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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Pers. ‛Ashqābād; formerly Ashkhabad Askhabad, Poltoratsk]

Capital city of Turkmenistan. Lying in an oasis south of the Karakum Desert, the city was founded in 1881 on the site of a mountain village (Rus. aul). Linked by rail with the Caspian coast in 1885, it developed rapidly as the center of the Transcaspian region at the turn of the 20th century and became the capital of the Turkmen republic in 1924. It suffered greatly from earthquakes in 1893, 1895 and 1929; following complete destruction by the earthquake of 6 October 1948, the city was rebuilt during the 1950s and 1960s.

Saparmurat Niyazov (generally referred to as Turkmenbashi, or leader of the Turkmen), president from 1985 to 2006, used the revenues from huge gas reserves to lavishly embellish the city with grandiose monuments of gleaming white marble and gold. Civic structures include not only the palace, government offices and an exhibition center, but also the Arch of Neutrality, a large tripod in front of which stands a gold statue of Turkmenbashi that rotates to face the sun. Religious structures include the Azadi Mosque, which resembles the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and the Kipchak Mosque, said to be the largest in Central Asia. The National Museum of History (...


Gordon Campbell

Australian pottery founded in 1858 by a Scot, George Guthrie (1808–1909), in the town of Bendigo, Victoria. The factory made household wares, including acid bottles, bricks, clay pipes, roof tiles and tableware. During World War I it also made portrait jugs of military commanders, and in the 1930s it made agate-ware vases that were marketed as Waverly ware. The pottery is still active, but since ...



Richard L. Wilson

Japanese centre of ceramics production. High-fired ceramic wares were manufactured from the end of the 12th century in and around the village of Inbe, Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefect.). This region had been a centre for manufacturing Sue-style stonewares and Haji-style earthenwares from the 6th century ad (see Japan, §IX, 2, (ii), (a)). At the end of the Heian period (794–1185) the potters moved from the old Sue-ware sites around Osafune village to Inbe, just to the north. In response to increased agricultural development, the new kilns manufactured kitchen mortars (suribachi), narrow-necked jars (tsubo) and wide-necked jars (kame). During the 13th century the wares show less of the grey-black surfaces typical of the old Sue tradition and more of the purple-reddish colour characteristic of Bizen. In the 14th century Bizen-ware production sites shifted from the higher slopes to the foot of the mountains. Kilns expanded in capacity, ranging up to 40 m in length. Vast quantities of Bizen wares, particularly kitchen mortars, were exported via the Inland Sea to Kyushu, Shikoku and numerous points in western Honshu, establishing Bizen as the pre-eminent ceramics centre in western Japan. By the 15th century the Bizen repertory had expanded to include agricultural wares in graded sizes; wares then featured combed decoration and such functional additions as lugs and pouring spouts. Plastic–forming was assisted by the introduction of a fusible clay found 2–4 m under paddy-fields. This clay, which fires to an almost metallic hardness, is still in use today....


Delia Kottmann

Italian village in Lazio, north of Rome, known for its church. The church of SS Anastasius and Nonnosus is all that remains of the 6th-century Benedictine monastery, which submitted to Cluny in ad 940. Apart from some re-used fragments, the architecture is Romanesque, with a Cosmati pavement in opus sectile as well as an ambo and ciborium. The church is famous for its wall paintings from the first quarter of the 12th century. The apse and its adjacent walls, showing the 24 elders, are influenced by Romano–Christian motifs. Christ in the middle of the conch is flanked by Peter and Paul in a Traditio legis depiction, with a procession of lambs below. Underneath, Maria Regina has to be reconstructed in the middle, between two conserved angels followed by female saints in a Byzantine manner. No Romano–Christian iconography seems to have influenced the vast apocalyptic cycle painted on the side walls of the transept. A band of prophets runs beneath the roof on all the walls of the transept. An inscription in the apse indicates three Roman painters....



Keith N. Morgan

American town and former artists’ colony in the state of New Hampshire. Situated on a line of hills near the eastern bank of the Connecticut River c. 160 km north-west of Boston, Cornish looks across to Windsor, VT, and Mt Ascutney. It was settled in 1763 as an agrarian community, but its population was rapidly reduced during the migration to the cities in the second half of the 19th century. From 1885 until around the time of World War I, Cornish was the summer home of a group of influential sculptors, painters, architects, gardeners, and writers. For this coherent group, the Cornish hills symbolized an ideal natural environment that reflected the classical images so important in their work. The sculptor who first spent a summer in Cornish in 1885, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, bought his summer residence there in 1891, and he was soon followed by the painters Henry Oliver Walker (...


Oscar P. Fitzgerald

American city in western Michigan, noted for its furniture production. Its situation at the rapids of the Grand River provided ease of river transportation and proximity to timber from Michigan’s great pine and hardwood forests. The furniture industry began in Grand Rapids when the city’s first cabinetmaker, William ‘Deacon’ Haldane (1807–98), established a shop there in 1836. By 1851 E. M. Ball of Powers & Ball was boasting that he could toss ‘whole trees into the hopper and grind out chairs ready for use’ to fill an order for 10,000 chairs in Chicago (Ransom, p. 5). In the 1870s Grand Rapids became a major factor in the American furniture market. Such companies as Berkey & Gay, Widdicomb, Phoenix and Nelson-Matter built large factories and hired Dutch and other European immigrants to operate them. While most of these manufacturers produced complete lines of bedroom, parlour and dining-room suites, some, like the ...


Brian Austen

English centre of furniture production. The town is situated in Buckinghamshire near the Chiltern Hills, where there is a plentiful supply of timber, particularly beech. The ‘Windsor’ chair, with which High Wycombe is particularly associated, was available in the London market c. 1720, and London chairmakers drew from the High Wycombe area billets of beech and probably such turned components as legs and stretchers. Turners, known as ‘bodgers’, would fell timber and directly convert it on simple pole lathes. Complete chairs were probably being manufactured in the High Wycombe area by the mid-18th century. Furniture workshops first appeared in the town after 1750, using turned components produced by the ‘bodgers’, making other parts such as the seat and assembling complete chairs for wholesale or retail sale. Four makers were listed in a directory of 1784, three being members of the Treacher family, and in the 1790s William Treacher was offering ‘Windsor, dyed and fancy chairs’. Another early maker was ...


Regina Krahl


Town and county seat in north-east Jiangxi Province, China, and the country’s main centre of porcelain production. For most of its existence the town was part of Fouliang, in Raozhou Prefecture, and in historical records its ceramics are generally referred to as Raozhou ware. With a continuous history of manufacturing porcelain from the Tang period (ad 618–907), it is the source of most Chinese porcelain.

The imperial kilns were located at Zhushan in the centre of modern Jingdezhen city; many lesser kilns were situated in Hutian, 4 km to the south-east. The area is supplied with fine-quality porcelain stone, the basic raw material for Chinese porcelain; it is surrounded by forests that provided fuel for the kilns; and it is conveniently connected to the major ports of southern China by rivers. Recent excavations have brought to light several different kiln types, including egg-shaped zhenyao kilns, bread-roll-shaped mantou kilns and dragon kilns (...



Walter Smith

Town and temple site in West Bengal, India, about 80 km north of Calcutta. Located on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, it was once an important port and commercial centre, but by the late 19th century its importance had declined owing to the silting up of the river and the opening of the East Indian Railway. It is now best known for several temples built during the 18th and 19th centuries by wealthy landowners, merchants and officers of local governors. Many are dated by inscription. Built of brick, they are decorated with dense arrangements of terracotta reliefs depicting scenes from the Rāmāya ṇa, the Krishna legend and scenes of everyday life, including figures in European dress. A variety of temple types are seen; the most common have squat, curvilinear superstructures, sometimes double-storey, or upper levels consisting of several towers (see Indian subcontinent §III 7., (ii), (d)). The Lalji Temple (...



North American city and seat of Dade County, located on Biscayne Bay at the mouth of the Miami River in south-eastern Florida. It is a major seaport and tourist resort. Greater Miami (population c. 2.6 million) includes Miami Beach, Coral Gables, North Miami, and Hialeah, and, together with smaller districts, forms the southern limit of Florida’s so-called Gold Coast. In the 16th century Spanish explorers discovered the Tequesta Indian village of Mayaimi on the southern bank of the estuary; in 1567 a Jesuit mission and fort were established on the site, although its fate is unknown. In 1743 the Jesuit mission of S Ignacio was founded on what later became Coconut Grove, and the Spanish crown granted local land to Spanish gentry. In 1821 the US Government purchased the state of Florida from Spain. The landowner Julia D. Tuttle arrived in 1873 and was among the founders of modern Miami, encouraging the oil magnate ...



Robert McGregor

New Zealand city on the east coast of North Island, famous for its Art Deco architecture. Napier was established in the 1840s with the arrival of missionary and trading settlers, and by the 1920s, with a population of 16,000, it was the main administrative centre and port of Hawke’s Bay province, with a reputation as a resort due to its attractive seaside location, spectacular hilltop residential areas and Mediterranean climate. On 3 February 1931 a violent earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale convulsed the region, destroying all but recently built reinforced concrete buildings in the city centre. Fires broke out and completed the devastation.

The city was rebuilt in 1932–3, following a building moratorium while plans for the new Napier were considered. All services were placed underground, street corners splayed and standard verandah heights set for commercial buildings. The restriction on building heights to two storeys and the use of reinforced concrete for safety reasons resulted in a townscape remarkably cohesive in scale and materials. Because the collapse of ornate embellishments on Victorian and Edwardian buildings had caused many of the 162 deaths and countless injuries in the city, the new buildings were designed in simple but, for a small isolated city, radically modern styles. The four local architectural practices formed a loose association to share resources and bring a unity of purpose to the task of rebuilding, although each firm tended to prefer a particular style. ...



M. E. Heston

[Skt Kōḷamba; Malayalam Kollam]

Port and capital of Quilon District in Kerala, south-west India. The Kollam Era, established in ad 825, was the ancient chronological system of the Malayalam region; as it is named after the city, its inception may reflect the date of the foundation of Kollam. While some scholars believe it was an important port even before the 9th century, epigraphy suggests the city attained prominence only after the Chera or Kulashekhara dynasty of Mahodayapuram (c. 800–1124) made Kollam the headquarters of their southernmost district, Venadu. The city subsequently became the capital of the independent Venadu dynasty after the disintegration of the Kulashekhara empire in the 12th century.

In the earliest copperplate documents issued from Kollam in 849, a governor granted the Syrian Christian community privileges to build the church of Tarisa, indicating the importance of this community in the commercial growth of Quilon (the church has not survived). Inscriptions of the 10th and 12th centuries refer to the Panamkavil Palace of the local ruler, but no traces of this monument have been found. Although an inscription of ...


English city and centre of metalwork production. From the 12th century blacksmiths, arrowsmiths and cutlers were active in the locality of Sheffield. Although there are references from the Middle Ages to the manufacture of knives, the cutlery trade did not become significant until the 16th century, when the harnessing of water power and the use of local sources of raw materials helped to establish Sheffield as a leading centre of production. The Earls of Shrewsbury kept firm control over the cutlery trades that operated under the jurisdiction of the manorial court. Most businesses were family enterprises, and apprentices were at times recruited from the minor landed gentry, clergy and yeomen. The numerous processes involved in the manufacture of cutlery and the increasing range of edge-tool wares in the 16th and 17th centuries led to the growth of a network of self-employed ‘little mesters’, specializing in one area of production. Changes in the regulation of the trade were made in ...


St Ives  

Adrian Lewis

English coastal town in Cornwall and an artistic centre in the late 19th century and the 20th. A gallery and artists’ club had been established in St Ives by the late 1880s, paralleling the establishment of Newlyn, another Cornish coastal town, as an art colony. Its initial attractions seem to have resided as much in establishing a cultural distance from London and other urban centres, confirmed by the preference among artists in St Ives for Cornish landscape and genre subjects, as in the potential of the tourist trade. In 1927 the St Ives Society of Artists was established with its own sales gallery; members also submitted work annually to the Royal Academy in London. Landscapes and seascapes predominated in the work of Borlase Smart (1881–1947), Julius Olsson (1864–1942) and John Park (1880–1962).

As with the Parisian avant-garde’s depiction of late 19th-century Brittany as remote from civilization, the myth of St Ives became entwined with the British assimilation of modernist values, such as simplicity of life style, innocence or naivety of vision and the integrity of the handmade. For example, ...



Richard L. Wilson

Centre of Japanese ceramics production based in and around Tachikui and Kamaya villages (Hyōgo Prefect.). Together with Bizen, Shigaraki, Echizen, Seto and Tokoname, Tanba is one of the few Japanese kiln centres that has been active from the 12th century to the present day. The origins of Tanba ware are not perfectly understood, but recent excavations of the Sanbontōge kiln (late 12th century–early 13th), thought to be the earliest Tanba kiln, suggest that the Echizen (Fukui Prefect.) and possibly the Tokoname (Aichi Prefect.) kilns played a central role in the ware’s development. The principal wares, which reflect improvements in Japanese agricultural production in the 12th century, include a limited number of kitchen mortars (suribachi), and greater quantities of wide-mouthed jars (kame) and narrow-mouthed jars (tsubo). Ten kiln sites, spanning a period from the 12th to the 16th centuries, have been identified, and it is thought that these were single-chamber tunnel kilns (...



Gjergj Frashëri

Capital city of Albania and centre of production for furniture, glass, wood-carving and ceramics. The ‘Misto Mame’ Woodwork Combine was initially established in 1947 as a small workshop for furniture production. By 1951 it had changed its name to Ndërmarrja e Përpunimit të Drurit ‘Misto Mame’ (‘Misto Mame’ woodworking enterprise) and had greatly increased in size. In 1973 the combine adopted its present name and opened a group of factories. The most important sector within the combine is the furniture production unit, which produces complete suites of bedroom furniture, bookcases, sideboards, tables etc. The majority of products have matt or semi-matt veneer finishes of beech, maple, walnut, poplar, elm and cherry. The Milde Furniture Factory produces armchairs, sofas and wall panelling for domestic interiors and public buildings. Many of the products are covered with textiles such as damask, produced locally. The Factory of Furniture for Institutions produces one-off, usually commissioned, pieces of furniture and decorative items. The Department of Parquet Tiles produces flooring for many different interiors. The combine has its own Technological Bureau and collaborates with such institutes of interior design as the Institute of Building Project Studies and Designs No.1 and the Bureau of Wood Project Studies and Design in Tiranë. Some of the combine’s production is exported....


Mairead Dunlevy

Irish city and centre of glass production. The earliest Waterford glass factory was established in Gurteens, near Waterford, during the 1720s, and production included lead-glass drinking vessels with pedestal stems, garden glasses, vials, bottles and other green glassware. The factory was closed about 1739.

In 1783 the Waterford Glass House was established by the merchants George Penrose and William Penrose, who employed John Hill and other glassmakers from Stourbridge, England. In 1799 the factory was taken over by three partners, James Ramsey (d c. 1810), Jonathan Gatchell (1752–1823) and Ambrose Barcroft, who in 1802 extended the works and installed new machinery. In 1823 George Gatchell became manager, and the works remained in the family until it closed. The factory produced cut, engraved and moulded glass of excellent quality, and c. 1832 steam power was installed in the factory, which allowed an increase in production.

The outstanding qualities of Waterford glass are its clarity and the precise cutting. The typical early Waterford decanter is barrel-shaped, has three or four neck rings and a wide, flat, pouring lip. Stoppers of Waterford production are almost invariably mushroom-shaped with a rounded knop below the stopper neck. From the cut patterns on marked Waterford decanters it would seem that popular designs included the pillar and arch embellished with fine diamonds. The numerous drawings of Waterford designs (Dublin, N. Mus.) made between ...



Rose Kerr

Town in Jiangsu Province, China, situated c. 5 km west of Lake Tai, famous during the Qing period (1644–1911) and the 20th century for its high-quality teawares made of red stoneware. Most of the kilns lie to the south of Yixing in the village of Dingshuzhen.

It has been tentatively established that the earliest purplish-red Yixing stonewares were produced as early as the Song period (960–1279); examples include two pear-shaped vessels with dark purplish stoneware body and partial olive-brown glaze, found in a disused well in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, in 1961 (see Lo, p. 15). Excavations in that area have revealed kilns as well as sherds of coarse red stoneware, including many fragments of teaware. The production of Yixing wares is first well documented for the mid-16th century (e.g. teapot from the tomb of the court official Wu Jing (d 1533); Nanjing, Jiangsu Prov. Mus.). It was at this time that the names of individual potters were first recorded. They adopted the practice for which Yixing became famous, that of marking their wares with their own signatures (e.g. hexagonal red stoneware teapot signed by ...