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Origin and Development of Form and Ornament in Ceramic Art

Extract From The Fourth Annual Report of The Bureau of Ethnology, 1882-83

William H. Holmes (1884)

 Gustav's Library Vintage Reprint

A study of the development of the ceramic arts among the American aborigines.  This is one of the series of publications written to accompany the report on the mound explorations of the bureau of ethnology by Cyrus Thomas.

"... all precolumbian American pottery precedes the acquisition of written language, and this contrast is emphasized by the additional fact that it also antedates the use of the wheel, that great perverter of the plastic tendencies of clay." William Henry Homes

This 8-1/4" x 10-1/2",  29 page, soft cover, facsimile reprint contains 9 full page plates and 28 illustrations.  $6.95



Origin of form
By adventition
By imitation
By invention
Modification of form
By adventition
By intention
Origin of ornament
From natural objects
From artificial objects
Functional features
Constructional features
From accidents attending construction
From ideographic and pictorial subjects
Modification of ornament
Through material
Through form
Through methods of realization


Fig. 464.—Form derived from a gourd
      405.—Form derived from a conch shell
      460.—Form derived from a stone pot
      467.—Form derived from a wooden tray
      468.—Form derived from a horn spoon
      409. — Form derived from a bark vessel
      470.—Form derived from basketry
      471.—Form derived from basketry
      472.—Form derived from a wooden vessel
      473.—Coincident forms
      474.—Form produced by accident
      475.—Scroll derived from the spire of a conch shell
      470.—Theoretical development of current scroll
      477.—Ornament derived through modification of handles
      478.—Scroll derived from coil of clay
      479.—Ornamental use of fillets of clay
      480.—Variation through the influence of form
      481.—Theoretical development of the current scroll
      480.—Forms of the same motive expressed in different arts
      483.—Forms of the same motive expressed in different arts
      484.—Forms of the same motive expressed in different arts
      485.—Geometric form of textile ornament
      480.—Loss of geometric accuracy in painting
      487.—Design painted upon pottery
      488.—Theoretical development of fret work
      489.—Theoretical development of scroll work