Saturday, September 20, 2014

Canary Yellow Staffordshire Pottery/Lustreware/Pearlware

I have always been drawn to strong color.  In graduate school, I had a large Kandinsky poster hanging over my bed that was just a riot of blues and reds of all gradients.  I remember someone passing by my open door and saying, "Ugh. That poster is way too bright.  How can you live with all that going on?" And I remember thinking: "Oh, my God.  How can you live without it?"

It's no surprise, then, that my new favorite antique is 19th-Century English canary pottery.  I've come across some labeled as Staffordshire and some labeled as pearlware and some labeled as lusterware.  I'm not up on my Georgian-era pottery, so I won't bother with labels.  All I know is that this pottery -- whatever you call it -- is distinguished by its vibrant, Dick Tracy yellow hue (often accompanied by a pearl or luster glaze or painted details).

A lot of canary ware is transferware, and if that's your thing, you can find many charming yellow child's mugs that were often given as gifts or prizes.  As for me, I prefer the pieces decorated with charmingly na├»ve hand-painted flowers and designs.

From Patrician Antiques, a sweet plate:

 
 
From Fort Hill Studios, a darling flower pot for your pencils or posies:
 
 
I'm in love with this pitcher from John Howard:
 

And I like the funky metallics on this one, also from John Howard but since sold:

 
Finally, this bowl on ebay is too pretty for words: