Saturday, 30 April 2011

Wemyss ware, painting of a jug and basin decorated with cabbage roses

A Wemyss ware jug and basin set c1900, decorated with cabbage roses by Karel Nekola.
Wemyss ware was first produced in 1892 by Karel Nekola at the pottery of Robert Heron in Fife Scotland.  Nekola was an immigrant  Czech designer and decorator.  In 1932 the Fife pottery closed and moved to Devon where Nekola's son Joseph continued producing Wemyss ware at the Bovey Pottery  which closed in 1957.  Griselda Hill resurrected the ware in the 1980s, and in 1994 acquired the Wemyss ware trademark and continues to make similar pottery in the Scottish village of Ceres, Fife.

Above painting by Tessa Bennett.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Delftware tiles, blue and white and manganese, Dutch and English

1.  2 Dutch Delftware tiles, 18th century (could be earlier), painted in blue and white depicting tulips

 2.   2 18th century Delftware tiles probably made in England, one with painted manganese rural river scene, the other in blue and white and manganese, with house and castle design.

Delftware (tin glazed pottery) was made in the Netherlands between the 16th and the 18th centuries.  Due to lively trade with the East,  millions of pieces of Chinese porcelain were imported into Holland in the early 17th century, and  when this supply was interrupted in c1620 Dutch imitations started.  Tiles were made in vast numbers possibly as many as 8 hundred million over 200 years!
By the end of the 18th century the delftware potteries started to go out of business  mainly due to the growing British market in porcelain and earthenware.
English delftware is a tin glazed pottery made between c1550 and the late 18th century mainly in London, Bristol, and Liverpool,   it had almost died out by the beginning of the 19th century.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Black basalt teapot, English c1800.

Large black basalt teapot made in England c1800, with replaced 19th century toleware strap handle, chinoiserie figures, and architectural and floral detail. Black basalt was introduced by Josiah Wedgwood in 1768 and was immediately a huge commercial success.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Egypt's ancient amulet, the scarab

Group of Egyptian scarabs, made of green glazed steatite in naturalistic style, of the XVIIIth dynasty.

 In Ancient Egypt the scarab dung beetle represented through its round egg pellet the image of the sun and its course through the heavens, also the Egyptian god Khepri.
Through about 3000 years scarabs became many and varied, they were used  as seals, jewellery, talismen, grave goods,  gifts of affection, and currency, etc.  They were generally made from steatite (stone) which was glazed with a blue glass-glaze,and some of the earliest ones from ivory. Under later dynasties they were made  from  faience,  carnelian, yellow jasper,  lapis,  amethyst  and other hard stones. In Greece  seal -scarabs went on being made for some time but in Egypt they seem to disappear suddenly at the close of the XXVIth dynasty. Nowadays many forgeries of scarabs are made, and it is sometimes  difficult to distinguish between these and the genuine article.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

French wild flower botanical drawings

1.   Smooth  Sow-thistle.
2. Greater Stichwort and Cowslip.
3. Greater Celandine.
4. Ground Ivy and Red Campion.

5. Ground Ivy and Fragrant Orchid.                                                                                                Drawings by T. Bennett.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Chinese 18th century porcelain coffee cups

2 Chinese 18th century  porcelain  coffee cups.

2 more views.                                                                                                          

Friday, 15 April 2011

Aubusson tapestry, gouache painting

An original  19th century gouache painting on paper, pattern for an Aubusson  tapestry.

Aubusson, formerly called Aubucon, is a small town (commune) in the Creuse Department of the Limousin region of France. It has existed since the Gallo-Roman period.
Aubusson is well  known for its fine tapestries and carpets which  have been famous since the 14th century when weavers from Flanders took refuge there in c1580.  Their workshops  were given "Royal Appointment" in the 17th century,  but during the French Revolution and because of the introduction of wallpaper their fortunes took a downwards  turn. In the 1930s there was a revival of interest in the tapestries when the artists Picasso, Dufy, Braque, Cocteau, Dali and others  were invited to Aubusson, and they became enthusiastic in expressing themselves through the medium of wool.
Aubusson tapestry thrives to this day.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Chinese tea bowls, 18th century

18th century porcelain Chinese tea bowl decorated in enamel colours with  bird and flowers
1. 18th century  Chinese blue and white tea bowl, view of base showing painter's or Emperor's mark.
2. Side view same tea bowl showing dragon.
3. Inside same tea bowl showing the exquisite painting of the dragon's head.

Tea bowls were an essential part of the  18th century tea drinking culture in England. They were first introduced into the country as ships ballast from China. Tea became the ultra fashionable drink of the period and soon the English potteries copied the Chinese and started to make and sell tea bowls themselves. The Chinese answered this competition with their own tea bowls decorated in the English/European style. The price of tea was at a premium, and only the rich indulged, it was kept in small locked tea caddies and  the head of the household held the key!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Slippers to make.........for 'hard times'!

1.   Mrs. Sew-and-Sew makes slippers for all the family.
2.  This part not so easy to read!
3.  This  pattern  was issued by the Board of Trade'. It was published just after the 2nd World War c1945 and is part of a large series of 'make and do' leaflets.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Lichen, a partnership between a fungus and an alga.

There are more than 1.700 species of lichen in Britain.  They are widespread and may be very long-lived, and have been used for making dyes or perfumes as well as traditional medicines.  They can be eaten (poisonous ones are generally yellow),-  in Northern Europe as an emergency food and in North America, Korea and Japan  as traditional foods. Lichens have been used to extract purple and red colours, and have been used to treat wounds in Russia in the mid 20th century. Most importantly lichens give an indication of  good  air quality.
1. Lichen on flat stone by the sea.      2. Yellow lichen on branch by the sea.      3.  Lichen on stone by the sea.              

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Amaryllis bulb growing in glass jug, pencil drawing

 Pencil drawing of an amaryllis bulb growing in water in a glass jug, by Tessa Bennett.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Jack Russell sleeping, Suki.

 Pastel drawing of Suki a Jack Russell,  by Tessa Bennett.