BB&G - Majolica

China, Porcelain, & Pottery - Majolica
Antique majolica is typically known to be tin-glazed earthenware that was first made in Italy in the 1400's. The name majolica originally came from the Balearic Island of Majorca. Subsequently, antique majolica was manufactured in several European countries including England, France, Belgium, and eventually the United States. In Italy majolica is actually called maiolica. Antique majolica was made by many manufacturers including Villeroy and Boch, Wedgwood, Minton, Thomas Till, and George Jones. Many English and Staffordshire china potteries produced antique majolica. Most good antique majolica pieces bear a pottery mark, but some were never marked or because of the thickness of the glaze, the marks are illegible. Some examples of antique majolica pieces that can be found today are antique majolica leaf plates, antique oyster plates, antique majolica cheese dishes, antique majolica jugs, and antique jardinieres to name a few. Antique majolica is usually highly glazed, richly colored and decorated. Antique majolica usually has a moulded design that caused the glaze to pool or be thicker in areas to give rich depth and coloration to the completed design when it was fired in the kiln. Sometimes, the thick viscosity of the glaze actually resulted in an effect known as treakle glazed. Treakle glazed antique majolica appears to have graceful drips of glaze usually around the rim of a jug, pitcher, or pot and down the body. The resulting visible flow of glaze was on purpose and is quite desirable. Very ofter antique majolica will have a visible age crackle to the glaze and often the stilt marks from the firing kilns are emphasized because of the thickness of the glaze. These are common characteristics of antique majolica pieces and are part of their charm. Majolica is still being made to this day. But, the look, feel, and weight of modern majolica is quite different from the richness and quality of antique majolica.

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