Monday, August 23, 2010

L is for Lustreware

Lustreware is the term given to porcelain or ceramic pieces over-glazed with a copper or silver finish. The effect is shimmery with a pearlescent brilliance, unique to the process. Lustred glazes were created during the 9th C by Islamic potters who coveted the formula for centuries. Egyptian potters perfected the process during the 10th - 12th C, with Spanish and Italians carrying on the tradition in the 15th C. Lustreware came into vogue in Staffordshire, England in the 19th C by Josiah Wedgwood who introduced mother of pearl glaze (pink and white), as well as gold, copper, and silver.
Silver lustreware is actually oxide of platinum, a result of platinum that has been dissolved in nitric acid. Adding gold to the lustring compound produced other colors, including deep purple, rose-pink, and copper. Most pieces of English lustreware are unmarked.

From the 1920's through the 1940's, Lustreware from Japan was marketed and became highly collectible. The cheery colors and lively display of a few pieces certainly bring a unique sparkle to a room in need...Happy Hunting!

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