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Reading Pottery: Literature and Transfer-Printed Pottery in the Early Nineteenth Century

Gavin Lucas
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
Vol. 7, No. 2 (June 2003), pp. 127-143
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20853020
Page Count: 17
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Reading Pottery: Literature and Transfer-Printed Pottery in the Early Nineteenth Century
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Abstract

The use of illustrations from literary sources, specifically fiction, on transfer-printed earthenwares in the early nineteenth century is addressed through an example of a household dump in Buckinghamshire, England. This paper examines such ceramics in terms of the nature of fiction and the reading public in Britain during this period and how the production and consumption of literary ceramics is connected to the changing perception of fiction and its accompanying illustrations. The paper argues that the use of literary scenes as patterns on transfer-printed vessels had to mediate both changing perceptions of fiction and ideals of the picturesque and suitable subjects for transfer print patterns.

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