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             20 September, 2019
 

    
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Collecting China And Pottery Is Fun

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2008-01-15 03:27:00     
Article by Peter Tagg

You probably have a diverse selection of pottery and china collected because you like it, which is a good a reason as any. However as one becomes more serious and discerning about what these figurines and trinkets are, the more one needs to understand how and with what they are made. The subject of ceramic production is huge and if you need in depth knowledge then you should consult your local library or consult the online booksellers.

Pottery and china are words bandied about without really being aware what they mean; for the collector it is necessary to understand the basics so he can know what he has or is buying. All ceramics are based on some form of clay found locally or imported. Earthenware is the basic clay based product fired at 1000°C to 1150ºC and is usually porous e.g. simple pots like flower pots. Stoneware is the basic clay fired at 1150ºC to 1400ºC and tends to be non-porous e.g. Royal Doulton jugs and pots Porcelain is make from kaolin clay (white in colour) or similar and fired at 1300ºC. This tends to be hard and brittle. There are soft paste and hard paste variants on this as well. Other variants include bone, hence bone china and porcelain and should not be confused with modern materials which are much more sophisticated.

All the potters worldwide made variations on these basic processes and there are hundreds of additives which changed the characteristics of the clay, Wedgwood developed Jasperware in the 18th century which is a stoneware with properties of porcelain still in production today. There are any number of glazes used to seal the body or decorate it. It is a very complex subject because every potter was trying to outdo his competitor and still is. Suffice it to say there are variations in these production methods, whether it is the huge mass producers or the small studio potter. All are collectible.

Deciding on what to collect may at first appear daunting, but if you consider your interests it is easy to narrow the field down to a few or even one area. The first thing to do is to decide old or new? Then which century 18th, 19th, 20th or even 21st. Prior to the 18th century takes us into medieval, roman and earlier. Many will be classified as antiquities and is a fascinating subject in its own right. You must consult specialist books on this subject. There are many fakes.

You may decide to collect "Blue and White", popular and expensive, Carlton Ware still available at a reasonable price, Art Deco pieces or Staffordshire Figures which can be expensive, fairings - originally given away at fairs, animals by many manufacturers which vary in price depending on quality, advertising pieces, commemorative ware, crested china, decorative plates of which there are thousands (you can collect by theme or manufacturer) and any number of studio pottery pieces. There are many studio potters, some famous others not so, some of which are easy to collect today since they have not entered the realm of desirable antiques.

Consult any book on collectibles and you will find many names new to you. Whatever you collect make sure you are well read on the subject. Only collect perfect or expertly restored pieces because damaged pieces are worth a fraction of the price of a perfect piece

http://www.taggcollectables.co.uk

Specialized in: Books - Ceramic Figures - Crested-china - Decorative Plates - First-editions - Antiques Tagg Collectables
URL: http://www.taggcollectables.co.uk
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