining his
business--for Champion was in the first place a merchant trading with
the West Indies and America--and it is probable that little porcelain
was made by him after 1777. The next year Wedgwood, his inveterate
opponent, in a letter to Bentley, says of him, ‘Poor Champion, you may
have heard, is quite demolished.... I suppose we might buy some
Growan-stone and Growan-clay now upon easy terms.’ In 1781, after a long
negotiation, he disposed of his patent to some Staffordshire potters,
and shortly after this he emigrated to America. Champion was only
forty-eight years old when, in 1791, he died at his new home in South

As Professor Church has pointed out, the paste of the Bristol porcelain
is of exceptional hardness. It is, in fact, in some specimens as hard as
quartz, that is, say, the hardness is equal to 7 in the scale of the
mineralogist: the hardness of Oriental porcelain, it will be remembered,
varies between 6 and 6·5; the glaze on the Bristol china is about 6 on
the same scale. The fractured surface may be described as subconchoidal
and somewhat flaky, with a greasy to vitreous lustre. On the Plymouth
and Bristol wares, especially on the larger vases, may often be seen,
when viewed in a favourable light, certain spiral ridges, the result of
the unequal pressure of the ‘thrower’s’ hand. Similar ridges may indeed
be observed at times on other hard paste wares, both Chinese and
European, and this ‘wreathing’ or _vissage_, as Brongniart long ago
pointed out, is the result of the _too great plasticity_ of the clay,--a
clay may, in fact, be too ‘fat’ to work well on the wheel. This
plasticity, however, would be of advantage to the modeller, especially
when working on a very small scale; indeed the delicate floral reliefs
in biscuit, on the plaques we have already spoken of, could only have
been made from a fine and unctuous clay. How refractory to heat this
same paste is, was well proved by the fire at the Alexandra Palace in
1873, when so many fine specimens of English porcelain were destroyed. A
biscuit plaque or medallion of Bristol porcelain passed uninjured (by
heat at least) through this fire, while the soft porcelain alongside of
it was completely melted.

The paste, then, of this Bristol ware is remarkable both for its
resistance to heat and for its great plasticity. These are both
qualities that point to an excess of kaolin in its composition, and this
excess is confirmed by analysis. Professor Church found in a specimen of
Bristol china 63 per cent. of silica, 33 per cent. of alumina, and only
4 per cent. of lime and alkalis. The percentage of alumina is about the
same as that in the hard pastes of Meissen and of Sèvres, but the small
amount of the other bases is quite exceptional. A paste of this
composition would contain about 65 per cent. of kaolin.

And here, before ending, we may for a moment return to what is, perhaps,
the crucial point of all in the composition of true porcelain--for it is
one that has a radical influence both on the technical and on the
artistic side. The first question we must ask when inquiring into the
composition of any specimen of porcelain is this--What proportion of
kaolin enters into its composition? Or if it is a matter of the primary
constituents of the paste--What is the percentage of alumina that it
contains? Now we may consider the composition of kaolin, after removing
the water, to be silica 54 per cent. and alumina 46 per cent., and the
nearer the composition of our porcelain approaches to these figures, the
greater will be its hardness, its resistance to fire, and the greater
also the plasticity of the paste--the greater in fact will be what we
have called the ‘severity’ of the type.[255]

Now for the other component of porcelain, the petuntse or china-stone.
The composition of this material differs widely, but let us take the
mean of some analyses of Cornish stone. On this basis we may take silica
72 per cent., alumina 18 per cent., other bases 10 per cent., as our
type. The result of adding such a material to our kaolin will be to
increase the percentage of silica and of the ‘other bases,’ and to
diminish the percentage of alumina in the resultant mixture. Our paste
now becomes less plastic and the resultant porcelain more readily
softened by heat, but at the same time less hard.

So far every one would be agreed. But the question now arises, are we to
attribute this increased fusibility to the higher percentage of the
other bases (these are, in the case of European porcelain, practically
lime and potash), or in a measure at least to the increased amount of
silica in the paste? We have here three variants, the silica, the
alumina, and the ‘other bases,’ and the case is therefore somewhat
complicated. I think, however, that the careful examination of any table
giving the composition of various types of porcelain would show that up
to a certain point an increase in the amount of silica promotes a lower
softening-point in the paste, and this in cases where there is no
important change in the proportion of the ‘other bases.’ I will
illustrate this by comparing the composition of the severe hard paste of
Sèvres on the one hand with an analysis of a mild type of Chinese
porcelain on the other:--

    Sèvres hard paste (1843).    Chinese porcelain.

  Silica,       58   per cent.    70·5 per cent.
  Alumina,      34·5    ”         21      ”
  Other bases,   7·5    ”          7·5    ”

No doubt, if the percentage of silica is further increased, say beyond
78 or 80 per cent., we get again a practically infusible body. But with
a paste of this composition the resultant ware is no longer
translucent--we pass from the region of porcelain to a true stoneware.

Thus we see that in composition a mild porcelain forms a middle term
between stoneware on the one hand, and a severe porcelain on the other.
In other words, stoneware cannot be regarded as an extreme type of a
refractory porcelain.



We have seen that in England the new aims and the new schemes of
decoration that have so profoundly affected most of our industrial arts
have so far had little influence upon the porcelain manufactured by the
large Staffordshire firms. Here and there, as by Mr. Bernard Moore of
Longton, an attempt has been made to take up the problem of the _flambé_
glazes, which has so fascinated the French potters. Mr. Moore has
succeeded in making some _sang de bœuf_ vases which in outline and
colour closely follow the Chinese models. Otherwise the many skilful
artists--more than one of them, I think, are Frenchmen--employed by our
porcelain manufacturers have been content to follow in the main the old
traditions, nor has any occasional attempt that has been made to
imitate, not the latest but rather the work of the last generation at
Sèvres, produced any very satisfactory results. It cannot be denied that
both in the design and in the decoration our English porcelain has, for
some time, remained outside the art movement of the day.

Indeed at the present time, and for the last twenty years, whatever of
interest we can find in the contemporary production of porcelain,
centres in two factories--Sèvres and Copenhagen. To the latter works we
must now return for a moment.

The royal factory, of which we have already spoken, was closed after the
disastrous war of 1864. But during the eighties a number of able men,
both artists and men of science, occupied themselves with the new
porcelain problems, and in 1888 a fresh company was formed, the
‘Alumina.’ These men--I will only mention Philip Schou--were much
impressed by the technical and artistic merits of the porcelain lately
sent from Japan, highly finished ware decorated under the glaze with
great delicacy and generally in subdued colours. They were influenced
above all by the work of the Japanese potter Miyagawa Kozan, called
Makudzo. The Danish porcelain produced during the nineties is
distinguished as a whole by its cool, subdued colours, with a prevalence
of various pearly tints approaching more or less to celadon. In the
carefully executed but boldly designed decoration, we see the influence
both of the Japanese naturalists and of the impressionist painters of
the day. The snow scenes, the rocks, the dancing waves and the sea birds
have been suggested by the stormy coasts of the Baltic and the North
Sea. It is from the primitive rocks of this coast that the pure felspar,
which plays so large a part both in the paste and in the glaze, has been

It was at Copenhagen probably that the crystalline glazes, derived from
salts of bismuth, were first made--this was by Engelhart, about 1884.

At a rival Danish factory--that of Bing and Gröndhal--many clever
artists, some of them ladies, have modelled in porcelain figures of
animals either in the round or in relief on the sides of vases: we find
dogs, cats, and even seals (but not the human figure). Indeed in this
kind of work something in the nature of a school has grown up.

Fresh life has lately been given to the old works at Rörstrand, near
Stockholm. Here in the underglaze decoration the same cool, pearly
colours that we find in favour at Copenhagen are predominant. Great
care has lately been devoted to the modelling of flowers.

At the Rozenburg works, near the Hague, a new paste has been invented by
Juriann Kok. The extraordinary tenacity and plasticity of this material
allows of its being worked into the strangest forms--some of the vases,
with long, thin, angular handles, suggest work in hammered metal. By
means of a fantastic decoration--quaint, elongated figures, and forms of
marine life, such as the long-clawed Japanese lobster--a certain
original _cachet_ has been given to this ware.

The Charlottenburg works, near Berlin, have lately felt the influence
both of Copenhagen and of the new school of Sèvres. Everything has been
lately tried--sculpturesque developments in various directions, and
again the decoration of large wall surfaces with porcelain plaques
enamelled so as to resemble oil pictures; but as in former days, so now,
the technical and scientific side of this industry tends to prevail over
the artistic.

M. Édouard Garnier, the late director of the Museum at Sèvres, in a
report upon the porcelain exhibited at Paris in 1900, has ably summed up
his impressions of the wares now being manufactured in various parts of
Europe, and I cannot do better than follow so excellent an authority in
his ‘appreciations’ of this modern porcelain.

M. Garnier dates the latest renaissance of European porcelain from the
new ground struck out in the seventies, not only at Sèvres, by Deck and
others, but also in many private kilns, as by Bracquemont in Paris and
by Haviland in the Limoges district. What specially distinguishes the
latest work is the advantage taken of the new colours that can now be
employed with the _grand feu_ so as to participate in the brilliancy and
purity of the glaze. A delicacy of tone, a transparency and a harmony
are now obtainable which contrasts favourably with the dry and dull
colours of the old methods of painting. On the other hand, says M.
Garnier, the progress in chemical knowledge has been so rapid that the
new processes and colours have tended to become the masters of the
artists who employ them, instead of remaining subtle tools in their

This tendency is especially noticeable at Copenhagen, and the
crystalline glazes, derived from bismuth, that have spread thence all
over Europe, are a case in point. So again, starting from the _flambé_
glaze of the Chinese, the modern potter is inclined to run riot with the
numerous new materials at his command.

At Sèvres--I follow M. Garnier’s report--advantage has been taken of the
new porcelain paste (that of the ‘milder’ Chinese type) to revive in the
biscuit ware the reproductions of works of sculpture for which the
factory was so renowned in the days of the _pâte tendre_. The pureness
and softness of the material and the skill of the manipulation are
noteworthy apart from the artistic merit of the work. (Let me here call
attention to the fifteen figures by Léonard, ‘_Le Jeu de l’Écharpe_,’ in
the new biscuit ware.) This revolution in the style of decoration has
now spread to other parts of France, and has affected the great
commercial factories of the south-west, especially the ware made by the
firm of Haviland.

English porcelain was but poorly represented at Paris in 1900; besides,
as we have said, it is in other branches of the potter’s art that we
have to look for a reflection of our new native school of decoration. It
is indeed a curious fact that many of the designs that we associate with
Morris and his followers may be found rather upon the wares of
Copenhagen and Sèvres than on our English porcelain. I cannot, however,
pass over some criticisms of M. Garnier, in which he falls foul of
certain tendencies in the fashioning and decoration of the wares turned
out by our big Staffordshire firms. As to how far these criticisms are
merited, any one may form an opinion for himself by a glance at the
shop-windows of London. ‘The English paste,’ says M. Garnier, ‘is of a
special nature which lends itself admirably both to the shaping and to
the decoration; the execution is _hors ligne_, but this is accompanied
by an overloading of detail, a heaviness in the decoration, and a want
of harmony and proportion between the different parts of the piece that
cause one to regret that so much talent and care have been employed only
to arrive at so very unsatisfactory a result. Besides this, we notice in
the English _céramiste_ a want of sincerity, with the result that at
first sight you cannot tell what manner of substance you are looking at,
whether it is porcelain or dirty ivory, or again a gilt ceramic ware
rather than a bronze with a poor patina.’ A curious point in connection
with this criticism is that, if I am not mistaken, a good deal of the
work thus severely dealt with has been designed, if not executed, by
French artists. It is made, however, to satisfy the demand of our great
unleavened middle-class.

Turning to the porcelain from the royal works at Charlottenburg, M.
Garnier finds fault with the exuberance and overloading of the
sculptures and reliefs. But certain large architectural pieces and some
frames in rococo style, in pure white ware, excite his admiration, for
the beauty of the paste, the purity and the limpidity of the glaze, and
the marvellous way in which the technical difficulties of the execution
have been surmounted; so, too, for the brilliancy of the colouring and
the way in which the enamel colours combine with and form one material
with the glaze, as if one were looking at a soft-paste ware. Above all,
in some pieces of the ‘new porcelain’--for the milder paste is now in
use at Berlin to some extent--the colours of the _grand feu_ and the
purity of the enamel are remarkable.

At Meissen, says M. Garnier, they are still working on the old lines:
reproductions of the models made a century and a half ago by Kändler are
as much as ever in demand. Certain ambitious attempts in a newer style
have resulted in errors that will add nothing to the fame of the works.
(Dr. Heintze, the present director, has especially devoted himself to
the development of the new colours under the glaze. But the porcelain
now produced, apart from the copies of the old wares, follows in the
lines either of the Copenhagen porcelain, or again, at times, of the
coloured pastes of Sèvres.)

Certain districts of Northern Bohemia have become of late centres of
ceramic industry. The predominant bad taste and over-decoration of the
porcelain made there (I still follow M. Garnier) is above all
exemplified in certain coloured statuettes, ‘_articles de bazar_ which
corrupt the taste of the public and whose sale ought to be prohibited.’
An exception must be made for the produce of the Pirkenhausen works,
near Carlsbad. The marvellous plasticity of the paste, made from the
rich deposits of kaolin near Zottlitz, has been taken full advantage of,
not only on the wheel and in the mould; it has allowed also of the free
modelling of the superadded reliefs by the artist’s hand.

The factory at Herend, in Hungary, founded in 1839, no longer turns out
the ware of Oriental style, so much admired by Brongniart, by Humboldt,
and by Thiers. Herr Fischer, the director and principal artist, has
lately made good imitations of the coloured pastes of Sèvres, with
leaves and branches in relief.

At St. Petersburg the imitation of the over-decorated hard paste of
Sèvres has been abandoned in favour of the soft and harmonious colours
and the pure and limpid glazes of Copenhagen. The vases with designs of
white paste, in relief upon coloured grounds, in a manner now little in
favour at Sèvres, are less happy. At the Kousnetzoff factory, at Moscow,
a polychrome decoration, in imitation of Byzantine embroideries and
enamels, has been applied to tea-services of somewhat geometrical forms,
while the French porcelain of the time of Louis Philippe continues to be

At Copenhagen, says M. Garnier, the new porcelain, which since its
introduction in 1889 has been praised and exalted in all the art
journals of Europe, is still produced on the same lines. Not to speak of
the new and strange results already obtained from coloured and enamelled
glazes, greater experience in the use of the extended palette at the
command of the decorator has produced results in which we find an
admirable delicacy and restraint. It was, however, from Sèvres that the
impulse first came. We can trace it in the work turned out of late years
by Messrs. Bing and Gröndhal. But in place of the amiable and gracious
art of France we find here a severe, sometimes we might almost say a
rude, style, but one not without character and elevation.

At Rörstrand, near Stockholm (see above, p. 388), the work still
continues on the lines of the older porcelain of Copenhagen (_i.e._ in
the style in favour ten or twelve years ago), with the same simplicity
and charm in the decoration and delicacy in the modelled relief. Perhaps
we may attribute to a special quality in the felspar of the north the
pure and refined quality so noticeable in the pastes and glazes.

At Rozenburg, continues M. Garnier, a factory already well known for its
fayence, a very original kind of porcelain has lately been made. The
composition of the paste, though based on kaolin, presents some
peculiarities. The ware is of an incredible thinness and lightness, and
the strange decoration, based in part upon Japanese motives, is not
without charm and originality. The shapes of the vases, however, go too
far in the direction of eccentricity. (Cf. p. 389.)

As at Meissen, so in the porcelain now made in Italy there is a total
absence of all personality and novelty, and the old, well-beaten road is
still followed. At Florence this is carried so far that the old moulds
acquired so many years ago from the Capo di Monte works are still in
use. ‘Ce sont des choses,’ says M. Garnier, ‘qui prêtent trop au
“truquage” et qu’il faut laisser aux fabricants de vieuxneuf.’



     1. _Ta Ming Yung-lo_, 1402-1424. Mark of Yung-lo, engraved under
     the glaze in early seal or ‘tadpole’ characters.

     2. _Ta Ming Hsuan-te nien chi_, 1425-1435.

     3. _Cheng-hua nien chi_, 1464-1487.

     4. _Ta Ming Cheng-te nien chi_, 1505-1521.

     5. _Ta Ming Kia-Tsing nien chi_, 1521-1566.

     6. _Ta Ming Lung-king nien chi_, 1566-1572.

     7. _Ta Ming Wan-li nien chi_, 1572-1619.

     8. _Ta Tsing Kang-he nien chi_, 1661-1722.

     9. _Ta Tsing Yung-cheng nien chi_, 1722-1735.

     10.       _Do._      _do_.,        in seal characters.

     11. _Ta Tsing Kien-lung nien chi_, 1735-1795. Seal characters.

     12. _Ta Tsing Kia-king nien chi_, 1795-1820. Seal characters.

     13. _Ta Tsing Tao-kwang nien chi_, 1820-1850. Seal characters.

     14. _Ta Tsing Tung-chi nien chi_, 1861-1874. Seal characters.

     15. _Wan chang shan tu._ ‘Scholarship lofty as the Hills and the
     Great Bear.’

     16. _Ki yuh pao ting chi chin._ ‘A gem among precious vessels of
     rare jade.’

     17. _Shun-ti tang chi._ ‘Made at the Shun-ti (cultivation of
     virtue) Hall.’

     18. _Tsae chuan chi lo._ ‘Enjoying themselves in the waters.’

     19. Conventionalised seal character for _Sho_--longevity.

     19A. _Fu_, a bat, a synonym of _fu_--happiness.


     20. _Kai-raku yen sei._ ‘Made at the Kai-raku house.’

     21. _Ken-zan._ The maker’s name.

     22. _Yei-raku._ The seal granted to Zengoro. Seal character.

     23. _Fuku._ Happiness. (Chinese, _Fu_.) Seal character.

     24. _Hopin chi liu._ (Japanese, _Ka hin shi riu_). _See_ p. 199


     25. Meissen. The rod of Æsculapius.

     26. Meissen. Monogram of Augustus II., King of Poland.

     27. Meissen. Crossed swords and letter (for painter or director).

     28. Vienna. The shield of Austria.

     29. Höchst. The wheel of the Mainz archbishops, surmounted by a

     30. Fürstenberg. The initial letter of the town.

     31. Berlin. The sceptre carried by the Brandenburg elector as grand
     chamberlain of the empire.

     32. Frankenthal. Crowned lion of the palatinate; the monogram J. A.
     H., probably for Joseph Adam Hannong.

     33. Frankenthal. The monogram of Karl Theodor, surmounted by a

     34. Nymphenburg. Quarter of shield with arms of Bavaria.

     35. Ludwigsburg. Arms of Würtemberg. Three stag horns.

     36. Ludwigsburg. Monogram of Duke Charles, surmounted by ducal

     37. Fulda. Double F, for ‘Fürstliche Fuldaische.’

     38. Fulda. Cross from the arms of the prince bishop.

     39. Herend. Below--the arms of Hungary.


     40. Weesp. Crossed swords and three dots. Similar mark used

     41. Oude Loosdrecht. The ‘M:’ stands for manufactuur.’

     42. The Hague. The arms of the town.

     43. Copenhagen. The wavy lines represent the ‘three Belts.’

     44. Sweden; Marieberg. The three crowns from the arms of Sweden.

     45. Moscow. St. George surrounded by band, with inscription. Above,
     the Russian eagle.

     46. St. Petersburg. Monogram of Catherine II. (Ekaterina).


     47. Tournay. A tower, the arms of the town.

     48. Tournay. Crossed swords and four crosses.

     49. Zurich. German Z and two dots.

     50. Nyon. A fish.


     51. Saint-Cloud. The sun, emblem of Louis XIV.

     52. Saint-Cloud. Initials of town and of director of factory--Trou.

     53. Chantilly. A hunter’s horn.

     54. Mennecy. D. V., for the Duc de Villeroy.

     55. Vincennes. The initials of Louis XV. crossed, without

     56. Vincennes. Initials of Louis XV.; year-mark for 1753, and
     decorator’s mark (H.).

     57. Sèvres. Time of First Empire. The 7 stands for 1807.

     58. Sèvres. Double C, enclosing X, for Charles X. 24 for 1824.

     59. Paris; Courtille. Two crossed arrows.

     60. Orleans (?). Label with three points from ducal arms.

     61. Paris; Clignancourt. The windmill of Montmartre.

     62. Paris; Rue Thiroux. A, for Marie Antoinette, under a crown.


     63. Venice. Incised. Probably of Vezzi family.

     64. Venice. Anchor of Cozzi factory.

     65. Le Nove. Star of eight points.

     66. Vinovo. Cross of Savoy above letter V, for the town.

     67. Madrid, Buen Retiro. The _fleur-de-lis_ from the royal arms.


     68. Chelsea. Triangle, incised.

     69. Chelsea. Anchor, in relief.

     70. Chelsea. Anchor.

     71. Bow. Anchor and dagger.

     72. Bow. Monogram of Thomas Frye. (?) Perhaps sometimes a Worcester

     73. Chelsea-Derby. Anchor and letter D.

     74. Derby. Jewelled crown, crossed batons, with dots and letter D.

     75. Derby. Jewelled crown and letter D.

     76. Worcester. Imitation of Chinese characters.

     77. Worcester. Crescent.

     78. Worcester. Imitation Chinese seal character.

     79. Worcester. Crossed swords and number.

     80. Swansea. Trident.

     81. Longton Hall. Crossed L’s and dots.

     82. Plymouth. The symbol for tin.

     83. Bristol. Symbol for tin, with a cross.

     84. Bristol. Crossed swords, erased.

[Illustration: PLATE A.--CHINESE MARKS]

[Illustration: PLATE B.--CHINESE MARKS--_continued_.]

[Illustration: JAPANESE MARKS]

[Illustration: PLATE C.--GERMAN MARKS]



[Illustration: FRENCH MARKS]


[Illustration: PLATE E.--ENGLISH MARKS]


‘Aging’ of clay, 19-20

Alcora, attempts to make porcelain at, 324

‘Alumina’ Company at Copenhagen, 388

Alumina, proportion of, in hard pastes, 7, 385

Amiot, Père, sends china from Pekin, 52 _note_, 298 _note_

Amoy, export of porcelain from, 127, 142

---- stoneware made near, 166

Annam, porcelain made in, 175

Arab trade with China, 209

---- traders, Chinese porcelain distributed by, 210 _seq._

---- writers on Chinese porcelain, 60, 209-217

_Arabian Nights_, Martabani ware mentioned, 216

Arabic inscriptions on Chinese porcelain, 94

Aranjuez, porcelain _gabineto_ at, 323

Arita, porcelain district of Japan, 181-182, 193

Armorial china, 164, 253, 369

---- ---- decorated at Canton, 114, 164

Arras, porcelain made at, 289

Arrow-holders in Chinese porcelain, 139

Assyrian and Babylonian glazes, 33

Augustus the Strong, collects Chinese porcelain, 159

---- ---- his collection of porcelain, 227

---- ---- porcelain in exchange for dragoons, 228

---- ---- his taste as a collector, 244-245

Augustus the Strong, his ambition to imitate Oriental porcelain, 245

Bachelier, art inspector at Sèvres, 291

---- his memoir on the Sèvres works, 290

---- quoted, 294, 295, 296, 301

Bacon, John, modeller at Bow, 348

Barbin at Mennecy, 287

_Barbotine_, or slip, 19, 312

Batavian porcelain, 102

---- ---- term how used, 223

Baxter, family of enamellers, 362-363, 369

Belleek porcelain, 374

Bemrose, Mr., on Derby porcelain, 350

Berlin, Meissen staff removed to, 262

---- Wegeli’s earlier porcelain, 262

---- contemporary porcelain, 389, 391

---- porcelain and Frederick the Great, 262

---- ---- methods of sale, 263

---- ---- marks on, 264

Bertin, the French minister, his Chinese porcelain, 52 _note_, 298 _note_

Billingsley, W., 366, 367-368, 371

Bing and Gröndhal factory at Copenhagen, 388, 393

Binns, Mr., documents relating to English porcelain, 357, 358

Biscuit oven, 27

Bismuth used in glaze, 374, 388, 390

Black glazes on Chinese porcelain, 149

Bloor, Robert, at Derby, 356

‘Blue and white,’ origin of Chinese, 75, 156

---- ---- of Ming period, 81-85, 157

---- ---- how distinguished, 83

---- ---- of Wan-li period, 95, 157

---- ---- Chinese name for, 155

---- ---- Chinese porcelain, 155-160

---- ---- earliest Chinese, 156

---- ---- origin of Chinese, 156

---- ---- Chinese porcelain, with hatched lines, 160

Blue decoration _sous couverte_, 43

---- enamel, difficulty of successful application, 99 _note_

---- ---- used with _famille verte_, 101

Boccaro ware, made in China, 166

---- ---- imitated by Böttger, 247

Bohemia, Northern, contemporary porcelain, 392

Bondy, Rue de, Paris, factory at, 313

Bone, Henry, employed at Bristol, 381

---- ---- paints on slabs of porcelain, 381

Bone-ash in English porcelain, 329, 330, 338, 343, 372-373

Borneo, Chinese porcelain found in, 156, 209-210

---- Chinese trade with, 209

Böttger, his life, 246-248

---- as an alchemist, 246, 248

---- his porcelain at the Leipsic Fair, 247, 249

---- compared with other great potters, 250

---- assistance from Dutch potters, 250 _note_

---- the number of his experiments with enamels and glazes, 252

Böttger-ware, polished, 248

---- with enamel colours, 249

---- with brown glaze, 249

Boucher, his models used at Sèvres, 296

Bourbon, Duc de, and Chantilly, 286

Bow, fragments of porcelain found at, 343

---- nature of porcelain there made, 344-345

---- Craft’s punch-bowl, 345-346

---- marks on porcelain, 348

---- factory, origin of, 342

---- ---- bought by Duesbury, 352

---- porcelain, 342-348

Brameld, Thomas, and Rockingham porcelain, 372

Brancas Lauraguais, experiments with kaolin, 305, 313, 378, 379

Brinkley, Captain, on Japanese ceramics, 194

---- ---- quoted, 196

Bristol porcelain, 379-386

---- ---- marks on, 380

---- ---- colours on statuettes, 381-382

---- ---- medallions with floral wreaths, 382

---- ---- ‘cottage china,’ 382

---- ---- glaze on, 382

---- ---- hardness of paste, 384

---- ---- great infusibility, 384

---- ---- composition, 384

---- ---- plasticity of clay, 384

British Museum, Oriental porcelain in, 53

Brongniart, director at Sèvres, 303

---- sells stock of undecorated Sèvres soft paste, 304

---- introduces severe type of paste, 307

---- his influence at Sèvres, 308-309

Bronzes, early Chinese, influence of shapes on porcelain, 57

Brown glazes of Chinese, 74 _note_

Brühl, Count, armorial china for, 253

Brunswick, Duke of, and Fürstenberg porcelain, 265

Buen Retiro, Madrid, porcelain factory at, 322-324

Buonicelli, director at Buen Retiro, 323

Burke at Bristol, 383

Burleigh House, early Chinese porcelain formerly at, 85, 222

Bushell, Dr., work on Chinese porcelain, 15, 54, 91, 153

---- translations from Chinese works on Korea, 171

---- manuscript, 61

---- ---- quoted, 86, 138

_Cailloux_ in French porcelain, 16

Canton, early Arab trade, 209

---- enamellers on porcelain, 108, 114, 164, 165

Capo di Monte, Naples, porcelain factory at, 318-320

Capo di Monte factory removed to Portici, 320

Carlos, Don, at Naples, makes porcelain, 319

---- ---- now Charles III. of Spain, carries his workmen to Buen Retiro, 319

_Cassettes._ _See_ Seggars.

Casting, process described, 25, 354

---- used for Derby statuettes, 354

Catherine II., her Sèvres dinner-service, 298

Caughley porcelain, 365

Celadon glazes, 42

---- word used in restricted sense, 64

---- of Sung dynasty, 63-65, 132, 144

---- origin of term, 64 _note_

---- early examples in European collections, 71

---- later Chinese ware, 145

---- made in Siam, 173, 212 _note_

---- Japanese, 192, 195, 197

---- old pieces in Japan, 178, 201

---- (martabani) in Persia, 215

---- earliest specimen at Oxford, 218

Censors, influence of, on Chinese arts, 74

Ch’ai yao, early Chinese ware, 62

_Chambrelans_ or chamberers, term explained, 303

Champion, R., 375, 377, 379, 382-383

Chang, the elder and younger brothers, 65

_Cha-no-yu_, Japanese tea ceremony, 178

Chantilly, porcelain made at, 285-287

---- sprig pattern, 286

---- marks on porcelain, 287

Chao Ju-kua, his report on early Chinese trade, 210

Chardin on porcelain in Persia, 215

Charlottenburg factory, 389, 391

Chelsea-Derby porcelain, 341, 352-355

---- ---- marks on, 352

---- ---- new forms introduced, 352-353

---- ---- statuettes made by ‘casting,’ 354

Chelsea factory, site of, 335

---- ---- end of, 341

---- porcelain, 331-342

Chelsea porcelain, an early ware, 332

---- ---- marks on earliest pieces, 332

---- ---- Japanese wares imitated, 336

---- ---- sales of, 337, 341

---- ---- claret colour on, 338, 340

---- ---- use of gold on, 338

---- ---- rococo forms, 339

---- ---- turquoise on, 339

---- ---- statuettes, 340

---- ---- models of birds and fruit, 340

---- ---- marks on, 342

Cheng-hua (1464-87), use of date-mark, 82

---- enamelled ware, 86

---- porcelain of, 93

Cheng-tai enamels on copper, 88, 93

Cheng-te (1505-21), porcelain of, 94

Cheng-tung (1435-49), double date-mark, 93

Cheyne Row called China Row, 333

‘Chicken cups’ of Cheng-hua, 93

Chicoineau family, 240, 282, 284, 288

_Chimie_, in French soft pastes, 280

China collecting, ridicule attached to, 61, 243

---- origin of English term, 222

---- clay. _See_ Kaolin.

---- stone (_see also_ Petuntse), 9, 10

---- ---- preparation of, 16

Chinese characters, varieties of, 117-118

---- porcelain exported to different countries, 50

---- ---- influence of old traditions, 51

---- ---- mistakes in early classification, 52

---- ---- late origin compared to other arts, 56

---- ---- survival of old types, 58

---- ---- classification of, 58, 141

---- ---- old native accounts of, 60

---- ---- composition of early wares, 69

---- ---- plain white ware, 141-144

---- ---- unglazed ware, 144

---- stonewares, 165-167

---- trade with the West, 209 _seq._

Ching (blue), Julien’s wrong use of word, 64 _note_

Ching-tsu, Chinese term for celadon, 64

_Chini_, Persian word for china or porcelain, 49 _note_, 222

Christian subjects on Chinese and Japanese porcelain, 133, 182

Chromium, as a source of green, 304, 309

Chün yao, early Chinese ware, 65, 152

---- ---- numbers engraved on, 66

Church Gresley porcelain, 371

Church, Prof., on composition of porcelain, 5, 69, 241, 338, 343, 370, 384

Ciron, Ciquaire, at Chantilly, 285

‘_Clair-de-lune_’ glaze (yueh-pai), 105, 148

Clignancourt, Paris, factory at, 313

Cloisonné enamels on Japanese porcelain, 203

Coalport or Coalbrookdale porcelain, 366

Cobalt blue, sources of that used by Chinese, 40, 75 _note_, 92

---- ---- how prepared by Chinese, 130

---- ---- grounds of Chinese, 148

Coloured pastes, 40, 311

Colours used in decoration of porcelain (_see also_ Enamels), 39

---- resistance to fire, 41

Condé, house of, and Chantilly, 285-287

Constantin, painter on porcelain, 271

Contemporary porcelain, 387-394

---- ---- use of new colours and glazes, 389-390

Cookworthy, William, 375-380

---- ---- search for china-clay, 376-377

Copenhagen, porcelain made at, 274

---- contemporary work, 388, 393

---- Japanese influence, 388

Copper-red under glaze, 80, 130

---- ---- examples in British Museum, 81

---- ---- of Hsuan-te, 92

Copper-red glazes on Chinese porcelain, 150-154

Coral-red grounds on Chinese porcelain, 115

Cornflower or _barbeau_ on porcelain, 313, 355

Cornwall, search for materials for porcelain, 359, 376-378

Cottage china made at Bristol, 382

Courtille, La, Paris, factory at, 313

_Couverte_, French term for glaze, 31

Cozzi, makes porcelain at Venice, 317

Crackle ware, old Chinese (Ko yao), 65

---- ---- Chinese, varieties of, 45

---- ---- glazes of, 145

---- ---- equivalent to Ko yao, 145

---- ---- Korean, 171

Craft, Thomas, his punch-bowl, 345-346

‘Crazing’ of glazes, 32

‘Crow-claws,’ term explained, 29

---- marks of, on Japanese porcelain, 191

‘Crusader’s Cup’ at Dresden, 77, 152, 217

Danish porcelain, 273, 388, 393

Darwin, Dr., letter to Wedgwood, 378

Date-marks on Chinese porcelain, 82

---- ---- method of reckoning, 91 _note_

---- ---- cyclical, 110 _note_

---- ---- two systems, 118

---- ---- how written, 118

---- ---- earliest example, 119

---- ---- those of Kang-he rare, 119

---- ---- on Sèvres porcelain, 302

Dauphin, collector of Oriental porcelain, 230

Decoration of porcelain, Tang-ying’s principles, 112

_Dégourdi, Feu_, term explained, 26

Delft ware, early imitations of Chinese porcelain in, 224

---- ---- competition with Chinese porcelain, 234

---- ---- in England, 240

_Demi grand feu_, term explained, 59

---- ---- glazes of, 98

---- ---- ware of, 79, 106

Derby biscuit, or bisque, 353-354

---- porcelain, 350-357

---- ---- little known of early period, 351

---- ---- sold in London, 351

---- ---- degenerate patterns, 355

---- ---- ‘old Japan’ copied, 355

---- ---- marks on, 356

Dietrich, ‘professor of painting’ at Meissen, 256

Dillwyn, L. W., at Swansea, 367-368

Doccia, near Florence, porcelain factory at, 320-322

---- Chinese white ware and Capo di Monte porcelain imitated, 321

---- contemporary work, 394

Dresden, Chinese porcelain at, 161

---- Ethnographical Museum, Chinese porcelain from various lands, 211

---- Oriental porcelain presented by Grand Duke of Tuscany, 228

---- collection of porcelain, 227, 245

---- approximate date of bulk of specimens, 228

---- porcelain. _See_ Meissen porcelain.

Duesbury, William, 341, 342, 349, 350-352, 356

---- and Longton Hall, 349

Duesbury’s work-book, quotations from, 350-351

Duplessis, the king’s goldsmith, at Sèvres, 291, 296

Dutch dealers supply Augustus of Saxony with porcelain, 228

---- painters, Chinese porcelain in their pictures, 159

---- trade with China, 220

---- ---- with Japan, 183-184

Dwight, Dr., attempts to make porcelain at Fulham, 240-241

---- ---- nature of the paste made by him, 241

---- Lydia, stoneware figure of, 242

Earthenware, term used to include porcelain, 334 _note_

Egg-shell porcelain, 107

Egypt, Chinese porcelain found in, 158, 211, 212, 215, 216

Egyptian fayence and glazes, 33

_Eisen-porzellan_ of Böttger, 248

Empress-Dowager of China a connoisseur of porcelain, 115-116

Enamel colours on Meissen porcelain, 251-252

Enamelled fayence compared with porcelain, 73

---- porcelain, Saracenic origin of, 87, 88

Enamelled porcelain of Ming dynasty, 86-91, 161

---- ---- three classes, 90

Enamels, always superimposed on glaze, 31

---- relation to subjacent glaze, 45

---- on European porcelain, 45

---- on Chinese porcelain, 45-48

---- on Japanese porcelain, 192

---- firing of, 46

---- new sources of colour, 48

---- ---- at Sèvres, 309

---- on copper, influence on porcelain enamels, 88

_Encastage_, term explained, 28

England, how Chinese porcelain first reached, 219, 221, 223

---- early attempts to make porcelain in, 240-242

English porcelain, rival influence of Sèvres and Dresden, 328

---- ---- copies Oriental and Continental models, 328

---- ---- three types of soft-paste, 330

---- ---- royal patronage, 329, 335, 356

---- ---- divided into five periods, 331

---- ---- contemporary work, 390-391

---- trade with East, 221

_Engobe._ _See_ Slip.

D’Entrecolles, Père, his letters, how written, 126

---- ---- reception of letters in Europe, 126

---- ---- summary of letters, 127-136

European enamelling on white Chinese porcelain, 165

---- influence on Chinese porcelain, 109, 135, 159, 162

---- market, Chinese porcelain for, 163-164

---- porcelain, early attempts at manufacture, 235-243

_Façonnage_, or shaping, 20

Falconet, his models used at Sèvres, 296

_Famille rose_, 106-110

---- ---- European influence on painting, 109

_Famille verte_, 98-102

---- ---- with black ground, 100

---- ---- relation to Ming enamels, 100

Favorite, La, near Baden, porcelain cabinet, 227

Fawkner, Sir Everard, and Chelsea porcelain, 335-337

Fayence, enamelled, competition with porcelain in seventeenth century, 233

---- ---- practical disadvantages of, 234

Felspar, 9, 10

---- decomposition of, 10

---- how far equivalent to china-stone, 16 _note_, 251

---- pure, used in Danish and Swedish porcelain, 388, 393

Feng Ting ware, white Chinese porcelain, 68, 142

Firing of porcelain, chemical reaction, 11

---- ---- systems described, 26, 191

---- ---- at King-te-chen, 133

Fischer, Herr, at Herend, 271, 392

_Flambé_ glazes, 42

---- ---- on Chinese porcelain, 152

---- ---- firing of, 152, 153

---- ---- how painted on, 153

---- ware, early type, 66

Florence, porcelain made in sixteenth century. _See_ Medici.

Flour-spar used in glaze at Fürstenberg, 265

Flowers in porcelain at Meissen, 254, 293 _note_

---- ---- at Vincennes, 293

_Fond laque_ on Chinese porcelain, 102

---- ---- much found in Persia, 147

Forms of Chinese porcelain, 137-141

---- of Japanese porcelain, 192

Fostât rubbish-heaps, fragment of Chinese porcelain found in, 216

_Fouliang, Annals of_, 127

France, early collectors of Oriental porcelain in, 229-231

Francesco, Grand Duke of Tuscany, makes porcelain, 237

Frankenthal, porcelain made at, 267

Franks, Sir A. W., on Oriental china, 53, 121, 185

---- ---- on Strassburg porcelain, 270

---- ---- on Parisian kilns, 314

---- ---- on Lowestoft porcelain, 370

Frederick the Great and porcelain, 255, 262, 274, 275, 335

Frits, used in French soft pastes, 279

Frye, Thomas, at Bow, 342-343

Fuel used in firing porcelain, 28

Fukien, Chinese province, two wares made, 66, 142

---- white porcelain, 142-143

---- ---- imitated in Europe, 142

---- ---- decorated in England, 144

---- enamelled porcelain, 143

Fulda, porcelain made at, 268

Fulham, Dr. Dwight attempts to make porcelain at, 240

Furnaces for firing porcelain, three types described, 27

---- for Chinese porcelain, 134

---- for Japanese porcelain, 191

---- for French soft pastes, 280

Fürstenberg, porcelain made at, 265

Fusibility of porcelain, experiments at Sèvres, 8, 18

Gardner, at Tver, makes porcelain, 275

Garnier, Édouard, late director at Sèvres, 310

---- ---- report on contemporary porcelain, 389-394

_Garniture_, term explained, 23

---- _de cheminée_ in Chinese porcelain, 139

Geneva, porcelain painters at, 271, 311

Gersaint, his catalogue of Oriental porcelain, 230

Ginori family at Doccia, 320-321

Glass, possible influence on early Chinese glazes, 57

---- made by Hu imitated in porcelain, 113

Glazes, 12, 30-38

---- preparation of, 30

---- applied to unbaked ware by Chinese, 30

Glazes, called oil by Chinese, 31

---- distinguished from enamels, 31

---- fusibility of, 32

---- on Egyptian fayence, 32

---- composition of ancient, 33, 144-154

---- three main classes of, 34

---- on Chinese porcelain, 35

---- relation to subjacent paste, 35

---- containing lime, 35-36

---- at Sèvres of two types, 36

---- on European porcelain, composition of, 36

---- on Chinese porcelain, composition of, 37

---- when first used by Chinese, 69

---- sole source of decoration on early Chinese porcelain, 70

---- for French soft pastes, 281

---- for hard pastes at Sèvres and Limoges, 306

‘Glozing’ or glazing oven, 27

Gold as source of red colour (see also _Rouge d’or_), 89

Gotzkowski, Berlin banker, 262

Gotha, Museum at, early Chinese porcelain, 72, 174, 212

---- porcelain made at, 269

Gouyn, Charles, manager at Chelsea, 333

Granite, primary source of both kaolin and petuntse, 9

Granitic rocks, varieties of, 9

Granja, La, porcelain _gabineto_ at, 323

Gravant, potter at Sèvres, 290, 294

Graviata bowls, 115

Green and blue enamels not successfully united by Chinese, 98 _note_

---- ---- on two vases of Ming porcelain in British Museum, 99 _note_

---- glazes on Chinese porcelain, 149

---- of _famille verte_, how applied, 99-100

Grieninger, manager at Berlin, 263

Growan-stone and clay, 377

Hague, porcelain made at, 273, 389, 393

Hampton Court, Oriental porcelain at, 185, 225-226

Hampton Court, no specimens of _famille rose_ or of ‘Old Japan,’ 225

---- ---- age of porcelain represented at, 226

---- ---- Queen Mary’s china cabinet, 226

Hancock, Robert, working at Battersea, 347

---- ---- and transfer-printing, 360

Handles, fixing of, 23

Hannong family, Strassburg potters, 268, 269, 305, 313, 318

Hardness of porcelain, 5, 18

Haslem, J., on casting process at Derby, 26, 354

Hat-stands in Chinese porcelain, 139

Haviland factory at Limoges, 389, 390

Hellot, chemical adviser at Sèvres, 291, 300

---- his memoir quoted, 278-280, 294, 299

Herculaneum works at Liverpool, 371

Herend, in Hungary, porcelain factory at, 271, 392

Herold or Höroldt at Meissen, 253

Hippisley, translations from Chinese, 91 _note_

Hirado or Mikôchi ware, 193-195

Hirth, Dr., on early Chinese trade, etc., 54, 210-213

---- ---- collection of early Chinese porcelain, 72

Höchst, porcelain made at, 264

Holdship, Richard, 358

Holland, Chinese ‘blue and white’ early imported, 158

---- Chinese porcelain in, 229

---- porcelain made in, 272-274, 389, 393

Hookah-bases of Chinese porcelain, 140

Hsuan-te (1425-35), porcelain of, 92

---- blue and white of, 83

_Hua-shi_, a stone used in Chinese porcelain, 131, 376

Hungary, porcelain made in, 271, 392

Hung-chi (1487-1505), porcelain of, 93, 147

Hunger, at Vienna, 260

Hunger, at Venice, 317

Hybrid pastes of Italy, 316

Imari porcelain, 186-193

---- ---- elements of decoration, 187

---- ---- relation to early Chinese enamelled wares, 187-188

---- ---- relation to other Japanese wares, 188

---- ---- copied at King-te-chen, 188 _note_

---- ---- composition of paste, 190

---- ---- source and nature of materials, 190

---- ---- in Dresden collection, 229

Incense, vessels used in burning, of Chinese porcelain, 138

India, Chinese porcelain found in, 85, 158

---- porcelain enamelled at Canton for, 165

_Insufflation_ of glaze by Chinese, 30

Iron-red in fine lines to imitate the _rouge-d’or_, examples at Dresden, 162

Jade, highly esteemed in China, 57

---- influence on early Chinese glazes, 57

Japan, early pottery of, 177, 179

---- Korean potters in, 179

---- porcelain of, 177-207

Japanese experts on Chinese porcelain, 55

---- porcelain, how introduced from China, 180-181

---- ---- early export of ‘blue and white,’ 182

---- ---- exported by Dutch, 183-184

---- ---- sources of information, 183 _note_, 193 _note_

---- ---- export stimulated by troubles in China, 184

---- ---- princely patronage of, 189, 194

---- ---- founded on Ming types, 189, 197, 199

---- ---- composition of paste, 190

Japanese porcelain, preliminary firing, 191

---- ---- glazes how prepared, 191

---- ---- furnaces, 191

---- ---- marks of crows-feet, 191

---- ---- shapes and uses, 192

---- ---- colours employed, 192

---- ---- celadon, 192, 195, 197, 201

---- ---- stories of processes discovered by spies, 196, 202, 203

---- ---- influence of conservative criticism on, 206

---- trade with China, 178

Julien, Stanislas, translations from Chinese, 53

Ju yao, early Chinese ware, 62

Kaga or Kutani ware, 203-206

Kai-feng Fu, old Sung capital, 62, 63, 65

Kakiyemon, a potter of Hizen, 183

---- ware, 185

---- ---- blue enamel over glaze, 186

---- ---- imitated at Meissen, 253

---- ---- imitated at Chantilly, 286

Kändler at Meissen, 253

---- chief modeller of ‘Dresden figures,’ 253

Kang-he (1661-1722), porcelain of, 96

---- his date-mark, why rare, 119

Kaolin, 8, 10

---- preparation of, 16

---- proportion of, in hard pastes, 17, 385

---- search for in France, 305-306

---- found at Alençon and St. Yrieix, 305-306, 378

---- found in Cornwall, 376-378

Kaolinic stoneware, use of term, 69

Karl Theodor, Elector Palatine, 260, 267

Kenzan, potter at Kioto, 197

Khanfu, Arab name for Hangchow, 209

Kia-king (1795-1820), porcelain of, 114, 155

Kia-tsing (1521-66), porcelain of, 94

Kien-lung (1735-1795), porcelain of, 105-114

---- his poems inscribed on porcelain, 113

Kien-lung, Sèvres porcelain for, 298

Kien yao, old Chinese ware, 66, 180

---- ---- example in British Museum, 71

---- ---- white porcelain, 142, 143

Kilns for firing porcelain. _See_ Furnaces.

King-te-chen in early days, 62

---- oppression of court officials, 94

---- in Kang-he’s reign, 96

---- lists of porcelain made, 95, 104, 115

---- burned, 115, 125, 220

---- position, 123-125

---- Pekin, how reached from, 123

---- Canton, how reached from, 124

---- relation to Jao-chau and Fouliang, 124-125

---- description of town, 125, 127

---- materials brought down in junks, 128

---- foreign designs copied at, 165

---- works abandoned for long period in seventeenth century, 220

Kinsay or Hangchow, 62, 63, 209

Kioto, porcelain made at, 196-199

---- potters copied Ming enamelled wares, 198

---- wares, _récherché_ rudeness of, 197

Kishiu ware or _Ô-niwa yaki_, 199

---- ---- imitated for export at Tokiyo and Kobe, 200

Kiyomidzu, suburb of Kioto, porcelain made at, 197, 198

Kizayemon family, court purveyors of porcelain, 188

Kochi, meaning of Japanese term, 175

---- ware of Japanese, 201

Kok, Juriann, his new porcelain at the Hague, 389, 393

_Koransha_, combination of Japanese potters, 193

Korea, relations with China and Japan, 168

---- fanciful attribution of various wares to, 169, 186

Korean porcelain, classification of, 170

---- ---- celadon, 170

---- ---- plain white, 170

---- ---- crackle ware, 171

Korean porcelain described in early Chinese books, 171

---- inlaid with white slip, 171

---- potters in Japan, 169

Koreans, early use of enamel colours by, 169

Kousnetzoff factory, Moscow, 392

Ko yao, early Chinese ware, 63, 65, 145

‘Kronenburg porcelain,’ origin of name, 267

Kuang-tung porcelain of Raynal, 166

Kuang yao, stoneware, 166

---- ---- early Chinese ware, 63

Kublai Khan, 72, 213

Kutani or Kaga ware, 203-206

---- ware, relation to Imari porcelain, 204

---- ---- marks on, 205

Kwan-yin, statues of, 135, 143, 226

Lace imitated in porcelain at Berlin, 264

Lang Ting-tso, superintendent at King-te-chen, 96 _note_, 103, 151

Lang yao, origin of name, 103

Langen, von, at Fürstenberg, 265

---- ---- at Copenhagen, 274

_Laque Burgauté_, 114

Lathe, use of, in shaping porcelain, 22

Lead in glaze, 33-34

Leithner, chemist at Vienna, 261

Lemon-yellow, opaque glaze on Chinese porcelain, 111-115

Lille, porcelain made at, 284

---- coal early used in porcelain kilns, 285

Lime in paste or glaze of porcelain, 35-36, 251

Limoges district, porcelain works in, 15, 314-315, 389-390

---- enamel copied in Chinese porcelain, 135 _note_

Lister, Dr. Martin, at Saint-Cloud, 282, 326

Lists of porcelain made for Chinese court, 95, 115

Lithophanic porcelain, at Berlin, 264

Littler at Longton Hall, 348

Liverpool porcelain, 370-371

London, West of England porcelain painted in, 363, 366, 369

Longton Hall porcelain, 348-349

Lowestoft and Oriental armorial porcelain, 369-370

---- china, so-called, 165, 369

---- porcelain, 369-370

Ludwigsburg, porcelain made at, 266

Lung-chuan celadon, reproduced at King-te-chen, 132

---- yao, early Chinese ware, 63

Lung-king (1566-72), porcelain of, 95

Lustre ware, attempted imitation by Chinese, 74 _note_

Lyle, Mr., on old Siamese porcelain, 173

Macaulay on china collectors, 61 _note_

Madeley, Sèvres porcelain copied by Randall at, 366

Magnesia, an element of porcelain paste, 12, 131

---- in paste of Vinovo porcelain, 318

---- in paste of Spanish porcelain, 324

Magnets, removal of iron from slip by, 19

_Magots_, decorated in _famille verte_ style, 100

Mainwaring, Mr. Massey, his collection of Dresden figures, 254 _note_

Mainz, elector of, and Höchst porcelain, 264

Manchu or Tsing dynasty, 96

Mandarin china, 114

Manganese-purple glazes on Chinese porcelain, 98, 147

---- ---- in the San-tsai enamels, 99

Marcolini, Count, director at Meissen, 256

Marieberg, porcelain made at, 273

Marks on Chinese porcelain, 117-122

---- ---- how and where applied, 117, 119

---- ---- give little information, 119, 122

---- ---- _Tang_ or hall, _Chai_ or studio, 120

---- ---- allusive, descriptive, emblems and devices, 120-121

---- ---- ‘canting’ devices, 121

Marks on European porcelain. _See_ under the principal factories.

---- on Japanese porcelain, 197, 199, 200, 205

_Marnes_, used in French soft pastes, 279

Martabani celadon, examples in European collections, 71

---- ware, 64-65, 210 _seq._, 144, 173, 215

Materials of porcelain, M. Vogt’s experiments, 17

Maubrée, flower-painter on porcelain, 271

Mazarin or powder-blue grounds of Chinese, 148

Medici, Lorenzo de’, receives present of Chinese porcelain, 217

---- porcelain, 236-238

---- ---- only identified lately, 236

---- ---- Vasari’s account, 236

---- ---- decoration of, 237

---- ---- composition of, 237

---- ---- marks, 238

Medicine-flasks (_yao-ping_) or snuff-bottles of Chinese
     porcelain, 113-114, 140

---- ---- of Chinese porcelain, used by Arabs, found in Egyptian tombs, 140

Meissen porcelain, 244-258

---- ---- composition, 7, 250-251

---- ---- first successfully made (1713-1716), 249

---- ---- composition of glaze, 251

---- ---- hardness of paste, and difficulties in application of enamels, 251

---- ---- early pieces mostly defective, 252

---- ---- ‘Dresden figure groups,’ 253

---- ---- imitation of Chinese _magots_, 253

---- ---- armorial designs, 253

---- ---- flowers imitated, 254

---- ---- attempts to make large figures, 254

---- ---- effects of Seven Years’ War, 255

---- ---- important position of enamel painters, 255

Meissen porcelain, early exported to Turkey, 255 _note_

---- ---- marks on, 257

---- ---- recent work, 257, 392

---- ---- marks on, copied, 258

---- ---- smuggled into England, 334

Melchior at Höchst, 265

---- at Frankenthal, 268

Mennecy, porcelain made at, 287-288

Mica, an element in Chinese porcelain, 11, 131, 376 _note_

Mikôchi or Hirado ware, 193-195

Ming dynasty, porcelain of, 78-95

---- porcelain, colour decoration, 79, 86-91, 161

---- ---- ‘blue and white,’ 81-85, 95, 157

Minton, Thomas, 366, 373

Mirror black glaze on Chinese porcelain, 130, 149

Mohammedan forms of Chinese porcelain, 140

_Mo-hung_, iron-red painted over glaze, 150

Mokubei, potter at Kioto, 201

Moore, Bernard, imitates Chinese glazes, 387

Morikaga, painted on Kaga ware, 204

Moulding, antiquity of process, 23-25

---- process described, 23-25, 128

---- largely used for Chinese porcelain, 112

Muffle-stoves for firing enamels, 47, 281

Nabeshima or Okôchi ware, 195

Nantgarw porcelain, 367-368

Napoleon’s ideas for decoration of porcelain, 308

Niderwiller, porcelain made at, 270

Nien-hao. _See_ Date-marks.

Nien Hsi-yao, superintendent at King-te-chen, 104-105

Nien yao, 105

Nightingale, Mr., on sales of Chelsea porcelain, 335 _note_, 336 _note_

Ninsei, potter at Kioto, 196

Nove, Le, porcelain factory at, 318

Nymphenburg, porcelain made at, 267

Nyon, porcelain made at, 271

Okeover plate in British Museum, 164

Okôchi or Nabeshima ware, 195

‘Old Japan.’ _See_ Imari.

_Ô-niwa yaki_ or Kishiu ware, 199-200

Oriental porcelain, earliest specimens in Europe, 217-218

Orleans, Duke of, collector of Oriental porcelain, 230

---- ---- and Saint-Cloud, 283

---- family, interest in porcelain, 314

---- porcelain made at, 288

Ormolu mountings at Sèvres, 297

---- ---- on English porcelain, 339

Orry de Fulvi at Vincennes, 290

Oude Amstel, Dutch porcelain, 273

---- Loosdrecht, porcelain made at, 272

Ovens for firing porcelain. _See_ Furnaces.

Owari porcelain, 201-203

---- ---- materials and composition, 190

---- ---- cheap ware for export, 203

Owen, Mr., on Bristol porcelain, 376, 381 _note_

Painted glazes, term explained, 44, 59

---- ---- on Ming porcelain, 79

---- ---- of Hsuan-te, 92

Painters on Chinese porcelain, 108

---- ---- signatures of, 108

---- ---- division of work, 129

---- on Sèvres porcelain, signatures of, 303

Painting, schools of, in China, 82

---- on porcelain. _See also_ Enamelling.

Palissy probably endeavoured to make porcelain, 239 _note_

Parian ware, 373

Paris, soft-paste factories at, 288

---- hard-paste factories at, 312-314

_Pâte-sur-pâte_, 41, 311

‘Peach-bloom’ glaze, 105, 154

Pen-rests in Chinese porcelain, 139

Persia, Chinese porcelain in, 147, 157, 215, 216

Persian fayence compared with Chinese porcelain, 73

Persian fayence, early use of blue under glaze, 74, 75

---- ---- Chinese influence on, 76

---- Gulf, early Chinese trade with, 213

---- ---- English trade with, 221

---- inscription on fifteenth century Chinese porcelain, 94

Petuntse (_see also_ China-stone), 8, 10

---- proportion of, in hard pastes, 385

Pierced decoration in Chinese porcelain, 154

Pillows in Chinese porcelain, 139

Pinxton porcelain, 371

---- Billingsley makes porcelain at, 368, 371

Pirkenhausen factory, Carlsbad, 392

Place, Dr., of York, experiments with various clays, 242

Planché, modeller at Derby, 351

Plymouth porcelain, 375-381

---- ---- composition of glaze, 380

---- ---- marks on, 380

Poems on Chinese porcelain, 113

Poison detected by Chinese porcelain, 215

Polo, Marco, account of China, 72

---- ---- on Chinese porcelain, 213-214

Pompadour, Marquise de, and Sèvres, 290, 292, 295, 300

Porcelain, physical properties of, 5

---- microscopical structure, 5

---- chemical composition, 6-12

---- materials, 14-18

---- transition to kaolinic stoneware in Japanese porcelain, 206

---- vague early use of the word, 217

---- early reports in Europe as to its composition, 223

‘Porcelain fever’ at time of Seven Years’ War, 255

Porcelain or purslane, word, how used in Elizabethan times, 222

Portugal, porcelain made in, 325

Portuguese in China, 219

---- as importers of porcelain, 222, 230

Poterat family of Rouen, 239, 282, 284

Potsherds of Chinese porcelain, ground up for paste
     of English porcelain, 326 _note_

Potter’s wheel, 20-22

---- ---- early forms, 20-21

_Pourcelainnes_, the word, how used by Marco Polo, 214

Pressing, process described, 23

Quan-yin, or Kwan-yin (Jap. Kwannon), 135, 143, 226

Randall copies Sèvres porcelain, 366

Raynal, Abbé, on Chinese porcelain, 85

---- ---- quoted, 166, 231

---- ---- on classification of Oriental porcelain, 223 _note_

Réaumur makes porcelain, 278

Red decoration _sous couverte_, 43

Red Sea ports, early Chinese trade with, 213

Reine, porcelaine de la, made in Rue Thiroux, 313

Reproductions of old types of Chinese porcelain, 104, 115

Riaño, Don Juan, on Spanish porcelain, 322, 325

Rice-grain, in pierced decoration, 155

Ringler, the arcanist, 264, 266, 267

Risampei, a Korean, at Arita, 181

Ritual vessels in Chinese porcelain, colours of, 138

Rockingham porcelain, 371-372

Rörstrand, porcelain made at, 273

---- ---- contemporary work, 388, 393

Rose, John, 365, 366

Rose-red grounds (opaque), _mei-kwei_, on Chinese porcelain, 110

Roses on English porcelain, 352, 368

Rouen porcelain, 238-239, 282

---- ---- examples where found, 239

_Rouge d’or_ on Chinese porcelain, 107

---- ---- date of introduction in China, 110 _note_

---- ---- not mentioned by D’Entrecolles, 136

---- ---- late introduction in Japan, 189, 205

---- ---- used early at Saint-Cloud, 283

_Rouge d’or_, source of, 284 _note_

---- ---- mentioned in De Frasnay’s poem, 284 _note_

Rozenburg works at the Hague, 389, 393

Russian porcelain, 274, 392

Sacrifice of the potter Tung, 113

Saint-Cloud, porcelain made at, 282-284

---- seventeenth century designs on porcelain, 283

St. Petersburg, porcelain made at, 274, 392

Saladin’s present of Chinese porcelain, 215

Salting collection, early vase with _cloisons_, 80

---- ---- enamelled bowl with Cheng-te mark, 89, 161

---- ---- _famille verte_ with black ground, 101

Salvétat, notes to Julien’s work, 53

Samson, imitates old wares, 314

Sanda celadon, 201

_Sang de bœuf_ glazes, 42

---- ---- imitated in England, 387

---- ---- on Chinese porcelain, 151

San tsai or ‘three-colour’ glazes, 44

---- ---- the ‘three colours’ of Ming enamels, 89, 97

---- ---- relation to Kishiu ware, 98

Saracenic glass, enamels on, 88

---- ---- found in China, 88 _note_

---- motives and forms in Chinese porcelain, 76, 140

---- origin of enamelled porcelain, 87, 88

Sassanian influence on Far East, 70 _note_

Sawankalok, porcelain made at, 173, 212 _note_

Sceaux, porcelain made at, 288

_Schneeball-vasen_, 254

_Schnorrische Erde_ used by Böttger, 250

Seggars, preparation and arrangement in furnace, 28-29

---- arrangement in Chinese furnaces, 133

---- late introduction in Japan, 188

Sei-ji, Japanese term for celadon, 64

Sentoku, Japanese reading of Hsuan-te, 92

Seto, village in Owari, connection with Japanese porcelain, 180, 202

Seto-mono, Japanese equivalent to ‘china,’ 202

Sève for Sèvres, 290 _note_

‘Severe’ or kaolinic porcelain, 17-18, 385-386

Sèvres, experimental work at, 15

---- hard paste, two types, 17

---- the new porcelain, 18

---- the soft paste of, 289-304

---- porcelain works removed to, 292

---- edicts against competing works, 295

---- the factory a fashionable lounge, 295

---- date of the best work, 297

---- soft paste abandoned, 303

---- ---- repainted at later dates, 304

---- the hard paste of, 305-312

---- German workmen at, 305

---- Macquer succeeds Hellot, 305

---- early hard paste of mild type, 306

---- the new mild type of hard paste, 307, 390

---- proposed withdrawal of State support, 310, 311, 312

---- hard paste, analysis of, 386

---- contemporary porcelain, 389, 390

---- laboratory, chemical and technical researches
     on Chinese porcelain, 47-48, 55

---- porcelain sold at Versailles, 292

---- ---- biscuit figures, 296

---- ---- royal dinner-services, 297-298

---- ---- colours of grounds on, 299

---- ---- turquoise enamel, how prepared, 299

---- ---- _Rose carnée_ or _Pompadour_, 300

---- ---- gilding on, 301

---- ---- date-marks on, 302

---- ---- jewelled decoration, 302

---- ---- artists’ marks on, 303

---- ---- felspathic glaze, 306

---- ---- glaze on early hard paste, 306

---- ---- big vases of, 307-308

---- ---- the Napoleonic decoration, 308

---- ---- changes in decoration illustrate history, 310

---- ---- coloured pastes, 311

---- ---- pictorial plaques, 271, 311

---- ---- later developments, 312, 390

‘Shaping,’ term explained, 20

_Sha-t’ai_ or ‘sand-bodied’ relation to _hua-shi_, 132

---- ---- used as slip, 154

Shonsui, first made porcelain in Japan, 181

Siamese porcelain, 172-175

---- ---- primitive methods of support in kilns, 174, 211

---- ---- Buddhist emblems, 175

---- ---- decorated at Canton, 175

Signatures of painters on _famille rose_ plates, 108

Silica, proportion of, in hard pastes, 7, 385

Silver plate replaced in France by porcelain, 285

Slip or _barbotine_, 19, 312

---- decoration of Chinese porcelain, 146, 147, 154

Slop-blending, 16

Snuff-bottles of Chinese porcelain, 113-114, 140

Soft pastes, how distinguished, 277 _note_

---- ---- of France, origin of, 277-279

---- ---- composition, 279

Solon, M., at Sèvres, 311

_Sometsuke_, Japanese term for ‘blue and white,’ 187

_Soufflé_ glazes on Chinese porcelain, 30, 150

_Sous couverte_ or under-glaze decoration, 43

Spain, porcelain made in, 322-324

---- Chinese porcelain early imported, 322

Spengler of Zurich at Derby, 354

Spode family of Stoke, 372-373

---- Josiah, abandons use of frit in porcelain, 373

---- ---- his felspar porcelain, 373

---- ware, 373-374

Sprimont, Nicholas, manager at Chelsea, 333, 338, 341

---- ---- his _Case of the Undertaker_, 334

Staffordshire porcelain, composition, 372

Steatite in Chinese porcelain, 131

---- used at Worcester, 359

---- used at Swansea, 368

---- relation to _Hua-she_, 376 _note_

Stoneware, relation of, to porcelain, 7, 386

---- composition, 7

Stonewares of Chinese, 165-167

Strassburg, porcelain made at, 269

Strawberry Hill, porcelain at, 266, 283, 321, 379 _note_

_Sui-ki_, Chinese term for crackle or _truité_ ware, 146

Sumatra, Chinese trade with, 210

Sung dynasty of China, 62

---- porcelain, 62-68

---- ---- copied in later times, 52, 104

---- ---- rarity in European collections, 71

Su-ni-po and Su-ma-li, cobalt blues of Arab origin, 92

Swansea porcelain, 367-369

Swedish porcelain, 273

---- ---- contemporary work, 388, 393

Swinton, Rockingham porcelain made at, 371

Swiss porcelain, 270

Ta-mo (Jap. Daruma), 143

Tang dynasty of China, importance of, 56, 209

Tang-ying, superintendent at King-te-chen, 110

---- report on manufacture of porcelain, 111-113

Tao-kwang (1820-50), porcelain of, 115

Tea drinking, influence on ceramic wares, 179, 224, 243

---- ---- ridiculed in drinking-song, 243

Tek-kwa or Te-hua, 142

‘Throwing’ on wheel, 20-22

Thüringer Wald, porcelain made in, 269

Tin enamel used at Chantilly, 286, 294

Tin-glazed fayence, 73

Tin in glaze, 33-34

Ting yao, old Chinese ware, 67, 141

Tingui of Marco Polo, 213-214

Tokugawa period, decline of art in later times, 198, 205

Toshiro, Japanese potter, 180

To-t’ai, ‘bodiless’ porcelain, 91

Tournai, porcelain made at, 289

Toys made of Mennecy porcelain, 287

---- made of Chelsea porcelain, 337

Transfer-printing at Bow, 347

---- at Worcester, 360

‘Transmutation’ glazes on Chinese porcelain, 66, 150-154, 151 _note_

_Trembleuse_ saucers, 283, 294

Trenchard family, early pieces of Chinese porcelain in possession of, 219

Triads of colour--San-tsai, 89, 97

Trou, Henri, at Saint-Cloud, 283

Tsang Ying-hsuan, superintendent at King-te-chen, 96

Tschirnhaus, glass made by, 246-247, 278

---- his connection with Böttger, 246-247, 248

Tsing or Manchu dynasty, 96

Tung, the potter’s god, 113

Tung-chi (1861-74), porcelain of, 115

Tu Ting ware, term explained, 68

Turks use coffee-cups of Oriental porcelain, 224

Turner, Thomas, at Caughley, 365

Turquoise glaze on Chinese porcelain, 97, 147

---- grounds (opaque)--_fei-tsui_--on Chinese porcelain, 110-111

---- ---- on Sèvres porcelain, 299

---- ---- on Chelsea porcelain, 339

_Tu-ting_, 142

Tzu-ching, writer of Bushell MS., 61, 79, 86

_Tzu-kin_ (burnished gold), Chinese name for _fond laque_, 146

Unaker, kaolin from America, 342, 376, 378

Uranium, black enamel from, 261

Uses of Chinese porcelain, 137-141

---- of Japanese porcelain, 192

Venice, Chinese porcelain in St. Mark’s, 77 _note_

---- early attempts to make porcelain in, 235

---- Oriental porcelain abundant in seventeenth century, 235 _note_

---- porcelain made at, 316-318

---- German influence on porcelain, 317

Vernadsky, on chemical reaction in firing porcelain, 11

Vezzi family at Venice, 316

Vienna, origin of porcelain works, 260

---- porcelain, decoration, 260

---- ---- marks on, 260

Villeroy, Duc de, and Mennecy, 287

Vincennes, porcelain made at, 289-291, 293-295

---- _bleu du roi_, 294

---- early perfection of porcelain, 295

Vinovo, or Vineuf, porcelain factory at, 318

_Vissage_ or wreathing, 22, 106 _note_, 384

Vogt, M., of Sèvres, quoted, 17, 278

Wall, Dr. John, at Worcester, 357, 363

Walpole, Horace, porcelain from Doccia, 321

Wan-li (1572-1619), his present of porcelain to Jehangir, 85

---- porcelain of, 95

Warham, Archbishop, celadon bowl at Oxford, 218

‘Wasters,’ importance of discovery of, 29

Watteau, influence on German art, 253

Wedgwood, his Jasper ware, 40

---- at Meissen, 256

---- and fugitive workmen, 381 _note_

---- his opposition to Champion, 383

Weesp, in Holland, porcelain made at, 272

White Chinese porcelain, two families of, 68

Willow pattern at Caughley, 365

Worcester porcelain, 357-364

---- ---- foundation of factory, 357

---- ---- composition of pastes, 358

---- ---- the factory described, 358

---- ---- Oriental wares copied, 359

---- ---- portraits of celebrities, 360, 364

---- ---- marks on, 360, 364

---- ---- transfer-printing, 360-361

---- ---- migration of painters from Chelsea, 361

---- ---- _bleu du roi_ grounds, 361-362

---- ---- decorated in London, 362-363

---- ---- the Chamberlain factory, 363

---- ---- late developments, 364

‘Wreathing’ or _vissage_, 22, 106 _note_, 384

_Wu-kung_, five vessels on Buddhist shrine, 138

_Wu-shê_ (_see_ Garniture), 139

Wu-tsai, the ‘five colours’ of Ming enamels, 89

---- relation to _famille verte_, 101

_Yang-tsai_, ‘foreign colours,’ associated with Indian enamels, 165

_Yao-pien_, or furnace transmutation, 152

_Yao-ping_, or medicine-flasks, 113, 140

Yeiraku ware, 198-199

Yeisen, potter at Kioto, 197

Yellow glazes on Chinese porcelain, 94, 147

Yi-hsing yao, stoneware, 165

Yuan or Mongol dynasty, 72

---- ---- porcelain of, 77, 152

Yung-cheng (1722-35), porcelain of, 103-105

---- copies of old wares, 104

---- his early interest in porcelain, 135

Yung-lo (1402-24), early date-mark, 67

---- porcelain of, 68, 91

Zaitun, 142, 209, 213

Zanzibar, Chinese porcelain found at, 211

Zengoro, family of Japanese potters, 198

---- his coral red, his Yeiraku seal, 198-199

---- his Kairaku ware in Kishiu, 200

---- Hozen at Kutani, 205

Zurich, porcelain made at, 270

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty at the Edinburgh
University Press


 [1] Some English porcelain is stated by Professor Church to have a
 hardness equal to that of quartz. See below, ‘Bristol Porcelain.’

 [2] We have thought it well, once for all, to treat briefly of the
 scientific aspect of our subject, but those who are not interested in
 this point of view may pass over the next few pages.

 [3] I shall return to this point in a later chapter. I lay the more
 stress on this fact, as it is often stated that the hard and slightly
 translucent stonewares, such as the Fulham ware of Dwight, which
 contains as much as eighty per cent. of silica, form one degree of a
 series of which true porcelain is the next term. The fact is, those
 who sought to make porcelain by a refinement in the manufacture of
 stoneware were as much astray as those who started from a fusible
 glass frit.

 [4] The china-stone of Cornwall might, in part at least, be claimed
 as an old volcanic rock, and that used in the Imari district of Japan
 is distinctly of volcanic origin. Both these rocks, however, consist
 essentially of a mixture of quartz and felspar.

 [5] For further details consult the authorities quoted in the
 _Handbook_ of the Jermyn Street Collection, p. 5; for sections showing
 the relation of the beds of kaolin to the surrounding rock, see
 Brongniart’s _Traité des Arts Céramiques_, vol. i.

 [6] It is to the scattered notices and essays of Mr. William Burton
 that we must go for information in this country. In his new work on
 _English Porcelain_ he does not treat upon this side of the subject.

 [7] The most complete work on the processes of manufacture is now
 Dubreuil’s _La Porcelaine_, Paris, 1885. It forms part forty-two in
 Fremy’s _Encyclopédie Chimique_. This volume brings up to date and
 replaces in some measure the great work of Alexandre Brongniart, the
 _Traité des Arts Céramiques_ (two volumes, with a quarto volume of
 plates), Paris, 1844. M. Georges Vogt in _La Porcelaine_, Paris, 1893,
 gives valuable details of the processes employed at Sèvres.

 [8] The _cailloux_ of the French. This material is often described as
 felspar, but I think that quartz can seldom be completely absent.

 [9] I should, however, be inclined to class not only much of the
 porcelain of Japan, but some of that made in Germany and in south-west
 France, rather in the ‘severe’ kaolinic than in the intermediary class
 of M. Vogt.

 [10] We can, however, distinguish, in the tomb paintings of the Middle
 Empire, an earlier form without the lower table. This earlier type,
 moved by hand from the upper table, was that used by the Greeks at
 least as late as the sixth century B.C., and a similar
 primitive wheel is still used in India. On later Egyptian monuments of
 Ptolemaic time, the potter is seen moving the wheel by pressing his
 foot on a second lower table, as now at Sèvres and elsewhere. Both
 forms of wheel appear to have been used by the Italian potters of the

 [11] This seam is often visible on vases of old Chinese porcelain, and
 may be taken as a sign that the object has been moulded.

 [12] Porcelain in China followed, as we shall see, in the wake of the
 more early developed arts of the bronze-caster and the jade-carver.
 Hence the prevalence in the early wares of shapes unsuitable to the

 [13] I think that this is a more practical division than the one made
 by M. Vogt and adopted by Dr. Bushell.

 [14] An important exception is to be noted in the case of the firing
 of large vases in China.

 [15] A good instance of the first case is the finding of crow-claws in
 the rubbish-heaps of Fostât or Old Cairo. As to the method of support
 indicating the place of origin, see what is said below about the
 celadon ware of Siam.

 [16] There is only one exception of any importance--the porcelain of
 Chantilly, much of which has an opaque stanniferous glaze.

 [17] So we can infer from the magnificent wall decoration of the
 Achæmenian period brought home from Susa by M. Dieulafoi.

 [18] A glaze of this nature was in the Saracenic East applied to a
 layer of fine white slip, which itself formed a coating on the coarse
 paste. Such a combination, often very difficult to distinguish from a
 tin enamel, we find on the wall-tiles of Persia and Damascus.

 [19] Metallic gold has, of course, been applied to the decoration of
 porcelain in all countries.

 [20] The colour of the ruby glass in our thirteenth century windows
 has a very similar origin. In this case the art was lost and only in
 a measure recovered at a later period. As in the case of the Chinese
 glaze, the point was to seize the moment when the copper was first
 reduced and, in a minute state of division, was suspended in floccular
 masses in the glass.

 [21] With these colours a dark blue is sometimes associated. Is this
 derived like the turquoise from copper? It is a curious fact that we
 have here exactly the same range of colours that we find in the little
 glass bottles of Phœnician or Egyptian origin, with zig-zag patterns
 (1500-400 B.C.).

 [22] See Vogt, _La Porcelaine_, p. 219. The problem is really more
 complicated. For simplicity’s sake we have ignored the changes that
 take place in the glaze that lies between the enamels and the paste.

 [23] The same result may be obtained by painting one colour over the
 other, as we find in the black ground of the _famille verte_.

 [24] In Persia, where for three centuries at least the Chinese wares
 have been known and imitated, the word _chini_ has almost the same
 connotation. See below for a discussion of the route by which this
 word reached England.

 [25] During the eighteenth century, however, the French missionaries
 remained in friendly relation with the Chinese court, especially with
 the Emperor Kien-lung, a man of culture and a poet. The Père Amiot
 sent home not only letters with valuable information, but from time to
 time presents of porcelain from the emperor. He was in correspondence
 with the minister Bertin, who was himself a keen collector of
 porcelain. See the notes in the Catalogue of Bertin’s sale, Paris,

 [26] Thanks to the industry of the present curator, Herr Zimmermann,
 the same may now be said of the great collection at Dresden.

 [27] For a discussion, and for many illustrations of the art of these
 early dynasties which survives chiefly in objects of jade or bronze,
 see Paléologue, _Art Chinois_, Paris, 1887.

 [28] The wild statements as to the transparency, above all, of the
 Sung and even the Tang porcelain may, however, appear to receive some
 confirmation from the reports of the old Arab travellers. But how
 much credence we can give to these authorities may be gleaned from
 a description of the fayence of Egypt, by a Persian traveller of
 the eleventh century. ‘This ware of Misr,’ he says, ‘is so fine and
 diaphanous that the hand may be seen through it when it is applied to
 the side of the vessel.’ He is speaking not of porcelain, but of a
 silicious glazed earthenware!

 [29] _Pekin Oriental Society_, 1886; see also Bushell’s _Ceramic Art_,
 p. 132 seq.

 [30] See the passage in his _History_ (chapter ix.) where this stern
 censor, referring to the passion for collecting china, rebukes the
 ‘frivolous and inelegant fashion’ for ‘these grotesque baubles.’

 [31] The name Céladon first occurs in the _Astrée_, the once famous
 novel of Honoré D’Urfé. When later in the seventeenth century Céladon,
 the courtier-shepherd, was introduced on the stage, he appeared in a
 costume of greyish green, which became the fashionable colour of the
 time, and his name was transferred to the Chinese porcelain with a
 glaze of very similar colour, which was first introduced into France
 about that period.

 [32] Julien translated the word _ching_ as blue, an unfortunate
 rendering in this case, which has been the cause of much confusion.
 He was so far justified in this, in that the same word is used by the
 Chinese for the cobalt blue of our ‘blue and white,’ while it was not
 applied by them to a pronounced green tint.

 [33] I shall return to this point when treating of English porcelain.

 [34] Somewhat later the Chinese were for a time neighbours of the
 Sassanian empire, where the arts of glazing pottery and making glass
 were highly developed. Sassanian bronzes, and probably textiles, have
 found their way to Japan.

 [35] The salt-glazed ware of Europe seems to be the only important
 exception to this perhaps rather sweeping generalisation.

 [36] It is possible, however, that some of the various tints of brown
 used from early Ming times, especially that known to the Chinese as
 ‘old gold,’ may have been suggested by this copper lustre. The ground
 on which this lustre is superimposed in some old Persian wares is of
 a very similar shade. Dr. Bushell mentions a tradition that the old
 potters tried to produce a yellow colour by adding metallic gold to
 their glaze, but that the gold all disappeared in the heat of the
 _grand feu_. They had therefore to fall back upon the _or bruni_.

 [37] Consult for this ware the beautifully illustrated monographs of
 Mr. Henry Wallis on early Persian ceramics.

 [38] The cobalt pigment itself, when not of native origin, was known
 to the Chinese in Ming times as _Hui-hui ch’ing_ or ‘Mohammedan blue.’
 The other names for the material, _sunipo_ and _sumali_, probably
 point in the same direction.

 [39] A little white oval vase, in the Treasury of St. Mark’s, at
 Venice, may possibly be of this old Ting ware. The decoration is in
 low relief, and four little rings for suspension surround the mouth.
 In any case this is the only piece in this famous collection that has
 any claim to be classed as porcelain.

 [40] The style of this _cloisonné_ decoration is almost identical
 with that seen in the two magnificent lacquer screens with landscapes
 and Buddhist emblems at South Kensington. The chains of pearls and
 _pendeloques_ are characteristic of a style of painting often found on
 the beams and ceilings of the old Buddhist temples of Japan. This is,
 I think, a _motif_ not found elsewhere on Chinese porcelain.

 [41] The late M. Du Sartel gives in his work on Chinese porcelain good
 photographs of some jars of this class in his collection. He was one
 of the first to call attention to this ware.

 [42] This dull surface is especially noticeable in some of the
 specimens with Arabic inscriptions in the British Museum; these date
 from the Cheng-te period (1505-21).

 [43] In Persia, too, and in that country accompanied by many other
 varieties of Chinese porcelain. For examples of these wares see above
 all the collection at South Kensington.

 [44] _Relations des Musulmans avec les Chinois._ It is not impossible,
 however, that further research may bring to light some information on
 this subject. Since writing this I hear from Dr. Bushell that some
 specimens of Saracenic enamelled glass, presumably of the fourteenth
 century, have lately been purchased in Pekin. The Arab trade with
 China was probably never more active than in the first half of the
 fifteenth century. It is with the Memlook Sultans, then ruling a wide
 empire from Cairo, that we must associate most of this enamelled
 glass, and the Eastern trade was in their hands.

 [45] See Bushell, p. 454.

 [46] Note that cobalt as an enamel colour was not applied on porcelain
 during Ming times.

 [47] There is, however, a curious old bowl in the Salting collection
 with the nien-hao of Cheng-te (1505-21), on which a design of iron
 red, two shades of green, a brownish purple, _and a cobalt blue of
 poor lavender tint, all these colours over the glaze_, is combined
 with an _underglaze_ decoration of fish, in a full _copper red_. Note
 also the early use of a cobalt blue enamel, _sur couverte_, in the
 Kakiyemon ware of Japan.

 [48] Much of this kind was translated by Julien, and a good summary
 may be found in Hippisley’s paper contributed to the Smithsonian
 Institute, but the information from the same and other sources is
 more accurately translated and critically analysed in the seventh and
 eighth chapters of Dr. Bushell’s great work.

 [49] Yung-lo, according to the Chinese reckoning, did not commence his
 reign until the new year’s day following the death of his predecessor
 (1403). I have, however, thought it better to adopt the European
 method of reckoning dates.

 [50] The name _Sentoku_ that they give to it is the Japanese reading
 of the characters forming this emperor’s name.

 [51] We may mention that a pair of wide-mouthed vases of this ware,
 shown at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1896, bore the nien-hao of
 Kia-tsing (1521-66) inscribed round the mouth.

 [52] More properly a _fresh name was given to the period_, but for the
 sake of brevity we here as elsewhere identify the emperor’s name with
 that given to the nien-hao.

 [53] The Trenchard bowls, mentioned below, belong probably to this or
 to the following reign.

 [54] But this name is also applied by some to the older Su-ma-li blue.

 [55] Perhaps the earliest nien-hao on a piece of blue and white in
 which we can place any confidence.

 [56] A predecessor of his as viceroy and superintendent at
 King-te-chen was _Lang Ting-tso_, from whom the famous Lang yao, the
 _sang de bœuf_, had its name, though this derivation is not absolutely
 certain. It could only have been quite in the last days of the latter
 viceroy’s rule that much good work was turned out from the kilns.

 [57] It will be observed that the turquoise blue and the green, both
 derived from copper, so happily combined in the wall-tiles of the
 Saracenic East, are in China rarely found united in the decoration of
 the same piece, and this arises from practical difficulties connected
 with the fluxes and the firing. At least the two colours are never
 _successfully_ combined, for the attempt was apparently made in Ming
 times, and of this some instances are given in the following note.
 Indeed I should be inclined to regard such a combination on any piece
 as an evidence of early, probably of Ming, origin.

 [58] I would especially point to a remarkable water-vessel, about ten
 inches high, in the collection at Dresden. This vase is in the form
 of a phœnix. _Green_, as well as _turquoise_, purple and yellow are
 all found in the decoration, and the colours are all well developed.
 There is in the British Museum--a collection in many ways remarkable
 for the number of exceptional types illustrated--a jar with cover, of
 this class. The ground is a dull purple covered with small spirals
 of black; the rest of the decoration--rocks, waves, flowers, and
 jewels--is mainly green of two shades with a little yellow. On some of
 the flowers, however, we see a poor attempt at turquoise blue. Next
 to this example stands a baluster-shaped vase with tall, straight
 neck (PL. VII. 2.). The ground is here of a pale greyish yellow, with
 crackles of a darker shade--so far, in fact, of a Ko yao type. The
 decoration is of a predominant leafy green, with a little purple and
 yellow here and there; but on the flowers we find, in addition, an
 enamel of turquoise, poor in colour, indeed, but certainly a copper
 blue. Both these examples are classed as Ming, and both would seem
 to show that the combination of the turquoise enamel (essentially
 a silicate of copper and soda) with the lead-fluxed green had been
 attempted in Ming times. It was, however, impossible to obtain
 satisfactory results in this way, so that in Kang-he’s time the
 turquoise was reserved for the _demi grand feu_, and the green alone
 used as an enamel over the glaze.

 [59] ‘Muffle-colours,’ of course in these later examples painted over
 the glaze, and therefore to be classed as enamels.

 [60] In this respect we may compare such decoration to a dark
 water-colour drawing on white paper, where advantage is only taken of
 the white ground for scattered lights here and there.

 [61] We must always think of this great man in connection with his
 contemporary in France, Louis XIV. Omitting the early years of the
 French king, before he attained his majority, the two long reigns run
 almost exactly together.

 [62] This list is to be found in Julien’s book. Dr. Bushell has since
 given a more accurate translation, accompanied by a careful analysis
 (_Chinese Ceramics_, chapter xii.).

 [63] The red paste of early times was, however, imitated, and a
 ‘copper paste’ is also mentioned in connection with these old wares.
 The last expression is obscure, but it has certainly nothing to do
 with an enamel on copper.

 [64] On the other hand, on some large showy vases of this time we can
 trace a series of rings, giving an uneven surface. These are caused
 either by the undue pressure of the potter’s fingers (_vissage_), or
 perhaps in part by the way in which the successive stages of the jar
 were built up with ‘sausage-shaped’ rolls of clay.

 [65] How this iron red was manipulated, apparently at a transition
 period, so as to obtain an effect approaching that of the _rouge
 d’or_, is described on page 162.

 [66] A ruby-red can be obtained by careful manipulation from gold
 alone. We may regard the addition of tin as a convenient method of
 developing the colour which was apparently known to the mediæval

 [67] It would be a point of special interest to determine the date
 when these two colours--the pink (used as a ground) and the opaque
 turquoise blue--were first used in China. Their presence together
 with the lemon-yellow gives perhaps the first note of a period of
 decline. There is in the British Museum a bowl and saucer covered
 on the outside with this rose enamel and bearing this unusual
 inscription--‘the _Sin-chou_ year occurring again.’ This expression
 was referred by Franks to the sixty-first year of the reign of
 Kang-he, when the cyclical year in which his reign began recurred
 again, an unprecedented fact in Chinese history. In the same
 collection is a saucer-shaped plate with a pale pink ground with
 the mark of the period Yung-cheng. But the evidence in favour of a
 somewhat later date for the fully developed use of the _rouge d’or_
 seems to me fairly strong. Dr. Bushell, however, tells me that he has
 seen other examples where the same inscription is found upon ware
 decorated with the _rouge d’or_, and that he accepts the early date
 (1722) on the Sin-chou plate. I return to this question on page 136.

 [68] Julien omitted this curious passage in his translation as devoid
 of interest!

 [69] There are two magnificent vases of the black lacquered ware, each
 about eight feet high, in the Musée Guimet, and of the brown variety a
 well-preserved spherical bowl may be seen at South Kensington.

 [70] The snuff-bottles of the Chinese represent the _inro_ of the
 Japanese. Both were originally used for pills and for eye medicine.

 [71] Dr. Bushell tells us that she is an accomplished artist and
 calligraphist, and that her autograph signature is much valued. She is
 said to have sent down from the palace, to be copied at King-te-chen,
 bowls and dishes of the time of Kien-lung, just as that emperor in his
 day forwarded from Pekin examples of Sung and Ming wares with the same
 object. So the old tradition is kept up!

 [72] These references are to the plates of marks at the end of the

 [73] See, however, p. 110 note, for a curious instance of its use.

 [74] A good example of a date-mark of Wan-li in this position may be
 seen on the vase reproduced on PL. VII. Fig. 2.

 [75] Why, by the way, do we find, in catalogues otherwise well edited,
 porcelain ascribed to the Kang-he _dynasty_? One might as well speak
 of the Louis XIV. dynasty.

 [76] At least such was the case when the Canal was in working order.
 For some time since, the Grand Canal has only been navigable _when the
 country is flooded_.

 [77] I cannot find the exact date of the first publication of these
 letters. In the eighteenth century we find them generally quoted from
 Du Halde.

 [78] This is a passage made use of by Longfellow in those often-quoted
 lines beginning--

    ‘A burning town, or seeming so,
     Three thousand furnaces that glow,’ etc.

 [79] If we are to understand by this ‘transparent pebble’ some form of
 arsenic, for it would seem that arsenic (and not tin as with us) is
 the base of the opaque white enamels of the Chinese, it is difficult
 to believe that so volatile a substance could be thus prepared.

 [80] For the use of steatite in English porcelain see chap. xxii. At
 Vinovo, in Piedmont, another magnesian mineral has been employed for
 the paste.

 [81] In the following summary I have kept to the Père D’Entrecolles’s
 words as far as possible, but with considerable abbreviations.

 [82] We must here think of the more sober _famille verte_ lantern at
 South Kensington, rather than of the magnificent specimen of pierced
 work in the Salting collection, which is of later date.

 [83] The unique bowl of Chinese porcelain illustrated in Du Sartel’s
 book, of which the outside is decorated in black and gold in imitation
 of the Limoges enamel of the renaissance, may have had some such
 origin. This piece, on which even the initials of the original French
 artist have been copied, was formerly in the Marquis collection, and
 is now to be seen in the Grandidier Gallery at the Louvre.

 [84] We have already alluded to this point, _à propos_ of a bowl in
 the British Museum; see p. 110 note.

 [85] This branch of the subject is fully worked out in chapter xvii.
 of Dr. Bushell’s work.

 [86] When compared with a similar collection of European wares,
 perhaps the most noticeable difference is the small number of vessels
 adapted to _pouring_. So much is this the case that when we find a
 spout or lip on a specimen of Chinese porcelain, the piece takes
 at once a somewhat exotic aspect, and we are reminded of the Arab
 _Ibraik_, or the European ewer.

 [87] It is a curious fact that London chemists now send out their
 pills in little glass bottles almost identical in shape and size with
 these Chinese yao-ping.

 [88] The word is used in a restricted sense as explained above.

 [89] We have far too often to fall back on names of French origin. Our
 colour-vocabulary in the case of the enamels and glazes of porcelain
 is a sadly poor one.

 [90] In the case of some monochrome ware the colour may have been
 painted on the raw paste or on the biscuit, and a colourless glaze
 then added; or again, as in the case of the coral red mentioned below,
 it may be painted like an enamel _over_ the glaze.

 [91] It must, however, be remembered that this carved lacquer itself
 is sometimes applied as a coating to porcelain in China.

 [92] It would be convenient to have a name to include the whole
 series--the _flambé_, the _sang de bœuf_, the lavender Yuan, and
 perhaps also the peach-bloom and the ‘robin’s egg.’ I would propose to
 include _all these classes_ under the head of _transmutation glazes_.

 [93] A French writer compares the effect to the ‘palette d’un
 coloriste montrée sous un morceau de glace’ (E. de Goncourt, _La
 Maison d’un Artiste_).

 [94] There were many kinds of ‘furnace transmutations’ known to the
 Chinese, mostly of a miraculous nature (see Bushell, p. 219).

 [95] When applied to _the whole surface_, a similar slip forms the
 ground on which the decoration is painted in the case of many kinds of
 European and Saracenic fayence, but in such ware the slip is used to
 conceal a more or less coarse and coloured paste.

 [96] It may, however, be noticed, on close examination, that the
 crackles do not seem to be developed in the lower glaze covered by the
 slip. This would rather point to both the first and the second coats
 of glaze, as well as the intermediate slip, being all applied before
 the firing.

 [97] Not that we need claim any great age for these plates, but it is
 in such places that old types (as _e.g._ the celadon) are likely to
 continue in fashion.

 [98] We may perhaps connect the first steady export of ‘blue and
 white’ direct to Europe with the establishment of the Dutch at
 Nagasaki, where they probably employed Chinese workmen.

 [99] So what is by far the most successful imitation of Chinese ‘blue
 and white’ ever produced in Europe was made by the Dutch, in the
 enamelled fayence of Delft, about the middle of the century.

 [100] In Japanese art also we find the prunus as a symbol of the
 approaching spring, but there the branches are covered with freshly
 fallen snow. The contrast of the weather in early spring, in China and
 Japan respectively, could not be better expressed--by ice in the one
 case, by soft thawing snow in the other.

 [101] Dr. Zimmermann, the curator of the Dresden Museum, regards the
 black division of the _famille verte_ as a product of the _demi grand
 feu_, _i.e._ he holds that the black and green was painted on the
 biscuit. But this is certainly not the case with the fully developed
 examples. I may say that this class is only represented at Dresden by
 some small roughly painted plates.

 [102] We find it so used, however, upon the Japanese ‘Kakiyemon’
 porcelain, some of which cannot be much later than the middle of the
 seventeenth century.

 [103] Since writing this I have discovered a tall-necked bottle of
 this ware at South Kensington, which is stated to have been purchased
 in Persia (PL. XX.).

 [104] That is to say, no attempt was ever made to imitate the
 material--the hard paste.

 [105] An important collection of armorial china was bequeathed to the
 Museum in 1887 by the Rev. Charles Walker.

 [106] This plate belongs to a group in which the arms, above all the
 mantlings, are in the style of the seventeenth century. On these the
 _gules_ is always rendered by an opaque iron-red, although the new
 _rouge d’or_ is freely used in the rest of the decoration. I learn
 from my friend Colonel Croft Lyons that the arms on this plate are
 those of Leake Okeover, who was born in 1701. The initials, repeated
 four times on the margin, L. M. O., stand for Leake and his wife Mary.
 The plate, therefore, cannot well have been painted before, say, 1725.

 [107] This class of Kuang yao must not be confused with the old heavy
 pieces of Yuan ware mentioned on p. 77.

 [108] I quote, with a few contractions, from the edition of 1774.

 [109] I have examined the Korean pottery in the British Museum, at
 Sèvres, and that in some of the German museums, but I have not seen
 the specimens in the Ethnographical Museum at Hamburg, which are said
 to be very remarkable.

 [110] For an account of the exploration of Sawankalok, see _Man_,
 the volume for 1901. By the kind permission of Mr. Read I have been
 able to closely examine the specimens which are now deposited in the
 British Museum.

 [111] We may mention that the Japanese appear also to give the name
 of Kochi to other wares, especially to the deep blue and turquoise
 porcelain with decoration in ribbed cloisons which we have attributed
 to early Ming times.

 [112] We may compare with this the impulse given, some four hundred
 years later, in Europe, to the spread of the use of porcelain at the
 time when tea was first introduced in the West.

 [113] See page 66. This Sung ware is known to the Japanese as
 ‘_Temmoku_,’ and is highly esteemed by them.

 [114] Many, however, of these so-called Jesuit plates were probably
 painted at King-te-chen at a later date. Christianity was finally and
 ruthlessly crushed in Japan after the rebellion of 1637: in China
 it was tolerated up to the close of the reign of Kang-he (1721). I
 must refer back to a quotation from the Père D’Entrecolles given on
 p. 133. See also a curious note in Marryat, where a statuette of
 Quanyin, with the boy patron of learning, is described as ‘a Virgin
 and Child.’--_Pottery and Porcelain_, p. 293.

 [115] In the Dresden collection are several cases full of this early
 Japanese blue and white.

 [116] The Chinese, however, were given much greater liberty than the

 [117] See the South Kensington handbook on Japanese pottery, p. 86.
 In the chapter on Japanese ceramics contained in the magnificently
 illustrated _History of the Arts of Japan_, published in 1901 in
 connection with the Paris Exhibition, a little further light is thrown
 on the history of porcelain in that country. But in this work and in
 the other guides published at the time of our American and European
 exhibitions (and the same may be said of the Japanese report contained
 in the South Kensington handbook), the same scanty materials are
 served up again and again.

 [118] _Ambassades Mémorables de la Compagnie des Indes Orientales des
 Provinces Unies vers les Empereurs du Japon_, Amsterdam, 1680, Part
 II. p. 102. I take the reference from Marryat, but I have not been
 able to find the book.

 [119] We know of no Chinese type to which we can refer this
 decoration. Certain points of resemblance have been found with the
 work of the great contemporary Japanese artist Tanyu. The most
 characteristic _motifs_ are the tiger, the dancing boy with long
 sleeves, and the straw hedge.

 [120] The ‘old Japan’ was at one time closely copied at King-te-chen
 for exportation to Europe. (_Cf._ PL. XXIV. 1.)

 [121] The composition of the Owari porcelain is more normal, the
 silica only amounting to 65 per cent.; but as the paste contains
 little or no lime, it comes nearer to the hard porcelain of Berlin
 than to the milder Chinese type.

 [122] Much, however, of the china-stone of Cornwall differs little in
 composition from the Imari stone; but the latter contains, as we have
 said, soda, in place of the more usual potash.

 [123] It is to this _Koransha_, I understand, that we are indebted for
 the historical notices on Japanese porcelain that have appeared on the
 occasion of our successive international exhibitions (see above, p.
 183 note).

 [124] Captain Brinkley speaks of the lower edge being serrated, but I
 have never seen any specimen of this serration.

 [125] Another seal was granted to Zengoro with the inscription
 (reading in Chinese) _Hopin chi liu_ (PL. B. 24). This refers to an
 old tradition that Shun, a Chinese emperor of very early date, had,
 before his accession to the throne, made pottery at a place called
 Hopin, in Honan. This story is told by Ssuma Chien, the ‘Herodotus of
 China,’ and would be well known to scholars in Japan. These characters
 are sometimes found on Japanese ware. (_Cf._ Bushell, chap. i., and
 the Franks catalogue, fig. 191, where, however, the words are wrongly
 interpreted.) Yeiraku, I should add, may be also rendered ‘long

 [126] This question of the relation between the Kishiu, the Kochi of
 the Japanese, and our class of old Ming wares with coloured glazes,
 is full of difficulties. It remains for some Japanese connoisseur,
 who is at the same time both an expert in ceramics and a good Chinese
 scholar, to clear it up.

 [127] This work is analysed by Dr. Hirth in his essay on _Ancient
 Chinese Porcelain_ already referred to.

 [128] Dr. Meyer, who brought this collection together, has always
 supported the theory that in early days no true porcelain was ever
 made except in China. In support of this he points to the specimens,
 including ‘wasters,’ from Sawankalok in Siam, in this collection,
 as being all of stoneware. We have seen (p. 173) that more recent
 excavations in the same neighbourhood have brought to light fragments
 of true porcelain of undoubted local manufacture. It is true, however,
 that most of the examples of celadon in the Dresden collection are of
 what we should call a kaolinic stoneware.

 [129] I suppose that Franks, who refers to this notice, was satisfied
 that the present really consisted of Chinese ware. Many slips have
 been made in quoting this passage, but I will only point out that
 Nureddin, who died in 1173, has no claim to the title of caliph.

 [130] This belief, however, long lingered not only in the East, but
 even in Europe. According to some, if poison was present, the bowl
 lost its transparency; others state that the liquid would boil up in
 the centre, remaining clear round the edge. In a French comic poem,
 written as late as 1716, among other merits possessed by vessels of
 Chinese porcelain, it is claimed for them that--

    ‘Ils font connaître les mystères
     Des bouillons à la Brinvillière.’

 [131] By far the greater number of the fragments are of local or at
 least of Saracenic origin, and many of them may be as old as the date
 mentioned in the text. But at Fostât, at all events, some of the
 pot-sherds are of a much later date. There are important collections
 of fragments from these rubbish-heaps both in the British Museum and
 at South Kensington.

 [132] Professor Karabacek of Vienna quotes from the encyclopædist
 Hâdji Khalifa, who died in 1658: ‘The precious magnificent celadon
 dishes seen in his time were manufactured and exported at Martabani,
 in Pegu.’

 [133] The little bowl of apple-green porcelain in the British Museum,
 ‘garnished’ with a mounting of the time of Henry VIII., has perhaps as
 long a European history. The two ‘Trenchard’ bowls (in spite of the
 later date of the mounting) probably came to England in 1506.

 [134] I think that it is not unlikely that during the time that
 King-te-chen lay waste, kilns may have been erected somewhere in
 the neighbourhood of the Canton river, and that from these kilns
 originated much of the rough ware, hastily decorated in blue, that
 reached India and Persia in such quantities at this time (_cf._ the
 statement of Raynal quoted on p. 166). We have spoken in the last
 chapter of the influence of these events upon the Japanese trade.

 [135] I am referring, of course, to Stuart times. In the eighteenth
 century the so-called Gombroon ware was of Persian origin, and
 recognised as such in England.

 [136] The word ‘china’ is used in this sense, I think, by no other
 European nation.

 [137] See, however, for the Portuguese merchants who sold porcelain in
 France, the note on page 230.

 [138] The Abbé Raynal, writing about 1770, says that connoisseurs
 divide Oriental porcelain into six classes--‘_truitée_, _vieille
 blanche_, _de Japon_, _de Chine_, _le Japon Chiné et la porcelaine des

 [139] Marryat’s extracts are unfortunately often carelessly quoted;
 nor is it easy in all cases to control them by reference to the

 [140] August II. certainly bought a collection of porcelain from the
 Bassetouche family for 6750 thalers. It would be interesting to know
 of what wares this collection consisted. The only further additions
 until quite recent times have been to the European department.

 [141] The tradition of the ‘dinner-service’ made in China for Charles
 V., and presented by him to Moritz of Saxony (or, as others say,
 captured from him by that prince), belongs to the same category of
 stories as that of the crusader’s cup. No such commission as this
 was possible at so early a date, and there is nothing in the Dresden
 collection that could be connected with such a service.


        ‘Menez-moi chez les Portugais
         Nous y verrons à peu de frais
         Des marchandises de la Chine
    ... de la porcelaine fine,’ etc.--Scarron, _Paris Burlesque_.

 [143] In 1689 Madame de Sévigné notes the quantity of Oriental
 porcelain imported at L’Orient.

 [144] Are we to identify these with some huge Imari vases, now in the
 Louvre, with coats of arms bearing the French lilies and the label of
 Orleans? Some similar vases, with the same arms, have lately been seen
 in dealers’ shops in London.

 [145] The catalogues of Gersaint and of some other early French
 collections may be found at South Kensington.

 [146] Passeri, writing in 1752 in favour of the then neglected
 majolica, claims that ‘la parte brutale dell’ uomo sarà a favor delle
 porcellane, ma l’intellettuale e raziocinativa giudicherà a favor
 delle nostre majoliche.’

 [147] Recent researches in the archives of Venice have proved that
 Oriental porcelain was comparatively abundant in Venice at the
 beginning of the sixteenth century. Dr. Ludwig has shown me extracts
 from the inventory of the property of a rich ‘cittadino’ who died in
 1526, in which can be distinguished plain white, blue and white, and
 porcelain decorated with red, green, and gold.

 [148] It is quite possible that Palissy may have tried his hand at
 this problem. M. Solon has suggested that in the many years’ labour
 at Saintes (when attempting especially to imitate ‘the cup with white
 enamel’) Palissy was really seeking to make porcelain.

 [149] I take the following from the excellent catalogue of the Ceramic
 Museum at Limoges, by E. Garnier: ‘1125. _Pot à Pommade, de forme
 cylindrique godronné à la partie inférieure et décoré en bleu d’une
 bande de lambrequins. Marque_ A.P.’ Some other small pieces in this
 museum are classed as Rouen porcelain.

 [150] Professor Church allows that ‘the substance of some of these
 statuettes is distinctly porcellanous.’ He found, however, in a
 fragment of this ware as much as 79·5 per cent. of silica, and only
 12·5 per cent. of alumina (_Cantor Lectures_, 1881).

 [151] This feeling is well expressed in a contemporary drinking-song:--

    ‘To drink is a Christian diversion
     Unfit for your Turk or your Persian;
     Let Mohammedan fools live by heathenish rules,
     And get drunk over tea-cups and coffee,
     But let British lads sing, give a rouse for the king,
     A fig for your Turk and your Sophi.’

 The punch-bowl of porcelain, however, came to the rescue about this

 [152] In the porcelain gallery at Dresden may be seen (together with
 one or two small lumps of gold and silver, the results of Böttger’s
 alchemistic experiments) some snuff-boxes and little flasks of a
 marbled glass, made by Tschirnhaus at an early date. It is probable
 that the latter experimenter’s researches lay rather in the way of a
 frit-made soft paste, on the same lines as the contemporary attempts
 in France.

 [153] And yet, forty years later (so well was the secret kept), it was
 maintained by practical authorities in France that the Saxon ware was
 no true porcelain, but only some kind of hard enamel. See Hellot’s
 _Mémoire_, quoted below.

 [154] We hear, however, of Dutch potters being engaged as early as
 1708, and with their assistance Böttger, in 1709, made some imitations
 of Delft ware.

 [155] In a contemporary German pamphlet, which I only know from a
 French translation (_Secret des Vrais Porcelaines de la Chine et de
 Saxe_, Paris, 1752), a certain ‘_spath alkalin_’ is mentioned as an
 important element in Saxon porcelain, and this substance is identified
 with the petuntse of the Père D’Entrecolles.

 [156] If this colour is derived from the purple of Cassius, as seems
 probable, it is an important instance of the early use of this pigment
 upon porcelain.

 [157] Above all the famous ‘Swan Service’ of 1736, Kändler’s

 [158] We had in England until lately an unrivalled collection of
 these little groups--priceless specimens of the best period. They
 were exhibited by their owner, Mr. Massey Mainwaring, for some time
 at Bethnal Green. This collection has, however, now found its way to

 [159] On the other hand, as early as 1732 the Meissen ware was
 finding its way to the East. Quantities of little coffee-cups (known
 as _Türken Copjen_, corrupted into _Türken Köpfchen_) were sent to
 Constantinople to be re-exported to other Mohammedan countries.

 [160] We may remind the reader that it was a syndicate of Berlin
 merchants who at an earlier date sought, it is said, to purchase from
 Böttger his secret. There is little doubt, however, that the anecdotes
 about Ringler, which abound in the notices on German porcelain,
 are little more than ‘porcelain myths.’ Very similar anecdotes are
 told of the early days at Vincennes, and in Japan, as we have seen,
 such stories sometimes take a more tragical form. There is a strong
 temptation, no doubt, in traversing the somewhat arid ground of German
 ceramics, to fall back on such tales. At all events they belong to the
 class of _tendenz Mährchen_, and illustrate the difficulties to be
 overcome at that time in starting a new factory.

 [161] Not but that we have proof of his interest in the subject, as
 the following letter, dated Meissen, March 28, 1761, will show. It
 is written to Madame Camas, his _chère Maman_, who was then with the
 queen at Magdeburg:--‘I send you, my dear mamma, a little trifle,
 by way of keepsake and memento. You may use the box for your rouge,
 for your patches, or you may put snuff in it or bonbons or pills....
 I have ordered porcelain for all the world, for Schönhausen, for my
 sisters-in-law,--in fact I am rich in this brittle material only. And
 I hope the receivers will accept it as current money: for the truth
 is, we are poor as can be, good mamma. I have nothing left but my
 honour, my coat, my sword, and my porcelain.’--Carlyle’s _Frederick
 the Great_, Book xx. chap. vi. Marryat, who gives this letter in his
 notes, mixes up Carlyle’s comments with the text.

 [162] The Hohenzollern shield bears two sceptres in saltire _en

 [163] Another account gives the credit to Von Löwenfinck, a porcelain
 painter from Meissen.

 [164] Politically, that is to say; for the town formed part of the
 ‘Pays d’Étrangers,’ and its commercial and social relations were still
 rather with Germany than with France.

 [165] I take these facts about the Hannong family from Sir A.
 Wollaston Franks’s _Catalogue of Continental Porcelain_, 1896.

 [166] In the same year we find Count Schimmelmann, who at a later date
 interested himself in the Copenhagen factory, selling by auction at
 Hamburg some of the vast stocks of Meissen china that Frederick had
 thrown on the market.

 [167] As a royal factory, however, it became extinct in 1864. See
 chap. xxiii.

 [168] Thus we have, during the Seven Years’ War, Frederick’s three
 bitter opponents--Maria Theresa in Austria, Elizabeth in Russia, and
 the Marquise de Pompadour in France--all taking an active interest
 in promoting the manufacture of porcelain, and this rivalry may have
 added to the zest of Frederick when he looted Meissen and sought to
 make Berlin take its place as the metropolis of porcelain.

 [169] An American writer has arranged the tests by which soft pastes
 may be distinguished from true porcelains under six heads. 1. _The
 file test._--Soft porcelain may be marked by a file. 2. _The foot
 test._--In hard porcelain the foot is generally rough and unglazed.
 This test is rather of value in distinguishing porcelain from fayence.
 3. _The fire test._--Depending on the greater fusibility of the soft
 pastes. 4. _Chemical test._ 5. _Colour test._--Soft paste is generally
 mellow ivory by transmitted light, and this is especially true of
 ‘bone-ware.’ The hard paste tends to bluish shades. 6. _Fracture
 test._--The fracture is glassy to vitreous, and the glaze passes into
 the paste in the case of hard pastes (the subconchoidal splintery
 fracture is rather the point to observe); dry and chalky, and the
 glaze more or less separated from the paste in the case of soft
 pastes.--E. A. Barber, _Pottery and Porcelain of the United States_,
 New York, 1901.

 [170] De Réaumur, we must remember, had made some kind of hard-paste
 porcelain from Chinese materials. After that he fell back upon his
 devitrified glass. Something very similar had been made by Tschirnhaus
 many years before.

 [171] These, I think, are almost the only instances in which a
 distinctly seventeenth century decoration is to be found on porcelain.

 [172] These _trembleuse_ saucers of the early eighteenth century have
 a projecting ring into which the base of the teacup fits.

 [173] The extreme limits for this mark are 1712-62, but Chaffers says
 it was not used before 1730, according to another authority not before
 1735. De Frasnay, in a note to his curious little poem in praise of
 fayence (1735), says: ‘_le secret du beau rouge n’est guère connu
 en France que d’un très petit nombre de personnes_.’ The point is
 of interest in connection with the origin of the _famille rose_ in
 China. We may here note that the minute quantity of gold--the source
 of all these pink and purple colours--is not necessarily introduced in
 the form of the tin salt, the purple of Cassius. But this difficult
 question will be best treated in connection with the history of glass.

 [174] Generally known as the Duc de Bourbon (1710-40). He was an
 enthusiast for the art of the Far East. An important work on Chinese
 art was published under his auspices in 1735. He imitated the painted
 hangings of the East, and even attempted to make Japanese lacquer.
 After his death, the two brothers Dubois, _épiciers à Chantilly_,
 migrated to Vincennes, and the Chantilly works were for a time
 neglected. See Gustave Macon, _Les arts dans la Maison de Condé_, 1903.

 [175] Of the many European imitations of the ‘Kakiyemon’ style the
 Chantilly is most successful, while the ‘Old Japan’ was best copied
 at Chelsea. No European imitation in porcelain of the Chinese blue
 and white approaches in brilliancy that made in Delft ware in the
 seventeenth century.

 [176] The porcelain of Saint-Cloud and Chantilly is well represented
 in the Fitzhenry collection.

 [177] Some twenty miles south of Paris, not far from Corbeil.

 [178] The name is written ‘Sèves’ in English catalogues of the
 eighteenth century, and the same form is found sometimes in
 contemporary French writings. We may compare the favourite signature
 ‘Fédéric’ of the Prussian king.

 [179] _Mémoire Historique pour la Manufacture, rédigé en 1781 par
 Bachelier_, re-edited, with preface and notes, by G. Gouellain, Paris,

 [180] See the note on p. 286. It would seem that the first successes
 at Vincennes were, in a measure, dependent upon the temporary breaking
 up of the factory at Chantilly on the death of the Duc de Bourbon in

 [181] At a later time this man had a contract for the delivery of the
 paste, the secret of which he preserved, at a fixed rate per pound. In
 one year he is said to have received for this 800,000 livres!

 [182] Such is my general impression, but M. Garnier, I see, speaks
 highly of his artistic capabilities. Bachelier founded in 1763 a free
 school of design, one of the few institutions of the old régime that
 have survived the many changes of government. It still exists as the
 _École Nationale des Beaux-Arts_.

 [183] By this we get a hint as to the kind of ware made at Vincennes
 at the commencement, when under the influence of Chantilly.

 [184] The account-books of these sales are still preserved. M.
 Davillier, in his little book on _Les porcelaines de Sèvres et Madame
 du Barry_, quotes the record of purchases made (at a later date, for
 the most part) by the royal family, by Madame du Deffand, and by M. de
 Voltaire. The latter bought, for 120 livres, ‘_Deux bustes de mondit
 Sieur, en biscuit_.’ Besides this, large sales were made yearly to the

 [185] The above description is that given by the Prince de Ligne in
 his memoirs. In the Johanneum at Dresden there is now to be seen a
 ‘bouquet’ which in every way corresponds to the prince’s account.
 The Meissen works for long had the credit of this trophy, but it is
 now acknowledged that it is identical with the present sent by the
 dauphine, in 1748, to her father, the Elector of Saxony. M. Davillier
 quotes a curious account from a contemporary memoir describing the
 difficulties and expenses incurred in transporting this ‘bouquet’ from
 Paris to Dresden. Are we, then, to regard it as the actual present
 given by M. de Fulvi to the queen, or as a duplicate?

 [186] See for this and other references to porcelain in the _chronique
 scandaleuse_ of the day, the little book of M. Davillier quoted above.

 [187] Some attention was paid to the housing and comfort of the
 workmen at the new establishment, but Bachelier makes no mention of
 ‘the gardens, cascades, fruit-trees, groves, woods, and a small chase
 for the artists, who enjoyed to hunt the stag and the wild boar none
 the less for their sedentary lives in the art palace’ (Marryat, p.
 414). On the contrary, we are told that in a few years the houses and
 workshops were already threatening to fall down on the workmen’s heads.

 [188] M. Bertin was himself a great collector of Chinese porcelain.
 In the _avertissement_ of the catalogue of his collection which was
 sold in Paris in 1815, we are told that through the medium of the Père
 Amiot he obtained many choice specimens, some of them direct presents
 from the Chinese emperor. We have already alluded to Kien-lung’s
 interest in exotic wares, and to the influence of these upon the
 native decoration.

 [189] In the _fond lapis caillouté_ the deep blue ground is painted
 with fine veins of gold, to imitate the pyrites which generally
 accompanies the native stone (lapis lazuli). It was used as early as
 1758 (see Wallace collection, Gallery XVIII., Case C.).

 [190] As many as one hundred and sixty pieces, it is said, were
 carried off during a fire at Tsarskoe Selo. Some of these were
 afterwards repurchased by the Tsar Nicholas.

 [191] Marryat quotes a passage to the following effect from a little
 work published at Venice soon after the death of the favourite.
 Praising the good taste of the ‘_Madame Marchesa_,’ the writer states
 that this was, above all, manifested in the adornment of her table.
 All the porcelain was expressly manufactured for her at Sèvres, and
 was of _a rose colour mixed with gold_. The value amounted to 257,000
 livres, and no sovereign possessed a service of equal beauty.

 [192] It is found as a ground on pieces bearing the earliest
 letter-marks, so that it is difficult to accept the statement that it
 was first made by Xhrouet, a painter of landscapes, in 1757.

 [193] Much of it found its way to England, and was there decorated in
 the old Sèvres style, both in London and in the West.

 [194] For a detailed description of these deposits and their
 geological relations, see Brongniart’s great work.

 [195] Napoleon at one time sent Daru to Sèvres to convey to
 Brongniart, in the most lively terms, his dissatisfaction with what he
 called the simplicity and tameness of the designs in use at Sèvres.
 Every piece should, he protests, ‘_dire quelque chose_.’ Every plate
 should record glorious deeds, the capture of the enemy’s towns, or the
 triumphant return of the victors.

 [196] We must, however, place some of these discoveries to the credit
 of the staff of the Viennese factory, and Dihl again, the chemist of
 the porcelain works in the Rue de Bondy, has a claim to others.

 [197] The death of M. Garnier occurred since the above was written.

 [198] The use of a bone-paste ware of the ‘Spode’ type is, however,
 now prevalent not only in many parts of the continent, but porcelain
 of this kind is now largely made in the United States.

 [199] Unless it be in the catalogue drawn up by Sir A. W. Franks
 for his collection of continental china. The ceramic collection in
 the Hamburg Museum has also been very thoroughly catalogued by Dr.

 [200] It is curious to find Venice at this time exporting porcelain to
 the East, for at an earlier period it was through this town that so
 much Oriental porcelain and fayence reached Europe.

 [201] This Venetian china, either of hard paste or of the hybrid
 class, must not be confused with the opaque glass, the _lattimo_,
 or, more properly, _Latisuol_, ware, made about 1730 in imitation of
 porcelain both at Murano, and also near Bassano.

 [202] Compare with this the use of steatite, a magnesian rock, from
 the Lizard, at Worcester, and at other West of England factories. The
 Chinese have also at times made use of a steatitic rock.

 [203] Marryat (p. 451) gives an interesting account of this
 enterprising man. He was occupied also in the draining of marshes, the
 improvement of agriculture, and the promotion of commerce.

 [204] With this appointment we may perhaps connect the elaborate
 trophy of white porcelain at South Kensington. The figures of slaves
 on which this is supported are modelled after those of Tacca on the
 celebrated monument at Leghorn. This piece is attributed, however, to
 the Capo di Monte factory.

 [205] The word ‘china’ is sometimes used in Spain in the same vague
 sense as in England, but the name seems only to have come in with the
 Staffordshire ware so largely imported in the last century. Note,
 however, that the factory at Buen Retiro was known as La China.

 [206] I quote this remarkable passage from Sir A. W. Franks’s paper on
 the origin of the Chelsea porcelain works (_Archæol. Journal_, 1862).
 Marryat misquotes and misinterprets the passage.

 [207] One possible exception to this very general statement may be
 found in a pamphlet quoted by Mr. Solon, _Instructions how to make
 as good china as was ever sold by the East India Company_ by A.
 Hill, London, 1716. According to this writer, fragments of Oriental
 china were to be finely ground and mixed with fluxing and plastic
 materials to form a paste. Now there is evidence that at a much later
 date ‘potsherds’ were imported from China, and ground up to form an
 ingredient of the porcelain, both at Bow and at Worcester.

 [208] The memorandum-book of Duesbury, the future porcelain king,
 begins in 1742. He was then working, on weekly wages, as an
 ‘enameller’ of china figures. But was the ware that he was decorating
 at this time a true porcelain?

 [209] Mr. Burton says that at the present day the Staffordshire
 porcelain is composed of bone-ash 6 parts, china-stone 4 parts, and
 kaolin 3½ parts.

 [210] Mr. Willett, of Brighton, has a pair of ‘goat and bee’ jugs in
 silver, with the hall-mark of 1739.

 [211] There is an interesting series of these very early pieces in the
 British Museum. A white ware salt-cellar, with crayfish in relief, has
 the triangle mark. A jug, in the form of a grotesque Chinaman, is a
 good specimen of the early paste. We notice the same waxy look in the
 paste that we find in the Saint-Cloud ware. The surface, however, is
 generally grayer.

 [212] In 1758 we find an advertisement of a house to let in ‘China
 Walk,’ Chelsea.

 [213] Both Gouyn and his successor, Sprimont, were very likely
 Walloons from the neighbourhood of Liége. In a contemporary work,
 however, the latter is spoken of as ‘a French artist of great
 abilities.’ Rouguet’s _Present State of the Arts_, 1755.

 [214] Note the term ‘earthenware.’ As in a much earlier proclamation
 of the time of Charles II. (forbidding the importation of painted
 earthenware, except ‘those of China, and stone bottles and jugs’), the
 word is used officially to include porcelain.

 [215] Such a regulation would seem to show that in England the
 enamel-painters were in the field earlier than the manufacturers of

 [216] The later date is supported by the statement of Sprimont in his
 ‘Case,’ that ‘the ground flat of the manufacturer has gone on still
 increasing,’ for we know that the works were enlarged in 1757. The
 expression ‘crowned head’ applies better to the King of Prussia than
 to the Elector of Saxony. In 1760, as we have seen, Count Schimmelmann
 was at Hamburg selling, on behalf of Frederick, part of the vast
 stocks accumulated at Meissen.

 [217] In a London paper of December 4, 1763, appeared the following
 statement--I quote from Mr. Nightingale’s book,--‘A few days since,
 his R. Highness the Duke of Cumberland was at Mr. Sprimont’s
 manufactory at Chelsea, and we are informed that his Highness will
 shortly purchase the same, that so matchless an art should not be
 lost.’ A week later, however, a formal contradiction of this report
 appeared in another paper, in the form of a note at the end of an
 advertisement of the sale of the contents of Sprimont’s factory. All
 this has a very modern air. We have a skilful combination of the
 _ballon d’essai_ and the puff preliminary.

 [218] This collection has lately disappeared from its old home in the
 Geological Museum, where it had been the delight of two generations of
 collectors. Most of the specimens have, however, quite recently been
 discovered at South Kensington.

 [219] Much of the white ware at this time was decorated outside by
 ‘chamberers.’ Compare the memorandum-book of Duesbury quoted below.

 [220] The advertisement of these sales in contemporary newspapers, and
 many of the catalogues, have been collected together and reprinted by
 the late Mr. J. E. Nightingale.

 [221] Before this time the gold had been simply laid on with
 japanner’s size and only gently heated. See Burton’s _English
 Porcelain_, p. 46.

 [222] There was a revival of the practice of mounting, or, to use
 the old term, ‘garnishing’ porcelain in ormolu about this time. At
 Boulton’s works at Soho, near Birmingham, famous, a little later, in
 the history of the steam-engine, these metal mountings were largely
 made, and Wedgwood began to apply them to some of his wares (see
 Nightingale, p. xxxiv.).

 [223] I can find no confirmation of the statement that Roubiliac
 modelled figures for Sprimont. Certain statuettes bearing an R.
 impressed on the paste have been attributed to him. There is no
 reference to any such work in the life of the artist by M. Le Roy de
 St. Croix (Lyons, 1886). Roubiliac, who died in 1762, was already
 in 1750 at the height of his reputation, and fully employed in more
 important work.

 [224] Mr. Burton points out that it would be quite impossible to make
 a translucent ware with the materials of the first patent. He doubts
 also the use of bone-ash in the earlier porcelain of Bow, the paste
 of which is distinctly of the Saint-Cloud type. I think, however,
 that there can be little doubt but that the ‘virgin earth’ refers to
 bone-ash, and the fragments from Bow in which this substance has been
 found seem to be derived from an early ware.

 [225] Specimens from this find may be seen at the British Museum,
 at South Kensington, and in the late Jermyn Street collection.
 An interesting and detailed account of the fragments, which were
 excavated and arranged by Mr. Higgins of the adjacent match-works,
 will be found in Chaffers’s _Marks_, pp. 908 _seq._

 [226] This difficulty of making the decoration keep pace with the
 outturn of the kilns was felt at this time at other kilns--from
 King-te-chen to Sèvres and Worcester. Recourse was more and more had
 to the outside enameller--the ‘chamberer’--on the one hand, and to
 transfer-printing on the other.

 [227] This document is exhibited at the British Museum by the side of
 the punch-bowl.

 [228] These figures are probably exaggerated. Sprimont, a little
 earlier, says that he was employing at Chelsea ‘at least one hundred

 [229] ‘Printed teas and mugs’ are mentioned in Bowcocke’s
 memorandum-book in 1756.

 [230] See Nightingale’s _English Porcelain_, pp. li. _seq._, and
 Bemrose’s _Bow, Chelsea, and Derby Porcelain_, pp. 153 _seq._

 [231] The rococo vases, however, of this ware in the British Museum
 seem to be of a somewhat later date, if we take Sprimont’s work at
 Chelsea as a criterion.

 [232] These ‘Darby figars’ may possibly have been of earthenware.
 There are some richly painted statuettes of this material at South
 Kensington, though these indeed seem to be of a somewhat later date.

 [233] Mr. Bemrose, in his work on _Bow, Chelsea, and Derby Porcelain_,
 gives photographic reproductions of several pages from Duesbury’s

 [234] These details I take from the notes of a man who had formerly
 practical experience of such work--Mr. Haslem, in his _Old Derby China

 [235] And yet the colours are sometimes brilliant and effective--for
 example, on a large dish or tray of Spode ware at South Kensington
 (see below, p. 373). This strange ‘breaking-down’ of the old Japanese
 patterns may be compared to the scattered fragments of the original
 Greek design that we see on the pre-Roman coins of Gaul and Britain.

 [236] It appears from a correspondence that has been preserved that
 in 1791 the second Duesbury was looking out for royal support. ‘A
 gentleman about the court’ whom he consulted recommended him to seek
 the patronage of the Duke of Clarence, for, said he, ‘the duke is the
 _only prince that pays the tradespeople_.’ At that time there was
 great jealousy of the Worcester works, where the king had lately made
 large purchases.

 [237] Why _Tonquin_, of all places? We should rather have expected to
 find Nankin or Canton, as at Bow.

 [238] See the engraving in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ for August 1752.
 This was in the nature of a puff. In the corner we read ‘A sale of the
 Manufacture will begin at the Worcester Music Meeting on September
 20th, with great variety of ware and, ’tis said, at a moderate price.’
 Edward Cave, the originator of the _Gentleman’s Magazine_, and ‘the
 father of parliamentary reporting,’ was an important shareholder of
 the Worcester works.

 [239] Steatite is essentially a silicate of magnesia. We have seen
 that a soapy rock, probably of this nature, entered at times into the
 composition of the porcelain made at King-te-chen. At a later time
 silicate of magnesia, in various forms, has found its way into the
 hybrid pastes of Italy and Spain.

 [240] These two buildings may be probably traced back to the Temple of
 Vespasian, in the Forum, and to the Pyramid of Cestius respectively.
 Hancock must have got his materials from French and Italian engravings
 after Claude and Pannini.

 [241] Dr. Johnson was for a long time a close neighbour--his
 well-known interest in the manufacture of porcelain must have brought
 him into contact with the Baxter family. We find a Baxter mentioned in
 Bowcocke’s notes as early as 1751. See Chaffers, p. 896.

 [242] The teapot in the Schreiber collection with the mark ‘Allen,
 Lowestoft,’ must be regarded as a _supercherie_. The painting on it
 of a crucifixion is evidently by a Chinese hand. This teapot has,
 however, been connected with an Allen of Lowestoft, a porcelain
 enameller and amateur glass-stainer.

 [243] Some recent discoveries of moulds make it, however, probable
 that the early wares of Worcester and Bow were imitated at Lowestoft.

 [244] We are told that the first three of these substances are _to be
 fritted together_, but this would be manifestly impossible. The recipe
 is curious as being an anticipation of the materials used by Spode
 thirty years later. But we must receive most of these recipes that
 have thus come down to us _cum grano_.

 [245] This ‘soapy rock’ was at once identified with the steatite of
 the Lizard. The other porcelain experts, from Worcester and from
 Liverpool, who visited Cornwall about this time, seem to have devoted
 their attention more especially to this substance. They were thus, to
 some extent, on a false scent, for the Père D’Entrecolles probably
 somewhat exaggerated the importance of this _Wha-she_, and, moreover,
 as has been shown by later French investigation, most of the material
 of soapy consistency employed at King-te-chen is no true steatite or
 magnesian silicate, but rather a more fusible variety of the petuntse,
 containing much mica.

 [246] Was Frye, the painter of Bow, who first made use of the American
 earth, also a quaker? Cookworthy and Champion, it appears, first
 became acquainted with one another through the medium of one of the
 Bristol Frys, and it is known that moulds and patterns from Bow were
 used at Plymouth. It is at least remarkable that we should be indebted
 for our knowledge of the constitution of Chinese porcelain, in the
 first place, to a Jesuit father, and then to a member of the Society
 of Friends; while, on the other hand, Böttger--like Cookworthy, a
 druggist--was an adept in the dark arts.

 [247] Besides the factory mentioned in this letter, we hear from the
 diary of Dr. Pococke that as early as 1750 a white ware with reliefs
 was made at the ‘Lowris China house’ with ‘soapy-rock from Lizard
 Point.’ A sauce-boat marked ‘Bristoll’ is referred to these works in
 the _Guide to English Pottery in the British Museum_, p. 109.

 [248] Lauraguais (Comte de), Duc de Brancas, born 1733; died 1824.

 [249] See p. 306. At Strawberry Hill was ‘Michael Angelo’s Bacchus,
 made in the china of the Comte de Lauraguais, from the collection of
 the Comte de Caylus’ (Walpole’s _Works_, ii. 405 _seq._).

 [250] By Champion, at least, at a later time. The cross swords have
 in some cases been subsequently obliterated (PL. E. 84). Mr. Owen
 thinks that this was in consequence of a quarrel with the custom-house
 authorities in 1775.

 [251] And for tin also. The mark was adopted, no doubt, in honour
 of the ‘premier’ product of Cornwall. It would, however, be more in
 place on a ware with an opaque tin glaze, such as the soft paste of

 [252] So at Sèvres during the greater part of the last century the
 glaze has consisted of pegmatite, a very similar material to the
 Cornish growan-stone. The inconveniences of such a glaze have been
 pointed out by Vogt and others.

 [253] Of another workman employed by Champion, one Anthony Amatt, Mr.
 Hugh Owen gives some particulars. At one time, attempting to cross
 the Channel and find employment in France, he was arrested--at the
 instigation, it is said, of Wedgwood--and confined for some time as a
 State prisoner. Amatt died in 1851 at the age of ninety-two. Wedgwood
 was very active in preventing the emigration of English potters, who,
 he declared, were lured from their country by French and German agents
 (Meteyard’s _Wedgwood_, ii. p. 475).

 [254] There are also in existence some examples of undoubted Bristol
 hard-paste porcelain, covered with a soft lead glaze.

 [255] The porcelain made by Count Lauraguais, to judge by the analysis
 given above, must have contained even more kaolin than the Bristol

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