Pitchers of every size and every naturalistic design poured water, milk, and cream. could include the name of the factory, the British registry mark and a lozenge-shaped symbol that, when deciphered, would reveal the date of registration of a design or shape, including the year and the date of design.A date code would reveal the exact date of manufacture of an individual piece, whereas earlier pieces of the same design would have an earlier date code.Popular patterns were pond lilies, storks, corn, pineapple, leaves, blackberries, roses, fish and the ubiquitous shell-and-seaweed.Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Josiah Wedgwood & Sons were some 10 years behind Minton & Co. Wedgwood glaze and modeling were more dense and formal than that of Minton, but there were many pieces that displayed the naturalism and humor of Minton shapes and was similar to those of Minton: cache pots, pitchers, candlesticks, cheese bells, umbrella stands, sardine boxes, plates in naturalistic patterns, bread trays and infinitum., was derived from the Spanish shipping port of Majorca.In Italy colorful tin glazes were applied over soft-earthenware shapes such as platters and pitchers.An impressed “M” signified majolica produced between 1873 and about 1888.
Rita and Ian Smythe, of Britannia, and Nicolaus Boston of the eponymous-named antiques shop, assembled an array of brilliantly glazed and dramatically sculpted majolica amidst curved walls and high ceilings.
The excitement generated by the richly colored majolica inspired Minton artists to develop art revival styles parallel to those of the Renaissance, Palissy design, Gothic revival and medieval styles, naturalism (by far the most prolific), oriental and Islamic styles, and figural pieces, both human and mythological.
Minton’s lead and tin glazes were impermeable to damp English weather: many pieces, in the shapes such as cache pots, urns, fountains, umbrella stands for large birds and animals, were made for the garden or conservatory.
The Victorian dinner table highlighted the growing Victorian interest in culinary variety: oyster, crab and lobster plates and fish platters were made in great numbers.
There were game designs illustrating the contents of the game dish, humorous and bizarre tea pots made for conversation at tea parties, cheese bells with placid cows as finials, and strawberry serving dishes and spoons used at strawberry-time.