The Makers Series: Kraak Porcelain

Kraak porcelain or Kraak ware is a style of Chinese porcelain produced exclusively for export. It was one of the first Chinese porcelain wares to arrive in Europe in significant volumes with the Dutch East India Company capable of transporting 100,000 to 250,000 pieces on a single ship!

Manufactured at the famed Jingdezhen kilns in Southern China, Kraak porcelain was made throughout the late Ming Dynasty, from the reign of the Wanli Emperor 1572-1620 up to that of the Chongzhen Emperor 1627-1644.

Terms of the Trade: Pembroke Table

One of the most useful and versatile items of Georgian furniture, the Pembroke table is thought to have been named after its likely inventor, Henry Herbert, 9th Earl of Pembroke (1693–1751).

An immensely influential figure in the early Hanoverian period, Pembroke was a close confidante of George II, serving as Gentleman and later First Lord of the Bedchamber from 1714-1735.

The Makers Series: Aubusson Tapestry

The picturesque town of Aubusson in central France is roughly equidistant between the historic cities of Clermont-Ferrand to the East and Limoges to the West, and is synonymous with the production of fine tapestry, rugs and carpets.

Local folk tales suggest the weaving trade was founded in the 8th century by Saracen soldiers following their defeat at the Battle of Tours. However, it is more likely that the skills arrived with Flemish settlers from the Dutch speaking regions of Northern Belgium.

Terms of the Trade: Ormolu

Popularised by cabinet makers of the 18th and 19th centuries, ormolu is the gilding technique of applying a high-carat gold finish to bronze items.

The term derives from the French word ‘moulu’, meaning ‘ground’, which refers to the finely ground gold that is alloyed with mercury in the gilding process.

When heated to high temperature in a kiln, the mercury is driven off, leaving a fine gold coating. This is known in France as ‘bronze doré’, or by its more familiar English name gilt-bronze.

Welsh Oak Furniture: A Short History of Bull’s Eye Decoration

Welsh Oak Furniture

A Short History of Bull’s Eye Decoration.

By Louise Phillips of Elaine Phillips Antiques

In February I was asked to speak at the Federation of Italian Art and Antique Dealers Annual Conference in Modena. This was not only in my role as Chairman of the BADA but also as a British Antique Dealers’ Association member based in the UK. 

The Makers Series: Montague Dawson

Despite receiving no formal training, Montague Dawson is widely recognised as one of the foremost marine artists of the 20th century. His powerful depictions of frigates and clippers at full sail continue to be collected and cherished the world over.

Dawson was born in Chiswick, London in 1890, the son of Henry Thomas Dawson, an engineer and keen yachtsman, and grandson of Henry Dawson (1811-1878), a maritime painter in whose footsteps he would follow.

Terms of the Trade: Japanning

Japanning is the term given to the European practice of applying East Asian style lacquer work decoration to large items of furniture and household goods. The term originates from the late 17th century as the opening of trade routes in the East triggered an interest in Chinese and Japanese fashions in Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

The Makers Series: John Cary

One of the most celebrated and successful cartographers of the Regency period, John Cary’s detailed depictions ushered in a modern era of map-making, spurning the decorative in favour of precision and professionalism.

Born in 1755, in the village of Corley on the borders of Wiltshire and Somerset, John was the second of four sons born to George and Mary Cary. Shortly after his 15th birthday, Cary travelled to London to begin his apprenticeship as a map engraver with William Palmer at his premises in New Street Square.

The Makers Series: Celadon

The term Celadon has dual uses in the context of Chinese ceramics. It refers to the beautiful jade green glazed porcelain, also known as greenware, which was made famous by the Longquan kilns in China’s South-eastern Zhejiang province, and also to the glaze itself with which these pieces were decorated.

Terms of the Trade: Tunbridge Ware

Tunbridge ware is the collective term given to a form of decorative inlaid woodwork in which small pieces of different coloured woods are used to form a mosaic or geometric pattern. As its name suggests, the technique was developed in the historic Kent town of Tunbridge Wells.

The origins of Tunbridge ware are routed in the town’s history as a spa resort. Historically part of the parish of Speldhurst, Tunbridge’s fortunes changed in 1606 when Baron North stayed at a nearby hunting lodge in the hope that the country air would improve his ill health.