|Pink lustreware tea service c.1820-30 now in the collection of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Illinois, housed at Clarke House Museum.|
Lustre is a form of decoration that can be applied to any form of ceramic goods, whether earthenware or porcelain. The design is formed in metal, then dissolved in acid and applied as a thin film on top of the glaze. This can be brushed on or applied through a dipping process.When fired, the oxidized metal in the lustre solution is reduced to its original metallic form. When gold was used as the lustre metal on a light colored background it took on a pink sheen, as seen in the pieces here.
|Sugar bowl and Creamer|
|Detail of Transfer Print|
Nearly all fine china goods used in the United States during the early nineteenth century were imported from England. Mrs. Clarke might have received a tea service like this as a wedding gift upon her marriage to Henry Brown Clarke in 1827 and it is likely that the Clarkes owned at least one piece of lustreware when they set up house in Waterville, New York. This tea service will go on display in the study later this month. Be sure to look for it on your next visit to Clarke House Museum.