Monday, May 13, 2013

M is for Majolica

Majolica was developed by ceramist Herbert Minton in 1849 and was first displayed at the Great Exhibition in London, 1851.  This novel art form was a culmination of centuries of experimentation in Spain, Morocco and Italy with glazing techniques on earthenware using five colors -  cobalt, yellow,  red, green and purple.  It appealed to the masses during the peak of the Industrial Revolution as prosperity enabled people to look beyond white ironstone, blue and white transferware, terra cotta and other mundane dish ware. Majolica reflected the exuberance of the times;  a direct response to formality and excessive ornamentation of the Victorian Era.

Queen Victoria (1838-1901), the longest ruling British monarch (as well as longest ruling female monarch in history) exerted her influence and taste as the hallmark of elegance.  Her style was pervasive -  from architecture, furniture and clothing design to dinner place settings and menus.  To this day Victorian items command attention as accents in the modern home and garden.  Price points have quite the range and it is best to purchase from reputable dealers to ensure authenticity.                            

*To Pat, a special thank you for the use of your lovely collection.

Happy Hunting!

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