Imágenes de páginas

like this, with a dark ground and white figures. I cannot recollect the name of it, but I know it was dug up out of ruins.”

Her mother told her it was called the Barberini, or Portland vase. Barberini from the name of the Italian family to whom it had belonged; and Portland from the Duchess of Portland, by whom it had been purchased and brought to England.

Lucy, whose memory was now awakened, recollected Dr. Darwin's beautiful lines addressed to Mr. Wedgwood, “Oh friend of art !” but she refrained from repeating them, for which. Harry gave her credit due.

Mr. Frankland, who now came into the room, told her, that the ancient Etruscan, or Greek vases, were produced by a different process from that which Mr. Wedgwood used in making his. They appear to have been made by covering the parts representing the figures and ornaments, after their outlines had been traced, and then dipping the red ware in a black paint.


The lines of the drapery, &c. were afterwards traced in the same colour. In those ancient vases, the colour, which was red,

, was in the body of the ware itself. In Mr. Wedgwood's imitations, both the red and black are painted on the porcelain, or rather on the biscuit; the name which is given to the ware after its first baking in the furnace. He was the first person who made what are called dry colours, or enamel, without lustre, without shining.

Harry thought that the smoothness and polish of these vases was more beautiful than

any glazing “ And much safer, and more durable, said Mr. Frankland. " These colours cannot be injured by damp, or fire, or air, or acid, and will last as long as the substance itself. You may have observed, that the glazing on common earthenware runs into little cracks."

“Yes,” said Lucy, “I have often observed them covering a plate, like network. They look very ugly.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

" But what is much worse," continued he,“ in most kinds of glazing, lead is employed, which, when dissolved in certain acids, is poisonous.

Lucy observed, that glazing looked something like glass, and from the sound of the words too, she believed glazing came from glass. It might at first have been called glassing."

Yes," said Mr. Frankland, " and there is, as you observe, a resemblance between the outside of some porcelain and glass. But the difference between glass and porcelain is, that porcelain is but semivitrified, that means half turned to glass. The managing the heat so as to stop the vitrification, or turning to glass, at the right time, is one of the most important points in making porcelain.”

Lucy returned to admire the beauty of the Wedgwood's ware, repeating, that she thought it much prettier than Chinese china.

[ocr errors]


“ Besides the beauty of form, and colour, and texture," continued Mr. Frankland,“ the utility is great. It is not only perfectly safe for all culinary purposes, but most durable for some chemical experiments, in which the vessels must be exposed to great heat.”

Mr. Frankland showed them a crucible and a retort, made of Wedgwood's ware, and Mrs. Frankland showed a white pestle and mortar, which looked like marble, but which was of Wedgwood's ware, and used for pounding medicines.

Harry asked whether the potteries, where all these were made, was near Frankland Hall.

Yes, within a few miles of us," said Mr. Frankland, “ at a village to which Mr. Wedgwood gave the name of Etruria, and where he established a manufactory, whose productions are probably more known, and more useful to a greater number of people, than ever were those of the ancient Etruria."

Mr. Frankland said, that he would the

[ocr errors]



next day take Harry and Lucy to see these works. In the mean time, as Harry seemed anxious to know more, he told him all that he thought could interest him, concerning the history of the Staffordshire potteries. The clay of this part of England being fit for making some kinds of earthen ware, there have been potteries, or remains of potteries, in Staffordshire, ever since the time when the Romans were in Britain ; but they had continued in a rude state for ages, as no person of industry or knowledge had attempted their improvement, till, about a hundred and twenty years ago, when two brothers of the name of Elers came from Holland, settled here, and manufactured a red unglazed porcelain. Afterwards they made a sort of brown glazed stone ware, coarse and heavy, yet the glazing of these, such as it was, could not be performed without great inconvenience. They used muriate of soda, which they threw into the oven at a certain time of the baking of the vessels. The fumes

« AnteriorContinuar »