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I cannot quit Vienna without recommending the bric-à-brac hunter to pay a visit to the small but admirable museum, founded from private resources and loans, since the death of the Imperial Factory; and thence to the modern factory of Herr Fischer, in Vienna. His productions, if not equal to those of the old factory, are worthy of all praise and consideration, and his courtesy and attention are admirable. There are several good and not unreasonable bric-à-brac shops in Vienna ; others of a totally different nature, but in one and all a really good well-gilded specimen is unobtainable without considerable outlay.
Since the above was written, I have more than once visited Vienna, and I hold to the opinion that there are some specimens of Vienna china equal, certainly as regards gilding and painting, to any fabric in Europe. Only recently I had the great pleasure of beholding a tea service and tray in the collection of a friend, which was perfect, embellished with pictures, on a maize ground, with chain borders of turquoise and gold.
Berger, Funstten, Lamprecht, and Nigg, all painted for the Vienna Factory, and their signatures are found on specimens of the highest quality. Another artist, name unknown, painted most exquisitely views with figures after Bearenberg.
W ITH reference to Italian fabrics, which were
numerous, and many of which are extinct, Capo di Monte, Nore, Venetian, and Doccia, which still exists, were all, and still are, rare and beautiful. Genori (or Doccia), which still flourishes in the immediate neighbourhood of Florence, evinces great taste, both as regards colouring and modelling. In fact, all the fabrics in present, as in bygone days, succeeded one from another; in fact, merged into one another.
Capo di Monte, of first-rate quality, gave place to Bueno Retiro of soft frame, still more refined; both into Genori and Doccia; indeed it requires no common eye and experience to detect some of the Genori cups of the present day, with raised figures, from the old. Chelsea is also a child of Venice, one and all originating from China and Japan.
United Italy is still a fair field for the bric-à
brac hunter, overrated as are its natural beauties and climate by the holiday traveller. Nevertheless, a few months of man's life may be passed there with considerable gratification. Rome at present I leave to the Romans. Meanwhile we have Venice, and its world-wide renown, and exquisite glass of other days, if you can get any, and highly-glazed or enamelled pottery called “Venus porselayne,” of very ancient date. Its manufactory ceased in 1822, and its productions, though interesting, were never very fine: its mark a double red anchor. Naples also once boasted a factory, named Capo di Monte, and the china there manufactured is the most rare, if really good, and most beautiful of all Italian porcelain. While in the neighbourhood of Florence, Doccia (or Genori), more ancient than Capo di Monte, had, and still has, in the days we live in, one of the largest manufactories of Europe, producing even finer specimens than in the past. In Turin, or Vineuf called Turin, and in Milan, as indeed in numerous internal towns of Italy, the energetic hunter may still discover something worthy of research.
We will first make a short séjour at Venice" that glorious city on the sea.” The very writing of the name excites the lover of art, and creates a longing to be there. Sky, air, and water are as of yore, but those who peopled the scene live only in history. All the peculiarities which marked their nationality and independence are gone. Even the national dress, the red tabano of the men and the black soudale of the women, has entirely disappeared. Still Venetian interests remain, and will for ever. Starting from Vienna, it is immaterial which route you select, whether over the Semmerang or the Brennen. If time be no object, the lover of nature, no less than the lover of art, will be amply repaid; indeed, it has ever been a matter of astonishment to me that, while autumn holidayseekers travel over the beaten tracks of Europe, so few are found in Vienna, or wandering amid the beauties of Lower Austria; the one, as I have said, a city full of interest and pleasant society, the other offering charms of nature which, if rivalled elsewhere, cannot be surpassed. As regards Venice, there are probably few who will read these