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

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Some Current Majolica Reproductions

Here are a few reproductions I found online.

This corn pitcher is a relatively common example of the type of reproduction coming out of southeast Asia today. The opaque drippy glaze, the thin sides that echoes the exterior design on the interior and the thick rim are all commonly seen on repros of this type. On the underside is a faux English registration mark as well as a thick clumsy foot, two features which are also commonly seen on these pieces.

Here is another example:

Another common English design that has also exploded on the reproduction scene is the venerable parrot pitcher.

The reproductions below bear only a superficial resemblance to the original above.

Badly modeled and glazed in garish colors that were never seen on the originals, these are relatively easy to detect. A look at the inside of the pitcher is a dead giveaway.

I have never seen a Victorian majolica pitcher that is glazed only partway down the interior. That wouldn't make much sense since these were made to be used.

The next repro is a vase that is a copy of a copy of a Minton piece, only taller and more fanciful.

As in the case of the corn pitcher, the drippy glaze and the thin sides that show the exterior design on the interior are give-aways that this is a reproduction. The thin blue glaze that puddles at the bottom is also very common. Victorian majolica interior glazes do not, as a rule, drip and puddle in this manner.

The next piece is also a reproduction of a reproduction of a Minton piece.
The Minton monkey and rooster teapot shown below has been heavily reproduced in the past several years, following an exceptional auction result a few years back.

The earlier reproduction, shown directly below, was a decent copy of the original.

The new reproduction wouldn't fool anyone even remotely familiar with the original.

Another new reproduction on the scene is this copy of a copy of an English water lily pitcher, which itself was also contemporarily reproduced by the New Arsenal pottery in the nineteenth century . (Confusing isn't it?)

The older reproduction, shown directly below, was closer to the original than the new one shown above.

The biggest giveaways in these reproductions is the thick rim, the poor modeling and the grey-green glaze, which is a color never used in Victorian majolica. Of course, why you would want to buy either reproduction shown above when the English original or the New Arsenal copy can easily be bought for around the same price as the reproductions is a mystery to us.

A reproduction we've discussed before is unfortunately still going strong.

These copies of the blackberry plate have completely saturated the majolica market. Their success has been so complete that many new dealers are not even aware that they are reproductions. That's a pretty sad state of affairs. The original, shown below, was never made with the kind of care and precision given to the copies. 

One reproduction that doesn't seem to fool anyone is this rabbit teapot.

Aside from its appalling workmanship, this teapot isn't even a reproduction of an existing Victorian piece. It is a copy of a contemporary majolica piece made in the early 1990's.

There are several other majolica teapot reproductions also making the rounds, many of them also copies of copies.Below are the new reprisal followed by the older repros.

 Then there are the fanciful designs that have no Victorian precedent.

As I say at the end of all of my posts about reproductions, the key to not being fooled is to read as much as you can about majolica and to buy from a reputable dealer. Both of these will guarantee that you'll have a collection you can be proud of.


  1. Just wanted to say thanks for your really informative blog...It helped me to identify a semi-marked piece of early Wedgwood majolica that was hitherto a mystery and helped me swerve a fake. You're a star!