Dating dudson jasperware
Also, they were most diverse and abundant in the wilder, wetter, western and northern parts of Britain which were becoming more accessible through the development of better roads and, subsequently, in the late 1840s and 1850s through the development of a railway network.
Although the main period of popularity of ferns as a decorative motif extended from the 1850s until the 1890s, the interest in ferns had really begun in the late 1830s when the British countryside attracted increasing numbers of amateur and professional botanists (male and female).However, many people in large towns and cities could not succeed in growing ferns in their gardens or houses because of the dreadful air-pollution from coal fires and gas fumes until the introduction of the glazed case (Wardian Case) in the late 1840s which not only excluded poisonous fumes but also maintained high humidity which was essential for many species.A wide variety of these Wardian Cases was made during the 1850s and later, some of which were very ornate, but very few have survived.The initiation of quantity production of manufactured ferny objects in the late 1850s commenced only after the botanical and fern cultivation aspect of the craze had already been active for some years.Fern designs on pottery, glass, cast-iron and other materials first became conspicuous at The London International Exhibition of 1862.By 1855, Charles Kingsley had recognised the prevalent passion for ferns as a phenomenon and in the course of encouraging the study of natural history in his book 'Glaucus', coined the term 'Pteridomania', meaning 'Fern Madness' or 'Fern Craze':-"Your daughters, perhaps, have been seized with the prevailing 'Pteridomania', and are collecting and buying ferns, with Ward's cases wherein to keep them (for which you have to pay), and wrangling over unpronounceable names of species (which seem different in each new Fern-book that they buy), till the Pteridomania seems to be somewhat of a bore: and yet you cannot deny that they find enjoyment in it, and are more active, more cheerful, more self-forgetful over it, than they would have been over novels and gossip, crochet and Berlin-wool.
At least you will confess that the abomination of "Fancy-work" - that standing cloak for dreamy idleness (not to mention the injury which it does to poor starving needlewomen) - has all but vanished from your drawing-room since the "Lady-ferns" and "Venus's hair" appeared; and that you could not help yourself looking now and then at the said "Venus's hair", and agreeing that Nature's real beauties were somewhat superior to the ghastly woollen caricatures which they had superseded."His comments about 'fancy work' turned out to be rather ironic because Pteridomania did, within a few years of 1855, give rise to an ever expanding range of home-made and factory- or workshop-manufactured 'fancy work' and other decorative items - with the fern motif appearing on everything from christening presents to gravestones and memorials.
This was the potter William Brownfield of Cobridge, Staffordshire who included a relief-moulded jug with 'Fern' design that had been registered in November 1859.
This was a popular design with erect fern fronds, below dangling ears of wheat and acanthus leaves.
It is likely that some of the artisans who produced utilitarian or purely decorative objects with fern decoration had an interest in ferns themselves and were not just using the fern motif to satisfy the desires of their customers.
Ferns could be used for decoration in ways that most other plants could not.
Some home-made items including some 'spatter-work' textiles may have been made before commercially produced items were available.