Our goal is to offer shoppers in SW Missouri a wonderful and unique assortment of beautiful antique and vintage objects for the home. Philip uses his 45 years in the art world to pick those items that are an affordable mix of color, design and value. One category that we are excited to carry at the store is the colorful majolica.
What exactly is Majolica?
Our majolica refers to pieces of earthenware (clay), formed in a mold, coated with white opaque tin enamel glaze, fired at a very high temperature, and then coated with bright colored glazes and then, fired again. The bright glazes, up to nine colors, were applied all at once. There are vibrant and rather heavy objects.
Majolica has its roots in the 16th century, but what we carry is a Victorian adaption and an anglicized version of Italian pottery. Shown first at The Great Exhibition in London in 1851, the English majolica was all the rage until the turn of the 1900s. This was the time of the Englishman’s great fascination with the nature world and the majolica pieces reflect this by using natural motifs, animals and plants.
How do you know what you are buying?
We are not experts so we rely on purchasing the majority of our majolica from three sources in England. These persons are experts and help us to find affordable pieces to pass onto our customers. Without their help, it would be too frustrating to bring in majolica. There are many reproductions on the market from overseas. The big three companies, Minton, Jones and Wedgwood, used a three to four digit black number to identify their pieces, but many of the Victorian majolica manufacturers left their wares unmarked. One important tip for a potential buyer is that the undersurface of a piece, including the bottom rim, is almost always glazed.
At our store, we stick to plates, pitchers, compotes and platters. Rather than purchasing a shelf-sitter, majolica can be hung on a wall, along with transferware or used on the table. We usually have several sets of green salad plates with raised designs of different leaves. With the emphasis on food and gourmet, these salad plates add another level of enjoyment to a dining experience.
Majolica makes a great gift and a colorful addition to any home.