Jan 262011


Meissen porcelain being taken from pottery clay to a finished figurine and plate. The craftsmanship is awesome, the painting skillful and everything in between is in the attention to detail.

It’s not surprising that Meissen is so so collectable.



 11:53 pm  Tableware
Dec 122010
Royal Copenhagen Hydrangea Vase

Royal Copenhagen Hydrangea Vase

Royal Copenhagen has been producing porcelain dinnerware, plates, cups, bowls and figurines since 1775 – the year when the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory first saw the light of day.

It was agreed from the outset that the greater proportion of porcelain produced would be painted blue before glazing.

This proved the most economical method, since underglaze porcelain demands only one firing – however at a very high temperature (1,400 degrees Celsius) required to fuse the porcelain paste and the glaze. At this time only cobalt blue could withstand such a high temperature. Since then it has become the factory’s mark of distinction.

The first dinner service pattern to be selected was Blue Fluted. This was a popular pattern in Europe’s first porcelain manufactories. Since the taut stylised floral motive originated in China, it was considered the epitome of genuine porcelain. At Royal Copenhagen we continue to paint the pattern by hand, even today. Therefore, Blue Fluted would gradually become synonymous with Danish porcelain.

A period of blossoming followed. The manufactory’s clientele were predominantly the royal family and the nobility. Porcelain was a prestigious status symbol in the 1700s. Commissions for coffee and tea services, not to mention large, elaborate vases, ran to sums that today would be computed in millions. Porcelain was principally commissioned as gifts for family members and foreign monarchs. The works produced were richly decorated in multicoloured overglaze and delicately modelled details.

The largest and most renowned of these commissions was the exquisite Flora Danica dinner service. It was commissioned in 1790 by the Danish king, according to legend for Catherine the Great of Russia. Danish flora was reproduced on the porcelain, copying the copperplates published in one of the Age of Enlightenment’s greatest botanical works, Flora Danica. When the service was delivered to the royal family, 12 years later, it comprised 1,802 pieces. The service was revived for the marriage of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to the future King Edward VII of England in 1863. Flora Danica is still painted by hand today at Royal Copenhagen.

The Golden age & Hetsch (1800-1850)

During what has come to be termed the Golden Age of Danish culture, which lasted until the mid-1800s, the porcelain manufactory again flourished and its production range was influenced by the classical ideals of the era.

The period’s trend-setting architect, G.F. Hetsch, was the porcelain manufactory’s artistic director. He assigned several artists to the factory, notably the flower painter J.L. Jensen, who distinguished himself with his multicoloured overglaze paintings. Hetsch designed several neo-classical services and elaborate vases richly ornamented in gold. He often found inspiration, as was customary at the time, in foreign styles, patterns and colours. But he inevitably refined the style in his endeavour to find ‘purity’, which for him was the distinguishing feature of Danish porcelain and therefore essential to national identity in this period, when the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory’s role as the nation’s flagship was growing.

The porcelain manufactory’s artistic performance was raised to such a pitch under Hetch’s leadership that in 1851 the factory qualified to participate in its first official exhibition, the World Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, London.


 6:03 am  Tableware
Oct 122010
Wade Ceramic Gluggle Jug

Wade Ceramic Gluggle Jug

Wade Ceramics is a market leader in the design and production of high quality earthenware and porcelain products. It is also a world leader in the design of porcelain flagons for the distilling industry.

Established in 1810, Wade Ceramics has continuously produced its products in Burslem, “the mother town” of the six towns (Burslem, Tunstall, Stoke, Fenton, Longton and Hanley) that joined to make Stoke on Trent the UK’s centre for ceramics.

Only in 1953, after Sir George Wade developed Whimsies, a small solid ceramic collectable animal series, did Wade become a household name in the UK and America and the company has been known ever since as the “Home of the Whimsie”.

Spanning three centuries, Wade has evolved to face the challenges of each decade.

Products which do not need to be “Made in England” are manufactured in the Far East, Eastern Europe and South America with strategic partners.

However, English porcelain is still manufactured in Burslem employing over three hundred highly skilled local people.

You may wish to find out more at the Wade Collectors Club


 5:49 am  Tableware
Dec 122007
Meissen Ceramics Porcelain

Meissen Ceramics Porcelain

Ever since Meissen began manufacturing porcelain figures, quality has been the foremost priority.

It is hard to imagine that the Meissen patterns with their delicate execution could have been achieved in any other way but by hand. Therefore every customer can be certain that each piece is unique.

Differences in details, usually hardly noticeable, elicit the aura of authenticity and uniqueness for the connoisseur, a special aura that has made Meissen famous throughout the world.

An estimated 150.000 ceramic and porcelain articles can be produced by Meissen to order.

Documents and moulds are available for a further 100,000 items. In addition, new products are constantly being designed in the studios.

Artistic teams complete the repertoire of old forms and designs largely forgotten due to changes in taste over the last three centuries.

Meissen porcelain is sold worldwide by 300 authorised retailers.


Meissen trademark being inscribed on a piece

Meissen trademark being inscribed on a piece

 7:06 am  Tableware
Dec 122007
Royal Crown Derby Dinner Service

Royal Crown Derby Dinner Service

The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is a privately owned company employing about 300 people and manufactures the highest quality English Fine Bone China at its factory on a four and a half acre site on Osmaston Road, in Derby.

The Company produces bone china tableware, giftware and collectibles for sale primarily in china and glass retailers and department stores, both in the UK and overseas.

The present factory was established in 1878 but the business traces its origins to the original factory which was set up in Nottingham Road in about 1750. Queen Victoria granted permission to include the title “Royal” in the company name in 1890.

There is also a branch office of Royal Crown Derby in North Hollywood, California, USA, responsible for sales and distribution in that country

 6:53 am  Tableware
Dec 122007
Wedgewood porcelain

Wedgewood porcelain

Wedgwood ceramics has been producing international quality tableware and dinnerware for over two centuries.

Founded in 1759 upon the highest standards of porcelain design and innovation, the company continues to uphold these essential factors in maintaining its leading position – even through its acquisition of Waterford Crystal in 1987.

The founder, Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), who is remembered as ‘the Father of English Potters’, was born in Burslem, Staffordshire, in the heart of the English potteries. He set up the business in 1759.

By 1766 he had prospered sufficiently to build a new factory which he named Etruria. Josiah was to sow the first seeds of the innovative spirit which continues to be an integral part of Wedgwood. During his lifetime he invented and produced what remain today three of Wedgwood’s most famous ceramic bodies – Queen’s Ware (1762), Black Basalt (1768) and finally Jasper (1774).

In the nineteenth century, important progress was made at the Wedgwood factory in the use of new machinery, the introduction of the first coloured earthenware bodies and, most importantly, the manufacture of bone china. Wedgwood bone china tableware was to grace the tables of many illustrious homes throughout the world, including the dinner service which President Theodore Roosevelt ordered for the White House.

During the 1930’s, when many English potteries were forced to close down due to unfavourable conditions, Wedgwood’s success continued and in order to increase efficiency, the fifth Josiah Wedgwood decided to build a new factory. A country estate near the village of Barlaston was purchased and a new, modern factory was built. Production started in the 1940’s and since then, the factory has expanded to four times its original size. It is the British pottery industry’s most up-to-date factory.

Wedgwood continues its living tradition of progress in design, in production methods and in the skills of its many craftspeople.


 6:24 am  Tableware
Dec 102007
Spode hand finished ceramic

Spode hand finished ceramic

Spode ceramics was founded by Josiah Spode in about 1770.

The perfection of underglaze blue printing and the invention of bone china are two of the most important developments made by the Spodes.

After 1833 Copeland & Garrett and then W. T. Copeland continued the style and brilliance of the Spodes using the well-established Spode name along with their own.

Many different types of wares were produced from ordinary household wares to exhibition pieces, which won many awards at the international exhibitions of the Victorian era. Examples of exquisite painted fruit, flowers, landscapes and birds can be seen on showpiece ornaments and dessert services.

The Spode Blue Room, in the Spode museum, displays early blue printed wares and is open by appointment to ceramic researchers.


 6:58 am  House & Home