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18th Century English Pottery - Creamware, Delft, Slipware

Delftware, Creamware, Pearlware

The 18th century is a pivotal point in the production of pottery in Great Britain with the introduction of Dutch tin glazed earthenware. The technique was copied at various centres such as Liverpool, London, Bristol, Wincanton, Glasgow and Belfast. These factories produced tablewares,apocothery related pieces and decorative items. These highly decorated wares replaced pewter and set the future course of ceramic manufacture in Britain.

The mid 18th century period saw the emergence of the Staffordshire potteries.Thomas Whieldon,Josiah Wedgwood and William Greatbach were at the forefront of the development of ceramics and introduced Saltglaze,lead coloured glazes,creamware and pearlware to the world. At the end of the 18th century hundreds of potteries were producing decorative and functional wares for the British and world market especially the United States of America.

Wedgwood was the master potter of his time and the introduction of his creamware Pottery virtually replaced Delftware and became the pottery of choice for the upper and middle classes in the last quarter of the 18th century.

The success of creamware pottery inspired the Leeds Pottery in Yorkshire to develop the process and they developed wonderful examples of reticulated decorated pieces which made their wares very commercial and rivalled Wedgwood in popularity. Creamware is one of our major specialisation’s especially the plain undecorated wares with it classic design and elegance.

The last development in the 18th century was the introduction of pearlware and the invention of this process is usually attributed to Josiah Wedgwood. Pearlware is a whiter version of the creamware body. A greater quantity of white clay was used in the body and the transparent lead glaze included traces of cobalt, giving the surface a pearly white appearance. Other potters, such as Spode, Liverpool, Leeds, Swansea and many of the Staffordshire potteries soon adopted the process.

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© 2015 Antique Pottery of John Howard @ Heritage, Woodstock, UK