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The Tin-Glazed Earthenware

Aug 17, 2007
English potters were able to make a great advance in the seventeenth century. They also imitate the art of pottery from other countries like Italy, France, Holland and Germany. And many Dutch emigrants who came to England brought the art and then it became popular in England.

Tin-glazed Earthenware
Sometime before 1600, with help from Continental potters and in imitation of Continental wares, English potters were able to make a great advance. It was by using an opaque white glaze on which colored designs could be painted; a method originating in Italy.

This type of pottery, glazed with a composition based on oxide of tin, which was available readily in England, is known as delftware from the similar ware made at Delft in Holland; although the latter town did not become connected with pottery-making until some time after English manufacture had started. The beginner has to beware of confusing English delftware with Dutch Delftware; a confusion that is not restricted to the verbal sense. For, it was emigrant Dutch potters who came to England and started making tin-glazed earthenware in the second half of the sixteenth century.

The first Dutch potters settled at Norwich, but nothing of their work has been identified positively. The earliest ware of the type is a series of brightly colored jugs, named after the village in Kent where one was once kept in the church, West Mailing, near Maid stone. One of these 'Malling' jugs has a silver mount dated 1550, and others bear later dates between then and 1600.

Queen Elizabeth I was petitioned by two Dutch potters, named Jaspar Andries and Jacob Janson, to allow them to settle and work in England, and it is believed that Janson set up a pottery in London in 1571. An early English dated piece of pottery now in the London Museum is a dish painted in colors with what appears to be the Tower of London, the date 1600, and an inscription reading 'The Rose is Red The Leaves are Grene God Save Elizabeth Our Queene'. It seems probable that this is of London manufacture but the colors used and style of painting are very like those on ware made on the Continent at the time.

A further surviving group of wares is dated about 1630, and consists of a number of mugs bearing English names and of shapes unlike current foreign types. Whereas these and earlier wares show, if anything, an Italian influence in the style and coloring of their decoration, the productions that followed were copied as closely as possible from Chinese porcelain; which by 1640-50 was coming to England in sufficient quantity to be a serious rival. Not only was Oriental porcelain being brought to England, but the other countries of Europe also imported it and their potteries in turn set out to imitate the newcomer.

It is clear that with pottery being made in England by Dutch potters copying Chinese originals and the same subjects being copied by the Dutch in their own country, it cannot be an easy matter to distinguish between the two wares. No English wares are marked, and it is agreed that only those of the seventeenth century of certain types and bearing English names or inscriptions can be accepted reasonably as originating in London.

Some rulers like Queen Elizabeth I petitioned two Dutch potters and allowed them to settle and work in England. There were a lot of imitations of the arts of pottery making in the different parts of England. And it is not easy to distinguish the original and the imitated wares. And some of the wares were not marked.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kids-games-n-crafts.com/ , http://www.craftsforu.info/ , http://www.bathroomaccessoriesmadeeasy.info/
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