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Faience

Faience

Overview
For the architectural material, see Glazed architectural terra-cotta
Glazed architectural terra-cotta
Glazed architectural terra-cotta is a ceramic masonry building material popular in the United States from the late 19th century until the 1930s, and still one of the most common building materials found in U.S. urban environments...

. For the ceramics of Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley, see Egyptian faience
Egyptian faience
Egyptian faience is a non-clay based ceramic displaying surface vitrification which creates a bright lustre of various blue-green colours. Having not been made from clay it is often not classed as pottery. It is called "Egyptian faience" to distinguish it from faience, the tin glazed pottery...



Faience or faïence (faɪˈɒ̃s or feɪˈɑːns, fajɑ̃s) is the conventional name in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 for fine tin-glazed pottery
Tin-glazed pottery
Tin-glazed pottery is a majolica pottery covered in glaze containing tin oxide which is white, shiny and opaque. The pottery body is usually made of red or buff colored earthenware and the white glaze was often used to imitate Chinese porcelain...

 on a delicate pale buff earthenware
Earthenware
Earthenware is a common ceramic material, which is used extensively for pottery tableware and decorative objects.-Types of earthenware:Although body formulations vary between countries and even between individual makers, a generic composition is 25% ball clay, 28% kaolin, 32% quartz, and 15%...

 body, originally associated with Faenza
Faenza
Faenza is an Italian city and comune, in the province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, situated 50 km southeast of Bologna.Faenza is noted for its manufacture of majolica ware glazed earthenware pottery, known from the name of the town as "faience"....

 in northern Italy. The invention of a white pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an oxide of tin to the slip of a lead glaze, was a major advance in the history of pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

.
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Encyclopedia
For the architectural material, see Glazed architectural terra-cotta
Glazed architectural terra-cotta
Glazed architectural terra-cotta is a ceramic masonry building material popular in the United States from the late 19th century until the 1930s, and still one of the most common building materials found in U.S. urban environments...

. For the ceramics of Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley, see Egyptian faience
Egyptian faience
Egyptian faience is a non-clay based ceramic displaying surface vitrification which creates a bright lustre of various blue-green colours. Having not been made from clay it is often not classed as pottery. It is called "Egyptian faience" to distinguish it from faience, the tin glazed pottery...



Faience or faïence (faɪˈɒ̃s or feɪˈɑːns, fajɑ̃s) is the conventional name in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 for fine tin-glazed pottery
Tin-glazed pottery
Tin-glazed pottery is a majolica pottery covered in glaze containing tin oxide which is white, shiny and opaque. The pottery body is usually made of red or buff colored earthenware and the white glaze was often used to imitate Chinese porcelain...

 on a delicate pale buff earthenware
Earthenware
Earthenware is a common ceramic material, which is used extensively for pottery tableware and decorative objects.-Types of earthenware:Although body formulations vary between countries and even between individual makers, a generic composition is 25% ball clay, 28% kaolin, 32% quartz, and 15%...

 body, originally associated with Faenza
Faenza
Faenza is an Italian city and comune, in the province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, situated 50 km southeast of Bologna.Faenza is noted for its manufacture of majolica ware glazed earthenware pottery, known from the name of the town as "faience"....

 in northern Italy. The invention of a white pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an oxide of tin to the slip of a lead glaze, was a major advance in the history of pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

. The invention seems to have been made in Iran or the Middle East before the ninth century. A kiln
Kiln
A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, or oven, in which a controlled temperature regime is produced. Uses include the hardening, burning or drying of materials...

 capable of producing temperatures exceeding 1000 °C (1,832 °F) was required to achieve this result (see pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

), the result of millennia of refined pottery-making traditions. The term is now used for a wide variety of pottery from several parts of the world, including many types of European painted wares, often produced as cheaper versions of porcelain
Porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

 styles.

Technically, lead-glazed earthenware, such as the French sixteenth-century Saint-Porchaire ware
Saint-Porchaire ware
Saint-Porchaire ware is the earliest very high quality French pottery. It is white faience ware that was made for a restricted French clientele from the 1520s to the 1540s. Only about sixty pieces of this ware survive, all of them well known before World War II. None have turned up in the last...

, does not properly qualify as faience, but the distinction is not usually maintained.

Ancient "faience"

Main article Egyptian faience
Egyptian faience
Egyptian faience is a non-clay based ceramic displaying surface vitrification which creates a bright lustre of various blue-green colours. Having not been made from clay it is often not classed as pottery. It is called "Egyptian faience" to distinguish it from faience, the tin glazed pottery...

.

The term "faience" has been extended to include finely glazed ceramic beads found in Egypt
Predynastic Egypt
The Prehistory of Egypt spans the period of earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt in ca. 3100 BC, starting with King Menes/Narmer....

 as early as 4000 BC and in the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

. Examples of ancient faience are also found in Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, which was likely influenced by Egyptian culture. Faience material, for instance, has been recovered from the Knossos
Knossos
Knossos , also known as Labyrinth, or Knossos Palace, is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and probably the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. The palace appears as a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and store rooms close to a central square...

 archaeological site.

Faience in the Western Mediterranean


The Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 brought the technique of tin-glazed earthenware to Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

, where the art of lustreware with metallic glazes was perfected. From Malaga
Málaga
Málaga is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of 568,507 in 2010, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. This is the southernmost large city in Europe...

 in Andalusia and later Valencia these "Hispano-Moresque wares" were exported, either directly or via the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 to Italy and the rest of Europe.
"Majolica" is a garbled version of "Maiorica", for the island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 of Majorca, which was a transshipping point for refined tin-glazed earthenwares shipped to Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 from the kingdom of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

 in Spain at the close of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. This type of Spanish pottery owed much to its Moorish inheritance.

In Italy, locally produced tin-glazed earthenwares, initiated in the fourteenth century, reached a peak in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, represented by the Italian faience called Majolica
Maiolica
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance. It is decorated in bright colours on a white background, frequently depicting historical and legendary scenes.-Name:...

. The name faience is simply the French name for Faenza
Faenza
Faenza is an Italian city and comune, in the province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, situated 50 km southeast of Bologna.Faenza is noted for its manufacture of majolica ware glazed earthenware pottery, known from the name of the town as "faience"....

, in the Romagna
Romagna
Romagna is an Italian historical region that approximately corresponds to the south-eastern portion of present-day Emilia-Romagna. Traditionally, it is limited by the Apennines to the south-west, the Adriatic to the east, and the rivers Reno and Sillaro to the north and west...

 near Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

, Italy, where a painted majolica ware on a clean, opaque pure-white ground, was produced for export as early as the fifteenth century.

French and northern European faïence


The first northerners to imitate the tin-glazed earthenwares being imported from Italy were the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. Delftware
Delftware
Delftware, or Delft pottery, denotes blue and white pottery made in and around Delft in the Netherlands and the tin-glazed pottery made in the Netherlands from the 16th century....

 is a kind of faience, made at potteries round Delft in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, characteristically decorated in blue on white, in imitation of the blue and white porcelain that was imported from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in the early sixteenth century, but it quickly developed its own recognisably Dutch décor.

"English Delftware" produced in Lambeth
Lambeth
Lambeth is a district of south London, England, and part of the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated southeast of Charing Cross.-Toponymy:...

, London, on the south bank of the Thames, and at other centers, from the late sixteenth century, provided apothecaries with jars for wet and dry drugs. Many of the early potters in London were Flemish. By about 1600, blue-and-white wares were being produced, labelling the contents within decorative borders. The production was slowly superseded in the second half of the eighteenth century with the introduction of cheap creamware
Creamware
Creamware is a cream-coloured, refined earthenware created about 1750 by the potters of Staffordshire, England, which proved ideal for domestic ware. It was popular until the 1840s. It was also known as tortoiseshellware or Prattware depending on the colour of glaze used...

.

Dutch potters in northern (and Protestant) Germany established German centres of faience: the first manufactories in Germany were opened at Hanau
Hanau
Hanau is a town in the Main-Kinzig-Kreis, in Hesse, Germany. It is located 25 km east of Frankfurt am Main. Its station is a major railway junction.- Geography :...

 (1661) and Heusenstamm (1662), soon moved to nearby Frankfurt-am-Main.


In France, centres of faience manufacturing developed from the early eighteenth century led in 1690 by Quimper in Brittanyhttp://www.faience-de-quimper.com/histquim_en.html, which today possesses an interesting museum devoted to faience, and followed by Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

, Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 and Lunéville
Lunéville
Lunéville is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department and lies on the Meurthe River.-History:...

. In Switzerland, Zunfthaus zur Meisen
Zunfthaus zur Meisen
The Zunfthaus zur Meisen at Münsterhof is the guild house of the Zunft zur Meisen. It's one of the historically valuable buildings in the Lindenhof quarter in Zürich, Switzerland, and houses the porcelain and faience collection of the Swiss National Museum.- History :The guild house was built in...

 near Fraumünster
Fraumünster
The Fraumünster abbey in Zurich was founded in 853 by Louis the German for his daughter Hildegard. He endowed the Benedictine convent with the lands of Zurich, Uri, and the Albis forest, and granted the convent immunity, placing it under his direct authority.- History :In 1045, King Henry III...

 church houses the porcelain and faience collection of the Swiss National Museum
Swiss National Museum
The Swiss National Museum — part of the Musée Suisse Group, itself affiliated with the Federal Office of Culture — is one of the most important art museums of cultural history in Europe and the world...

 in Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

.

The products of French faience manufactories, rarely marked, are identified by the usual methods of ceramic connoisseurship: the character of the body, the character and palette of the glaze
Ceramic glaze
Glaze is a layer or coating of a vitreous substance which has been fired to fuse to a ceramic object to color, decorate, strengthen or waterproof it.-Use:...

, and the style of decoration, faïence blanche being left in its undecorated fired white slip. Faïence parlante bears mottoes often on decorative labels or banners. Wares for apothecaries
Apothecary
Apothecary is a historical name for a medical professional who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons and patients — a role now served by a pharmacist and some caregivers....

, including albarello
Albarello
An albarello is a type of maiolica earthenware jar, originally a medicinal jar designed to hold apothecaries' ointments and dry drugs. The development of this type of pharmacy jar had its roots in the Middle East during the time of the Islamic conquests....

, can bear the names of their intended contents, generally in Latin and often so abbreviated to be unrecognizable to the untutored eye. Mottoes of fellowships and associations became popular in the 18th century, leading to the Faïence patriotique that was a specialty of the years of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

.

In the course of the later 18th century, cheap porcelain
Porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

 took over the market for refined faience; in the early 19th century, fine stoneware
Stoneware
Stoneware is a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic ware with a fine texture. Stoneware is made from clay that is then fired in a kiln, whether by an artisan to make homeware, or in an industrial kiln for mass-produced or specialty products...

—fired so hot that the unglazed body vitrifies—closed the last of the traditional makers' ateliers even for beer stein
Beer stein
Beer stein , or simply stein, is an English neologism for either traditional beer mugs made out of stoneware, or specifically ornamental beer mugs that are usually sold as souvenirs or collectibles...

s. At the low end of the market, local manufactories continued to supply regional markets with coarse and simple wares.

Faïence revival



In the 1870s, the Aesthetic movement, notably in Britain, rediscovered the robust charm of faience, and the large porcelain manufactories marketed revived faience, such as the "Majolica ware" of Minton and of Wedgwood
Wedgwood
Wedgwood, strictly speaking Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, is a pottery firm owned by KPS Capital Partners, a private equity company based in New York City, USA. Wedgwood was founded on May 1, 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood and in 1987 merged with Waterford Crystal to create Waterford Wedgwood, an...

.

Types of faience


Many centres of traditional manufacture are recognized, even some individual ateliers. A partial list follows.

France

  • Desvres faience
  • Aprey faience
    Aprey Faience
    Aprey Faïence is a name used for the painted, tin-glazed faience pottery produced at a glass-works at Aprey, France. This factory was established in 1744 by Jacques Lallemont de Villehaut, the Baron d'Aprey, on his estate. In 1760 he partnered with his brother Joseph, and the two hired Protaix...

  • Gien faience
  • Lyon faience
  • Lunéville faience
  • Marseille faience
  • Moustiers faience
  • Rouen faience
  • Nevers faience
  • Quimper faience
    Quimper faience
    Quimper faience is produced in a factory near Quimper, in Brittany, France. Since 1708, Quimper faience is painted by hand, and production continues to this day....

  • Saint-Porchaire ware
    Saint-Porchaire ware
    Saint-Porchaire ware is the earliest very high quality French pottery. It is white faience ware that was made for a restricted French clientele from the 1520s to the 1540s. Only about sixty pieces of this ware survive, all of them well known before World War II. None have turned up in the last...

    , for comparison
  • Mesves sur Loire faience

Germany

  • Hanau faience (:de:Hanauer Fayencemanufaktur) (1661-1810) - first producer in Germany
  • Abtsbessingen faience (:de:Abtsbessingen)
  • Nürnberg faience
  • Öttingen–Schrattenhofen faience
    Öttingen–Schrattenhofen faience
    Öttingen–Schrattenhofen faience refers to a special type of tin-glazed faience from Bavaria, Germany, in Rococo style. It was popular during the 18th and 19th centuries....

  • Poppelsdorf faience - Kurfürstliche Fayencerie Poppelsdorf (1755 - 1829)
  • Schleswig faience
  • Stockelsdorf faience - (:de:Stockelsdorfer Fayencemanufaktur)
  • Stralsund faience (closed 1792) (:de:Stralsunder Fayencenmanufaktur)

Italy



  • Savona faience
  • Turin faience
  • Laterza faience
    Maiolica di Laterza
    The Maiolica di Laterza is a precious kind of maiolica made in the town of Laterza, part of the Apulia region in Italy.Being at first an epicenter of creation for the Great Greece during the Ancient Rome and Medieval periods, the production reaches its artistic apogee around the 17th and 18th...


United States

  • California Faience (Berkeley)
  • Ephraim Faience Pottery
    Ephraim Faience Pottery
    Ephraim Faience Pottery is an art pottery company founded in 1996 in Deerfield, Wisconsin, United States by Kevin Hicks and two partners who have since left the company. It is now located in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. The company produces art pottery in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement...

  • Herman Carl Mueller
    Herman Carl Mueller
    Herman Carl Mueller , noted ceramicist, was the founder of the Mueller Mosaic Company of Trenton....

    , Mueller Mosaic Company, Trenton, New Jersey
    Trenton, New Jersey
    Trenton is the capital of the U.S. state of New Jersey and the county seat of Mercer County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Trenton had a population of 84,913...


On-line bibliographic references


External links