July 12, 1730, was the birthday of Josiah Wedgwood, as one clever person on Twitter posted. It brought to mind this exploration into the wonders of the company he founded (and that still thrives today) that we did a few years ago. We’ve added a lot of additional collectible photos here, though. Happy reading and viewing!
Collectible Wedgwood tops the list for many collectors of fine pottery, china, figurines, and more. In addition, Wedgwood on your table is a mark of refinement. From the crisp, clean white of Signet Platinum to the more whimsical and fun Harlequin Collection, Wedgwood sets the standard for tea time elegance!
Tea time isn’t just about tea. It’s about slowing down, taking time to be with friends and loved ones, enjoying a moment aside from the hubbub (sort of like pulling off the expressway onto a quiet tree-lined side street for awhile on your journey through life). No wonder tearooms and an elegant tea time (which many call “high tea”) are becoming increasingly popular. And no wonder that elegant teawares such as Wedgwood continue in popularity.
Born in 1730, the first Josiah Wedgwood took a mere 29 years of living before he founded the Wedgwood company (of course, his parents were potters and he apprenticed as a potter before striking out on his own). The company grew and prospered over the years, despite an economic bump here and there, with Josiah’s descendants (including Josiah II and Josiah III) continuing to expand their line of wares and trying new things. Today, Lord Wedgwood, a direct descendant of Josiah, acts as Brand Ambassador.
Modern Wedgwood Teapots
Click on each teapot to see more details about it:
For those of you who want to collect Wedgwood to actually use, they have a variety of modern patterns on their site plus available from a variety of stores. My personal favorite is Oberon (sadly now discontinued). It looks like a warm Southern day when peaches are hanging ripe from the trees and the air is filled with their sweet scent. The Royal Albert Country Rose pattern, though, has its merits and air of ease and comfort and the Wild Strawberry pattern is light and delicate. Other patterns go from ornate and traditional to sleek and modern (by fashion designers Jasper Conran and Vera Wang). They all steep tea as tasty as can be.
Jasperware and Black Basalt
These two styles of Wedgwood pieces helped make the company’s reputation and showed their true artisanship.
Click on each photo to see more details about the piece(s) and links to more sources:
Collecting older Wedgwood pieces can take some time and effort. Learn the company history and the marks they used during certain times in that history.
A few tips:
- Don’t get suckered into buying Wedgwood Jasperware marked with a date prior to 1775, when it was first perfected and introduced.
- Antique Wedgwood Lustre ware glaze wasn’t introduced until 1806.
- Wedgwood majolica first became available in 1860, over a hundred years after the company was founded.
- Turquoise Jasperware was only made from 1875 to 1885.
- Royal blue Jasperware was introduced in 1953 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.
- In 1986, Waterford acquired Wedgwood and formed Waterford Wedgwood plc.
- Josiah was adamant about marking his wares and pursuing his rights in court when people tried to copy them. His mark included the name “Wedgwood,” not just the simpler symbols used by other potters of his day.
- Anything made between 1759 and 1781 are difficult to verify as true Wedgwood.
- Look for the correct mark as both an indication that the piece is genuine and an indicator of its true age.
Whether you’re collecting for the value or to add sparkle and fashion to your tea time, happy hunting!
© 2016-2020 A.C. Cargill photos and text
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