Hugh Cornwall Robertson


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(b 1845; d 1908). American potter. He came from a family of British potters that settled in Chelsea, MA. The firm Robertson & Sons made Rockingham ware and flower pots. In 1872 the firm was renamed the Chelsea Keramic Art Works and produced redware vases, imitative of ancient Greek pottery, and decorative tiles. Inspired by the ceramic exhibits at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia, Robertson began experimenting to produce wares of a white body with glossy glazes, and in 1877 the works began making vases and plaques with birds and flowers in the Aesthetic style (called Chelsea faience). After 1884 Robertson began to develop certain types of Chinese glazes. During this period he created several coloured glazes, including a crackled apple-green turquoise, mustard yellow and a slightly iridescent variation of oxblood. This pottery closed in 1889, but in 1891 he started a new pottery that produced blue-decorated tableware with a crackled glaze. In 1896 this new operation was moved to Dedham, MA, and was renamed the Dedham Pottery. There Robertson continued to experiment and in this later period produced flowing and volcanic green and blue glazes on heavy porcelaineous bodies. After Robertson's death, the operation was run by his son William Robertson (d 1929) and produced the same type of wares until it closed in 1943.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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