Vivienne Saunders Designer and Maker
Parian Ware Parian Ware - Affordable Art for the Masses by Bob Brooke (The Antiques Almanac) http://www.theantiquesalmanac.com   The marble-like beauty of Parian Ware captivated Victorians.  It allowed the middle classes to possess articles of high art.  And by the end of the 19th Century, every properly furnished Victorian parlor contained at least one piece of it.  Victorians welcomed Parian’s inexpensive, small-scale copies of busts of literary and political figures, as well as its decorative vases, boxes and pitchers, adorning their homes with these ornaments to show their gentility.  It’s been said that Parian had the same effect on statuary as the invention of the print to painting.   Less expensive than bronze and more durable than plaster, Parian was a development of earlier biscuit porcelain.  Its invention did not come out of thin air, however.  It was a derivative of the unglazed, white porcelain biscuit figures produced by French factories such as Sevre.  Since biscuit was a very flat and cold porcelain, various firms and individuals attempted to find a warmer, creamier material, more like marble from which they could mould decorative items.   Several potteries marketed it under different names.  The Copeland firm called it “statuary porcelain” because of its resemblance to the fine white marble of neoclassical sculpture.  Wedgwood names it “Carrara” after the Italian quarry patronized by Michelangelo.  But it was Minton which coined the word “Parian” to suggest Paros, the Greek isle that furnished much of the stone used in the classical period.  Thus, it quickly became the medium’s generic name. Copeland Parian figure Tinted Venus Height 41cm (16") This figure is an excellent example of the fine quality of Copeland Parian. This figure was first produced in 1849 and copies a marble statue by John Gibson which is known as the 'Tinted Venus' or simply 'Gibsons Venus'. This figure was included in Copeland's display at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The figure was produced both plain and with gilding and tinting (with the latter being more expensive).