Archive for Pottery
About Ceramic Jewellery
Antique Jewellery and Vintage Jewellery has been made with ceramics for as long as clay has been used to make pots, since prehistoric times.
This picture shows a necklace made of long ceramic beads and pottery beetle shaped stones which could originate from any time from between the ancient Egyptian times and the 1920s.
How do I know if my Jewellery is made of pottery or porcelain?
Ceramics used in jewellery include both pottery and porcelain and these can be found as beads and as plaques. Porcelain and pottery have a difference composition and porcelain is fired at a much higher temperature.
Pottery tends to look a little more naive and simple than porcelain however the best way of telling the difference is to shine a bright light through the piece. A bright light will show through porcelain but not pottery. Pottery needs a glaze or it becomes porous ( as in terracotta pots) but porcelain has a natural glassy surface which is impervious to water.
Care of ceramic jewellery
Ceramic jewellery can easily be chipped and so you should take care not to knock or drop it. Porcelain can be washed carefully if there are no other materials involved in the piece of jewellery however I would not wash pottery jewellery unless I was sure that the glaze was in good condition. A brush with a soft brush will keep dust off.
Special types of ceramic jewellery
Painted porcelain jewellery
During the Victorian era and for much of the 1900s hand painted ceramic plaques were popular for use in jewellery. During the Victorian era you would often find classical scenes which had been transferred to jewellery and then set into materials such as jet:
Wedgwood Jasper Jewellery
Wedgwood jasper has been used in jewellery since the 1700s and is very collectable today. Look out for pieces with unusual designs and colours such as this Wedgwood jasper and silver necklace:
A very unusual Wedgwood Jasper necklace made of silver and set with a blue jasper plaque featuring a goddess. The silver is also set with diamante. The Wedgwood Logo is stamped into the reverse of this piece and the fully hallmarked silver can be dated to the early 1990s. The pendant part of the necklace measures about 4.4 cms wide and up to 3 cms high. In total this necklace measures about 46 cms long. A very rare piece of vintage jewellery
A personal favourite
Ruskin pottery cabochon jewellery is a personal favourite of mine. These pottery plaques have been made by several different art pottery companies the most desirable of which are when the cabochons are stamped “Ruskin” on the reverse, the makers mark of the Ruskin pottery. You can find unmarked cabochons and I have seen them by Bretby and Maw.
This vintage arts and crafts pendant is set with a Ruskin type cabochon surrounded by 4 roses and pearls. A really lovely original piece of vintage jewellery. This pendant comes ready to wear complete on a silver chain. The chain measures about 36 cms long. The pendant is about 2.8 cms wide
I’d like to show you an astonishing collection of antique dogs sent to me by AntiquesAvenue blog reader Margaret. This lady clearly knows how to select a great antique dog , many of hers dogs have legs which are separated from each other and the main body rather than molded as one piece and look at those pretties carrying baskets of flowers. Many pottery dogs like these were made by the Staffordshire potters throughout the Victorian era. The more delicate porcelain examples were often made in Germany and Austria about the same time.
Thank you Margaret for sharing these with us
Do you have a collection you would like to share on AntiquesAvenue Antiques blog? If so please do get in touch – Anne.
Just a quick note to let you know I am having a sale of art pottery and studio pottery on eBay starting this Sunday evening. Some amazing pots are for sale by auction starting from just £4.99 plus P&P. Snap up a bargain with pieces by Ruskin, Denby, Aller Vale, Susie Copper, Lovatts Langley and Wedgwood. Take a look at AntiquesAvenue on eBay
Care of Wedgwood Jasper jewellery
From my Postbag:
I have Wedgwood jewelry from the 1970s. How do I clean it and maintain it? I am not having much luck finding the info on the web.
With this Wedgwood jasper jewellery we have two different materials to consider – the jasper and the metal it is mounted in. We also need to take a look at how it is mounted to decide how we can clean it.
Firstly – can you see the back of the jasper? If so it has an open mount. If the back is covered by metal then it is a closed mount.
Care of Wedgwood Jewellery with an open mount
Is the metal gold, silver or costume jewellery? Take a close look and you will find it written on it if it is gold or silver – perhaps some hallmarks or perhaps the word ” silver”. If neither of these appear for safety’s sake please assume it is costume jewellery and use only soap and water.
If the mount is silver or gold then your Wedgwood jasper jewellery is safe to clean in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner with just water and a touch of washing up liquid ( not citrus scented). If you do not have an ultrasonic cleaner you can use a soft toothbrush instead.
If the gold or silver is very dirty you can clean that with a little jewellery cleaner appropriate to the metal but use a cotton wool bud and avoid getting the cleaner on the jasper.
Now a quick rinse in clean water and dab dry with a lint free cloth and your Wedgwood Jewellery should be ready to wear.
Care of Wedgwood jasper Jewellery with closed mount
We need to take special care of Wedgwood jasper jewellery with a closed mount as if this gets wet the water may get between the jasper and the metal. This could lead to the metal rusting ( not silver or gold mount) or the jasper coming unstuck from the mount. With these pieces you need to clean the jasper carefully with water and a little washing up liquid without getting it wet. You can dip an old toothbrush into the water and then partially dry the tooth brush and clean it with that. Dab the jewellery dry with a little lint free cloth.
Similarly you will need to clean the gold or silver separately – perhaps using a cotton wool bud and some jewellery cleaner appropriate to the metal
Have you seen miniature porcelain covered in tiny flowers? This was popular in the Victorian era and is quite collectable today.
Here are two examples of minitaure flower porcelain that you might like to collect:
1. Victorian Moss ware.
This takes its name from the tiny moss like pieces attached to the sides. Pieces of moss ware were made in Europe in all shapes and sizes, shoes are very popular in this moss ware. Here is an antique Victorian swan basket:
In England the great china manufacturers made tiny replicas of tea sets and covered them in hand made porcelain flowers. These are of wonderful quality. This picture shows a relatively new but still amazing little set which was made by Coalport:
Of course these miniatures are far too small to be used except perhaps to hold a tiny trinket or a single tiny flower, they are just small and collectable and very very dainty.
By the way do you spell it miniature or miniture? Please do leave a comment and let me have your view point.
I have been lucky to acquire quire a collection of vintage Wedgwood jasper jewellery mostly in its original boxes. One of these retained the original leaflet from Wedgwood giving a little on the history an care of Jasper jewellery. Since my last blog post touched on this subject I thought you would like to see what it had to say: Read More→
From my post bag:
“I am finding it hard to find info on Poole pottery designs and artists. Is poole pottery always marked Poole on the back?
Who is MA? thats what my piece is marked. When was the Delphis line made and who started that line? “
When you are looking for specific detailed information about an art pottery there are two good things to try: Collectors clubs and Books dedicated to that pottery.
In the case of Poole Pottery there is loads of information around in fact it is possibly the best documented of all art potteries due to the number of enthusiastic collectors.
The Book “Poole Pottery” by Hayward and Atterbury has a long list of the decorators and artists with their signatures. You need the book alongside a picture of the piece and the mark to determine exactly who the artist is. I would need to see a picture of the “MA” signature to be able to help more here.
Another (cheaper) usefull book is “Collecting Poole Pottery” by Robert Prescott-Walker with lots of pictures and background information ( no artist signature lists in this one). Many years ago I attended a several week long course on ceramic identification run by the author of this book and he certainly seemed to know his stuff.
The Poole Collectors club website has forums galleries and reference pages which will help you lots too.
Is Poole Pottery always marked on the back ? I have come across the occasional piece without factory markings but this is relatively rare.
The Delphis line seems to have run from circa 1963 to circa 1979 with the earlier studio range being the most desirable. According to the Poole Pottery” book, the line was started from a range of shapes designed by Robert Jefferson, thrown by Guy Sydenham and decorated by Robert Jefferson and Tony Morris”.
Researching your antiques and vintage items is part of the fun of collecting – Enjoy
Here’s a tile which should appeal to collectors of both 20th century tiles and Denby pottery. Another very rare find – I have been buying and selling tiles and Denby pottery for many years now and this is the first Denby tile. I have every seen although I was aware that they existed. I think that this is from the nursery ware range, certainly it will date from the 1930s. So I am seeking more information about Denby tiles – For example – How many different patterns were made? Who designed them?
I have also hear rumours that the Lovatts Langley pottery made tiles. I would love to find one of these, please do get in touch if you have one even if you only want to send a photo which I can include in this blog.