Jasperware teapot (ca 1840)
Jasperware teapot (ca 1840)

In the 1750s, Thomas Whieldon rediscovered the technique of decorating with coloured lead glazes, initially limited to green, grey, brown and slate blue. In 1754, Josiah Wedgwood joined Whieldon as a partner and, in 1758, established his own business. Wedgwood developed a lightweight, lead-glazed, cream coloured earthenware that he called “creamware”. This was widely copied and became the staple earthenware of the late 18th century, superseding delftware.

In 1769, Wedgwood opened a second factory. Its main output was ornamental wares in the then fashionable neo-classical style. These included the most famous of all Wedgwood’s products, jasperware, first produced in 1776.

The ceramic bodies pioneered by Wedgwood continued to be used by throughout the 19th century, during which pottery declined as a craft to become an industrial process. Blue and white transfer printed earthenware from the Staffordshire potteries predominated, the most notable being from Josiah Spode’s factory at Stoke. Wedgwood continued to make neo-classical jasperware and majolica. Majolica was also made by Minton, whose most famous style was the Willow Pattern.

Wedgwood  Date Marks

From 1860, Wedgwood impressed three characters into the base of its products. From 1860 to 1930, the third character was al letter indicating the year of manufacture, as follow:

O 1860 or 1886 or 1912   X 1869 or 1895 or 1921   G 1878 or 1904 or 1930
P 1861 or 1887 or 1913   Y 1870 or 1896 or 1922   H 1879 or 1905  
Q 1862 or 1888 or 1914   Z 1871 or 1897 or 1923   I 1880 or 1906  
R 1863 or 1889 or 1915   A 1872 or 1898 or 1924   J 1881 or 1907  
S 1864 or 1890 or 1916   B 1873 or 1899 or 1925   K 1882 or 1908  
T 1865 or 1891 or 1917   C 1874 or 1900 or 1926   L 1883 or 1909  
U 1866 or 1892 or 1918   D 1875 or 1901 or 1927   M 1885 or 1910  
V 1867 pr 1893 or 1919   E 1876 or 1902 or 1928   N 1885 or 1911  
W 1868 or 1894 or 1920   F 1877 or 1903 or 1929          

From 1891 to 1906, the word “LONDON” was added.

From 1907 to 1923, the number “3” replaced the first letter.

From 1924 to 1930, the number “4” replaced the first letter.

From 1931, the last two characters were numbers indicating the year.

 

Wedgewood ceramics available now

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