Sunday, November 8, 2015

THE TCC ENGLAND TOUR 2015: PART TWO - KEELE HALL AND THE RAVEN MASON COLLECTION

Continuing with the TCC England Tour 2015, we visited Keele Hall in Staffordshire, the ancestral home of the Sneyd family, that houses the Raven Mason Collection of Porcelain and Ironstone China.  The building looks Jacobean, but it was actually built in the 19th century.

Keele Hall, Staffordshire

Here is a bit of an aside.  I sometimes get confused as to which Mason is which. For example, who is Miles Mason, William Mason, George Miles Mason, or Charles James Mason?  Also, Francis Morley and George Ashworth?  Confused?  Take a look at the Mason's Chronology link here.

The Raven Mason Collection has cases filled with beautiful ironstone and porcelain patterns.  I mainly focused on the ironstone.
 

Japan Patterns


More ironstone patterns


Mazarine and Gold

It is hard to see different patterns in the cases shown above, so I'll show some bigger photos.  Here is arguably the most well-known Mason's ironstone pattern; Water Lily.

G.M. & C.J. Mason's Water Lily Ironstone pattern.  It has an impressed line mark on the back, "Mason's Patent Ironstone China."  The mark was used between 1813-1826.

"Mason's Patent Ironstone China" impressed line mark.
 
Shown below is a less well-known pattern printed in blue.  It is know as Chinese Dragon, and also has an impressed line mark on the back.   This mark refers to the type of Welsh clay; "Mason's Cambrian Argil."   The Mason's factory appears to be the only one to incorporate the name "Cambrian" into the factory mark.

G.M. & C.J. Mason's Chinese Dragon has an impressed line mark on the back, 1813-1826.

"Mason's Cambrian Argil" impressed mark/Really hard to see!  The plate is earthenware rather than ironstone.

I thought I'd show you the vivid blue and gold decoration on this jug.  It is hard to see in the case above.

G.M & C.J. Mason (1813-1826) mazarine blue and gold hydra-shaped jug.  The photo above gives you a better idea of the rich colors that are not seen in my photograph of the items in the case full of mazarine blue and gold.

Just a few more patterns.  These were made by Charles James Mason after his brother, George Miles, retired from the partnership; if you look at the marks,  you'll see they appear to be from two different business operations. 
Charles James Mason & Co. (1826-1845) Basket Japan Pattern

Charles James Mason & Co. mark (1826-1845) /Are there any differences between this crown and the one below?

Charles James Mason (1845-1854) You'll see this pattern in the middle of one of the cases above/Look carefully!  The TCC database says the pattern was continued later under G.L. Ashworth.

Charles James Mason mark (1845-1854)
 
The visit to Keele Hall whetted my interest in Mason's Ironstone China in particular and Mason's china in general.   The Transferware Collectors Club Pattern And Source Print Database has lots of information about Mason's patterns.   I also looked at one of the books in my own library; Mason's -  The First Two Hundred Years by Gaye Blake Roberts.  There are many more.

I see that I have digressed as usual.  The TCC Tour was much more organized than my brain!  I shall continue showing you some more of the highlights of the tour in my next blog post.

If you haven't seen the TCC England Tour 2015:  Part One, look here.

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