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Porcelain (Smithsonian Illustrated Library of Antiques)
Porcelain - Smithsonian Illustrated Library of Antiques Author:Jerry E. Patterson In an entertaining, clear fashion, this volume studies the technical, social and stylistic development of porcelain from its beginnings under the T'ang dynasty in ancient China to its golden age in Europe and America. Along the way we marvel at the Ming and Ch'ing porcelains and learn how Augustus the Strong, obsessed with the beauty of ... more »Oriental porcelain, patronized the production of the first true European porcelain in eighteenth-century Germany. The book then follows the spreading popularity of porcelain across Europe to England and to America, ending with modern movements in porcelain that include the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. "The two main strands of porcelain making are the Far Eastern and the European," writes the author. "Each has its distinctive history, yet the strands have repeatedly crossed. The plan of this book is to trace these strands in chronological order and to show where and how they have crossed and in what ways they have influenced each other."
Providing a basis for his wide-ranging stylistic analysis of this elegant ware, the author opens his text with a detailed discussion of the technical processes of making hard-paste and soft-paste porcelain as well as bone china. The major factories and known modelers and designers are identified in this sweeping, often exciting story of the art of porcelain making -- the temperamental German porcelain masters are described as constantly storming off from one employer to another. Porcelain is further enriched by the illustrations, many of which are in color and include objects never before photographed for publication. A generous number are from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum's own porcelain collection.
A chapter on collecting, a glossary of special terms, a list of further reading and a guide to public collections of porcelain, where priceless pieces can be seen, extend the usefulness of this concise work.« less