A truly stunning set of ''Four Seasons'' bisque porcelain cherub figures.The attention to detail throughout is absolutely fantastic.A rare opportunity to own a unusual complete set of these magnificent display pieces.Width 24 cmDepth 24 cmHeights 62, 64, 64, and 67 cmThe Chinese were the creators and first masters of the art of producing porcelain. Chinese mastery of the art form made them virtually the only porcelain producers for hundreds of years. Bisque porcelain was called fan ts''u or turned porcelain by the Chinese, but elsewhere, it is also called biscuit ware, parian ware, or unglazed ware. All porcelain is fired at least once. Originally, the biscuit stage referred to porcelain after its initial firing when it was so brittle it could be broken by finger pressure and it remained porous. Dipping it in glaze that was absorbed by the porous material preserved the porcelain. The second firing caused the glaze to melt or fuse with the clay and become vitrified or glass-like. This differs from modern production of bisque porcelain, which is hard and durable without the addition of glaze.In Europe, the production of bisque porcelain wares rose to prominence in the mid-1700s. The French made busts and medal-lion-like portraits at the factories of S?vres, Mennency-Villeroy, and Vincennes. The Frenchman Desoches and the German artist Rombrich modeled portrait plaques from life in bisque and represented Greek subjects in frames of laurel leaves in the style of the Englishman, Josiah Wedgwood, who succeeded in adding colors to clay that were retained through firing in his unglazed Jasperware. By the end of the century, a number of sculptors were modeling figurines (usually of classical figures or ordinary characters including idealized children, street sweepers, and peasant girls) in biscuit ware. The popularity of bisque seems to have been due to the vulgarity of glazed porcelain. The colors made at this time were raucous and garish, and the bisque effect was softer and warmer. By Victorian times, bisque porcelain was used to make the heads and arms of dolls, and these dolls (both antiques and modern forms) form another branch of the bisque collectibles industry. Figurines made from both glazed and unglazed porcelain have remained highly collectible since the eighteenth century throughout changes in fashion and style and with improvements in processing.
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