Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Majolica is a type of earthenware (pottery, which is fired to a porous state) decorated in vibrant colors using a lead or tin glaze. This form of pottery was popularized in the second half of the 19th century.

Majolica was made in England, France, Spain, Italy, US, and other countries. Popular examples featured molded, raised decorations of flowers, fruits, vegetables, birds, fish, and other animals.

Not all majolica makers would mark their pieces, but popular artists were Minton, Wedgwood, Holdcroft, and George Jones in England; Griffin, Smith, and Hill in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania; and Chesapeake Pottery in Baltimore, Maryland.

See below amazing examples of majolica. First, a Wedgwood Punch & Toby cobalt blue punchbowl

Also, see below a Minton Mermaid Ewer

Both images courtesy of http://www.strawserauctions.com

DID YOU KNOW that Majolica's popularity took off in England in 1851, shortly after Minton displayed several vases at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London? Minton called the designs Victorian Majolica (Victorian in reference to Queen Victoria who reigned from 1837 to 1901). In the US, Majolica became popular after the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Majolica was out of fashion from the 1920s to the 1960s until collectors began seeking these pieces for their own collections beginning in the 1980s (source: Kovel's Antiques and Collectibles newsletter).