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

Sunday, September 9, 2012

As it should be!

Over the weekend I picked up some pastries at La Maison du Macaron, a great French pastry shop in the Chelsea section of New York City.

I love to use my majolica to present beautifully prepared food.
After all, isn't that what it was originally made for?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Majolica Ephemera

One of the side collections I have that I find most interesting is ephemera associated with the production, advertising and display of majolica. These first peaked my interest when I was doing research for my books on the Etruscan Works. I found a number of advertisements in old newspapers that advertised the company wares.

With a little bit of digging I came upon trade cards advertising the giveaways of the company wares.

With a little more digging I came upon a business card...

...price catalogs and original chromolithographic plates from the Etruscan 1884 catalog of majolica.

Their beauty appealed to me so I made an effort to find similar things relating to other potteries

Certainly the oldest representations of majolica on paper come from the very year that majolica was introduced in 1851.

The most well known images of majolica are the chromolithographs that appeared in the 1861 London Crystal Palace Exhibition catalog.

From the same exhibition come images of the Minton St. George fountain.

If you're very lucky you can find original drawings for patterns from company pattern books...

but for most of us, we look to images from books and newspapers of the period...

...or paintings from the period...

...or to magazines and newspapers from today.

I love to display old majolica ephemera such as chromolithographs in period frames along with my majolica. It adds a nice contextual quality to their display that I enjoy. As an artist I like photographing and painting these pieces as well.

It may not be for everyone, but it works for me.
It may work for you too.