Jewelry box

Jewelry box

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The Faience Manufacturing Company (1891-1892) was an early commercial art pottery established in Greenpoint, New York. The factory’s main production consisted of applied and decorative ornament on pottery in order to elevate the standards of factory-produced pottery to the status of art. Initially, the factory produced cream colored earthenware in the style of the fashionable French faience and Limoges pottery, most likely exhibited at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial. Faience or white tin-glazed earthenware used in France inspired the name of the company. The peak of the company’s creative and artistic output occurred in 1884 when the English potter, Edward Lycett, joined Faience Manufactory as its Artistic Director. Immigrating to New York City in 1861, Lycett very quickly received important commissions, such as the 1865 White House painted porcelain service for President Lincoln and for Tiffany & Company, where he produced the first vitrified china in America with pure gilt decoration. Travelling across the country, Lycett taught the decorative technique of china painting at major ceramic centers in America such as Cincinnati and East Liverpool where soon-to-be influential women to the art pottery movement, Maria Longworth Nicols and Mary Louise McLaughlin, began their careers as china painters. Within his own time, Lycett was dubbed “the pioneer of china painting in America” by ceramic historians. His contributions to Faience Manufacturing Company are also notable, as he introduced to the company the aesthetic taste of exoticism and a new porcelain body, although the name of “Faience” never changed. Produced in the style of the English factory, Royal Worcester, the porcelain produced under Edward Lycett’s reign at Faience Manufacturing Company became characterized for their Near Eastern forms, eccentric handles, and elaborate jewel-like ornament.
This jewelry box represents the unique items produced at the Faience Manufacturing Company under the tenure of Edward Lycett, Art Director beginning in 1884. Typically, the factory produced larger porcelain vases exhibiting an eclectic aesthetic taste with their Near Eastern shapes and exotic imagery of Japanese birds and flowers. The larger pieces, often requiring more than one firing, resulted in their elevated status as expensive one-of-a-kind art objects. However, the pottery also produced smaller objects such as trays, perfume vase, and boxes. The jewelry box, donated to the Smithsonian by Edward Lycett in 1895, demonstrates his experiments with burnished gold on the white porcelain body. Interestingly, this jewelry and the moon-shaped vase (CE*96,473) in the collection at the National Museum of American History are the only two known examples that can be positively identified as made by Lycett while at the factory.
Currently not on view
Object Name
jewlery box
box, jewelry
date made
c. 1884-1890
Lycett, Edward
place made
United States: New York, Brooklyn, Greenpoint
Physical Description
ceramic; porcelain (overall material)
green (overall color)
red (overall color)
ceramic, porcelain, hard-paste (overall material)
gilt (overall production method/technique)
overall: 7 1/4 in x 6 1/8 in; 18.415 cm x 15.5575 cm
overall: 7 1/4 in x 7 1/16 in x 6 1/16 in; 18.415 cm x 17.93875 cm x 15.39875 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Edward Lycett
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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