Japanese porcelain, Chinese porcelain, Wedgwood, German stoneware
The three principal porcelain wares associated with Japan are Arita, Imari and Satsuma, the last being the most renowned. Prince Yoshihiro established the initial Satsuma factory in the late 16th Century with the aid of several Korean potters. Later ware (of the 19th Century) exhibits heavy gilding and lavish colour. Most of the Satsuma-style porcelain on show was produced in the Kutani factories.
A small selection from the Museum’s Chinese porcelain collection is represented. Numerically, Chinese pottery and porcelain is the largest subset of the Museum’s ceramics collection, containing not only the unique Fonthill Vase (c. 1300 AD), but material from the Han (206 BC - 220 AD), Tang (618 - 907 AD), Song (960 - 1279 AD), Yuan (1280 - 1368 AD), Ming (1368 - 1644 AD) and Qing (1644 - 1911 AD) Dynasties. The majority of porcelain on show is of a type referred to as ‘blanc-de-chine’, a term used to describe highly translucent porcelain made in Fujian province from the early 17th Century to the present.
The most important Wedgwood pottery came to this institution from the Museum of Irish Industry (established in 1847) during the late 19th Century. Founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood, two main categories, that of jasper and basalt, were invented by the enterprising genius himself. Such was the market for Wedgwood in Ireland that the company opened a retail outlet in Dublin between 1772 and 1777.
The German and Flemish stoneware collection dates from the 16th Century and represents among others, the regional manufacturing centres of Frecken, Siegburg, Nassau and Grenzhausen. Surface decoration mainly consists of low relief arabesques, masks and coats of arms.
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