J.IIC-CG VOLUME 2 (1976)

The Analysis of Selected Staffordshire Earthenwares

Charles G. Costain, James F. Hanlan, Gary W. Vanloon

Chemical analysis has been established as a means of scientifically distinguishing between different groups of ancient potteries from widely differing times and/or locations. However, this approach has not been applied to comparatively recent ceramics of more closely related origin. We have X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, differential thermal analysis, emission spectroscopy and atomic absorption spectroscopy in an attempt to find diagnostic criteria for identifying various earthenwares from the Staffordshire area in the period ca 1760-1830. The four closely related groups that were investigated were cream coloured earthenware, creamware, pearlware and refined white earthenware. The results of these analyses will be reported and a discussion of their usefulness and particularly their limitations as indicators of type and time will be given. Problems encountered with sampling and non-homogeneity of the ceramic will also be considered.

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