Wedgwood Factory
18th century

English porcelain manufacturing gained international importance with Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795). Wedgwood was an entrepreneur, a rare mixture of organizational, scientific, and artistic genius.He developed a cream-coloured earthenware which was cheaper to produce than porcelain but admirably suited to the taste for neoclassical simplicity. He was thus able simultaneously to undercut his competitors on prices and be a leader of fashion. He achieved the latter by obtaining royal patronage (which he commemorated by issuing his celebrated Queen's ware in 1765) and by employing artists of high ability (such as John Flaxman) connected with the modern movement. His wares soon had the same social cachet as porcelain, a fact underlined when Empress Catherine II the Great of Russia ordered a service in 1774. In the 1780s Wedgwood became an international fashion leader. His famous basaltes ware (1769 onward) and jasper ware (1774 onward) are based on antique motifs and were widely copied.

Although there were few effective innovations after the death of its founder, the firm continued to produce noted works. Some of the original designs (especially Queen's ware) have become classics and are still in production. Their simplicity gives them, like the best of Neoclassical design, a timeless quality.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Tea canister
c. 1765
Glazed earthenware (creamware), height 13,3 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

586*820
True Color
51 Kb



Tea canister
1785-90
Coloured stoneware (jasperware), height 14 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

682*900
True Color
39 Kb



Sugar bowl
1785-90
Coloured stoneware (jasperware), height 11,3 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

900*773
True Color
45 Kb




Summary of earthenwares
Delft | Meissen | Sèvres
Wedgwood | Various