Shown here, a Burmantofts “Chinese Red” classic “Oriental” vase, made in late-Victorian England. It captures beautifully the West’s fascination at the time with Eastern culture (Far-East and Middle-East) and Europe’s attempt to replicate the Oriental style in its own way.
Burmantofts was a pottery manufacturer in Leeds, England. It was established in 1859 when a pair of investor-partners, having just purchased a nearby coal mine, began to dig and discovered instead. . .clay!
Initially, the firm made tiles and sewer pipes—to satisfy the needs of a rapidly-growing Victorian England—and soon added-on decorative architectural elements like columns, cornices, capitals, and other heavy, decorative Victorian building-ware. In the 1880’s, they added an art pottery line and had great success—especially with their large, ceramic garden ware: jardinieres, planters, plant stands, and pedestals. Alas, by 1904, the art pottery sales were weakening and the company pulled the plug on the division. Burmantofts, however, continued to make the decorative architectural elements which had become the company’s calling card. The company closed-down its 90 kilns for good in 1957.
The vase above, made in the 1880’s or 1890’s, is an example of Burmantofts short-lived art pottery division. Please click on the photo to learn more about it.
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