Explore Ceramics

Salomon Stodel Antiquites has a superior collection of ceramics; porcelain, majolica and faience.

Porcelain, a ceramic substance, is made by heating materials, generally including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1200 and 1400 degrees. The toughness, strength and translucence of porcelain arises mainly from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body of these high temperatures.

Majolica, Italian tin-glazed pottery dates from the Renaissance period, (14th – 17th centuries). The name is derived from the Italian word for Majorca, an island on the route for ships transporting Hispano-Moresque wares from Valencia to Italy.

Faience is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery on a delicate buff earthenware body. It is originally associated by French speakers with wares exported from Faenza in Northern Italy.

Salomon Stodel Antiquites also has a superb collection of Meissen porcelain. Meissen porcelain was the first European hard-paste porcelain of its kind. The production of Meissen porcelain started in 1710 in Meissen near Dresden and became one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers, still in business today.

French Sevres vases as well as pieces of now extinct Dutch porcelain manufacture complete the porcelain collection.

The collection of Dutch Delftware comprises many luxury items from 1640 to the end of the 18th century, including a number of very rare Delft tulip pyramids.

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Salomon Stodel has a wonderful collection of ceramic objects

The huge quantities of imported porcelain, mostly Chinese blue and white or white ware into Europe in the first half of the 17th century, created a China mania instigating its extensive display especially in rooms of great houses throughout Europe.

Daniel Defoe blames Queen Mary Stuart for furnishing houses with chinaware, piling them up on cabinets, escritoires and every mantelpiece imaginable in England in the late 17th century.

Due to the rapid increase of supply of the most fashionable decorative accessory in the 17th century, one can trace its progression of development in great European houses. Porcelain was initially displayed in “cabinets of curiosities” to be displayed on the dining table, lastly, to become a wall decoration. The fashion reached its zenith in the late 17th century and early 18th century where walls were dressed en masse with Chinese and Japanese porcelain in exclusively designed porcelain rooms. Augustus the Strong, The Elector of Saxony, amassed the largest collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain in Western Europe and built lavish palaces in Dresden and Warsaw to house them. At the time of his death in 1733 he had collected twenty-nine thousand pieces.

By the mid-18th century porcelain came to be displayed in a glass fronted cabinet or China cabinet sometimes showing oriental features.

Remarkable paintings of prominent English families sometimes show oriental porcelain being used on a tea table or discreetly displayed in an interior, similar to a Dutch Still Life painting of the mid-17th century where porcelain was prominent but never dominated the theme.

Chinese and Japanese porcelain had such an impact in Europe that elements of an oriental style came to be incorporated in European interiors. Porcelain was in such high demand that certain styles were initiated and adapted by new porcelain factories throughout Europe, even the “Delftware pottery of Holland”, followed the Oriental style.

At a later time, many porcelain pieces were fitted with mounts of silver or bronze gilt adapting them to the more elaborate decorative style of the period.

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