About 7 years ago, I attended an auction that included an extensive collection of black-glazed pottery. The catalog referred to them as Jackfield ware, and there must have been nearly 100 lots. Displayed in white cabinets, they made an impressive display!
Having collected, bought and sold all sorts of Victorian-era glass and pottery, I was curious about their origin and bought a number of pieces.
I learned that Jackfield wares originated in the town of Jackfield, in Shropshire, England, in 1740 to 1780. The original earthenware was a thin-walled gray to purplish-black clay, and covered in a glossy black lead glaze. It was also known as jet ware, blackware, or japanned ware, after the Japanese black lacquer pieces. In addition to the goods made in Jackfield, it was also produced by Thomas Whieldon in Staffordshire, Wedgwood, and others. The pieces made by Whieldon have a more reddish colored body. Shards of this pottery found in Maryland and Florida have led historians to possible early English settlements where little other documentation exists.
Jackfield-type wares were often decorated with enameling and gilding. The designs were first transfer-printed onto the piece, then skillfully hand-painted in enamels. Motifs included florals and heraldic designs. The colorful enamel on the black glaze is striking. Eighteenth century pieces were primarily coffee and tea services. Original 18th century pieces, though rarely found, are usually priced from $200 - $400+.
This type of pottery enjoyed a renewed popularity in the mid-Victorian era, 1870-80s, and one of the finest makers was Dudson in England. During this period, Japanese-inspired floral designs were popular, and Jackfield-type wares are often decorated in this style (photo 1 and 2). The Victorian-era pieces are the ones most likely to be found today, and relect typical Victorian forms and shapes (photo 3). The clay body is typically a very reddish, terra cotta (see photo 4). During the Victorian production years, Jackfield-type wares were considered competitors of majolica for the Victorian table. Forms included tea and coffee sets, jugs, cups and saucers, cow creamers, hens on nest, cheese dishes, and vases.
My small collection of Jackfield-type pottery includes a coffee pot with a whimsical Chinaman finial (photo 5), and several jugs or pitchers with metal lids, often pewter (photo 6). The coffeepot, shown in photo 7, has the metal fittings and lid made by the American firm Manning Bowman, and is probably Britannia metal. It has an interesting lid with a hinged spout for pouring (photo 8).
Victorian-era pieces can usually be found under $100 today, with perhaps some very high quality or unusual pieces a little higher. Because the enameled decoration was done over the glaze and not fired, itís not uncommon to find worn areas of enamel or gilding. After all, these pieces were in everyday use, like majolica, on the Victorian table.
PLEASE NOTE: These photos can be printed for your own collection files, but are not to be used for any Internet auction listings, websites, or any other commercial purposes. The photos provided for this article are from the personal collection of the author or with permission from the owner.
by FanofFenton Sarah
by wgpaulpeek inside the mug and you will see a hand-applied example of the "musician" in question — a wonderfully detailed frog figure on the inside bottom of the mug! The mug sold recently on eBay for $4,650.00.
It happens every day! You anticipate receiving an item you won at auction. It arrives, and you open the box to see...pottery shards or slivers of glass!
Have you noticed how some auction photos just seem to scream “BUY ME!” while others are so fuzzy and far away you’re not sure what is being offered?
We share a few practical tips on photo taking and packing to help you get that item safely to your buyer! Our GPSA website offers a more in-depth look at valuable packing and photo tips. Please visit and have a look around!
Packing TipsMany of us in the Glass and Pottery Sellers Association are also collectors. Here's a combination of recent packing nightmares some of our members have experienced. Ahhh, if only these sellers had followed the recommended packing standards of the GPSA!
- I was speechless when the postman came today. She handed me a Tyvex Priority mail envelope, that was bulging, and marked "FRAGILE GLASS". Inside was my HL Yellowstone demitasse cup and a bread plate I had won on eBay. It was wrapped in bubble wrap, stuffed in a light cardboard Priority mail envelope, then stuffed in a Tyvex Priority mail envelope. It did arrive in one piece, shocking, but it did. Now it was not a high dollar item, but this is the pattern I collect, and am adding to my set, so it was precious to me.
- I won and paid for a Frankoma collectors mug. The seller gently laid it in a #4 box and sealed it up. No, nothing except the mug in there. When I got it I could feel the mug rolling around. It arrived unscathed. I did email the seller and never heard a word from her.
- My worst was Frankoma (in a thousand pieces) wrapped in Adult bed pads. It was unbelievable!!
- I bought a vintage salt + pepper set recently and the seller sent them in a single layer of bubble wrap inside of a flimsy bank check box.
Photo TipsLet's say you have four photos sized 600x800 of an object but only want to have one photo in your auction. An easy way to "stitch" four pictures into one is to save "photo 1" with a new name (i.e., "photo 1 revised"). Re-open the original "photo 1", which will be become your background to stitch the four pictures onto (An alternative method of having a background is to create a new image with the same dimensions of your photos. Apply a black background—that's what I'm showing here.). Resize "photo 1 revised" by 75%. Copy "photo 1 revised" (Edit, copy or click Ctrl+C). Click on "photo 1" then paste "photo 1 revised" (Edit, paste or click Ctrl+V). Open photos 2, 3, and 4 and resize them by 75% each. Copy and paste each one onto the "photo 1" (or new un-named image) background which has the miniature "photo 1 revised" on it. Save this composite image with a new name "oilvinegar.jpg" and resize as needed for eBay. Click the smaller image with the four photos to see a full-size version.
No reserve clearance sales, less than ONE DOLLAR!
GPSA sellers are still listing clearance items. All items start at an opening bid of 99¢. Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a bargain from one of our reliable GPSA sellers! All sellers abide by the GPSA guidelines found on our home page.
Find a bargain! Deals and Steals!
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The following eBay sellers became GPSA members in May 2005. As members of the GPSA, they have committed to upholding the standards of the Glass & Pottery Sellers’ Association.
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