Este's ceramics in 1700 and 1800
The XVIII century
is to be considered as one of the golden centuries for the art of
ceramic. Until that period only asian china was known. The
competition with oriental markets operated as a stimulus to further
exertions in traditional ceramic. Since the middle 1700 the workshops
grow on and on and increase.
Initially these workshops started making common
object and crockery; later on they began designing and producing
artistic items and getting themselves organized for this kind of
ornamental production. Suddenly the clay treatment developed
considerably: from the monochrome and white items, to the coloured and
decorated items. Este was also famous for majolica, specially
the blak one ("roba nera lustra") cheaper than the
white clay. According to an old tradition, it was made for monasteries
(therfore called "black monastery") and sold to the
soldiers, again because of its low cost.
Este preserves a large amount of original moulds, wich were (and still are) used to make the original ancient objects. Unfortunaltely such important artistic heritage was not so lucky elsewhere and had been wasted: neverthless, there still should exist moulds of Antonibon (now Barettoni), of Nove, of Ginori of Doccia and the ones of Capodimonte. The history of these moulds is somehow adventurous, because they were in part about to be wasted. The moulds are now kept in the several Este's workshops, that have to be consedered as those who really continued the Athestinus manufacturing. Most of the present moulds come from the ancient moulds of Brunello Workshop and Franchini and Apostoli. Others come from that young artisans' workshop, established after the world war II and directed by the painter Antonio Ferro.