If These Pots Could Talk: Collecting 2,000 Years of British Household Pottery

Overview

Archaeologist and social historian Ivor Noël Hume brings British history to life through his accessible story about the everyday ceramic objects he and his late wife collected over a 40-year period. If These Pots Could Talk presents "a panoramic view of pottery in Britain and her colonies from the landing of the Romans to the bad intentions of the Germans in 1939." Beginning as a novice at London's Guildhall Museum in the immediate postwar years, Noël Hume shares his passion for reconstructing lives from bits and...

See more details below
Hardcover
$45.60
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$50.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $26.35   
  • New (2) from $56.28   
  • Used (5) from $26.35   
Sending request ...

Overview

Archaeologist and social historian Ivor Noël Hume brings British history to life through his accessible story about the everyday ceramic objects he and his late wife collected over a 40-year period. If These Pots Could Talk presents "a panoramic view of pottery in Britain and her colonies from the landing of the Romans to the bad intentions of the Germans in 1939." Beginning as a novice at London's Guildhall Museum in the immediate postwar years, Noël Hume shares his passion for reconstructing lives from bits and pieces of crockery. He describes in vivid detail the common household pottery he unearthed with a bright graduate of Bristol University and the four decades of collecting (and marriage) that followed. Concentrating on earthenwares, stonewares, and porcelains commonly found in archaeological excavations but uncommonly encountered in decorative arts exhibits, his book runs the gamut from burial urns and chamber pots to wine cups and witch bottles.

Cultural and even political history form the warp and weft of the narrative. Written in a personal and often humorous style, this gorgeous and hefty volume will appeal to nonspecialists and experts alike. Wonderful color photographs, largely by noted photographer Gavin Ashworth, enhance the historical and personal commentary. Part catalog, part memoir, If These Pots Could Talk is a beautiful tribute to the richness of collecting and the rewards of a true partnership.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A cup for holding caudle ("A drink made from thin gruel, spiced, sweetened, and mixed with ale or wine"), a chafing dish, and even clobbering ("a crude application of heavy overglaze") are potential sources of speech in If These Pots Could Talk: Collecting 2,000 Years of British Household Pottery. London-born Ivor No l Hume (Here Lies Virginia), former chief archeologist at Colonial Williamsburg, presents 648 illustrations (560 in color) of everything from a black Roman-era poppyhead beaker to a thin-walled, brown salt-glazed stoneware "gorge" from the early 18th century and beyond. Organized by use rather than chronology, the 16 chapters take readers from "Broomsticks and Beer Bottles" to "Mentioning the Unmentionables," reconstructing the objects' uses and social contexts along the way. ( Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A cup for holding caudle ("A drink made from thin gruel, spiced, sweetened, and mixed with ale or wine"), a chafing dish, and even clobbering ("a crude application of heavy overglaze") are potential sources of speech in If These Pots Could Talk: Collecting 2,000 Years of British Household Pottery. London-born Ivor No l Hume (Here Lies Virginia), former chief archeologist at Colonial Williamsburg, presents 648 illustrations (560 in color) of everything from a black Roman-era poppyhead beaker to a thin-walled, brown salt-glazed stoneware "gorge" from the early 18th century and beyond. Organized by use rather than chronology, the 16 chapters take readers from "Broomsticks and Beer Bottles" to "Mentioning the Unmentionables," reconstructing the objects' uses and social contexts along the way. ( Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Written by British-born archaeologist Hume, who collected the pieces featured in this book with his late wife over a period of several decades, this volume contains a wealth of information on British pottery from earliest times to the present. Chapter titles range from "Khnum and Ptah, and the Clay of Life" to "Beyond the Gas Lamps' Glare" to "A Mug's Game," revealing both the tone and the scope of this book. Points discussed in the text are illustrated by references to specific pieces in the author's collection and by photographs of each of the forms examined. Hume discusses where production centers existed, as well as the evolution of color and shape of a given pottery. Every major form of pottery makes its appearance here, and some have a truly fascinating history. Hume goes into detail about decoration and techniques, and this book answers many questions about pottery shapes, form, and function. For all comprehensive art collections and certainly for university collections. Martin Chasin, Adult Inst., Bridgeport, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584651611
  • Publisher: Chipstone Foundation
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

IVOR NOËL HUME was born in London and studied at Framingham College and St. Lawrence College in England. In 1949 he joined the staff of London's Guildhall Museum as an archaeologist. He moved to Colonial Williamsburg as chief archaeologist in 1957 and subsequently became director of their Department of Archaeology. He is an honorary research associate of Smithsonian Institution, fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and past vice-president of the British Society of Post-Medieval Archaeology. Author of fourteen other books, including Here Lies Virginia and Martin's Hundred, and dozens of articles, he was named an Officer of the British Empire in 1992 for contributions to British cultural interests in Virginia. He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Beauty, we are told, is in the eye of the beholder, a platitude usually uttered in a condescending tone by someone who thinks that whatever it is you happen to like is as ugly as sin . . . For my part, I make no excuses for being amorously drawn to stoneware. As a longtime historical archaeologist with an equally long fixation on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when I uncover the neck of a Rhenish graybeard bottle I see a face from the past staring up at me out of the ground. Not only that, stoneware repels dirt. A light brushing reveals it in exactly the color and condition it was in when buried . . . What you see is what it was. Be it the mottled brown of the graybeard or the brilliant blue of the Westerwald wares, it shines in sunlight. Its discovery provides a moment of exaltation.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)