Wedgwood pottery is probably Britain's most famous porcelain. Wedgwood has been manufacturing bone china tableware, ornaments and trinkets in the UK since the 1750s. Over the years the Wedgwood mark has graced the tables of Queens, Tsars and Presidents.
With its fine unglazed vitreous stoneware and contrasting classical or contemporary reliefs, Jasperware is probably the most iconic Wedgwood style. It's been around since 1774. The stoneware is usually blue, lilac, green, black or yellow and the reliefs are white. Trinket boxes, vases and dishes are popular Jasperware items.
In 1765, Queen Charlotte commissioned a set of cream coloured Wedgwood earthenware. This design became known as ‘Queen's Ware' and is another famous Wedgwood design. In 1773, a 952-piece set of Queen's Ware was ordered by Catherine the Great of Russia. This hand-painted set is now displayed in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Design Collaborations and Inspirations
A number of artists and designers have worked with Wedgwood to create collections, including Eric Ravilious and Eduardo Paolozzi, as well as designers Jasper Conran and Vera Wang. Peter Rabbit tableware is decorated with original illustrations from the much-loved Beatrix Potter books. The collection features cups, saucers, plates and bowls, among other things, these can make a great Christening or name day gift for a child.
A History of Craftsmanship
In 1759, Josiah Wedgwood started producing pottery in Staffordshire. He styled himself at ‘Potter to Her Majesty' when Queen Charlotte ordered ceramics that became known as ‘Queen's Ware'. Although some modern technology is now utilised in the production of Wedgwood porcelain and fine china, the production process still relies on the throwing, modelling and decorating skills of its master craftspeople.
Early pieces may be unmarked, but all marked Wedgwood items contain the word ‘Wedgwood', apart from china produced between 1769 and 1780, which is marked ‘W. & B.' As well as the impressed mark, items may have a three letter code. The last letter of this indicates the year the item was made, for example W means 1868.