Thursday, May 24, 2012

A World Class Ceramics Collection


The displays at the Commissariat Store Museum are impressive, containing artefacts that have been recovered from archaeological digs in World Heritage Listed KAVHA. Norfolk’s British settlement began within months of Sydney’s in 1788 yet the level of disruption that we have had to our landscape since then is minimal in comparison to Sydney. The result of that circumstance is that the archaeological digs here were able to uncover many unique and rare objects including ceramics. As a whole our ceramics collection is impressive in terms of the range of styles, makers, techniques used and patterns.

The museum produced a book on the collection in 2003 called “Kingston Ceramics”.  Written by Nigel Erskine it is a dictionary of the ceramic wares held in the museum and while on sale at the REO CafĂ© and Bookshop to our visitors, is also regularly sold to academics and researchers who are aware of the importance of the collection.

A unique feature of ceramics from the Kingston area is that some bear personalised marks of identification, know as Pitcairner scratch marks. This practice was common amongst sailors and continued by the Bounty mutineers when they arrived on Pitcairn Island. These scratched markings were used to denote ownership of a wide range of property - including trees, bottles, crockery, cutlery and tools. At first a single letter may have been used, however as the population increased the use of more complex marks evolved. These personal scratch marks were inherited down through the generations of families and a register of 150 personal marks dating to about 1893 still survives on Pitcairn Island. While personal marks are still commonly used on Pitcairn today, the custom appears to have declined amongst the Pitcairn Islanders on Norfolk Island during the second half of the nineteenth century and is no longer in practice.
Pitcairner Scratch Marks
The history of ceramics is fascinating. In the 18th century, most inexpensive earthenware came to England from China through the East India Company. English potters had been unable to match the quality and durability of white Chinese earthenware. When the East India Company's trade began to decline in 1773, English potters had the chance to wrest the ceramics market out of the hands of Chinese potters and exporters. Possibly as early as 1762 Josiah Wedgewood perfected 'Creamware' which was thinner and harder than earlier English pottery and by 1765, on the basis of this, King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte, solicited Wedgewood to be "Potter to His and Her Majesty". As a result of his new title, Wedgewood changed the official name of his creamware to "Queen's Ware". Wedgewood continued experimenting, increasing the flint content in the body of the ware itself and adding a small quantity of cobalt blue to the glaze to offset the natural yellow tint of the body. He produced a ware with a very white surface which was named 'Pearlware'. Pearlware completely eclipsed the creamware market and was manufactured by many potters, one of them naming it 'China Glaze'.

In the 1820s pearlware was replaced by the stronger earthenware 'Ironstone' developed by James Mason, and by bone china developed by Josiah Spode. Ironstone was given a variety of names emphasizing either brilliant whiteness or immense strength. The use of  'China' in some of the more creative earthenware names, such as Ironstone China', 'Granite China', 'Opaque China' and 'Stone China' conveyed a sense of strength associated in the public mind with Chinese ceramics. An invoice from Josiah Spode to William Tatton in 1796 contains the first reference to 'English China' as a general term to cover ironstone ware. The best ironstone wares rivaled porcelain and were quickly in use for everything from tea services to chamber pots.
The Copyright Act of 1842 meant that English decorative art designs had to be registered at the British Patent Office. This seriously limited the range of subjects available for reproduction, which in turn inspired many 'romantic' patterns and artistic designs. From 1842 to 1883 registered designs were marked with a diamond-shaped stamp that indicated the day, month and year the patent took effect. Patents were initially for periods of three years. After 1883 registered designs were marked with an identifying number.

 The printing process also has an interesting history. Transfer printing allowed a potter to duplicate a pattern by transferring it from a copper plate to a ceramic vessel via a specially treated paper. The vessel was then glazed and fired in a kiln. This process was much cheaper and quicker than the hand painting techniques used prior to 1751. Transfer printed patterns afforded consumers complete sets of identical dishes that were never possible before. The first successful colour used in transfer printing was deep blue cobalt. This was the only colour that could withstand the high temperatures needed for the underglaze transfer process. By 1828 new techniques allowed black, green, yellow and red enamels to be transferred resulting in prints of two or more colours. The process was expensive, however, with each colour requiring its own transfer and separate firing. By 1852 multiple colour underglazing techniques were developed and also included the colour brown.

Blue and white continued to be the cheapest process with the most favoured patterns being Willow, Tower Blue and Blue Italian. A minor problem facing manufacturers was acquiring pictures to copy. Copyright laws did not exist in England until 1842, so many pictures were simply copied from books. Pictures of stately buildings, European scenes and great events such as battles were favourites.

33 comments:

  1. I have visited your blog for the first time and found it a well organized blog. Keep sharing nice
    stuff.Offset Printing Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many thanks for your comment Daniel and so glad you've enjoyed our blog! We've got a lot to share as Norfolk Island has so many stories to tell. Hope you continue to enjoy reading this site. Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. LATEST Phen375 Coupons and Discount Coupon Code Update, The #1 Specially Formulated To Increases Body's Fat Burning Ability. Find latest deals and promo codes at Phen375 Coupons

    ReplyDelete
  6. VigRX Plus Review: YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW! If you're thinking about trying VigRX there are things you must know before you even try this male enhancement pills. http://www.vigrxplusguide.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Penomet Pump is considered by many to be the worlds very best male enhancement Pump. But there are a few things you should know before buying!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Find Crazy Bulk Anabolic Steroids Reviews, Stacks, Guide, Facts, Pros and cons and Customer's feedback and response on its uses and results.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Phenq Diet Plan helps to Supercharge energy levels, burn extra fat, suppress appetite & start losing your weight. Buy PhenQ and save with our discount offer!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Phenq Diet Plan helps to Supercharge energy levels, burn extra fat, suppress appetite & start losing your weight. Buy PhenQ and save with our discount offer!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Why Zetaclear Is The Best Treatment for Toenail Fungus. Read expert and consumer reviews and compare zeta clear to other fungus relief solutions.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Why Zetaclear Is The Best Treatment for Toenail Fungus. Read expert and consumer reviews and compare zeta clear to other fungus relief solutions.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Looking for proven, effective Dianabol for Sale without side effects? Discover premium Dbal-Max Pills currently helping guys build mass safely. http://www.dbalmax-reviews.com/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for sharing such type of information.there are very help full information for every one.keep sharing this type of information.
    PhenQ Diet Pills
    PhenQ Diet Pills
    PhenQ Diet Pills
    PhenQ

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://www.phen375discounts.com/
    Nowadays, it’s pretty common to see that most of the people are extremely worried related to their additional pounds. Because of sufficient awareness about heaviness.
    Everyone knows that obesity leads to several illnesses and then it’s very difficult to ride off from those problems that occur because of extreme body weight and fat.

    phen375 discount, phen375 discounts, phen375


    ReplyDelete
  16. Crazybulk D-bal Review (SAFE DIANABOL FOR SALE) - Looking for the best steroid alternatives that produce anabolic steroid results? Check out this CrazyBulk Dianabol review! 

    ReplyDelete
  17. WARNING: Vigrx Plus Pills Reviews & Side Effects Exposed
    vigrx plus
    Sex is the spice of every romantic relation! The more it’s flavored, the more its fun! It is perhaps the most significant element that serves as the base of your relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Crazybulk D-bal Review (SAFE DIANABOL FOR SALE) - Looking for the best steroid alternatives that produce anabolic steroid results? Check out this CrazyBulk Dianabol review! 

    ReplyDelete
  19. Crazybulk D-bal Review (SAFE DIANABOL FOR SALE) - Looking for the best steroid alternatives that produce anabolic steroid results? Check out this CrazyBulk Dianabol review!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Crazybulk D-bal Review - Looking for the best steroid alternatives that produce anabolic steroid results? Check out this CrazyBulk Dianabol review!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Breast Actives
    is a 3 step all natural solution for breast enlargement, combining breast pills, cream and a breast exercise and massage program.http://www.breastactivesbuy.com/

    ReplyDelete
  22. Phenq Diet Plan helps to Supercharge energy levels, burn extra fat, suppress appetite & start losing your weight. Buy PhenQ and save with our discount offer!

    ReplyDelete
  23. " smart drugs Smart Drug Smarts is for people who want to keep up on the latest breakthroughs in brain health and optimization and the related areas of neuroscience. http://www.noocube-review.com/"

    ReplyDelete
  24. Learn about the top brain supplements that can improve memory, mood, and productivity and protect against mental decline, depression, anxiety and dementia. best brain supplements

    ReplyDelete
  25. Brain Supplements Review - Find out the best memory enhancer that sharpens your focus and improve overall brain health. brain boosting supplements

    ReplyDelete
  26. " Nootropics or smart drugs, are being used around the world by students, entrepreneurs, small business owners, athletes, poker players and housewives. http://www.noocube-review.com/"

    ReplyDelete
  27. having more sex can make you live longer Male Extra pills are famous on the market. But you have to know some side effects and results. My prof review will help you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. how to make your vagina tighter Many women also consider v tight gel after having children. During natural childbirth the vaginal muscles expand to form the birth canal for your baby. http://vtightgelreviewer.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Testmax Nutrition is designed to enhance and maximize your genetic potential.Increases Virility Enhances Performance Maximum Sex Booster Optimum Testosterone Levels.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Find top legal steroids that work to enhance your muscle growth and boost testosterone level and it's safe.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Find top legal steroids that work to enhance your muscle growth and boost testosterone level and it's safe.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Alert! - Do Not Buy BlackWolf Workout supplements Until You Learn The Shocking Facts About It Now. CLICK HERE for Reviews, Results, Ingredients and Possible Side Effects!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Alert! - Do Not Buy BlackWolf Workout supplements Until You Learn The Shocking Facts About It Now. CLICK HERE for Reviews, Results, Ingredients and Possible Side Effects!

    ReplyDelete