James Plant Ceramics - Part II


James Plant English Aesthetic Movement Two-Handled Genie Vase with Hand-Painted "Persian-Orientalist" Floral Decoration (LEO Design)


A few weeks ago, a British (Dutch-born) ceramics collector contacted me about my James Plant ceramics offerings, which he had seen on-line.  He is writing a book on the influence of Gouda (Dutch) pottery on English ceramics design.  James Plant's "Orientalist" wares—while they certainly have their own distinctive aesthetic—do share a similarity with Gouda's hand-painted pieces.  He asked for more photos of my pieces and my permission to use my photos in his forthcoming book.  I was happy to help—and happy to have acquired new-found motivation to re-shoot the photos of the two pieces (which had never been well-lit in their original photos).

In the Nineteenth Century, British collectors were obsessed with "Oriental" ceramics—mostly Chinese but also Japanese and Middle Eastern pieces.  Very wealthy barons of industry built special rooms to house their precious collections, for example, Whistler's "Peacock Room" in London (which has since been moved across the Atlantic and installed within the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.).   Asian and Middle Eastern forms and design motifs provided great inspiration for Western artists who copied (re-interpreted) the exotic designs.  Because real Oriental ceramics were so precious—beyond the financial reach of Middle Class Brits—many Nineteenth Century English (and American) ceramics makers would include "Chinoiserie" and "Japanesque" offerings to a hungry Western consumer.  Well into the Twentieth Century, up until World War Two, Western ceramics makers provided their customers with products inspired by Asian works.

Perhaps James Plant sought to cash-in on the hunger for Oriental style.  Or, perhaps, he was responding with alacrity to Liberty's call for an English-made Gouda replacement. Whichever is true, the surviving examples of James Plant works provide a glimpse into a beautiful time.

The James Plant vase, shown above, is a wonderful re-interpretaion of a Persian classic: Eastern style as seen through Western eyes.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com)

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248