The Egyptian potteries afforded experience in dealing with vitreous glazes and vitreous colours, and from Egyptian alabaster-quarries veined vessels were wrought, which may well have suggested the decorative arrangement of zigzag lines (see Plate I.
Salmon-colored, red, yellow and white glazes are also found, and in late specimens gilding was added.
The latter ceramist excelled also in the production of purple, green and yellow glazes, which he combined with admirable skill and taste.
But in Bokus time, and indeed as long as the factories flourished, many other kinds of faience were produced, the principal having rich black or fiamb glazes, while a few were green or yellow monochromes.
Their pdle was close and well-manufactured pottery, varying in color from dark brown to russet, and covered with thick, lustrous glazes black, amber-brown, chocolate and yellowish grey.
These glazes were not monochromatic: they showed differences of tint, and sometimes marked varieties of color; as when chocolate-brown passed into amber, or black was relieved by streaks and clouds of grey and dead-leaf red.
Thenceforth Seto became the headquarters of the manufacture of cha-no-yu utensils, and many of the tiny pieces turned out there deserve high admiration, their technique being perfect, and their mahogany, russet-brown, amber and buff glazes showing wonderful lustre and richness.
The Japanese potters could never vie with the Chinese in the production of glazes: the wonderful monochromes and polychromes of the Middle Kingdom had no peers anywhere.
They did not, indeed, achieve their ideal, but they did succeed in producing some exquisitely lustrous glazes of the, tlamb type, rich transparent brown passing into claret color, with flecks or streaks of white and clouds of iron dust.
From this period date most of the specimens best known outside Japan cleverly modelled figures of mythological beings and animals covered with lustrous variegated glazes, the general colors being grey or buff, with tints of green, chocolate, brown and sometimes blue.
Directing his efforts at first to reproducing the deep green and straw-yellow glazes of China, he had exhausted almost his entire resources before success came, and even then the public was slow to recognize the merits of his ware.
Nevertheless he persevered, and in 1838 we find him producing not only green and yellow monochromes, but also greyish white and mirror-black glazes of high excellence.
So thoroughly had he now mastered the management of glazes that he could combine yellow, green, white and claret color in regular patches to imitate tortoise-shell.
There remains, too, a wide domain in which the Chinese developed high skill, whereas the Japanese can scarcely be said to have entered it at all; namely, the domain of monochromes and polychromes, striking every note of color from the richest to the most delicate; the domain of truit and fiamb glazes, of yO-pien-yao (transmutation ware), and of egg-shell with incised or translucid decoration.
Value attaching to the incomparable red glazes of China, not only in the country of their origin but also in the United States, where collectors showed a fine instinct in this matter, seems to have suggested to Miyagawa the idea of imitation.
Ninsei, in the middle of the 17th century, inaugurated a long era of beautiful productions with his cream-like fish-roe eraquel glazes, carrying jrich decoration of clear and brilliant vitrifiable enamels.
Okamuia Yasutaro, commonly called Shozan, produces specimens which only a very acute connoisseur can distinguish from the work of Nomura Ninsei; Tanzan Rokuros half-tint enamels and soft creamy glazes would have stood high in any epoch; Taizan YOhei produces Awata faience not inferior to that of former days; Kagiya SObei worthily supports the reputation of the KinkOzan ware; Kawamoto Eijiro has made to the order of a well-known KiOto firm many specimens now figuring in foreign collections as old masterpieces; and ItO TOzan succeeds in decorating faience with seven colors sons couverte (black, green, blue, russetred, tea-brown, purple and peach), a feat never before accomplished.
Miyagawa ShOzan, or Makuzu, as he is generally called, has never followed Seifus example in descending from the difficult manipuW a lation of colored glazes to the comparatively simpl Sk~n process of painted biscuit.
Takemoto, however, has made a speciality of black glazes, his -
Before dismissing the subject of modern TOkyO ceramics, it may be added that KatO TomatarO, mentioned above in connection with the manufacture of special glazes, has also been very successful in producing porcelains decorated with blue sous couverte at his factory in the Koishikawa suburb.
At the industrial exhibition in RiOto Ware ~, (1895) the first results of their efforts were shown, Owari attracting attention at once, In medieval times Owari was celebrated for faience glazes of various colors, much affected by the tea-clubs, but its staple manufacture from the beginning of the 19th century was porcelain decorated with blue under the glaze, the best specimens of which did not approach their Chinese prototypes in fineness of pdte, purity of glaze or richness of color.
Its potters took fiamb glazes for models, and their pieces possessed an air of novelty that attracted connoisseurs.
The earlier wares were yellow, brown and red; then came deep greens and blues, followed by mat glazes and by "vellum" ware (first exhibited in 1904), a lustreless pottery, resembling old parchment, with its decoration painted or modelled or both.
A beautiful thin faience with remarkable metallic glazes is made here.
Further, besides thus using glaze on a large scale, differently colored glazes were used, and even fused together.
The most brilliant age of glazes was under Amenophis III.
The brown tints often seen in glazed objects are almost always the result of the decomposition of green glazes containing iron.
The blue glazes, on the other hand, fade into white.