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    Find an amazing variety of antiques and collectibles
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Showcase Antiques Gallery

Gallery

We are pleased to welcome you to Showcase Antiques Gallery!

We are a multi-dealer shop dealing in antiques and collectibles, located in Wiscasset, known as "The Prettiest Village in Maine". It is a village of beautiful old sea captains' homes, restaurants and eateries (Red's Eats is world famous!), and great shops, with a strong emphasis on antiques.

The Gallery consists of seventy-five showcases of quality antiques and select collectibles representing active dealers from many states. It is in an ideal location, right on Route One, in the heart of the mid-coast antiques route, midway between Portland and Camden. Come in and check out the variety and quality of merchandise offered for sale, from fine period antiques to reminders of childhood.

Open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm every day, between Memorial Day and September 30. Then open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Tuesdays in January, February, and March.

Now featuring over 50 dealers with china, glass, silver, toys, jewelry, folk art, primitives, miniatures and much, much more.

 

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Featured Item

Seahorse Bookends
Seahorse Bookends
$139 the pair

Showcase on Wedgwood Jasperware

Have you been here lately? If not, you are missing out. This town is alive! So is this shop! It has been a busy summer so far and things are moving. So get here soon and pick up that favorite thing you’ve been seeking. If it’s small enough to fit in a showcase, we probably have at least one of whatever it is. Even if you don’t need anything, come for a visit. Some of our dealers are offering special sales on their items – up to 50% off. There is a special sale on a large selection of Wedgwood, as a matter of fact, which is the subject of the featured article following. Mention that you read about it here and you get an extra discount.

We get comments every day about how clean and beautifully displayed this shop is and about the overwhelming quality and variety of merchandise. Check out our great dealers. If you have time this Thursday evening, we are open until 8 pm to coincide with the monthly Wiscasset Art Walk, when all of the galleries and most of the shops and restaurants stay open late. There will be artists on the street and live music all over the place. Don’t miss it. Keep in mind that Good Morning America on ABC proclaimed Acadia National Park as America’s favorite spot, so while on the way there, stop here for a break.

There are two great new shops in town too – French & Co./Trifles, just a few doors away, with a great selection of American and European antiques, and Indian Trail Antiques, a few miles up Route One, which is becoming famous for its mantiques and automobilia as well as traditional treasures. These two new shops add to the list of twenty-seven antiques shops in this little town. Also there are several wonderful antiques shows in the area in the next month, so we have encouraged our dealers to fill up their cases in preparation for the shows that bring buyers in. Come on up! And continue to enjoy this wonderful summer.

Remember that blue dish that Grannie kept on the side table ? It looked like an ashtray but it was never used and you couldn’t touch it because it was special. The term Wedgwood conjures up in many people’s minds those pale blue items with white decoration. And, while many such items are actual Wedgwood, some are not. Copycat items were produced by several other manufacturers. Many spell the word by adding an “e” in the middle but it does not have one. Many think of all Wedgwood as being blue but there are a wide variety of colors, finishes, and types of wares bearing that Wedgwood name. We have had an increasing number of people come into the shop lately asking about Wedgwood, so we have decided that this month we should talk about it a bit.

Josiah Wedgwood, a pottery designer and manufacturer, the founder of the firm still bearing his name, was born  at Burslem in Staffordshire, the heart of English potteries, in 1730. He is called the Father of English Potters. The combination of quality and quantity of Wedgwood items has made them the most collected of all ceramics. He invented and produced wares still produced today. His most famous invention, jasperware, was perfected in 1774 after thousands of trials and experiments.

Jasperware is a durable fine-grained matte finished or unglazed white stoneware. Its name comes from its similarity to the natural stone, jasper. Its various colors are produced when stained by metallic oxide colors. Wedgwood produced pieces stained completely throughout, called solid jasperware, and pieces stained only on the outer surface, called dip jasperware. The accompanying photos will show examples of each type.

Wedgwood jasperware has been produced in many colors, including the popular pale blue (or Wedgwood blue). Other colors include sage, lilac, black, primrose, pink, cane, terra cotta, grey, teal, spruce, crimson, taupe, Portland blue, and royal blue. Jasperware is typically decorated with a white relief design of either classical or contemporary designs produced in molds and hand applied to the particular items. Jasperware items include vases, plates, bowls, covered boxes, plaques, and cameos used for jewelry.

Photo by Showcase Antiques Gallery, Wiscasset.

This photo gives a glimpse of the variety of colors available in Wedgwood, with a large reverse blue on white cake plate, a lilac oval tray, a tricolor Royal blue and white on pale blue bud vase, a white on black large egg shaped covered box, a pink bud vase, a taupe cup and saucer, a terra cotta small tray, and green posy vase.

 

The dip jasperware colors include dark blue, pale blue, black, yellow, sage, teal, olive green, and crimson. One of the most desired dip colors is crimson but its production was limited due to the bleeding of the crimson color into the white relief. 

Photo by Showcase Antiques Gallery, Wiscasset.

This large black dip planter is joined by a group of dark blue dip pieces - a Dutch Jug, a covered match box, a posy vase, and a cream pitcher.

Relief decoration was predominantly white but other colors were used as well. For example, reverse Wedgwood has pale blue relief on white background. There are tricolor pieces, four color pieces, and five color pieces, all of which combine different colors of relief to an individual piece. Collectors often search out these varied examples, as they can be very difficult to find.

There are diced jasper pieces in which different background colors are combined and different relief colors are added. See the diced Wedgwood bowl in the photo. 

Photo by Showcase Antiques Gallery, Wiscasset.

This wonderful example is a large tricolor dice jasperware bowl.

In the 1980s the Wedgwood Collector’s Society produced limited issue pieces for members in some unique color combinations. 

Photo by Showcase Antiques Gallery, Wiscasset.

 The examples in the photo are Collectors Society pieces. Pictured is a heart-shaped terra cotta on white covered box,  a tricolor Etruscan Jug with terra cotta and cane on teal, a tricolor covered egg box, and a primrose potpourri.

Some collectors prefer older Wedgwood pieces with the impressed mark Wedgwood or WEDGWOOD. After 1891 the word ENGLAND was added, and after 1908 the words MADE IN ENGLAND were used. Others look for more contemporary pieces impressed WEDGWOOD MADE IN ENGLAND. Additional research will help you to identify the age of specific pieces. Some look to find various colors of a particular shape, while others look to have samples of each color.

Jasperware is still produced by Wedgwood today. In 1968 Wedgwood purchased a number of English potteries, including Mason’s Ironstone, Johnson Brothers, Royal Tuscan, William Adams & Sons, J & G Meakin, and Crown Staffordshire. The company merged with Waterford Crystal in 1987. In 2009 the Waterford Wedgwood Company was purchased by KPS Capital Partners and became part of a group of companies known as WWRD Holdings Ltd., an acronym for Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton. Some products are now being produced in China. High-end items, however, are still produced in the UK. Some collectors see the interest in earlier pieces and in unique pieces on the rise.

Showcase Antiques Gallery has a very nice selection of jasperware on sale. Check it out between 9:30 and 5:30 any day.