Pottery and Porcelain of All Times and Nations: With Tables of Factory and Artists Marks for the Use of Collectors (Classic Reprint)by William Cowper Prime
Ten years ago there were probably not ten collectors of Pottery and Porcelain in the United States. To-day there are perhaps ten thousand. The exhibition in public museums of the fine works of ceramic art loaned by the few collectors
Excerpt from Pottery and Porcelain of All Times and Nations: With Tables of Factory and Artists Marks for the Use of Collectors
Ten years ago there were probably not ten collectors of Pottery and Porcelain in the United States. To-day there are perhaps ten thousand. The exhibition in public museums of the fine works of ceramic art loaned by the few collectors who possessed them, revealed for the first time to the American public the wealth of beauty which is in "old china;" and now in nearly every city, town, and village in the land more or less persons are "collecting."
The need of a book of the kind which I have endeavored to make has been manifest for some time. What to collect and why, how to collect and classify, are questions asked by many, and answered only by European works, in French and English, which indeed answer the questions better than this does, but are unfortunately inaccessible to the American collector outside of our larger cities.
The preparation of the needed Volume has not been a voluntary undertaking with me. It was with extreme reluctance that I yielded to the urgent request of the publishers to make a book on Ceramic Art for American readers, students, and collectors. The very idea of a book for these three classes of people might well appall an author, looking at the vast extent of the subject. Those who are familiar with the art will appreciate the impossibility of bringing into one volume even a condensed sketch of its history for the general reader, much more a critical examination of its products for the student, and a descriptive account of characteristics and marks for the use of the collector. For this art is the oldest, the longest, the most widely diffused of all human arts. It has been used by every tribe of man, savage and civilized. Probably the first fire which Adam kindled on a clay soil taught him to make earthenware, and his descendants have ever since used the art he discovered. Its known history begins with the brickmakers on the plain of Shinar, and every year of this nineteenth century after Christ adds material for new pages.
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