Thursday, December 04, 2008
(This is Part II of a continuing series at this blogsite)
I shall consider only the so called old Wedgwood the work of Josiah Wedgwood the elder, made in the last half of the eighteenth century. Wedgwood pottery is still being made in England by the original Wedgwood's successors, and much of the early nineteenth-century pottery from that house is not only excellent, but, in the common acceptation of the term, antique. To keep the chapter within reasonable bounds, however, I shall consider only the old Wedgwood.
To start with a fairly clear conception of what Wedgwood pottery is, I will divide it roughly into four classes: first, cream-colored or queen's-ware; second, black basalt; third, variegated and terra cotta ware; fourth, jasper-ware. Of these the basalt and the jasper are best known and most sought after by collectors. In fact, I find that the term Wedwood is often used synonymously with jasper by the uninitiated. There were a few other products of the Wedgwood factories, but these were the most important.
Another general statement may help to classify Wedgwood ware. With one unimportant exception, he made no porcelain.
Before describing these various types of pottery, a brief sketch of the potter's life is almost essential to the proper understanding of his work and the dating of his products. It was the life of a man of genius in art, an earnest man of interesting personality and sterling character, a man of intellect, patience, perseverance, courage, and high ideals. No brief sketch can do him justice; I must leave that to his biographers, Eliza Meteyard, Arthur H. Church, Frederick Rathbone, and others, whose works are generally available.
(to be continued)
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Pictured above: Wedgwood Jasperware Biscuit Barrel in the very rare color of Lilac. The base markings indicate a production date prior to 1880.
See our selection of antique Wedgwood at: http://pennysantiquesandwedgwoodpantry.chshops.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=19_27. Visit our website on a regular basis, as we are adding new listings of Wedgwood every week.