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PREFACE FIVE years have now elapsed since the publication of my volume, Chats on English China, and in the interval a great number of readers have written to me suggesting that I should write a companion volume dealing with old English ear, thenware. It is my hope that this complementary volume will prove of equal value to that large class of collectors who desire to know more about their hobby but are fearful to pursue the subject further without special guidance. It is a matter for congratulation in these days, when so many books have only a short life for one season, to know that, owing to the enterprise of my publisher in making the Chats Series for collectors so widely known, the volume dealing with old English China still retains its vitality, and holds its place as a popular guide to collecting with profit. As far as is possible in the limits of this volume, the subject of old English earthenware has been dealt with in order to show how peculiarly national the productions of the potter have been. The collection of old English earthenware, in the main, is still within the reach of those who have slender purses. English china during the last decade has reached prohibitive prices, and there is every likelihood that old English earthenware will in the near future become of unprecedented value. I have carefully refrained from confining my treatment of the subject to rare museum examples which are unlikely to come under the hand of the average collector. It is necessary to have the ideal in view, but it must be borne in mind that such specimens must always be ideal to the larger number of collectors. I have, therefore, without belittling the old potters art, given considerable attentionto the golden mean in the realm of old earthenware to be collected. The two volumes- Chats on English China, which mainly consists of an outline history of English china, with hints as to its collection, and the present volume, Chats on English Earthenware, with a faithful esurng of the work of the old English potters-together form a record of what has been done by the potter in England, and are intended to be practical working handbooks for the collector of old English china and English earthenware. The illustrations in this volume have been carefully chosen to illustrate the letterpress, and to enable readers to identify specimens that may come under their observation. Lists of Prices accompany the various sections whenever it has been thought that they may be of practical value. I am indebted for the accuracy of these prices to that useful and authoritative quarterly publication, Auction Sale Prices, which is a supplement to the Connoisser, and forms the standard record in the collectors world of the prices realised at auction. A Bibliography of works on the subject has been given, in order that those who may wish to delve deeper may consult special volumes dealing in detail with special sub-heads of old earthenware. I must here record my thanks for the generous aid I have received from possessors of fine examples who have willingly placed their treasures at my disposal, and by so doing have enabled me to present them as illustrations in this volume. To Colonel and Mrs. Ilickson I arn especially indebted for many specirnens from their interesting collectios...
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