Asiatic Pheasants
19th Century Staffordshire Blue Transfer Printed Pottery
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Pottery Terms

Earthenware

The term used to describe the body of the ceramic consisting of a mixture of potash, sand, felspar and clay. Fired at around 900 degrees Fahrenheit it has quite a soft body and is relatively cheap to produce. It is not particularly durable and tends to chip fairly easily. Whilst it can be produced in thickness' of 3 - 4 mm, it tends to be far thicker, particularly on the larger pieces where it is more often 7 - 9 mm. The vast majority of "Asiatic Pheasants" uses this body.

Ironstone

This is the trade name for a higher grade of earthenware fired above 1200 degrees Fahrenheit it is much more durable than earthenware and tends to be produced thinner than earthenware but is more dense. Only occasionally found in Asiatic Pheasants.

Semi-Porcelain

Despite its name describes a higher quality of earthenware using as it does either china or feldspathic clay as its base is fired at much higher temperatures than earthenware and again is used in a thinner body due to its improved durablity. Sometime found in better quality Asiatic Pheasants wares but generally not marked as such. Less dense than Ironstone.

Transfer Printing

In the case of Asiatic Pheasants the transfer is applied "under-glaze" the process being as follows; the body of the ceramic is first "biscuit" fired and then the fine tissue paper transfers were applied wet to the object, the centre panel often seperately from the border. After removing the paper, having left the cobalt ink pattern on the body, a clear lead glaze was applied sealing the whole piece before the final firing. Many Asiatic Pheasants pieces bear the stilt or clay ball marks which were used to seperate each plate during this final firing.

Cartouche Mark

Is the transfer printed device on the underside of the item which describes the pattern name and in the case of Asiatic Pheasants the makers initials. Can be a useful guide to attribution and dating a piece, although not all initial marks have been identified and unless more information is available it is normal to date a piece midway thro a manufacturers existence dates, not an exact science but a reasonable guide. It cannot be presumed that a maker produced his full range of products from day one of his trading.

Cartouche mark of Podmore Walker & Co Cartouche mark of Podmore Walker & Co
used between 1835 and 1859