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the canards, during the trial of the brave and murdered Admiral Byng-whom I feel pride in claiming as an ancestor—that his great love for this ware and other ceramic treasures having caused him to visit the residence of some person in that island who possessed a rare specimen, and with whom he was bargaining for the possession, when an officer arrived to inform him the French fleet was in the offing, turning to the messenger he replied, “ Look here, this rare specimen is worth all the French fleet; tell Captain — to prepare for action, and the French to wait till I have secured it.” Although it is probable that the term majolica was derived from Majorca, there does not appear to be any authentic evidence of this fact; on the contrary, it appears first to have been made at Faenza, where it was principally made or exported, while some French antiquaries claim a still greater age for the French term, Fayence, and insist that it was derived from Fayenne, an obscure town in France, where there is said to have been a pottery long before it existed at Faenza in Italy. Mr. Bohn, in his very useful work, a guide to
Ceramic Knowledge, particularly to inexperienced bric-à-brac hunters, tells us that during the great majolica period, it was the fashion for lovers to present their mistresses, or their betrothed, with small ornamental pieces called amatoria-generally plates, dishes, or vases, adorned with the portrait and christian name of their favoured fair: many of these may still be seen in various bric-à-brac shops. They are, however, of no great beauty or value, and certainly, as far as I have seen them, do not prove the taste or beauty of the era. However, the gift of some such majolica dishes or vases as I have had the good fortune to behold, would indeed be as costly as the choicest diamond bracelet; and though majolica, or any glazed or enamelled pottery, may not be so pleasing to the eye, as Sèvres, Dresden, Wedgwood, or Chelsea, it is nevertheless of great value if good, and deeply interesting to the collector.
While in Italy, particularly at Florence, the bric-à-brac hunter cannot do better than take a trip to Leghorn; it is but a railway flight of two hours through some charming country, with the Mediterranean at the end of it. Not that it boasts of a porcelain manufactory, nor am I aware that it ever claimed one. But there lives in that maritime town the Chevalier Andrea Campasini, a man of genius and repute, who, with his own hand, after fourteen years of labour, produced a large and beautiful model in ivory of St. Peter's, which was not only seen by Her Majesty of England, but by half the crowned heads and artistic Societies in Europe, and from whom he received the highest testimonials.
As was his father before him, so is the Chevalier an artist and a man of taste, and he has gathered around him an inconceivable quantity of bric-àbrac, filling many rooms, which he is perfectly ready to show to any one, and equally ready to sell. Among this heterogeneous mass, he has many good specimens, and I must admit that his demands are not exorbitant. For the benefit of those who desire to visit his collection, I may name that his residence is, Via San Francisco, 33.
COPENHAGEN deserves a chapter to itself.
- In these days, when all the world travel, a visit to Copenhagen will not be found an unpleasant trip. To me the city is full of interest, and there are few cities the inhabitants of which are so courteous and pleasant to deal with; indeed, I have found their manners and simple habits assimilate greatly with home. Moreover, the mere fact of its being the land of our highly-beloved and esteemed Princess of Wales is alone sufficient to interest an Englishman.
For my part, I have the greatest liking for old Copenhagen china from the royal factory, which, like many others, is now dead. · Pieces marked with three blue wavy lines, which indicate the Sound, and two Belts, if found, are remarkably fine and interesting. Lord Nelson was very partial to this china, and in 1801 paid many visits to the factory and purchased largely. After the battle of Copenhagen he was presented by the city with a beautiful tea-service, admirably mounted with representations of the costumes of the country, as also views of the harbour and neighbourhood. This, I am informed, he made a present to a friend in England. It has since fallen into the hands of a well-known London connoisseur, who kindly permitted me to see it, and I have rarely had the good fortune to see any specimen of greater interest and beauty. I may here remark that Copenhagen china is similar in many respects, both as to paste and painting, to Bristol china, so much the fashion, and so absurdly prized, in accordance with the present taste of buyers and sellers. The Copenhagen is nevertheless far superior, both as regards art, modelling, and painting, though only esteemed by the real connoisseur. At the recent dispersion of the Barker collection, a group of Europa and the Bull, although broken, was sold for £75. In other days, when I fancied I knew something, which something was very little, I purchased two exquisite groups-Europa and the Bull and its