From the dirt and smoke of Bilston came pretty little decorated enamels.  From the dirt and smoke of Wolverhampton came spectacular and glamorous japanned ware.

Cabinet containing six drawers, in the "moresque" style, by F. Walton and Co., Wolverhampton, about 1850. 

 Photo c.Wolverhampton City Council 2001.

An excellent idea of the range and splendour of japanned ware can be gained from visiting Bantock House, where many items from of one of the largest collections in the country are well displayed.  

For the purposes of this virtual museum, we have divided our display into three parts:

Japanning -
what it is and how
it developed

Japanning -  manufacturing methods & organisation of the trade

Japanning -
the leading makers

A remarkable coal scuttle, known as the Ruskin Persian Scoop, japanned on tin, with a black ground decorated with gold leaf and colours.  Marked "H.L.&Co Ruskin", for Henry Loveridge & Co..  This example is probably the one exhibited by Loveridge's at the Wolverhampton Exhibition of Art and Manufacture, 1869. 

Photo copyright Wolverhampton City Council 2001.

The information on these pages has been mainly got from:

Yvonne Jones, Georgian and Victorian Japanned Wares of the West Midlands, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Museums, 1982
Shirley Spalding Dove, English Papier Mache of the Georgian and Victorian Periods, Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1971
Jane Toller, Papier Mache in Great Britain and America, G. Bell and Sons, London, 1962

 The illustrations on this and the other japanning pages have been kindly provided by the Wolverhampton City Council.  All the illustrations are copyright and may not be reproduced without the express consent of the copyright owners. We would like to thank Philippa Tinsley, Helen Statham and Susannah Gilbert for their help with photos and captions - but they are, of course, not responsible for our results.

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