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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thanks to The Hunt magazine


We would like to thank Susan Hanway Scott for her mention of our Etruscan books in her September  post on The Hunt magazine Web site.

In her article Phoenixville Majolica: The whimsical wares that took America by storm she mentions us and quotes us on the factors that should be considered when buying Etruscan Majolica.
It's a lovely little article aimed at the general antiques collector and we appreciate the mention.

If you'd like to read the article for yourself go to The Hunt magazine Web site.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Victorian Majolica Splendor

We were delighted to come across an article from Antiques and Fine Arts magazine on the restoration of a classic Victorian house on New York's Upper East Side. The mansion, formerly the property of Louis Comfort Tiffany,  has been lovingly restored to its full Victorian splendor by current owners Michael and Margie Loeb, and as befitting the period, has been beautifully stocked with Victorian decorative arts including majolica.





The story behind this museum level restoration is a fascinating one and well worth a look. To read the entire article including additional photos go to the AFA News Web site.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Collectable Majolica Butter Pats

A few years ago, when the price of majolica was a its peak, collecting majolica butter pats was as expensive, if not more expensive, than collecting majolica plates or platters. It was not uncommon to see these tiny plates bring several hundred dollars a piece at auctions and antique shows. Since then the market has leveled out quite a bit and the prices of most pats has come down from the astronomical levels of that time to a somewhat more reasonable level. That's not to say that you won't still come across pats that command high prices because you will but unlike then, you can still put together a nice little collection of butter pats without mortgaging the house.

Butter pats, also referred to as butter chips, are tiny little plates used at the well set Victorian table to hold butter. Like everything else, Victorians had a special serving piece to hold your butter, the butter pat. They were made in all kinds of ceramic bodies and can be found in transfer ware, flow blue, ironstone, etc. of which the most colorful were majolica.

Every major majolica manufacturer made them and the variety can be staggering.


Wedgwood


George Jones


Adams & Bromley


Joseph Holdcroft


Wedgwood


Etruscan


Wedgwood


George Jones


Holdcroft


Fielding


Etruscan


Fielding


Eureka


Etruscan


Tenuous


Wedgwood


Tenuous


Copeland


Holdcroft


Etruscan


Etruscan



Wedgwood


Tenuous


Samuel Lear


George Jones


Etruscan



Fielding


Joseph Holdcroft


Etruscan



Samuel Lear

So what constitutes a collectable, desirable butter pat? Just about anything! Like in any other type of majolica color, condition, design and rarity will affect the price. Name manufacturers also affect price. The two colorful Jones pats shown above can command prices of $250-$400. Colorful Wedgwood and Holdcroft pats generally bring around $100-$200 on the retail level, as do some of the more desirable Fielding and Etruscan pats. The others generally bring in the $25-$100 range.

The majority of majolica pats that are fresh to the market will require cleaning. The fat inside the butter will discolor the pat significantly. You should either clean them yourself using hydrogen peroxide and great care with the directions we supplied in this blog or have a professional restorationist do it for you. Only then can the full beauty of the majolica colors shine through.