Previous owner's dedication on front free endpaper.
Comprehensive in every way, this exciting visual history of ceramics shows all the diversity of this subject in well over a thousand illustrations - over sixty in colour. The dual role of ceramics - its evolution as a utilitarian craft, as well as its elaboration into a decorative art - is fascinatingly displayed in all its contexts, from the peasant's hearth to the courts of kings.
This history reaches far back into remotest antiquity to the earliest archaeological discoveries of crude baked clay vessels. All the mainstreams of ceramic tradition, reflecting the character and taste of different civilisations, are then traced through prehistory, the medieval and Renaissance periods, the age of elegance, followed by the industrial revolution, right up to the present day. The full range of pottery and porcelain throughout the ages is thereby shown within the compass of this one volume, from the most utilitarian wares to the strangest ritual objects, from the most simple and classical shapes to the most elaborate and ornate sculptural forms and from small and frivolous items - like scent-sprays and artificial flowers - to the most grandiose architectural schemes of panels and decorative tiles. The general editor, Robert Charleston, was Keeper of the Department of Ceramics and Glass at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London until his retirement. In planning the book, he has skilfully broken down the complex history of ceramics to show the patterns of development throughout the world, recruiting an international team of experts to provide the most complete and authoritative coverage of the subject.
Published by Crescent Books, New York, 1990
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