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China painted plate

China painted plate

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Description
China painting swept across America in the late nineteenth century as one of the most prevalent decorative pottery techniques, especially among young women. Considered a respectable form of work and creative outlet for women, china painting incorporated the element of hand craft that helped elevate standards of design during a period of mass production and industrialism. The technique of china painting could be done conveniently at home or in large pottery settings. Also known as “mineral painting,” after its materials, a china painter used enamels, low firing colors produced from various mineral-oxides, as a “painting” medium on pre-fired porcelain white porcelain, also known as blanks. These blank porcelain pieces were often imported from European countries, France and Germany in particular, and came in a variety of dinner ware forms and vases. The china painting technique of decorating porcelain was popularized in America by the highly influential Englishman, Edward Lycett. Trained as a potter in the English tradition at Spode pottery in Staffordshire, England, Lycett moved to America in 1861, where he almost immediately gained prestigious commissions for the White House and Tiffany & Co. His devotion to experimenting with materials and teaching pottery techniques across the country established Edward Lycett as the “pioneer of china painting in America” during his own lifetime. Ultimately, the creativity fostered by the china painting movement and the influence of Edward Lycett launched the American ceramic industry towards new and exciting avenues of decorative pottery.
This plate represents the custom of European blanks being exported into America as blanks for china painters to decorate. Depicting two Victorian women reading a book or sheet of music, this plate was most likely painted for leisure and hung on the wall as a form of decoration, fulfilling the Victorian aesthetic of the home.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Plate
plate
Object Type
plate
date made
c. 1880-1890
place made
France: Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Limoges
Physical Description
ceramic, porcelain (overall material)
pink; brown; yellow (image color)
gilt (overall production method/technique)
Measurements
overall: 8 in; x 20.32 cm
overall: 7/8 in x 8 5/16 in; 2.2225 cm x 21.11375 cm
ID Number
CE.73.171
catalog number
73.171
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Art
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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