nedjelja, 15. veljače 2009.
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The business of Derek Roberts Antiques has been trading in Tonbridge since the late 1960s. It was founded by Derek Roberts who also wrote a prolific number of books on horological subjects.
Some five years ago it was taken over by Paul Archard who had been a life long collector and owned Campbell & Archard Ltd, the UK’s foremost Viennese clocks specialist. The business continues today much as it has always done. It stocks an extremely varied selection of clocks, including many highly complex clocks and those unusual one off clocks that were occasionally produced. We also still specialise in early Viennese clocks and indeed when we go to the two antique fairs that we attend, namely the B.A.D.A. Fair and the November Olympia Far, we tend to take more Viennese clocks than English and other nationalities. In addition to attending the fairs we also run one or two exhibitions at the showrooms each year..
Mainly because of Derek Roberts’ trilogy of books on precision clocks and Paul Archard’s love of both English and European precision clocks, we always carry a large stock of English and Continental regulators.
Turning to a couple of the unusual clocks mentioned earlier (Fig 1 to the left), the unsigned weight driven skeleton clock of Continental origin is most unusual. Similar clocks have been made by Verneuil and we know of one other similar clock to our own with full calendar work.
Another unique clock is the longcase clock by Merlin (Fig. 2 right). He was a great inventor but made very few clocks. He is noted more for his musical instruments and mechanical music machines than he is for clocks. The particular longcase illustrated is the only known longcase by him and was exhibited at an exhibition of his work in Kenwood House.
Perhaps one of the most popular forms of clock these days is the English bracket clock. These were produced from the very early days of horology in the mid to late 1600s right through to the present day.
The earlier clocks such as the basket top clock by Massey (Fig. 3 left) are one of the stronger areas of the market especially where the maker is well known.
The Vulliamy pad top clock shown in the picture below (Fig. 4) is much later but is by one of the most collectable makers of the period.
Turning to Viennese clocks, these were in their heyday from just before 1800 through to about 1860. Before that period the expertise within the Viennese clockmaking industry was not as good as in the French or English industries and the government at the time took steps to improve it.
This culminated in a golden age for Viennese clocks and a prime example of the sort of top quality unusual clocks they could produce is the Dorfer (Fig. 5 right) floor standing Laterndluhr shown in the picture. This has a duration of 12 months and is in the most fantastic and elegant mahogany case.
Finally, we have shown an example of one of our many English longcase regulators (Fig. 6 below). These clocks were produced for domestic use from the end of the 18th century through to the beginning of the 20th century. Prior to that most regulators would have been used in observatories and for scientific purposes. The regulator shown is exceptional in having a skeletonised dial signed for Hennessy, Swansea although the movement was made by Smiths & Sons of Clerkenwell, London. Apart from the skeletonised dial the case style is relatively typical of many of the flat top regulators made in the 1850s and 1860s.
The one thing that all of the above clocks have in common is that they are beautiful antique items which even in today’s fast moving world tell the time accurately enough to be used as a main clock in any household. Also hopefully in today’s difficult world they will prove, as they have previously, to be a reasonably secure and hopefully appreciating asset.
Derek Roberts Antiques and Campbell & Archard Ltd
25 Shipbourne Road
Telephone 01732 358986
by John Howard, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Josiah Wedgwood the genius and innovative potter invented creamware in c1770. Wedgwood was influenced and worked with the other great potters of his time such as Thomas Whieldon and John Greatbach who were all based in the worlds hub of ceramics in Staffordshire.
Josiah Wedgwood was a prolific inventor in numerous techniques associated with ceramics and the famous, and classic creamware body evolved from the development from Tin-glaze delftware, saltglaze and coloured glaze type wares which were in common use in the mid 18thc.
The full-scale introduction of creamware virtually finished the production of delft tin glaze and salt glaze in Great Britain.
The newly developed creamware body was very refined with a cream colour lead glaze which was very smooth.The glaze was so pure and fine that it needed no decoration to enhance its appearance or appeal. However, the glaze was so perfect that it also lent itself as a perfect ground base for hand painted decoration in overglaze enamels and transfer prints.
Josiah Wedgood was also a skilled marketing man. His masterstroke was to give Queen Charlotte; Consort of King George 111 a gift of a creamware tea set in 1765 He cannily named his newly introduced body as “Queensware”. Wedgwood realised that any wares, which graced the table of the Royals, would establish his wares as the must haves of the day. The sales of his creamware (Queensware) went through the roof resulting from one of the best marketing ploys of all time .The introduction of creamware sent a shockwave
through the pottery industry and its popularity was further confirmed and enhanced when the Russian Empress Catherine 11 commissioned a full dinner and dessert service of creamware from Wedgwood.This set was known as the Husk service. Such was Empress Catherine’s delight with the wares that she commissioned a further set .The set comprised of 952 pieces decorated with 1244 hand painted separate views of Great Britain. The hand painted borders were a running oakleaf and acorn for the dinner service and ivy for the dessert, both broken for the insertion of the green enamel frog emblem that gave the service its name.
The Frog service was produced in 1773-74. It was ready for delivery in June of 1774 but once again the marketing skill of Josiah came to the fore when he exhibited the stunning set at his London Greek Street showroom, admission by ticket only.
The great and the good were invited and the success of the exhibition and the major commissions along with the Queen's appointment made Wedgwood the premier seller of fine tableware in Europe.
Stemming from the success of the introduction of Creamware potters in Europe, and of course Britain, began to imitate Wedgwoods creation. The pottery business was very competitive in the late 18th century and several factories in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Swansea and of course Staffordshire competed with Wedgwood for the new market. The most serious contender was the Leeds Pottery in Yorkshire.
The Leeds pottery was so successful that today “creamware” is often referred to as “Leeds ware”. It was a neck and neck race between these two factories and on balance I think the match could be considered a draw as both potteries dominated the market at the end of the 18thc.
The finess of the body used for creamware enabled very fine detailed modelling and moulding of pieces. Many of the items produced were copies of silver ware and some pieces were heavily influenced by the Adams which was at the height of fashion in the late 18thc century. The classical look of these items is a constant reminder that good design never goes out of fashion. Examination of these exquisitely modelled pieces from the late 18thc reveal a constant beauty of form and line which has not been surpassed to this day.
The Leeds pottery were famous for their reticulated pierced work and their catalogue is packed with items ranging from basic tableware’s through to really elaborate centre pices, cornucopia covered dishes, cockle pots, candlesticks etc.etc.The range of products made by the 18thc potters is staggering.
The recent publication of the Two-Volume Book on Leeds pottery by John Griffin is an almost definitive reference to the wares of the factory. The book not only illustrates their very large catalogue but also illustrates in colours the various patterns of decorations used. It is an essential reference on Creamware pottery.
Donald Towner books on Creamware and the Leeds Pottery are still relevant today although research and some attributions have been revised by collectors in the last 10 years or so.
Peter Walton’s book titled Creamware and other English pottery at temple Newsam House Leeds is another good source of information.
Collecting seems to fall in to four categories;
1.Early coloured glaze wares from c1760 to 1800 typified by the classic Whieldon type glazes.
3 Creamware body with hand painted overglaze enamels.
4 Creamware body with underglaze transfer prints.
Personally I would collect across the whole range of creamware. It does have a group synergy and a cross section of fine pieces from each type of ware is an interesting and varied display. Having said that a collection of plain creamware does look stunning as an assemblage. The timeless design of these pieces also lend themselves to display as stand alone pieces of art in the most minimal of room settings.
GENERAL ADVICE ON PURCHASING.
Creamware is still made today and one should take care regarding attributions of dating and factory.
Plain creamware is best if it looks clean and crisp. Heavily stained items are best avoided.
Restoration is acceptable depending on the rarity of the item. Over restored items are best avoided on common tablewares.
As a general guide I would advise collecting English pieces from the 18th century.This is the period when creamware was at its height of perfection and pieces from this time have an extra quality which has never been surpassed.Also it is good to place items from this period into a social and historical context and one can only wonder how so many pieces of this delicate ware survived through its 200 year journey. What a tale some of these pots could tell if only they could speak!
This article is written by John Howard.
All current stock can be viewed at www.antiquepottery.co.uk
From top down:
Creamware lidded comport with Stand c1780
Coloured glaze creamware charger in Whieldon type glaze on creamware body circa 1760.
Pair Leeds creamware candlesticks in silver shape c1770
Plain Creamware Cruet set by Josiah Wedgwood circa 1785
Coloured overglaze enamel teapot on plain creamware ground c1780