Historic Pottery and Porcelain
The Art and Architecture Collection, located in Room 300, possesses extensive holdings on aspects of historic pottery and porcelain created from antiquity to the early twentieth century. These take the form of antiquarian plate books, scholarly monographs, collector guides, exhibition catalogs, and articles in specialized periodicals on ceramics, crafts, and the decorative arts.
If you need further assistance, visit our reference desk, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction to the Collections
The Art and Architecture Collection, located in Room 300, possesses extensive holdings on aspects of historic pottery and porcelain created from antiquity to the early twentieth century. These take the form of antiquarian plate books, scholarly monographs, collector guides, exhibition catalogs, and articles in specialized periodicals on ceramics, crafts, and the decorative arts. Materials on historic pottery and porcelain can also be found in foreign languages relevant to the subject, in The Dorot Jewish Division (Room 84), The Asian and Middle Eastern Division (Room 219), and The Slavic and Baltic Division (Room 216). Texts on archeological excavation and the description of ancient pottery can also be found in The General Research Division (Room 315).
Among the Art & Architecture Collection’s holdings are:
- Key antiquarian texts on pottery and porcelain from antiquity to the 19th century
- Plate books of historic pottery and porcelain in private collections
- Permanent collection catalogs of museum holdings
- Monographs on ceramics by region and/or country
- Guides to specific ceramics manufacturers
- Works on art pottery
- Catalogs for important pottery and porcelain exhibitions
Subject areas of particular strength include:
- Ancient pottery from the Mediterranean
- Near Eastern and Asian pottery
- Pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican, and Native American pottery
- British and Western European pottery and porcelain
- American art pottery
- Catalogues raisonnés of important manufacturers
Using the Library’s Catalogs
For general instructions on using the Library’s catalogs, please consult “How Do I Find A Find Book.” The following information is specific to the subject of historic pottery and porcelain.
When researching an item in the catalogs, check under the subject entry most specific to your interest:
- Pottery or porcelain by time period and/or geographic region
- Pottery or porcelain by type of material
- Pottery or porcelain by specific firm or manufacturer
Subject headings in our online catalog, CATNYP, derive from Library of Congress Subject Headings, available at the reference desk in Room 300. The following categories of subject headings will provide a working guide to what kinds of headings should be used.
Blue and white ware
Other categories of terms include:
Porcelain, Chinese—Ming-Qing dynasties, 1368-1912
Porcelain, Chinese—Islamic influences
Subject headings also exist for specific types of porcelain:
Royal Winton porcelain
Pottery can also be subdivided geographically, and has numerous narrower terms:
Portraits on Pottery
Here are some additional subdivided types of headings:
Pottery—Collectors and collecting
However, there are also inverted headings for pottery by time period and country as well:
- Acoma pottery
- Bennington pottery
- Fiesta ware
- Rookwood pottery
- And others
Pottery, American—Japanese influences
- Chelsea pottery
- Pratt ware
- Staffordshire pottery
- Wedgwood ware
- And others
Pottery categories can have headings:
Pottery as an investment
Pottery in art
Searching by subject will usually generate the most accurate and beneficial results. However, if you are not certain of the correct subject heading to use, you may have better luck with a keyword search in CATNYP, particularly if you are looking for a specific manufacturer or known, named collection of historic pottery or porcelain.
Background Research: Basic Reference Sources
Cameron, Elisabeth. Encyclopedia of Pottery and Porcelain, 1800-1960. New York: Facts on File, 1986.(Open MPC 86-8645)
Includes porcelain manufacturers, marks, patterns and artists as well as materials and techniques from the time period.
Godden, Geoffrey A. Encyclopedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks. London: Jenkins, . (Front MPGO)
Thorough survey of manufacturers’ history, marks and illustrates their characteristic productions. Geographical guide to major pottery centers, covering the period from 1650 to 1964. Extensive bibliography.
Godden, Geoffrey A. Encyclopedia of British Porcelain Manufacturers. London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1988. (Front MPGO 89-24665)
An expanded version of the previous reference work, pottery marks are updated and corrected, and explanations given for how to trace undated manufacturers’ pieces.
Haggar, Reginald George. The Concise Encyclopedia of Continental Pottery and Porcelain. London: Andre Deutsch, 1960. (Front MPG)
A reference work produced for connoisseurs and collectors, the text lists European ceramic manufacturers, their characteristic products, marks, dates, technical processes, and artists.
Kowalsky, Arnold A. Encyclopedia of Marks on American, English and European Earthenware, Ironstone, Stoneware, 1780-1980: Makers, Marks and Patterns in Blue and White, Historic Blue, Flow Blue, Mulberry, Romantic Transferware, Tea Leaf, and White Ironstone. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publ., 1999. (Front MPK 00-5595)
A representative example of the recent collector guides that offers great detail on a variety of popular ceramics and their maker marks.
Sotheby’s Concise Encyclopedia of Porcelain. London: Conrad Octopus, 1990. (Open MPC 91-3277)
A quick ready-reference guide to the major ceramic forms and makers. Well illustrated.
Boger, Louise Ade. The Dictionary of World Pottery and Porcelain. New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1971. (Front MPC)
Dictionary references to terms, people, processes, manufacturing firms, and styles relevant to pottery and porcelain from antiquity to the mid20th century. Illustrates selected maker and manufacturer marks.
Danckert, Ludwig. Handbuch des Europäischen Porzellans. Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1992. (Front MPK 93-5327)
Well-organized guide to porcelain produced in continental Europe, arranged in survey fashion.
Godden, Geoffrey A. Godden’s Guide to European Porcelain. London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1993. (Front MPG+ 94-1061)
Survey history by theme provides good coverage of the international aspect, issues of fakes and reproductions; and reviews various geographical makers and styles.
Handbook of Pottery and Porcelain Marks. Compiled by J.P. Cushion. London: Faber and Faber, 1996. (Front MPK 98-7533)
Provides maker and manufacturer marks arranged by country.
Haslam, Malcolm. Marks and Monograms of the Modern Movement 1875-1930. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1977. (Front MAO 78-197)
Guide to artist, designer, retailer, and manufacturer marks from the Aesthetic Movement to Art Deco and Style Moderne; section on American and European ceramics.
Wang, Qingzheng. A Dictionary of Chinese Ceramics. Singapore: Sun Tree Publ. Ltd, 2002. (Front *R-Art MPFF+ 92-4717)
English and Chinese text covering shapes and forms; materials and manufacturers; motifs; marks and inscriptions; famous potters. Excellent color illustrations, with specific details on production during Neolithic and dynastic periods. Good bibliography.
Campbell, James Edward. Pottery and Ceramics: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1978. (MPB 79-621)
A helpful bibliography to older books on the subject.
New York Public Library. List of Works in the New York Public Library Relating to Ceramics and Glass. [New York; s.n., 1908]
Provides a useful list to the Art & Architecture Collection’s antiquarian titles.
Strong, Susan R. History of American Ceramics: An Annotated Bibliography. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1983. (MPB 84-3069)
While somewhat dated, still provides an excellent guide to major titles on the subject.
Reference Resources by Topic:
Birch, Samuel. History of Ancient Pottery: Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman. London: John Murray, 1873. (3-MPE)
Volume I treats Egyptian, Assyrian, and Greek art with emphasis on the types of materials and their forms. Glazes and other processes are distinguished by region. Greek vases and their styles and relationship to metal vases are covered. Volume 2 covers the evolution of Etruscan and later Roman materials and geographical styles.
Cook, Robert Manuel. Greek Painted Pottery. London: Methuen, 1972. (MPEK 74-47)
A classic study of the ceramics and their specific styles, from Protogeometric to Hellenistic. Sections on shapes, techniques, and chronology.
Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Series. (MPEK+)
NYPL has many titles in this extensive scholarly sequence.
Greene, Kevin. Roman Pottery. London: British Museum Press, 1992. (3-MPEK 93-3139)
A survey of Roman ceramic production, this work emphasizes excavation reports, laboratory analysis, production and economic studies.
Jones, R.E. Greek and Cypriot Pottery: A Review of Scientific Studies. [Athens]: British School at Athens, 1986. (3-MPEK)
A large, extensive publication that focuses on the methodology of provenance work, data analysis, regional survey of pottery sites and characterization data. Covers pottery of the Neolithic, Early, Middle, and Late Bronze Age, Cypriot, and Greek pottery of the Historic Period.
Robertson, Martin. The Art of Vase-Painting in Classical Athens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. (3-MPEK 92-19139)
Summarizes the results of scholarly studies begun by Beazley and others on Attic Red and Black-figure vase painting. Provides information on known painters.
Sparkes, Brian A. Greek Pottery: An Introduction. Manchester: Manchester University Press; dist. By St. Martin’s Press, 1991. (MPEK 92-3156)
A historical survey of archaeological investigation: making, dating, shapes, decoration, and distribution of vessels.
Vickers, Michael J. Ancient Greek Pottery. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1999. (3-MPEK 99-11590)
A quick ready-reference guide with examples drawn from the Ashmolean’s famous collection. Excellent color illustrations provide a concise stylistic survey of representative works, their styles, and artists.
American Studio Ceramics 1920-1950. Minneapolis: Minneapolis Museum of Art, 1988 (3-MPH 89-6385)
A representative exhibition catalog that uses a museum’s collection to describe innovations in pottery-making during three critical decades.
Barber, Edwin Atlee. The Maiolica of Mexico. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, 1908. (MPH)
A classic study of the majolica trade to Mexico from Europe, and its influence on national ceramic production
Brancante, Eldino da Fonseca. O Brasil e a Louça da India. Sao Paolo: s.n., 1950. (3-MPFF)
Covers the active period of trade between colonial Latin America and other regions, including Europe, Asia and India. Porcelain wares are chiefly featured.
Clark, Garth. American Ceramics: 1876 to the Present. New York: Abbeville Press, 1987. (Open MPH+ 88-4383)
A decade-by-decade visual history survey of ceramic-making. Chronicles important changes and significant information is gathered in the back: chronology of events; selected important exhibitions; biographies; and a useful bibliography.
Clark, Garth. American Potters: The Work of Twenty Modern Masters. New York: Watson Guptill, 1981. (3-MPH 82-612)
Features major figures who discuss their debt to historical examples and practices.
Derwich, Jenny B. and Mary Latos. Dictionary Guide to United States Pottery and Porcelain: 19th and 20th Century. Franklin, MI: Jenstan Research in United States Pottery and Porcelain, 1984. (MPH 85-8)
Alphabetically arranged biographical sketches and histories of potteries and makers.
Donhauser, Paul S. History of American Ceramics: The Studio Potter. Dubuque, IA: Kindall/Hunt Pub. Co., 1978. (3-MPH 82-1971)
Focuses on innovations and changes in production from the turn of the twentieth century to the 1970s. Relates contemporary art practices to studio artistry.
DeBolt, C. Gerald. The Dictionary of American Marks: Whiteware and Porcelain. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1988. (Open MPH 90-9337)
Proposes to teach readers what genuine early American whiteware is, including maker marks, also British marks and fake marks. Appendices for miscellaneous marks and coat of arms marks.
Duarte, Carlos F. and Maria L. Fernandez. La Ceramica Durante la Epoca Colonial Venezolana. Caracas: E. Armitano Editor, 1980. (3-MPH 85-855)
A well illustrated survey of Spanish imports and subsequent local production.
Espejel, Carlos. Mexican Folk Ceramics. Barcelona: Editorial Blume, 1975. (MPH 78-928)
A survey of folk wares by region. Useful bibliography.
Evans, Paul. Art Pottery of the United States: An Encyclopedia of Producers and Their Marks. New York: Scribner, 1974. (MPH 75-622)
A concise reference guide.
Guilland, Harold F. Early American Folk Pottery. Philadelphia: Chilton Book Co., 1971. (MPH 71-348)
Uses works cataloged in the WPA project, the Index of American Design, to describe colonial era earthenware and stoneware.
Henzke, Lucile. American Art Pottery. Camden: T. Nelson, 1970. (MPH)
Major potteries and their artists are highlighted by detailed illustrations.
Karshan, Donald H. The Splendor of American Ceramic Art, 1882-1952. Daytona Beach, FL: Museum of Arts and Sciences, 1991. (3-MPH 92-19831)
Works from this museum’s permanent collection profile 13 major potteries, many from the Ohio Valley.
Levin, Elaine. The History of American Ceramics, 1607 to the Present: From Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1988. (Open MPH+ 88-4842)
Large, well illustrated survey provides a chronological history of pottery development in the United States. Treats folk, industrial, and art pottery. Detailed investigation of modern art movements’ impact on ceramic development, particularly Art Deco, Abstract Expressionism and Post-Modernism. Excellent bibliography.
Litto, Gertrude. South American Folk Pottery. New York: Watson Guptill, 1976. (3-MPH 76-2482)
Survey by regions within the countries of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Further reading on this topic and studio pottery from Latin America is better located in the periodical literature and catalogs to individual artists.
López Cervantes, Gonzalo. Cerámica Mexicana. Mexico City: Editorial Everest Mexicana, 1983. (3-MPH 84-3763)
A broad survey of the different kinds of ceramics to be found in this country. Emphasis on folk and regional wares.
Gorham Hazel H. Japanese and Oriental Pottery. Yokohama: Yamagata, 1952. (MPFK)
Classic history of the development of Japanese wares, their city centers of production, designs, symbols, and inscriptions.
Hobson, R.L. Catalogue of the Leonard Gow Collection of Chinese Porcelain. London: s.n., 1931. (MPFF+)
Important early illustrated catalogue for an important collection of representative works from key periods and notable makers.
Hobson, R.L. The Wares of the Ming Dynasty. London: Benn Brothers, 1923. (MPFF)
Expert detailed investigation of Ming Dynasty pottery (1368-1644). Covers techniques, production centers, noted potters, and stylistic transitions.
Honey, W.B. The Ceramic Art of China, and Other Countries of the Far East. London: Faber and Faber; Hyperion Press, . (MPF)
Scholarly study, frequently invoked in other surveys, studies Chinese pottery by periods and related wares from Indo-China, Korea, and Japan.
Kim, Chewon. The Ceramic Art of Korea. London: Faber and Faber, 1961. (MPF+)
Visual survey of wares from the National Museum of Korea, arranged by historical dynasties.
Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan (Japan). Japanese Painted Porcelain: Modern Masterpieces in Overglaze Enamel. Edited by National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. New York: Weatherhill; Kyoto: Tankosha, 1980. (MPFK+ 81-839)
Well illustrated survey of master potters from the late 19th century into the 20th century.
Medley, Margaret. The Chinese Potter: A Practical History of Chinese Ceramics. Oxford: Phaidon, 1989. (3-MPFF 90-694)
Textbook style review of Chinese wares by dynasty. Chronological by styles, technological development and stylistic variations. Treats patronage, markets, popular taste, and technical virtuosity.
Mikami, Tsugio. The Art of Japanese Ceramics. New York: Weatherhill, . (MPFK 72-1334)
This survey of Japanese pottery and porcelain employs an art historical approach: it traces changes in style and process evolve through time periods, and reevaluates specific local stylized wares.
Mudge, Jean McClure. Chinese Export Porcelain in North America. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1986. (Open 3-MPFF 87-2796)
This work explains the nature and variety of Chinese porcelain made for trade with North America and those imported from Europe. Section on museums and collections in the west.
Neave-Hill, W.B.R. Chinese Ceramics. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976. (MPFF+ 76-2268)
Well documented survey of representative works from Neolithic to Ch’ing Dynasty. Looks at provincial kilns, Ko-sometsuke and Shonsui , and export wares. Appendices possess useful glossary and guide to reign-names, hallmarks, and emblems.
Sanders, Herbert H. The World of Japanese Ceramics. Tokyo; Palo Alto: Kodansha International, . (MPFK)
Illuminating coverage of potters, tools and materials, forming and decorating processes, glazes, and technical evaluation.
Wilson, Elizabeth. A Guide to Oriental Ceramics. Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1991. (MPF 93-3797)
Ready-reference guide allows quick checking of styles, periods, glossary to terms, types of glazes and processes, and concludes with a section on determining authenticity.
Atasov, Nurhan. Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey. London: Alexandria Press in association with Lawrence King, 1994. (MPF+ 95-9724)
This work covers the historical, stylistic, and technical development of Iznik potteries from 1480 to 1650.
Butler, Alfred Joshua. Islamic Pottery: A Study Mainly Historical. London: E. Benn Ltd., 1926. (MPF+)
A chronological examination of ceramics from the Egyptian, Caliphate, Muslim, Persian and Mesopotamian empires. Possesses excellent illustrations and bibliography.
Fehervari, Geza. Ceramics of the Islamic World: In the Tareq Rajab Museum. London; New York: I.B. Taurus, 2000. (3-MPF+ 00-10092)
Scholarly analysis of fourteen hundred years of Islamic pottery found in the significant holdings of this museum in Kuwait.
Grube, Ernst J. Cobalt and Lustre: The First Centuries of Islamic Pottery. London: Nour Foundation in association with Azimuth Editions and Oxford University Press, 1994. (3-MPF+ 95-9471)
Explains the technical innovations that produced the first centuries of Islamic pottery.
Lane, Arthur. Later Islamic Pottery: Persia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey. London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1971. (MPF 73-451)
Historical survey of pottery-making from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries. Quotations from writers of later periods are included that illuminate more about production from those times.
Atterbury, Paul and Maureen Batkin. The Dictionary of Minton. Woodbridge, UK: Antique Collector’s Club, 1990. (Open 3-MPGO 90-10594)
Alphabetical guide to terms relating to Minton wares. Biographies of Minton artists, designers, and decorators. Covers special issues relating to marks, dating, and factory history.
Clark, Garth. The Potter’s Art: A Complete History of Pottery in Britain. London: Phaidon Press, 1995. (3-MPGO 96-1036)
A history from the viewpoint of the artisan; sections treat works by: peasant, industrial, artist-potter, and studio potter.
Cox, Alwyn and Angela. Rockingham 1745-1842. Woodbridge, UK: Antique Collectors’ Club, 2001. (Open JQF 02-842)
Detailed survey history and appraisal guide to the Rockingham Works (formerly Swinton Pottery).
English Art Pottery, 1865 – 1915. Compiled by Malcolm Haslam. Woodbridge, UK: Antique Collector’s Club, 1975. (MPGO 76-2929)
An authoritative visual overview of artistic pottery-making, with focus on major manufacturers, and painted pottery of the Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic Movements. Covers key artists, exhibitions, specialty wares, and shows the transition from art to studio pottery.
Eyles, Desmond. Royal Doulton, 1815 – 1965; The Rise and Expansion of the Royal Doulton Potteries. London: Hutchinson, 1965. (MPGO) A classic manufacturer history; examines origins of the pattern, Doulton wares, the Burslem Pottery, early to mid twentieth century experiments, including art-wares and tablewares from 1900 – 1965. The appendices provide designer and artist monograms, trade-marks, back stamping, and other guides to dating.
Hughes, Bernard. English and Scottish Earthenware, 1660 – 1860. London: Lutterworth Press, 1960. (MPGO)
An extensive guide to the various types of earthernware products: describes enamels and glazed stoneware, colors, jasper, stone china, lustres, and English majolica.
Hughes, Bernard and Therle Hughes. English Porcelain and Bone China 1743 – 1850. London: Lutterworth Press, 1955. (MPGO)
A broad historical survey of all types of porcelain by location. These goods are discussed within an interesting social context, with emphasis on domestic production, distribution and market appeal.
Lewis, Griselda. A Collector’s History of English Pottery. Woodbridge, UK: Antique Collector’s Club, 1987. (3-MPGO 88-1235)
General survey history of all types of pottery from the Elizabethan era to 1985. Evaluates types of materials: stoneware, earthenware, stone china, and decorated pottery. Emphasis placed on major collectible lines, e.g. Wedgwood, Spode, Pratt. Makes useful distinctions between art and factory pottery.
Messenger, Michael. Coalport 1785 – 1926: An Introduction to the History and Porcelains of John Rose and Company. Woodbridge, UK: Antique Collector’s Club, 1995. (MPGO 96-11464)
Chronological evaluation of Coalport decoration, exhibition, marketplace issues, and specific wares. Biographical data in the appendices.
Oliver, Anthony. Staffordshire Pottery: The Tribal Art of England. London: Heinemann, 1981. (MPGO 83-1109)
A social history of the manufacturer and its products. Strong sections on the origins of Staffordshire, Obadiah Sherratt, the Master of Burslem Pottery, and specific types of wares: animals, cottages, castles, pastille burners, and related figurines. Important artists are evaluated.
Reilly, Robin. Wedgwood. London: Macmillan; New York: Stockton Press, 1989. 2 vol. (MPGO 90-10408)
The catalogue raisonné for this major manufacturer; provides authoritative illustrations and provenances for all lines.
Wakefield, Hugh. Victorian Pottery. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1962. (MPGO)
This work is the forerunner of many publications on a fruitful period for English pottery-making. Treats printed pottery, decorative jugs, figurines, painted pottery, and such major producers as Palissy, Doulton, Martin Brothers, and William De Morgan.
Whiter, Leonard. Spode: A History of the Family, Factory and Wares from 1733 to 1833. London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1970 (1989). (Open 3-MPGO 90-12326)
Manufacturer history in detail.
Albia, Jean d’. La Porcelain de Limoges. Paris: Sous le Vent, c1980. (3-MPGG+ 85-1802)
A thorough history of Limoges porcelain workshops and manufacturers from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries. Emphasis on stylistic and technical evolution.
Ducret, Siegfried. German Porcelain and Faience. New York: Universe Books, 1962. (MPGK+)
A short history of German, Austrian, and Swiss ceramic producers and significant makers’ marks.
Fay-Halle, Antoinette. Porcelain of the Nineteenth Century. New York: Rizzoli, 1983. (MPG+ 84-718)
A general survey of porcelain production throughout Europe during that century. Emphasis on artistic styles, marks, and factories.
Hildyeard, R.J.C. European Ceramics. London: V & A Publications, 1999. (3-MPG 99-7517)
Highly illustrated survey of Western European pottery from the 1500s through the twentieth century.
Honey, W.B. European Ceramic Art, From the End of the Middle Ages to About 1815. London: Faber and Faber, 1963. (MPG)
This work provides a cogent history of stylistic and technical developments in ceramic production, and describes the rise of the major manufacturers.
Jonge, Caroline Henriette de. Delft Ceramics. New York: Praeger, c1970. (MPGH)
Covers the history of Dutch faiences from Delft and their evolution.
Lemaire, Jean. La Porcelaine de Tournai: Histoire d’une Manufacture, 1750 – 1891. Tournai: Renaissance du Livre, 1999. (3-MPGG 00-9784)
A history of the Tournai Porcelain Manufactory in Belgium that focuses on both technical and aesthetic development. Lists museums and public institutions that own Tournai porcelain.
Liverani, Giuseppe. Five Centuries of Italian Majolica. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960. (3-MPGD+)
Traces the production history of this specialized ceramic from its origins to the seventeenth century. Lists important artists, workshops, and potteries.
Meister, Peter Wilhelm. European Porcelain of the 18th Century. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983. (3-MPG+ 84-1413) This book covers all the ceramic production centers active during the eighteenth century. Biographical sketches of artists and artisans. Significant iconographic imagery, collectors, and patrons are also treated.
Morley-Fletcher, Hugo. Antique Porcelain in Color: Meissen. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971. (MPGK+ 75-443)
A general, well illustrated guide to the history of this manufacturer.
Pelichet, Edgar. Merveilleuse Porcelaine de Nyon. Paris: La Bibliotheque des Arts, 1973. (MPGG+ 74-1144)
A detailed history of this important manufacturer from Switzerland. Technical production is emphasized. Includes such authentication information as marks, and tips on how to detect forgeries.
Pinot de Villechenon, Marie Noelle. Sevres: Porcelain from the Sevres Museum, 1740 to the Present Day. London: Lund Humphries; dist. by Antique Collector’s Club, 1997. (3-MPGG 97-4934)
Traces the history of the stylistic development of Sevres from its founding until 1992. Also lists the manufacturer’s directors and curators.
Plinval de Guillebon, Regine de. Faience et Porcelaine de Paris: VXIII-XIX Siecles. Dijon: Editions Faton, 1995. (3-MPGG+ 95-8765)
Covers the major manufacturers and workshops that made this city famous for ceramic production in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Provides map locations for manufacturers.
Rontgen, Robert E. The Book of Meissen. Exton, PA: Schiffer Pub., 1984. (3-MPGK)
This manufacturer history is intended to aid identification of genuine and forged pieces. Useful description of the company’s other products: sculptural art, ceramic medals, coins, lithophanes, and tiles.
Ware, George W. German and Austrian Porcelain. Frankfurt am Main: L. Woeller Press, 1952. (MPGK)
Written for both collectors and scholars, this work includes a general history of German and Austrian porcelain production and their marks. One chapter is devoted to issues relating to practical collecting and restoration.
Winstone, H.V.F. Royal Copenhagen. London: Stacey International, 1984. (MPG 88-3062)
An excellent history of the manufacturer, with detailed emphasis on stylistic development from 1775 to the 1980s. Contains an authoritative guide to factory marks, artists and their signatures.
Hungarian Ceramics from the Zsolnay Manufactory 1853-2001. New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2002. (Open JQF 02-2817)
Survey of one of Hungary’s most important manufacturers. Surveys major productions, including architectural ceramics. Biographical section on the Zsolnay family members whom participated in the factory’s stylistic, technical, and business development.
Poche, Emanuel. Bohemian Porcelain. Prague: Artia, 1957. (MPG+)
A history of Czech pottery from its early period when it was known as Bohemia, from the late eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. Includes a glossary of ceramic marks.
Post, Marjorie Merriweather. Russian Porcelain. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968. (MPG)
A terse history of Russian porcelain manufacturers from the mid-eighteenth century to early twentieth century.
Poteries Roumaines: Art et Tradition: Guide de la ceramique de Roumanie, vingt-six centres potiers actifs. Paris: Somogy; Federation des Ecomusees et Musees de Societe, 1999. (3-MPG+ 00-7783)
A regional survey of modern Romanian pottery-making, this work also treats the use of folklore in imagery. A history of Romanian ceramics from the Neolithic Age to the present is provided. A directory of Romanian museums with pottery holdings appears in the back of the book.
Russian Porcelain in the Hermitage Collection. Leningrad: Aurora, 1973. (MPG 76-2819)
Bi-lingual in Russian and English, this work is a catalog to the Hermitage’s permanent collection of national porcelain.
Sikota, Gyozo. Herend: The Art of Hungarian Porcelain. New York: Puski-Corvin; Budapest: Corvina, 1985. (3-MPG 88-4641)
This book presents the history of the Herend Porcelain Manufactory from its foundation in 1839 to the late twentieth century. The company’s marks are also included.
This type of publication has developed considerably since the 1970s. These guides reflect expanded consumer interest in determining authenticity and value for specific ceramics. Price guides do become easily dated; however, they afford helpful visual and textual criteria for collecting various types of pottery and porcelain. The following titles are representative of the growing literature in this area:
Barber, Edwin Atlee. Anglo-American Pottery: Old English China with American Views; A Manual for Collectors. Philadelphia: Pattern & White Company, 1901. (MPGO)
This is an important early publication intended for collectors. It demonstrates the necessary descriptive information for a specialized line of pottery.
Battie, David. David Battie’s Guide to Understanding 19th and 20th Century British Porcelain; Including Fakes, Techniques, and Prices. Woodbridge, UK: Antique Collector’s Club, 1994. (Open 3-MPGO 95-5905)
Exemplifies recent collector guides in its fine photos and details of particular note for collectors. Examines wares by type, e.g. bowls, plaques, vases, etc.
Beurdeley, Cécile. A Connoisseur’s Guide to Chinese Ceramics. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. (MPFF+ 75-1634)
A classical study of all the important elements that new collectors should know. Distinguishes between various ceramic forms, explains pottery marks, and introduces collectors to key periods, production changes, and geographic factors.
Copeland, Robert. Spode’s Willow Pattern and Other Designs after the Chinese. London: Studio Vista, 1999. (3-MPGO 00-2684)
Detailed analysis of the company’s Willow and related patterns, e.g. Mandarin, Rock, Buffalo, Long Bridge, and other Chinese idiom designs.
Hayes, Allan and John Blom. Southwestern Pottery: Anazasi to Zuni. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland Publ., 1996. (HBC 99-7106)
Native American pottery from the tribes of the southwestern United States has become a vastly popular collectible. This reference guide introduces all the various forms of pottery available and relates them to earlier pottery forms and other ceramic antiquities.
Klein, Adalbert. A; Connoisseur’s Guide to Japanese Ceramics. London: Alpine Fine Arts, 1984. (Open 3-MPFK+ 90-11010)
Huge visual survey of pottery and porcelain by period with emphasis on works made since the eighteenth century.
May, John. Commemorative Pottery, 1780-1900: A Guide for Collectors. New York: Scribner, 1972. (MPGO 74-741)
Describes one of the most collectible forms of pottery – specialty ceramics designed to memorialize historic and other special events in Britain, e.g. royal weddings, coronations, peace treaties, etc.
Munsterberg, Hugo. The Ceramic Art of Japan; A Handbook for Collectors. Rutland, VT: C.E. Tuttle Co., 1964. (MPFK)
Landmark publication that established the various scholarly criteria for study and authentication of this pottery form.
Locating Journal Articles
Please note that electronic resources are only accessible from within the Library. The Art & Architecture Collection in Room 300 has both print and online versions of the following. However, these databases can be found throughout the Humanities and Social Science building on dedicated computers that carry our Selected Electronics Resources:
Art Index and Art Index Retrospective
Indexes articles in periodicals, yearbooks, and museum publications, 1929-present.
Covers twentieth century art, design, and photography, citing periodicals, monographs, dissertations, and exhibition catalogs.
Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)
Covers scholarly articles in periodicals, anthologies, and dissertations on European and American art from antiquity to the present.
Design and Applied Arts Index
International index to design and craft journals published between 1973-2001. Contains information on nearly 50,000 designers, crafts people, studios, workshops, and firms. Between 10,000-15,000 references are added annually.
American Craft. (New York, American Craft Council), 1979-1984 [*ZAN-M128] and 1984 - . [MNA 87-6453]
Art and Antiques. (New York, Art & Antiques Associates), 1984 - . [MAA+ 85-1703]
Ceramic Review. (London, Craftsmen Potters Association of Great Britain), [JFM 98-305]
Ceramics in America. (Milwaukee, WI, Chipstone Foundation), 2001 - . [JQM 02-33]
Ceramics Monthly. (Columbus, OH, Professional Publications), 1953 - . 1953-1983 [*ZAN-M104], 1984 - . [3-MPA+ 86-3353]
Crafts. (London, Crafts Council), [MNA+ 93-2041]
Journal of Ceramic History. (Stafford, UK, George Street Press), 1968 - . [MPA+ 74-20]
Keramos; Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft der Keramikfreunde. [MPA+]
Studio Potter. (Goffstown, NH, Daniel Clark Foundation), 1972 - . [3-MPA 87-545]
Tableware International America. (Redhill, UK, DMG Home Interest Magazines), 2000 - . [JSM 00-222]
Selected Internet Sites
Internet resources on decorative arts are variable. Many sites are commercial in nature, although a few do provide educational links to reference information. Several museums and cultural institutions offer useful sites that permit viewing of their ceramics collections. Major manufacturers of pottery and porcelain lines often offer websites for both reference and sales purposes.
- American Art Pottery Association. Home Page
- Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. PotWeb: Ceramics Online
- Ceramic Art History Web Sites
- Collectics Reference & Education Program: Antiques & Collectibles
- Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Historic Subjects on Pottery
- Medieval Pottery Research Group. Links.
- National Museums & Galleries of Wales. Pottery Collections.
- New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Ceramists Database
- Smithsonian Institution. American Art Pottery Resource Guide
- The Spode Museum Trust
Resources at Other Institutions
Important information on institutions with significant pottery and porcelain collections can be found in the Selected Internet Sites section. The New York metro area possesses a number of museums with historic ceramics holdings, including: American Craft Museum; Cooper-Hewitt Museum/Smithsonian National Museum of Design; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of the City of New York; National Museum of the American Indian/Gustav Heye Center; New York Historical Society.
Where to Go for More Help
This resource guide is a small sample of what The New York Public Library can offer you in your research. For further assistance, the librarians of The New York Public Library are here to help you.
Art & Architecture Division, Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Located in Room 300, the Reference Desk is staffed during all hours the library is open. We can assist you in getting started with your research, or help you with any stumbling blocks you have encountered.
- Tuesday, Wednesday - 11am-7:30pm; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday - 10am-6pm
- E-mail Reference Service is also available
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