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Author Archives: Stuart Slavid

The Whimsy of Staffordshire Bocage Figures

Pair of Staffordshire Bocage Cows, England, c. 1815-25 (Lot 401, Estimate: $500-700)

A bocage, says Wikipedia, can refer to a terrain of mixed woodland and pasture, a small forest or a decorative element of trees and leaves. English and continental porcelain figures of the eighteenth century often had trees and leaves, both as an ornamental and colorful backdrop to figures and importantly as an added stabilizer to support the figures during kiln firing. 

By the 19th century, the production and firing of English earthenware were far more consistent, and often these trees were added more for their ornamental appeal than necessity.… Read More

Wedgwood Jasperware: A 10-Point Primer

Wedgwood is ripe for collecting with examples manufactured in a variety of bodies, colors and subject matter over 260 years of production. To the novice, Wedgwood is often light blue jasper or perhaps a familiar dinner service from childhood. What they might not realize is the breadth of production or the fact that Wedgwood collectors span the globe. Follow these pointers to learn how to identify Wedgwood and what to look for in this collecting area.… Read More

The Portland Vase: How Josiah Wedgwood Turned an Ancient Glass Masterpiece into a Ceramic Legacy

One of the most famous surviving Roman works of art, The Portland Vase, is a fused glass vase and was believed to have been made during the reign of Augustus, sometime between 27 BC and AD 14. It consists of two layers, a dark blue overlaid with a soft white. The relief was cameo cut by gem engravers of the highest order and is considered a masterpiece of its kind. At some point the base was damaged and an additional disc was added showing a portrait of a man wearing a Phrygian cap.… Read More

Troy Dawson Chappell: A Passion for Collecting

Troy D. Chappell was introduced to American and British decorative arts through the collections at Colonial Williamsburg more than fifty years ago. His attraction to English pottery, in particular, began in earnest about 1969. His goal was to assemble and contrast pieces to demonstrate most of the manufacturing materials and forming techniques, manners of shapes and colored decorations, and progression of styles that dominated the English pottery trade for the period of roughly 1630 to 1800.… Read More

Collecting Trends in British Delftware and Dutch Delft

In the 17th and 18th century the manufacturing of tin glazed earthenware in Holland and the British Isles (including Scotland and Ireland) referred to as delft or delftware, was all the rage.

Chinese porcelains strongly influenced much of their designs, first in blue and white and then in the beautiful soft polychrome enamels. Certainly the influx of these porcelains to Holland via the Dutch East India Company helped inspire the beautiful designs and motifs, particularly on the large elegant chargers.… Read More

Collecting Jeweled Coalport Porcelain

Established in 1795 in Shropshire, England, Coalport porcelain has a long and storied history of quality craftsmanship dating to the late 18th century. The manufactory produced both ornamental and table wares, beautifully decorated, in a very high standard to meet the demand of discerning patrons.

Late in the 19th century the Coalport manufacturers added yet another specialization to their repertoire of hand decorated porcelains. A technique called “Jeweling”, whereby small beads of colored enamel were applied most often to a gold ground, possibly first developed and introduced by Worcester porcelain manufacturer in the mid 1860’s.… Read More

Silver Yacht Trophies Recall a Long History of America’s Cup Races

Are you a yacht enthusiast, braving the ocean waves to spend time sailing or racing? Or perhaps you follow America’s Cup, the prestigious yacht race named after the schooner America, the first winner of the race in 1851. Yachts and yacht clubs have undeniably shaped seaside culture, and silver trophies such as the ones pictured here represent the best of the best in yachting history.

In the 18th and early 19th century, yacht clubs were established in European countries such as Russia, Ireland and Sweden.… Read More

Collecting Wedgwood in an Evolving Market

I’ve written about Wedgwood and the fluctuating antiques market in the past, and I am happy to say that in today’s market, where so many categories of collectible ceramics have softened, Wedgwood is still thriving.  However, the market has changed significantly due to shifting tastes and a changing audience.

Having been involved with selling Wedgwood for over forty years, it is interesting to see the evolution of the Wedgwood collector.… Read More

A Visit to the 59th Annual Wedgwood International Seminar

The 59th Wedgwood International Seminar (WIS) took place this past weekend in Alexandria, Virginia. The annual event features a variety of speakers on Wedgwood-related topics, discussions, field trips to private collections, and much camaraderie. Dealers can display their wares for sale in a large space called the “Sally’s” room.

Usually held towards the end of April each year, the venue changes annually from city to city across the United States and into Canada and the United Kingdom.… Read More

Understanding and Collecting Later Meissen Porcelain

Since the early 18th century, Meissen has represented the highest quality in German porcelain, and has offered a wide variety of objects, from figures and figural groups to tea wares, dinner services, vases, clock cases, ewers, mirror frames, and so much more. Meissen produced lines of redwares, stonewares, and easily recognizable polychrome-enameled and gilded porcelain figures. Many of their patterns are easily recognizable — you are likely familiar with the ever-popular Blue Onion design.… Read More

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