A-Z of Ceramics - Y is for Yellow Ware
Yellow Ware or Yellow-glaze Ware are terms usually applied to Staffordshire earthenwares of the period 1800-40, often with transfer-printed or silver lustre 'resist' decoration over a bright yellow glaze. In recent years these have become exceedingly popular with American collectors, who reintroduced these terms.
Earlier, the same names had been used to refer to buff- or cream-coloured ware, and to common earthenwares covered partly or wholly with a yellowish glaze, as well as to American ceramics made from a yellow-coloured clay. However, contemporary manufacturers - notably Josiah Wedgwood, who perfected a type of yellow glaze in the 1750s - never used such terms.
The first European porcelains with a solid yellow ground colour were highly prized. At Meissen in the 1720s, yellow was used for grand porcelain vases made for Augustus of Saxony. Significantly, it was also the very first ground colour to be perfected at the Vincennes/Sèvres factory, in 1751. In England, apart from occasional use at Derby and Pinxton, the desirable colour was only applied successfully to highly decorative mass-produced earthenwares.