Designer Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin British
Manufacturer Minton(s) British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 516

This boat-shaped tazza reflects the remarkably inventive collaboration between Pugin and Herbert Minton, who propelled the Minton firm to the forefront of ceramic production in England in the nineteenth century. Both Pugin and Minton were interested in new technologies, and this tazza is decorated with a then-new form of multi-color transfer printing. The polychrome decoration on the tazza is reminiscent of Pugin’s use of color and pattern for wall treatments, and this transfer printing technology eliminated the need for hand coloring the printed designs.

The tiles produced by Minton after designs by Pugin are the best known aspect of their collaboration, but the table wares that they produced together are also an important category of Pugin’s work in ceramics. The resulting dinner services fused Pugin’s design aesthetics with Minton’s superior earthenware ceramic body, thus making high quality functional wares available to a broad market. It appears that Pugin owned a dinner service with very similar decoration that included a tazza of this shape, and as this form of tazza was not one normally produced at Minton, it is probable that Pugin himself designed it.

#418. Christopher Dresser and the Birth of Industrial Design

Tazza, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (British, London 1812–1852 Ramsgate), Earthenware with transfer-printed decoration, British, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

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