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Madelena Antiques

Majolica Pottery - DISCOVER

Majolica Vases

Hugo Lonitz Majolica Chick

Majolica - In a nutshell


The Majolica that truly excites us is that class of earthenware from the Victorian era 1850 to 1900, of coloured lead glazes applied simultaneously direct to the unglazed ‘biscuit’ clay body, then fired. Victorian Majolica is celebrated by art historians, collectors, decorators, and museum curators for its leap in style from 'so yesterday' to 'so right now'. [Other names variously used for lead-glazed majolica are earthenware pottery, majolica pottery, maiolica, majolica ware and antique majolica.]

Developed by Minton & Co. in England between 1848 to 1850 it was introduced to the public at the 1851 Great Exhibition.

By 1860, other European countries had acquired the technology, and by the 1880's the US was producing.

It was made in a multitude of forms and styles, some copied, some breathtakingly original, often whimsical, sometimes humorous, frequently naturalistic, always in step with trending fashion.

Palissy majolica was produced in an ultra-naturalistic style made famous by the ‘figulines rustiques’ of Bernard Palissy working in the mid 1500’s. In the Victorian era, Palissy ware was produced most notably in France and Portugal.

Some variations on the Majolica of coloured lead glazes were produced, but none to equal the quantity or popularity of lead-glaze majolica. For example, decoration was sometimes added in the form of painted enamel scenes, or by adding gilt highlights.

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