There are two main elements to identifying ceramics:
- Type of ceramic – way the clay is treated
- Glaze and decoration – ways the finished product is treated, glazed and painted
|Type of ceramic||Property|
|Earthenware||Coarse, rough, granular feel
|Porcelain||Hard, lighter, thinner
Translucent if held to light
|Type of glaze/decoration||Property||Date|
|Lead glaze||Yellow/green in colour|
|Tin glaze||White in colour||1500; 1640-1750|
|Slip||Liquified clay used as decoration. Gives decoration raised or nodular feel/appearance||Especially late 17th century|
|Transfer printed||Sometimes able to see a ‘join’ in the decoration||1750 onwards|
|Lustreware||Thin layer of metal as decoration||1800 onwards|
Resource: SHCG has run a training session on ceramics and the ceramics handout is a good starting point to their identification.
Also search on FirstBASE for pottery, ceramic or porcelain to find more resources.