Frederick Vodrey, Italian maiolica, Spanish maiolica, Islamic pottery, French faience, Dutch delft
Frederick Vodrey operated a Dublin pottery from the years, c.1882 to 1897, with addresses on Henry Street, Mary Street and Moore Street. This last location appears to have been the main warehouse with pottery works. Although not a trained potter himself, his employees set about designing pieces, which embodied either Celtic, Arabic, Classical or Art Nouveau influences. Indeed, in some instances, efforts to attain antimony yellow and ruby red glazes as found on Far Eastern ceramics were successfully achieved.
The term ‘maiolica’ is applied to lustre wares of Valencia, Spain that reached Italy via the Balearic Island Majorca (hence ‘maiolica’ or ‘maiorica’). However, the term has also been applied to differentiate all tin-glazed ware of any nationality produced using the traditional Italian polychrome colours of blue, green, manganese-purple, yellow and orange. The ceramic referred to as ‘faience’ is applied to later material from the 17th Century onwards, either produced in the earlier colour scheme or more usually in the Dutch-Chinese (delft) style. The Italian maiolica in the collection dates from the 16th to 19th Centuries and consists of such important manufactories as Monte Lupo, Castel Durante, Urbino, Faenza, Venice, Genoa, Castelli, Cantagalli, Castellani of Rome and L’arte della Ceramica of Florence. Also included in this row is the distinctive tin-glazed terracotta produced by the famous Florentine, Della Robbia outlet.
Hispano-Moresque ware is decorated with designs in a metallic lustre. These designs are of Middle Eastern inspiration, first being brought to Spain by the Arabs. Decoration generally consists of foliage and flowers, sometimes accompanied by coats of arms. The majority of the collection dates to the 16th Century. The Islamic pottery on show is mostly of Turkish and Persian Empire origin (circa 17th Century). The latter is renowned for its exquisite monochrome glazes, whereas the Turkish Isnik ware from the late 16th Century is noted for its surface decoration of polychrome foliage.
The manufactories of Rouen, Moustiers and Lyons are amongst those associated with the Museum’s collection of French faience. Examples range in date from the 17th Century. The Dutch delft collection is particularly important in an Irish context, as its imitation of the Chinese decorative repertoire would later be repeated during the 18th Century on this island. Initially Dutch delftware was influenced by the large quantity of Chinese porcelain brought to Europe by the Dutch East India Company (founded in 1609).
For comparative purposes tiles from Islamic lands, Spain, Italy and Holland are shown together in order to illustrate the various forms of tin-glazed earthenware.
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