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DUTCH AND SCANDINAVIAN GERMAN

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Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 741 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DUTCH AND SCANDINAVIAN GERMAN POTTERY In northern Europe until the time of the Renaissance the making of tiles is the only branch of the potter's craft of artistic rank. The pavement tiles of Germany of the Gothic period,examples of which have been found in the valley of the Rhine from Constance to Cologne, often bear designs of foliage or grotesque animals full of character and spirit. Their decoration is effected either by impression with a stamp of wood or clay, or by " pressing " the tile in a mould to produce a design in relief. The surface is sometimes protected by a lead glaze—green, brown or yellow—but is generally left unglazed. Glazed tiles with relief ornament were also made as early as the 14th century for the construction of stoves, such as have continued in use in Germany to the present day. About 1500 a development took place in the combination of glazes of different colours on a single tile. In the middle of the 16th century Renaissance ornament appears in place of Gothic canopies and tracery, and blue and white enamels begin to be used in combination with lead glazes of other colours. Figures in the costume of the period, or shields of arms, in round-arched niches are a favourite motive alike in the stove tiles and in the wares of similar technique known as Hafnergefasse, which have been wrongly attributed to Hirsvogel of Nuremberg. These were made not only in that city but also in Silesia and at Salzburg, Steyr, and elsewhere in Upper Austria; their manufacture continued into the 18th century. Imitations of Italian majolica with polychrome painting on a white enamelled ground were first made in southern Germany about 1525, and it is with these wares that the name of Hirsvogel should really be associated. The same style survived for more than a century and a half in the stoves and pottery made by the Pfau family at Winterthur in Switzerland, from the end of the 16th century onwards. An interesting development is exhibited by certain rare productions, of Silesian origin, dating from about 1550, with decorations in coloured enamels which are prevented from flowing together by a strong outline incised in the clay. Stoneware.—The most important feature of the history of German pottery is the development of stoneware along the valley of the Rhine. This ware is of a highly refractory white or grey body of intense hardness, glazed by the introduction of salt into the kiln when the highest temperature was reached. It was exported in large quantities through the markets of Cologne and Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) to England, France and other parts of northern Europe. The frequent occurrence in its decoration of the arms of foreign cities and princes shows that the German potters were alive to the requirements of foreign customers. The oldest centre of this manufacture seems to have been at Siegburg near Coblenz, where the white stoneware peculiar to the neighbourhood, made from local clay, must have been made and exported in considerable quantities at least as early as the 15th century; plain beer-jugs of that date with cylindrical neck and slightly swelling body have been unearthed in London and the eastern counties of England. In the 16th century an artistic development took place, and the potters were formed into an exclusive gild under stringent regulations. The manufacture lasted till the sack of the town by the Swedes in 1632, subsequent attempts to re-establish it being unsuccessful. This ware, of a creamy white colour, generally thinly glazed and only rarely coloured by staining with cobalt blue, is decorated by impression with small stamps or by the application of reliefs pressed from separate moulds. The motives include sacred and classical figure subjects, portraits of contemporary sovereigns, and armorial bearings, with accessory foliage in which a survival of Gothic feeling is often perceptible. Characteristic forms are the high tankard (Schnelle) and the ewer with long spout (Schnabelkrug), but the fancy of the potter also found expression in various quaint or extravagant forms. At Raeren in the duchy of Limburg this industry attained importance about 155o, and was continued for over seventy years; 153g is the earliest date known to occur on this ware. The pieces were of two kinds, brown-glazed and grey; the latter usually decorated with blue. The favourite form is a baluster-shaped jug with heraldic designs or a frieze of figures round the middle. The subjects are from Scripture history or contemporary peasant life as interpreted by Hans Sebald Beham and the German and French " Little Masters." Examples are known bearing dates and names or initials of mould-cutters, among them Ian Emens and Baldem Mennicken; but it must not always be inferred that a piece is as old as the date introduced in its decoration, for the same set of moulds might be used for many years. Another important centre in the 16th century was at Frechen near Cologne. Round-bellied jugs known as Bartmdnner, from the bearded mask applied in front of the neck, covered with a brown glaze, which in later examples is often coagulated into thick spots, were first made here towards the end of the 15th century, and continued to be the staple product well into the 17th. The jugs of this type, known as Greybeards or Bellarmines, which were exported in profusion to England, Scandinavia and the Low Countries, were mostly made here. At Cologne itself there were also factories, probably before the 16th century, the later productions of which resemble those of Frechen. During the 17th and 18th centuries the busiest stoneware centre was the district surrounding Hohr-Grenzhausen in Nassau known as the Kannebackerlandchen, where artistic ware was being made before 1600. Soon after that date manganese purple was first used in the decoration in addition to cobalt blue, and henceforward colour in combination with impressed and incised ornament tended more and more to supersede decoration in relief. Figure subjects gave place to rosettes, foliage on wavy stems, and geometrical patterns. Vessels of large size and fantastic shape appear beside the standard forms of the earlier factories. In the 18th century the forms of beer-vessels became stereotyped in the globular jug with cylindrical neck and the cylindrical tankard, while tea and coffee pots, inkstands and other vessels, hitherto unknown, began to be made. A stoneware manufacture dating back to the middle ages existed at Creussen in Bavaria. The productions of this district during the 17th and 18th centuries consist of tankards of squat shape, jugs and jars, of a dark red body, covered with a lustrous dark brown glaze, frequently painted after the first firing in brilliant enamel colours with figures of the Apostles, the electors of the Empire, or other oft-repeated motives. Imitations of the wares of Raeren and Grenzhausen were made at Bouffioulx near Charleroi; other minor centres of the manufacture were at Meckenheim near Cologne and Bunzlau in Silesia. As in England, so in Holland (by Ary de Milde and certain Delft potters) and in Germany, attempts were made with some success, early in the 18th century, to imitate the Chinese red stoneware, known as boccaros. The early efforts of Bottger, the discoverer of the secret of true porcelain, at Meissen, belong to this category. His red ware is of such hardness that it was cut and polished on the lapidary's wheel. For some time after the manufacture of red ware at Meissen had ceased, a glazed brown ware of less hard body with gilt or silver decoration was made at Bayreuth. The products of other minor factories of this class cannot now be identified. Mention may be made of the lead-glazed peasant pottery, such as the bowls produced at Marburg with quaint symbolical devices modelled in relief and applied. Slip-covered wares with graffito decoration, apparently of indigenous growth and not inspired by foreign examples, were made well on into the 19th century near Crefeld and elsewhere in Germany, at Langnau in Switzerland, and by German emigrants in Pennsylvania. In Holland a peculiar green-glazed ware was made in the 18th century with pierced geometrical decoration recalling the Dutch carved woodwork of the period. Delft.—One of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of pottery is the appearance about 1600, in a highly developed state, of the manufacture of a tin-enamelled earthenware at Delft. It was introduced in that town by Herman Pietersz of Haarlem, but whence he learned his art is unknown. The faience-makers (plateelbackers) were one of the eight crafts of Delft which formed the Gild of St Luke founded in 1611. About 165o a great development took place, and till the latter years of the 18th century, when its faience was ousted by the moreserviceable wares of the English potteries, Delft remained the most important centre of ceramic industry in northern Europe. The ware is of fine buff-coloured clay, dipped after the first firing in a white tin-enamel, which formed the ground for painted decoration; after painting, this was covered with a transparent lead glaze and fired a second time, so that in its technique it belongs to the same class as the painted Italian majolica and the old French faience. At its best it is rightly ranked among the greatest achievements of the potter's art. Characteristic of the first period are dishes and plaques in blue monochrome with somewhat overcrowded scenes of popular life in the style of the engravings of Goltzius. Imitations of the oriental porcelain imported by the Dutch East India Company were introduced about 165o by Aelbregt de Keizer and continued for some time among the finest productions. At the same time the earlier tradition was developed in the finely painted landscapes and portraits of Abraham de Kooge and Frederick van Frytom. Other potters of the best period were Lambartus van Eenhorn and Louwys Fictoor, makers of the large reeded vases with Chinese floral designs in polychrome, Augestyn Reygens, Adriaen Pynacker, and Lucas van Dale; to the last are attributed the pieces with yellow decoration on an olive-green enamel ground. The rare examples with poly-chrome decoration on a black ground in imitation of Chinese lacquer are the work of Fictoor and Pynacker. With the 18th century came a largely increased demand and a consequent deterioration in artistic quality. The rise of the German porcelain factories had its effect in the introduction of overglaze painting fired in a muffle kiln, typified by the work of the Dextras, father and son. This innovation, by which the Delft potters attempted to compete with European porcelain, contributed to the ruin of their art by eliminating the skilled touch required for painting on the unfired enamel. The ware frequently, but not invariably, bears a mark derived from the sign of the factory (the rose, the peacock, the three bells, &c.), or the name or initials of its proprietor. A small faience factory was started by Jan van Kerkhoff about 1755 at Arnhem; its productions were of good quality, chiefly in the rococo style, marked with a cock. The exportation of the Delft ware to Germany occasioned the rise of numerous factories in that country for making faience in imitation of the Dutch. Among these may be named Hanau (founded about 1670), Frankfort and Cassel. Others, such as Kiel and Stralsund, drew their inspiration from the productions of Marseilles and Strassburg (q.v.). At Nuremberg a factory was founded in 1712, which was but little affected by extraneous influences; among its characteristic productions are dishes with sunk decoration in the form of a star, and jugs with long necks and pear-shaped bodies, often spirally fluted. Similar wares were made at Bayreuth. The Dutch and French styles were carried by German potters into Scandinavia; factories were established at Copenhagen in 1722, at Rorstrand and Marieberg near Stockholm in 1728 and 1758, and at Herreb4e in Norway about 1759. At the close of the 18th century the influence of imported English earthenware was strongly felt. In Holland workshops were established for painting the English cream-coloured ware with subjects suited to the Dutch taste; and in Germany cream-coloured wares and steingut in imitation of Wedgwood's productions were manufactured at Cassel, Proskau and else-where. The " Delft " ware of Holland during the 17th century was a beautiful decorative ware, in which the Dutch painters caught successfully the spirit, and often the very colour value, of Chinese blue and white porcelain. Its fame spread over the whole of Europe, and its styles were readily imitated by the potters of all other countries who made a similar ware. Even the polychrome Delft, though not nearly so beautiful as the " blue and white," is strongly decorative, and one sees in the Polychrome faience of northern France and of Germany more than a trace of its influence. When this ware was supplanted by English earthenware it was a clear instance of a ware that was technically superior displacing a more artistic product. Collections.—For German wares the German museums are naturally best, The museums at Munich and Nuremberg contain splendid collections of the tin-enamelled and peasant wares of South Germany. Cologne has a wonderful collection of the Rhenish stoneware, and Berlin and Hamburg have good general collections. Copenhagen and Stockholm are especially good for Scandinavian wares, and Zurich for Swiss. There are also good collections of German stone-ware in the Victoria and Albert and the British museums, and in the Cluny Museum, the Louvre, and the museum at Sevres; but there are no notable collections of the German tin-enamelled wares out of Germany. The wares of Delft may be best studied in the museums at the Hague and Amsterdam. There is an interesting collection at the factory of Thooft and Labouchere in Delft. The principal museums in England, France and Germany all have fair to good collections of this renowned ware.
End of Article: DUTCH AND SCANDINAVIAN GERMAN
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