Wandering Through the Wedgwood

Many of us have at least heard of Wedgwood (yep, there is no second “e” in Wedgwood). We may even have admired a piece of it without knowing that it was Wedgwood.

IMAG0564
Wedgwood Creamer in Josephine Pattern

Why is it famous? What is it about Wedgwood that makes it so collectible? Come on along and let’s find out.

First, Wedgwood is British. The company is named after its founder Josiah Wedgwood. According to the Wedgwood Company the company started in 1759 when Josiah became an independent potter out of Burslem, Staffordshire, England. He was 29 years old at the time.

wedgwood1
Edwardian Wedgwood circa 1910

He liked to experiment with different types of clay and developed three of Wedgwood’s most distinct forms; Queen’s Ware in 1762, Black Basalt in 1768 and Jasper in 1774. People still love to collect these types of Wedgwood.

queensware
Queens Ware circa 1940s

He is called the “Father of English Potters” as his experiments led to an explosion of English pottery and put it in the mainstream.

Queen’s Ware is called such because it was literally a design of cream-colored earthenware that was commissioned by Queen Charlotte. She loved it.

queensware blue
Queens Ware with Wedgwood Blue Decoration

Catherine the Great of Russia wanted some, too. So much so that she requested a set of 952 hand-painted pieces with English scenery (Wedgwood.co.uk).

Jasperware is an interesting form.

jasperware
Jasperware Sugar Bowl circa 1950s

It was created in 1774 after quite a few failed experiments. It is easily identifiable on sight. The Wedgwood website says it is an unglazed vitreous fine stoneware that was made in blue, green, lilac, yellow black or white. On top of which there were reliefs or 3D pieces in classical or modern themes.

lilac jasperware
Lilac Jasperware Salt & Pepper circa 1960s

Black Basalt is from reddish brown clay that turns black when fired. Noted by the Wedgwood Museum, it had manganese added to the clay which gave it a rich black color.  It is also unglazed like the Jasperware.

black basalt
Black Basalt Bowl circa 1800s

Why is Wedgwood so collectible? From the very beginning, Wedgwood designs and innovations were synonymous with quality. That has not changed. Wedgwood is still in production and it commands higher-end prices.

 

There are a number of other types of Wedgwood than just the three mentioned. There is Caneware which is pale yellow, Rosso Antico which is a type of red ware, Pearl Ware which is more white than the Cream Ware and is glazed.

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Rosso Antico Cambridge Jug

All of them are beautiful and worth collecting. Check out the Wedgwood Society for more detail about all of these forms.

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Pearlware Hand-Painted Plate

Thank you for taking a quick look at Wedgwood with me. If you want to find out more, the three websites referenced in this post will help you. There is a wealth of information still to unearth!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Come visit me at Vintage Eve’s and take a look around my shop for some old Wedgwood and more vintage treasures.

 

 

 

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