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Connoisseurship and Artful Deceptions: Understanding 18th-Century English Ceramics

Historic Deerfield One-Day Decorative Arts Forum in association with the Decorative Arts Trust

Collecting English ceramics is an enjoyable and rewarding pastime. Building your collection by bidding at auction and/or purchasing from dealers takes patience and a careful eye. Time spent examining and (when possible) handling examples from public and private collections helps develop your powers of observation and memory of characteristics that are critical to collecting. Mistakes, however, are bound to happen! The English ceramics marketplace has pitfalls such as outright forgeries, enhanced or faked objects, newer reproductions passed off as period originals, and deceptive restoration practices. Adding to the confusion, many 18th-century English ceramics were originally conceived to be close copies of Asian export porcelains and Continental European ceramics.

This program’ s goal is to enhance knowledge and understanding of several types of English ceramics (delftwares, early Staffordshire earthenwares and stonewares, transfer-printed creamware and pearlware, and porcelains) and increase awareness of potential deceptions and frauds in the market. It is intended for a wide audience, from the general public interested in historic objects to the advanced collector.

Featuring lectures by: 
Angelika R. Kuettner, Associate Curator of Ceramics, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Amanda Lange, Curatorial Department Director and Curator of Historic Interiors, Historic Deerfield
Letitia Roberts, Former Senior Vice President and Senior International Specialist for Ceramics, Sotheby’s, New York
Daniel S. Sousa, The Decorative Arts Trust/Peggy N. Gerry-Anne K. Groves Curatorial Intern, Historic Deerfield

The program will also feature a workshop with fakes, forgeries, reproductions, and confusing repairs and restorations from Historic Deerfield’s English ceramics collection.

Download the program flyer with complete schedule. (PDF)

Registration information:

The cost for the program is $110 for either Historic Deerfield or Decorative Arts Trust members; $135 for the general public; and $145 includes a new individual membership to Historic Deerfield.* Complimentary new membership in the Decorative Arts Trust is included for all registrants. Lunch at the Deerfield Inn is included in the price of the program. For more information and registration, contact Julie Orvis at or (413) 775-7179.  Click the button below to register online:


Earlier Event: May 13
Mother's Day