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Ten ceramic treasures from the Wedgwood Collection

Enjoy these treasures from the Wedgwood Collection, which comprises nearly 8,000 artefacts (over 3,000 of which are on display at the Wedgwood Museum) dating back to 1759, when Josiah Wedgwood founded the company

Wedgwood Family Portrait by George Stubbs

a group portrait of a Georgian family in a garden with horses

Family Portrait by George Stubbs, 1780 (20,02) © Courtesy Wedgwood Museum

This conversation piece shows the Wedgwood family in the park of Etruria Hall. It is painted in oils on a wood panel by George Stubbs, renowned as the period’s finest British horse painter. Inscribed: Geo. Stubbs pinxit 1780.

The Portland Vase

a photo of a black two handled vase with relief decoration in cream of reclining classical figures

Portland Vase Black jasper with white reliefs, 1789-90 © Wedgwood Museum / V&A

This is a replica after the famous Roman cameo-glass vase, once owned by the Duchess of Portland. It took Josiah more than three years of experimentation and trials before the first perfect copy was made in October 1789. Wedgwood’s copies of the Portland Vase are considered some of the greatest technical achievements of the potter’s art.

Frog Service

a photo of a dienner plate with a rural cottage scene painted to its centre

Frog Service Plate, Queen’s ware, 1773-74 © Wedgwood Museum / V&A

A dessert plate painted in monochrome with a View of Castle-Acre Castle, Norfolk. The Frog Service was ordered by Empress Catherine II of Russia. It was the first plate of its kind to be decorated for this service; however, it was incorrectly painted with the oak-leaf border intended for dinner ware and, therefore, could not be sent to St Petersburg.

Blue-Printed Botanicals

a photo of a blue dish with flower motif

Blue-Printed Botanicals Queen’s ware, 1810-20 (34,11)© Courtesy Wedgwood Museum / V&A

The botanical patterns of the early 19th century were suggested by John Wedgwood, eldest son of Josiah and founder of the Royal Horticultural Society. One of the most original designs was the Darwin Water Lily pattern. Its name derives from the close family associations between the Wedgwoods and Darwins.

Chinese Tiger Teapot

a photo of a porcelain teapot with green Chinese styled decoration

Teapot Bone china, c.1813 © Courtesy Wedgwood Museum / V&A

Wedgwood’s first period of bone china production was between 1812 and 1829. This pattern is decorated with pattern number 622 – Chinese Tigers – adapted from Oriental temple guardians. The outline is transfer-printed in black and then hand-painted in green enamel. Wedgwood’s first period of bone china production ran from 1812 until 1829.

Fairyland vase

a large Chinese style vase with impressionistic colorful pattern

Fairyland Lustre Vase Bone china, c.1920 © Wedgwood Museum / V&A

Fairyland Lustre was the name given by Daisy Makeig-Jones to her range of designs based on exotic fairy stories, in which vivacious imps and fairies are seen in mystical landscapes. The designs were made by Wedgwood from 1915 until 1931, although demand declined dramatically after the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Murray Vase

a photo of a green ribbed vase

Murray Vase, Queen’s ware, c.1935 © Courtesy Wedgwood Museum / V&A

In 1932, Keith Murray began work on a series of ceramic designs for Wedgwood, which echoed the strong lines of the modernist movement. Murray, who had trained as an architect, also designed the new Barlaston factory with his partner, CS White.

Shape 225

a photo of a white ceramic coffee pot with swirl pattern

Shape 225, Bone china, 1985 © Wedgwood Museum / V&A

This new shape for fine bone china and black basalt was commissioned in 1984 by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the founding of the company. It was created by Jerome Gould, of the international design studio Gould & Associates, using computer-aided design technology for the first time.

Borghese Vase

a photo of a blue urn decorated with classical figures in relief

Borghese Vase Jasper, 2009 (62,01) © Courtesy Wedgwood Museum / V&A

The pinnacle of jasper production today, the Borghese vase is based on a classical Roman vase now in The Louvre, Paris. The Wedgwood version has been in production since 1790 and demonstrates the continuing traditional use of Josiah Wedgwood I’s invention of jasper. This version created as part of the 250th anniversary range in 2009.

Jasper Conran Teacup and Saucer

a photo of a green teacup and saucer with dellicate flower pattern

Jasper Conran Teacup and Saucer Bone china, 2005 © Wedgwood Museum / V&A

Jasper Conran’s striking patterns and contemporary shapes have evolved since the beginning of his association with Wedgwood in 2001. The collections embody his signature style, mixing heritage, inspired in part by the museum collection, with modernity. The pattern Chinoiserie was introduced in 2005.

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Wedgwood Museum and World of Wedgwood

Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

Wedgwood Museum Trace over 250 years of ground-breaking design and production and discover Josiah Wedgwood’s lasting influence on industry and society. This award winning museum houses a UNESCO protected collection of huge historic and cultural significance. World of Wedgwood The World of Wedgwood is a unique visitor experience celebrating the…

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