A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Monday, May 30, 2011

Military Majolica

On this Memorial Day I thought I would highlight majolica with a military theme.
There is no majolica with any American military personnel that I am aware of, but there are quite a few French and Austrian pieces with military themes.

The first one that I became aware of is probably one of the strangest majolica pitchers I've ever seen. It was potted by the Orchies company to commemorate the Russian encroachment on the Far East. The pitcher is of a large Russian polar bear grabbing control of a Korean soldier. This invasion of Korea in 1898 ultimately led to the Boxer Rebellion and the Russo-Japanese War.

The majority of military themed items are less specific in nature and in smoke-related items. Some of these may have been famous figures that would have been familiar to the general population but I really don't know for sure.

There were also pitchers made of military figures.

Here is a Schiller vase with military figures that relate to Napoleon.

Here is a Sarreguemines pitcher of Napoleon and another unmarked of same.

Finally there is the wonderful Renaissance helmet pitcher made by Wedgwood.

With Memorial Day we come to the end of the Spring antiques season. Some of you will be traveling to Great Britain and Europe to advance your majolica collections while others will be heading for the beach. Whatever you do, be safe and have a wonderful summer!

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