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Here is a great YouTube video with history and current information by our friend and Wedgwood Museum Director, Gaye Blake-Roberts. Enjoy



Opening a brand new book that still smells of ink is such a sublime experience, almost as good as that musty smell of an old book reminding us of its history!

Check out our newly listed items on the WEBSITE where things are always changing. AT ALEXIS ANTIQUES ANNEX WE'VE ADDED MORE NON-WEDGWOOD ENGLISH CERAMICS, TO INCLUDE SOME ABSOUTELY ADORABLE ADAMS Titian Ware VERNACULAR HAND PAINTED PLATES. CHECK THEM OUT! We've added lots of new jasperware too, blue and green AND some excellent black basalt wares!



Wednesday, December 29, 2010


If your Wedgwood collecting activities include learning about the family of Josiah Wedgwood, you will perhaps be interested in a new posting on Wikipedia. Click the title of this post to see the news of the new Baronet of Etruria, Sir Ralph Wedgwood, who inherited the baronetcy from his late father, well known Wedgwood family member, historian and active Wedgwoodian, Sir Martin, and his lovely wife Sandy. The rules of inheritance are complicated, and you will note that the son of the second baronet, who is much older than Sir Ralph, is only heir presumptive. Suffice it to say, Sir Martin is much missed in the Wedgwood community and it is nice to know who has inherited his title. Meanwhile our good friend Piers, Lord Wedgwood, yet another lineage with its own set of inheritance 'rules', is having health problems and not traveling for awhile. He's very much missed on the Wedgwood circuit here in USA as well as around the world. We send all our very best wishes for his recovery and return to the china departments of the world!

While researching for this article, I came to learn that there was a famous train engine named the 'Sir Ralph Wedgwood' which was attacked in an air raid by the Germans on 29 April 1942. You can learn about it here. The train was named for the 1st Sir Ralph Wedgwood and we learn a bit more from Wikipedia:

"Sir Ralph Lewis Wedgwood, 1st Baronet CB CMG (2 March 1874 – 5 September 1956) was the Chief Officer of the London & North Eastern Railway for 16 years from its inauguration in 1923. Also chairman of the wartime Railway Executive Committee from September 1939 to August 1941. Knighted in 1924 and created a baronet in 1942. [1]

Wedgwood was the son of Clement Wedgwood and his wife Emily, daughter of the engineer James Meadows Rendel. His elder brother was Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood. He married Iris Veronica Pawson, daughter of Albert Henry Pawson on 24 October 1906 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. They had two children who survived to adulthood; John Hamilton Wedgwood (1907-1989), second baronet and Cicely Veronica Wedgwood (1910-1997), historian.

He was educated at Clifton College and Trinity College, Cambridge,[2] where he became a member of the Cambridge Apostles[3]. He was close friends there with his second cousin, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who later dedicated two of his works to him, "In the Fen Country" and "A Sea Symphony".[4] Ralph Wedgwood was an executor of Joseph Conrad's will in 1924.[5]

An A4 Class locomotive, 4469 Sir Ralph Wedgwood, was named after him but it was destroyed by bombing during World War 2. His name was later given to A4 Class 4466."

Thanks to Tony again, we have additional photos of the Sir Ralph Wedgwood. Above was taken at Ferryhill Locomotive shed, Aberdeen, 17 Jul 1965.
We have recently made friends with a Wedgwood collector in Scotland who is also a train buff. Thanks to Tony we have learned more information about the 'Sir Ralph Wedgwood' and he has piqued our interest in another train, the 'Josiah Wedgwood'.

Regarding the 'Sir Ralph Wedgwood' #4469: "...the destruction in June, 1942 was not the end of the story. In January, 1944, the name was transferred to [engine] # 4466, previously named 'Herring Gull', which ran until withdrawn in 1965....There is a plaque at the National Railway Museum in York marking the spot where #4469 was standing when it was destroyed [on 4/29/42]." "The tender from the original 'Sir Ralph' which lasted until 1960 was coupled to 'Highland Chieftain'. The National Railway Museum at York is the original locomotive depot and the scene of the bombing in 1942."

This photo above is the Sir Ralph at Peterborough about 1952.

To quote Tony further, and to see where our interest in the 'Josiah Wedgwood' began, "The naming tradition was carried out even more recently as a Class 86, 4040 horsepower electric locomotive, built in 1966, was named 'Josiah Wedgwood MASTER POTTER 1736-1795' at Stoke on Trent. I used to see it regularly working London to Scotland trains when I lived in Preston."

In working on something else, I found a great photo and article from Wedgwood Review, the company employee newsletter published in the 1960s to 1980s. We see there how the 'Josiah Wedgwood' looked when brand new compared to the one taken at Wolverhampton, when it had some age on it!

Following the careers of various Wedgwoods who did not spend their lives associated with the Potteries can be as interesting and rewarding as studying about Josiah I's products. A wonderful collection could be made of knowledge about the Wedgwood family almost as large as a collection of Wedgwood pots! Check the Links on our website for a couple of interesting family articles.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Norman Wilson (1902-88) was a master potter and inventor who was Works Manager at the early Wedgwood Etruria factory and later deeply involved in the design of and planning for the new factory at Barlaston. Wilson's matt (matte) glazes (Moonstone & Ravenstone) were perfect for Keith Murray and John Skeaping wares while his Alpine Pink bone china body, Globe shape coffee sets, the Leigh shape for bone china, the Barlaston shape for Queen's Ware and his own original glazes, known as Norman Wilson Unique ware, are all well-known and highly collectible today. Famed Wedgwood scholar Robin Reilly sums up Wilson's value to Wedgwood thusly in his Wedgwood Dictionary: "Norman Wilson's achievement was threefold: he exercised a strong & beneficial influence on the design of Wedgwood tableware shapes; as an inventor & technician he raised Wedgwood to a pre-eminence in production standards and efficiency unknown since the 18th century; and as Production Director he selected and trained a team of young and talented managers who would build upon the secure foundations he had laid." High praise indeed. Please go here to read a wonderful article, from 2009 but very timely, written about Norman Wilson by his son. The article is beautifully illustrated and full of interesting information from a more personal viewpoint than the public normally enjoys. Clicking the title of this post will take you to our website where we have a piece of Norman Wilson Unique Ware for sale.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Greetings 1970 style

In working on some inventory items today I found the December, 1970 issue of Wedgwood Review, the Josiah Wedgwood & Sons employee publication of the 1960s and 1970s. Herewith the Christmas Greeting from the Wedgwood USA corporate folks to the factory in England, alas, a factory which is oh so quiet these days, most manufacturing having been sent off-shore. I wonder if they still exchange greetings! Click the title of this post to see our in-stock and ready to ship CHRISTMAS ITEMS.
Wedgwood, Barlaston, England
We'll deck the halls with boughs of holly for 'tis the season to be jolly.
But before we do, we just want to say how glad we are to have you there working on our Wedgwood ware.
If it weren't for you and the work that you do, our days in the US soon would be through.
So, the warmest Christmas greetings from all of us here
and a wish for a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Wedgwood, U.S.A.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wedgwood Museum Controversy update

Click the title of this post to see the dialogue in a recent House of Lords session regarding the upcoming court decision on the fate of the Wedgwood Museum.
Better yet, go here to hear and see the session itself!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm often asked about the 'value' of royalty souvenirs. There are royalty collectors the world over, and the British Royalty items stand at the top of the list of those collectibles. In our years of selling, and we mostly have carried the ceramic items, we find that the number of collectors is down from a generation or two ago. We know the Wedgwood Ravilious items are still popular and we have a list of WANTS for the earlier items from Queen Victoria backward.

Edward VIII who abdicated is an interesting historical persona and the story of his abdication is interesting, so his items interest me personally. There are two schools of thought, one, that since he abdicated and was never King, his commemorative wares are worthless; the other that since he abdicated his items are more interesting, therefore more valuable, because they were produced ahead of an event that never happened! It is true that once his abdication was known many of the pre-coronation items were literally thrown away or given to company employees to take home -. those are the bulk of what survives. So are they more or less valuable? There is no way anyone can tell YOU what you should collect! Collect for your own enjoyment, education and pleasure, not for a hope that in the future it will make you wealthy. Souvenir items are at the height of their value when the event is current and interest is high. Later on, there will have been something else to take its place in the world's eye. Or, perhaps it will be valuable well beyond your lifetime. Like Victoria's bloomers, whodda ever thunk it? Click the post title to see an article from the UK Sentinel on this subject. And check our older posts for a commentary on the PRE EVENT SOUVENIRS, of all things, for the 2012 London Olympics. Meanwhile, here's a collector's tip for you: The future Edward VIII didn't like being photographed from his right side, didn't like the way he looked. Check out a very interesting plate we have in stock, bought exactly for this reason, we knew the right side profile items are very rare, thus more collectible.

So the short answer is, well, not a short answer! Royalty souvenirs give pleasure while being collected, but if they are produced in huge quantities, and are not of premium quality, they won't increase in value during your lifetime, so collect what you like! Here's another collectors' tip - when Diana died interest in her items rose for a few short weeks. She was back in the news, deeply mourned and those who never got a Diana souvenir suddenly wanted one. I predict that when something else happens in the Royal Family interest will again increase. When (if?) Charles becomes King, watch and see what happens. His Prince of Wales items may well rise in value...afterall, they are older (& likely a better quality product) than the new kitsch that will be produced and they are dwindling in availability due to their age, breakage, etc., and they represent a time gone by that won't be back again. Likely if Charles is King, William will be elevated to Prince of Wales, but he won't serve in that slot as long as Charles there could be a rash of souvenirs in a short amount of time. Pick your choices carefully with an eye to what you may want to add in the future because in the next 20 to 25 years, there should be quite a few royal events to spur souvenir production. And do check out the Pre Event souvenir items for the London Olympics, it's a whole new category. These are souvenirs of the road leading up to the Olympics, not Olympics souvenirs! Should be interesting to see how they fare on the market. Cheerio!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wedgwood Institute, Burslem

I've seen many references to the Wedgwood Institute in my Wedgwood wanderings over the years but never delved into its story. Today an article which popped up on the internet got me to wondering again. Due to the high cost of rehabilitation to accomodate proper fire escapes, and probably handicap requirements, the building sits nearly empty. It is a fabulous example of 1860s architecture, having taken 6 years to build (by the father of Rudyard Kipling), and with its statue of Josiah, and location where the Brick House Works once stood, an important building which deserves to be bustling once again. There is controversy over public versus private use, ownership and rights. There is always a problem with financing the work needing to be accomplished for its renaissance. Click this post title to see an article about its history and more photos. Wouldn't it be a wonderful school once again! Or a fabulous condominium building. We Americans could be expats in the Potteries with our own little condo-on-the-common right in the hub of Stoke! Here is another article about the current controversy over the reuse of older architecture, a blog on the topic.

Another blog I have discovered contains gorgeous photos of the Wedgwood Institute, with good factual information also. Go here to see it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Wedgwood Room at Catherine Palace, an Adam Masterpiece

Receiving my recent newsletter of the Wedgwood Society of Boston brought a smile to my face recently. Therein was a lovely photo of the Wedgwood Room at the Catherine Palace. I've seen many photos of it over the years, and none much better than this. When I inquired as to who had written the rather funny caption, I was told it "came from the Internet"...well so what's new? The photo in the newsletter is in black and white but Ron, the Editor, favored me with the original color version which is certainly stunning. Herewith the rather odd caption, doubtless written by someone smitten with the look of the room but not a Wedgwood or architecture scholar, which is OKAY, not everyone can be a scholar on the huge subject of Wedgwood and all its nuances.

“In Catherine Palace in Russia, there was a room designed by the guy behind Wedgwood Pottery, commissioned by the family who lived in the palace at the time. Imagining having such an amazing designer come and put his stamp on one of your many rooms in such an elaborate and unique way made me feel like a princess. I suppose you would have had afternoon tea in there or it would simply sit there as a statement or work of art. It was great, like a tea cup had spread itself all over the walls. Very nice decor.”

What do we think the Adam family would say to this review? I love finding inane, entertaining ditties on the Internet!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cape Cod Museum shows Clare Leighton's Wedgwood

Here is an article from the internet this morning. Being of New England ancestry, these are a favorite subject of mine. Pictured is the plate depicting the grist mill so well known in New England history.

CAPE COD — New England Industries, a series of 12 plates depicting wood engravings by Clare Leighton, is on exhibit at Cape Cod Museum of Art, 60 Hope Lane, Dennis. The plates, made in 1949 - 1950 by Wedgwood in England, are a gift of the late Brewster, MA sculptor Yvonne Backus.

In 1950, Leighton was asked by Wedgwood to create a set of 12 engravings depicting industries that formed the foundation of the New England heritage. Leighton created her beautiful tributes through a process called transfer printing.

Leighton’s prints are in the permanent collections of London’s British Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum; the Library of Congress in Washington, DC; the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina; and the Boston Museum of Fine Art among numerous others.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


On this beautiful fall morning here in the midwest we find the Internet abuzz with the news of the December 16th (appropriately the anniversary of Austen's birth) auction at Sotheby's London of a first edition of Jane Austen's novel "Emma" given to her fellow author Maria Edgeworth and a wonderful set of Wedgwood bone china dinnerware from the Austen family. It is apparently rare that Austen memorabilia and artifacts come to market, and isn't it nice that there is a Wedgwood connection! Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra of the visit to "Wedgwood's" to pick out the china. Given how poorly the china market is doing it will be interesting to see how much the sale of the china realizes; surely it will be bought for its Austen connection, not because some young wealthy entrepreneur wants to buy china! I'm sure he wouldn't get it at a bargain at Sotheby's but don't forget, all bone china at Alexis Antiques right now is 25% off, so there are bargains to be had! Click this post title to go to one article about the sale with more details.

Here is a link to an interesting blog about Jane Austen and if you go to the links to the blogger's other articles, especially the link nearest the bottom of the page, you'll learn more about the Wedgwood china and this blogger's commentary on Wedgwood & Sons. This blogger has great insight into the subject of Jane Austen, and the Wedgwood connection adds interest for those of us who treasure every pearl of Wedgwoodiana we can spot!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Not being an expert on this subject, I cannot say this article is 100% accurate, but from what I do know it appears to be a nice short introduction to the subject of clay used by Josiah which was dug in North Carolina and shipped to him in Stoke-on-Trent, a long way to go to obtain clay! There is one mis-spelling, and no excuse for it since it's a Wedgwood article! And the author needs to learn how to punctuate properly, as most of his references to articles and books are incorrectly stated, however, as said, it's a nice article of local interest and I didn't spot any glaring errors. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The madness surrounding the Wedgwood Museum Trust and the Pension Fund is becoming more and more annoying. According to our sources, the probable court date is now pushed out to March or April. Check this interview with Alison Wedgwood in the new video by clicking the title of this post. As a Museum donor, I'm wondering if we will be allowed to request that our donations be returned to us, rather than being sold. Wouldn't that make this idiot government look stupid!? What a waste of valuable time and resources which could be accomplishing something GOOD for the world instead of such useless, destructive activity!!
Here is another article, with links to more, on the subject as a reaction to Alison Wedgwood's interview with BBC.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Sir Martin Wedgwood was an Honorary Board Member of the Wedgwood International Seminar, a valued member of the Wedgwood family still active in all things "Wedgwood" and a wonderful Englishman. He and Lady Sandra's home in Surrey is a beautiful place indeed, characteristically British with gardens, lovely antiques and stunning Wedgwood of course. Being in their home [in 2003 not 2005 as typed on the document] was an American girl's fantasy come true. Sir Martin has passed away as you can read in this note to the WIS President from Sir Martin's brother Julian:

Wednesday afternoon - 13th October 2010. A dull grey day over London.

Dear Lovely people;
Yesterday very early in the new day [10/12/10] (0110hrs) my brother Martin died as a direct result of prostate cancer discovered a year ago. He was taken into the East Surrey Hospital last Wednesday when a very large cist/growth was discovered beneath his lung. The cancer had progressed at great speed to his lungs. He died very peacefully in his sleep. Please contact those who would like to know. Many thanks to all. Julian.

Go here to read Sir Martin's obituary in the UK Telegraph. May you rest in peace Martin and know you are missed.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Taking Tea - a quick overview of the history

Here is a recent article on an old subject, the history of tea drinking in Great Britain. The author of this article comes on as if she has discovered some new history about tea and tea drinking, but I don't see any new information. However it is a nice, concise overview of the history and illustrated is a gorgeous Wedgwood Rosso Antico silver overlay teapot - perhaps worth the time to click the post title to read the article from this morning's UK Daily Mail.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Adele's At it Again

dele Barnett, founder of the Wedgwood Society of Washington, DC and my good galpal, has written an excellent article on Wedgwood collecting. Even if the article was terrible, her photos are spectacular! Of course, her writing is never terrible!! In fact she frequently writes on Wedgwood subjects and remains as the Editor of The Capitol Wedgwoodian, the excellent communication tool of the WSWDC, even though her stellar term as President of WSWDC has ended. Click the title of this post to read Adele's recent article and enjoy the lovely color photos! Adele has a way of putting our Wedgwood collecting disease in such good light, our hats are off to you! It takes a moment or two to download as it's a large pdf file, so be patient, Josiah will greet you shortly!


"In truth, the new Savoy was never going to be cutting edge, as it was in 1930 when the chairman, Rupert D’Oyly Carte, said the hotel “is always up-to-date and, if possible, a little ahead”. But it is, once again, genuinely grand, and it’s hard not to be impressed by a hotel that has 51,000 pieces of china specially made by Wedgwood to exactly match the paint on the walls." [Celadon is the new color scheme in the dinnerware and for some of the decorating.]

Click the title of this post to read the full article about the upcoming reopening of the fabulous Savoy Hotel in London, one of my personal favorite hotels. It sounds absolutely fantastic and for us Wedgwoodians, a new china pattern to explore! I am not sure I'll like it as well as the most recent pattern, Royal Barge! But it does make me wonder where all the "old" china went, if you know, please do COMMENT and let us know!

Above is a quick glimpse of the new Wedgwood for the Savoy, 146 shape sugar bowl and Peony shape cups - it can't be all bad! What better combination than Wedgwood, high tea and The Savoy!
Below is the old pattern, I have some that I've bought as souvenirs of London trips, I guess now I'll hold on to it! 'Royal Barge' was designed by Lady Robertson in 1939.



"Rosa ‘The Wedgwood Rose’ (Ausjosiah) – Approximately 70 petals. Repeat-flowering. A charming old rose-style beauty with medium to large blooms and soft rose pink petals that have a delicate, gossamer-like quality. The flowers have a lovely fruity fragrance on the outer petals, with a clove-like scent at the center. Its ample foliage is dark green and glossy. This rose particularly excels when trained as a climber but is also lovely as a flowering shrub. The bush is exceptionally robust with luxuriant, healthy foliage, sending up plentiful shoots from the base to form a large arching shrub that trains readily on trellises and arches to climb upright or in arching or fanned positions. Named for the famous English pottery company founded by Josiah Wedgwood in 1759. Grows to approximately 5 feet x 5 feet. Will grow to 10 feet high as a climber. Hardy in USDA zones 5 – 9."

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Click the title of this post to see the results of yesterday's Kadison collection auction at Skinner, Inc. in Boston. This blog addresses only the Majolica, which sold for handsome prices, proving that the Majolica 'fad' is not yet waning! The blog also shows some gorgeous pink pearlware seashell dessert service pieces and others like those we have for sale. Scroll down the majolica blog for great photos and let us know if we can help you with any of the shell items in our inventory.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Leith Hill, Surrey, is another pin on the map of Wedgwood sites in Great Britain. Click the title of this post to read about a lovely excursion opportunity for those in the UK, but also a bit of history about one of the Wedgwood family homes. You can learn about yet another Wedgwood home, Caverswall Castle, in an Older Post ~ just scroll down to the Older Posts link.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Who knew indeed that there was a German food manufacturer and distributor selling its wares in London, neatly packed in at least one case, the German Mustard, in wonderful Wedgwood mustard jars?

Our good friends Judy & Colin Jones of Australia recently visited well-known Wedgwood dealer Alan Landis and found this treasure amongst his other offerings and snapped it up. I thought Coeln was the name of a city since the rest is '& Dusseldorf' but I can't find a translation that tells us this is another spelling for Cologne or another city...however I found "..cittie of Collin in Germany", so I believe Coeln is the name of a city in which Bedbur's was also sold, along with Dusseldorf. I did find a city called New Coeln in Wisconsin, outside Milwaukee. That tells me that indeed Coeln was or is still another city in Germany where Bedbur's was sold. It has been suggested to me that Coeln is another spelling of Cologne, so perhaps that solves the mystery!

Here is Judy's research: The piece is date-marked for 1861. Approximately 40 German companies set up retail shops selling foodstuffs under their own brands in London in the late 19th Century. W. Bedbur was one such company and they had a Delicatessen in Portland Street (of all streets!!). Herr Bedbur described his business as a “German mustard factory, delicatessen and wine factory”. He sold a wide range of products including 7 types of sausages, 3 of which originated from Frankfurt. Other delicacies included Westfalen and Brunswick ham and Hamburg smoked meat, pickles including Mainz Sauerkraut and Saxon salt, vinegar, pepper and mustard gherkins. [Also a 'truffle & garlic sausage', probably a pate, as well as Pomeranian goose breast.] The Firm offered free delivery to all parts of London. A series of fairly large German food companies became established in London in the years leading up to WW1 but disappeared during the Germanophobic hysteria. [from Migration & Transfer from Germany to Britain 1660-1914] Judy and I surmise that the Wedgwood mustard jars were probably supplied from the factory to Bedburs for filling in London at their shop, rather than thinking that Wedgwood was shipping quantities of the jars to Germany, just to be packed and reshipped to London.

Additionally I found in The Shopkeeper's Guide, published in London, 1853, a listing for Winand Bedbur, 45 Greek Street, Soho listed in the section of Mustard Manufacturers. Also listed was the famous Colmans Mustard Company. And we see in Schmidt's Directory of the City and County of Manitowoc, Wisconsin 1909-1910, the listing -Bedbur, W, Route 2, Two Rivers, Manitowoc County.

Lots of interesting history in this fun mustard jar! Thank you so much to Judy Jones for reporting in on their new Wedgwood treasure, and for doing the research to tell us about it!


Many Wedgwood collectors are also interested in the Wedgwood family, especially some of its more illustrious members. Major Cecil Wedgwood is one of those, having lost his life at the early age of 53 in the World War I Battle of the Somme. Read this nice article to see how the Wedgwood Museum is memorializng Major Cecil. The exhibit is entitled A WONDERFUL ENGLISHMAN and is one event presented to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the City of Stoke. On another note, Major Cecil grew up at Caverswall Castle, a castle with several Wedgwood connections. See our earlier post about this castle. Click the title of this post to read about Major Cecil and note many clickable links in that article to others of interest. Go to OLDER POSTS below for our article about the Castle.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Amazng news about Wedgwood dealer & author Wolf Mankowitz

This morning brought to my inbox an astonishing bit of news from Great Britain. I have known of Wolf Mankowitz through his Wedgwood connection for many years, read his books and recently made contact with one of his sons - much to my delight. This lovely pre-Fall morning in the mid-west USA brings an amazing bit of news across the international 'email wire' - click the title of this post to learn more about Mr. Mankowitz ~ I for one had NO idea he was a screen writer for James Bond stories, and certainly not the suspicion that he was a Russian spy!! His story appears a bit like a movie script itself -- years after WWII generally unsuspected folks being accused of having been spies...surely some based upon fact, but as surely many not. The greater Wedgwood community never ceases to amaze me! Wedgwood is thought of by the unsuspecting world as so many dainty floral teacups or 'that blue & white stuff'~ it is easy to understand why the subject of Wedgwood has commanded so much of my attention and study during my 62 1/2 years, since the summer after 8th grade- it seems to be a never-ending saga, no matter from what angle one examines it! Be sure to click this post title for the full article.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Darwin's Family Tree Rediscovered

News is bursting on the 'net this morning of a discovery of a 1932 Galton-Darwin-Wedgwood family tree, oddly enough a copy of early Darwin family photos and other information right here in Missouri. The same article appeared on several scientific sites, so I've just copied it for sharing here among the Wedgwood line of Darwin fans:

A poster of the Galton-Darwin-Wedgwood pedigree was prepared by Harry Hamilton Laughlin, Director of the Eugenics Record Office of the Carnegie Institute, and exhibited at the Third International Congress of Eugenics in 1932 at the American Museum of Natural History.

A photograph of this poster has been discovered in the archives of Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri alongside a photograph of a poster of a collection of rare Darwin family photographs, assembled by Leonard Darwin. The original posters have not been located.

Professor Tim Berra FLS, The Ohio State University, has made this information and associated images available to Darwin scholars world-wide in a paper in volume 101, Issue 1, September 2010 of The Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Professor Berra said 'The newly available pedigree and photographs open a window into the family life of Charles Darwin, the man. He was a husband, brother, father and grandfather, and, along the way, he also had the greatest idea ever had by the human mind.'

The Galton-Darwin-Wedgwood family is descended from the prominent 18th century doctor Erasmus Darwin; Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the pottery firm Josiah Wedgwood and Sons and Samuel John Galton, an arms manufacturer. The family contains at least ten Fellows of the Royal Society, several artists and poets and of course Charles Darwin who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and transformed the way we think about the natural world and our place in it.

Friday, August 20, 2010



Next weekend, 8/28, a Wedgwood and Enoch Wood family Bible will be offered at auction in Maine. Click the post title to learn about the auction and see photos of the treasure for sale. What a shame its owner didn't just donate it to the City Museum in Stoke....if anything could ever be considered a National Treasure, this is one. Hopefully the winning bidder will be the Museum or someone whose plans are to donate it. Enoch Wood Sr. and Jr. were pivitol players in the potteries development, and the Bible originally belonged to Thomas Wedgwood...loads of history there! You can GO HERE to read about the Bible in more detail.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Did Ben Franklin invent Transferware?

As I age and read more and more history, and study genealogy, I find more and more questions about Ben Franklin. As an Adams descendant not all I find sheds a postive light on good ol' Ben, however, the Transferware Collectors Club has published an interesting article on the subject of the origins of the transfer printing process. Ben claims to have had the idea first, and approached a reluctant Josiah Wedgwood about the subject. Click on this post title to read the article, and be sure to check out TCC, a virtual treasure trove of information on transfer printed wares. Their annual meetings and newsletters are well worth our consideration. Their website is and I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Harrods Revamps Wedgwood Rooms

Unfortunately the article telling about the opening of Harrods' beautifully revamped Wedgwood rooms has an incorrect title (see end of this post), but the pictures of the space are lovely. Certainly more welcoming than when we were last there, but an awful lot of space devoted to one tablescape! Click the post title to see the poorly-titled article from down under! Well well well, I sent a comment to the Inside Retailing site and lo and behold, they corrected their article...THANKS folks!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SO who KNEW?

that the 100th anniversary of the formation of Stoke on Trent from six pottery towns was yesterday? Well, perhaps not, as I google around I find that the actual date was in March apparently. Last night there was an event which was part of the 100th anniversary celebrations, click this post's title for that article. Perhaps there was an anticipatory souvenir (see post below for explanation) for this event? If there had been I think I'd want one! Wedgwood & Sons didn't have any such in their promo emails which I receive...maybe anticipatory souvenir is something newly created for the 2012 Olympics and it's NOT really a real category! Real category or not, I've had an interesting Sunday morning on the internet roaming around about my favorite ceramics! Here is one more article, from February, touting the Citizen of the Century in Stoke. Check out how many have something to do with Wedgwood! Who would YOU vote for?
See the article here.

UK Telegraph OLYMPICS 2012 feature article features WEDGWOOD

I enjoyed reading a UK point of view regarding the 2 year ramp up to the 2012 Olympics which begins today. But mostly I loved seeing that the writer used the Pre-Event souvenir (a new concept to this life-long souvenir collector) Wedgwood Mug as a starting point for his discussion.
Personally I can't imagine the splendor of London being subjected to hordes of sports enthusiasts from 'round the world in large groups. Londoners will be unable to carry on with their lives, but read the article, pessimism is NOT allowed! Large groups will be welcome ~ in fact, I guess that's the whole idea isn't it?

Googling around to find a photo of the London Olympics 2012 mug, I learned another heretofore unknown term, anticipatory souvenir! This opens up a whole new collecting field does it not?

Check out Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organizing Committee, with Josiah!

Monday, July 12, 2010


From our friends in UK:

Dear All,

Thank you for your continued support.

I am writing to let you know that Hon. Dr Tristram Hunt (MP for Stoke Central), will be meeting Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey Minister at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport this week to discuss the situation with the Wedgwood Museum.

Mr Vaizey has received many letters now from supporters but the more that he receives the more pressure will be applied - so please write to him and the Pensions Minister Steve Webb if you haven’t yet done so.

Full contact details, together with document and e-mail templates are available at:

Best wishes, The "Save the Wedgwood Museum" Campaign Team

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Gaye Blake-Roberts has led the Wedgwood Museum for thirty years ~ through success and tribulations, through construction, blue prints, fund-raising and hair-raising she has presided over the treasures left to posterity by so many who have gone before us. Now, Keele University has bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctorate degree, a well deserved feather in a cap of many feathers. Congratulations Gaye from your many USA admirers and friends. May the error of their ways sink those who are trying to undo all your efforts! May you and Josiah and the new Museum prevail! Congratulations on a well-deserved honour. [click this post title to read Gaye's kudos.]

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

FINE BONE CHINA may be making a comeback!

Check out this article (CLICK POST TITLE) for insight into the current bone china market. Unfortunately we haven't raised a generation of "kids" who are buying fine china, but perhaps there is hope? WE hope you will go to our bone china category on the website - click the Feature of the Week which takes you to one item, then click WEDGWOOD BONE CHINA in upper right of that display to reach our full inventory of bone china, ALL ON SALE AT 25% OFF RIGHT NOW.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Little Journeys to the homes of GREAT LOVERS

What a pleasant find I've had this morning. At one can find many books, poems, and short stories to read and print out if desired - all legal. The site encourages sharing of its content and link. The story of the love between Sarah and Josiah Wedgwood is indeed a great one. Her meeting Josiah as a child and seeing his smallpox-marked face and lame leg was the beginning of her life-long love for him and his for her. Elbert Hubbard does a great job of telling the story, with an intro that tells of Thomas Carlyle. I love this quote from Hubbard:
"Love demands opposition and obstacle. It is the intermittent or obstructed current that gives power." Click the title of this post to read Vol. 13 of Hubbard's book. I own two different editions of this book and it makes me smile just to see it on the shelf, let alone read it. If you don't know much about Josiah and Sarah, this is a great introduction to the story of their lives together and influences upon one another, more of which can be found in many of the books about the family. Scroll up to the black & white picture of Josiah on the right and click on it to go to a great book about the family that we have for sale. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"CREATION" out on DVD 6-29-10

Click the post title for a review of the movie "Creation", the story of Emma Wedgwood Darwin and Charles Darwin. Good reviews of the movie have not been forth-coming in our experience nor does this one make me want to run out and buy the DVD. But it IS an interesting story with far-reaching ramifications, so perhaps learning more about the couple is better than ignoring the movie. Let us know what YOU think after having seen the movie or this new DVD!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Click on the post title to see an interesting internet posting about an historic dress sword in the reserve collection of the Victoria & Albert which apparently sports two small Wedgwood jasper cameos. The author's description of the cameos' colors leaves a bit to be desired - however the tag names Matthew Boulton, so apparently he was the crafter of the hilt, and we know he used cameos supplied by Wedgwood & Sons so they probably ARE really Wedgwood cameos. Upon further research I find that there is an excellent article about sword hilts mounted with Wedgwood cameos on page 132 & 133 of the hardbound edition of The Dwight and Lucille Beeson Wedgwood Collection at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The hilts there are very much like this one in style and shape. Check it out! There is a softbound edition of the book too, perhaps found at your local library. If you are a collector, you should have this book. Additionally the catalogue of the 250th Wedgwood Anniversary Exhibition at the DAR Museum which closed in February, 2010, illustrates a sword hilt very similar to this photo. It is held by the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, MA. It too was made by Matthew Boulton, leading manufacturer of decorative metalwork in the 18th century. The 5 illustrated cameos in this hilt are dark blue with white sprigged relief. We do still have a couple of the exhibit catalogues for sale, check our website or contact us.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WEDGWOOD TIDBIT Top Antique Treasures of the Year 2007

In looking for a document just now on my computer, I found this tidbit of information I had saved from a 2007 issue of Art & Antiques Magazine, one of my favorites:

Last March as Alan Darr, curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts, led patrons and high-level museum personnel through the crowded Maastricht art fair (TEFAF), he discovered what he calls a "masterpiece of French Directoire and pre-Empire furniture." For years, Darr had been looking for an important example of such furniture, typical of the late 18th century, and what he and his colleagues found at the booth of the Zurich dealer Richard Redding is, says Darr, "one of the great pieces of European furniture to come up in the market in many years." One of the specialists on the trip with Darr made the pronouncement that no other American institution had anything like this mahogany pier table with a sphinx monopod, designed by a virtual consortium of period master artisans. The masterful demi-lune Parisian pier table, or console, is characterized by reddish-brown mahogany veneers, gilt bronzes, Wedgwood medallions, a blue marble top and a winged sphinx. As Darr explains, the Greek version of the Egyptian sphinx features wings. He would not disclose the purchase price except to say, "It is worth well above $500,000." —D.M.
Art & Antiques 2007 ~100 top Treasures of the year

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Friend Piers, Lord Wedgwood makes a Statement at English Speaking Union Bash

Here is Piers, with lovely wife Jean, attending a party and fund-raiser to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Birthday at the English Speaking Union in Philadelphia. In the second pic they are in the background, but scroll down for a close up shot of our friend Piers smiling and schmoozing, what he does SO very well!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Norman Makinson 1923-2010 has died. Click the title of this post to go to his obituary. Makinson designed the well-known and popular mug commemorating the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the tableware pattern Partridge in a Pear Tree on the Coupe/Savoy shape. He was a designer and artist for Wedgwood, served in the Royal Marines in World War II and later taught design. Another of the Wedgwood 'old timers' leaves behind a great legacy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Australian Commentary on new Wedgwood Style Campaign

Here from an Australian website is the statement of Wedgwood's current style philosophy, targeting the creative styles of younger women in today's market. Click the Post title to go straight there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010



Fairyland Lustre

Click on the Title to go to a nice, short article on Fairyland Lustre. The photos are beautiful. I normally don't refer to other websites/blogs of this sort because they contain so much misinformation, but this one is a lovely overview and a delight to the eyes! Yesterday I found one that said that Josiah loved black so much he called his black EARTHENWARE black basalt.... if you are just learning about Wedgwood, please get some good books and curl up and read them, perhaps with a nice glass of vino. Don't do all your research on-line because there is just so much that is untrue, even ridiculous, on unvetted blogs and websites!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


The stories of the connection between the Wedgwood and Darwin families are in the forefront of the news more and more these days. Last year's Darwin anniversary brought out quite a bit of information on the family, but it hasn't disappeared from the interests of scientists and Darwin fans, or Wedgwood fans, as this article illustrates. There are many books about the Darwin/Wedgwood families, check them out! Note that this article indicates that it might have been his own family genetics and genealogy which prompted Charles Darwin to begin his thought processes. Check it out here. There are some controversial comments to this blog post, and we at Alexis Antiques do not support or deny those comments. Our interest is bringing Wedgwood-related information to the greater Wedgwood community. The Wedgwoods & Darwins intermarried for many generations, that is a fact, not a value judgment. The consequences of consanguinous lineages is a large topic, better left to the scientists, not blog posters! The facts represented in this article were of interest to us and we think they might also be of interest to our readers. Monday morning brings another article on this same topic in another UK publication. A bit more of the same, but perhaps interesting nonetheless. Click HERE.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Here is another exhibit of Wedgwood that should be excellent ~ the ROM holdings are well known and worth a visit! - Wedgwood: Artistry and Innovation Until August 29, 2010

"Classic design and changing styles are featured in this beautiful exhibition of nearly 100 of the finest Wedgwood wares in Canada.
Discover the genius of founder Josiah Wedgwood I (1730-1795), whose diverse, high-quality products and business practices revolutionized the English ceramics industry in the 18th century.

The ROM's outstanding collection of Wedgwood includes pieces of "Queen’s Ware" from the table of Catherine the Great, copies of the famed “Portland Vase,” a black basalt relief that weighs over 800 pounds, as well as exquisite cameo medallions and jewellery." Send us a review and your pictures if you go there so we can share with our visitors!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


What a nice way to add to your collection of contemporary Wedgwood items, in yet another new color. Wedgwood has produced a lovely heart ornament in conjunction with MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas at Houston. The ornament was designed by a patient at MDA named Ines who is from Argentina. It's well packed in a Wedgwood box and ours arrived in 8 days after we ordered online and paid by Paypal. It is not jasper of course, it's the smooth porcelain now being made in China by Wedgwood. Same look and feel as the blue heart ornaments sold for fundraisers by the Wedgwood 250th Anniversary Committee. The color is not so easy to describe. We are using the photo from a Wedgwood & Sons website, on our monitor it looks like terra cotta; in the "flesh" it looks like maybe salmon pink; definitely not bubblegum/baby pink and not the Japanese burgundy by Wedgwood. I held mine up to a 1957 piece of terra cotta real jasper and it looks to a baby pink stuffed flamingo it looks terra cotta-ishly indescribable!! You'll just have to buy one, donate to a great cause and as an extra perk, learn about a new color! Those of you in Houston, be sure to patronize the Children's Art Project Boutique at Uptown Park; 1121-14 Uptown Park Blvd., Loop 610 West & Post Oak Blvd/713 599 0349. From the package insert it looks like a super place to come up with interesting and different gifts~ Open 10 AM to 6pm Monday thru Saturday. Not only do I love having something new and different in my Wedgwood collection, but a nice remembrance of something bad turned good at the hands of the docs at MDA. Once upon a time when my 33 1/2 year old son was about 2 or 3 we were on a biz trip with his dad in Houston and he became so sick he couldn't even keep down a tablespoon of water. As a young mother I was in a huge PANIC, scared, away from home with this terribly sick child. I took him to the pediatric ER at MDA and even though his illness wasn't diagnosed, they got him well so we could travel home safely. I've never forgotten their efficiency and kindness to me and him when we were so vulnerable. Be sure to click the title of this post to go to the Children's Art Project great website and visit them on Facebook at MDAndersonChildrensArtProject ~ wonderful people providing life-saving services for deserving sick children! And thanks to Will Fitzgerald for his kind words!

Monday, March 22, 2010


"The Patriot Ledger, Quincy MA, on March 18, had a feature article on Audible Art, MFA’s musical instruments are also elegant objects of art. One of the featured items is the Godoy Piano which was the subject of a former Wedgwood Society of Boston lecture and a concert. The photo, four columns wide, is of that piano. The reference to it in the article reads: A 1796 grand piano made by Broadwood and Son in England has a case built by a prominent furniture maker and decorated with Wedgwood medallions. “This was the fanciest piano at that time that had ever been made,” said Kuronen after he played passages from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Kuronen is the curator of the musical instruments department at the MFA. I believe the Godoy piano has 82 or 87 Wedgwood medallions. Click the post title to see this magnificent piano! Better yet, go HERE to see a great article on the history of the piano!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


June 8, in the local newspaper in New South Wales this past weekend, another article appeared on this subject...see the update here. Thanks once again to Judy for her keen Wedgwood eye and quick fingers on the keyboard!

Here is an ON THE SPOT report from our good friend Judy Jones who reports frequently on Wedgwood topics of interest. She and hubby Colin were in attendance this week at the festivities "down under" celebrating Piers, Lord Wedgwood's Australian visit to promote Wedgwood products to collectors across Australia. Thank you so much Judy for contributing your report on the presentations. Please click on the title of this post to go to illustrations of the Wedgwood items Judy describes ~ ENJOY!

Lord Wedgwood arrived in Australia on Saturday February 22 and hit the ground running. His first appearance was at the upmarket department Store in Sydney – David Jones – where he presented approximately 200 invited guests with the Wedgwood 250 special editions - a Panther Vase with magnificent engine turning and panther handles, a Three Graces plaque which was produced using the pate-sur-pate technique, 2 Portland Vases, the Renaissance Gold dinnerset, Satyr vase in bone china in a powder blue finish and gilding, the Offering to Peace plaque, bone china pieces decorated with Anthemions or palmettes, a magnificent replica of Josiah’s First Day’s Vase but in Saxon Blue, a black jasper Brainstone Vase, black basalt Mercury bust, a Bacchus and Panther Plaque also in black jasper, a special edition of 6 Frog Service plates and the Palladian Vase. This last piece is a combination of a crystal vase with “rouletting” and black jasper lid. Last but not least was the release of the all new Sydney Cove Medallion oval platter and mug. These were in big demand after Lord Wedgwood’s presentation and I believe stocks are almost exhausted. There are still pieces from the W250 collection released during last year available and these were only released in Australia. Champagne was served along with delicate sandwiches.

Whilst in Sydney Lord Wedgwood also spoke at several other events prior to leaving for Perth Western Australia, Toowoomba and Brisbane in Queensland, Melbourne in Victoria and back to Sydney for another 2 Launches on March 5 and 6.

The first was a designer rug collection which will knock any true Wedgwood-aholic off their collective feet. [Be sure to click MORE under Lord Wedgwood's image-mouse over the thumbnail photos to see the names of those shown, click for larger views of the photos] Superb and breathtaking are two metaphors which come to mind. These rugs are in 5 Wedgwood patterns and can be ordered in any Wedgwood colour and size is to suit the clients' requirements. We found them affordable considering the workmanship and materials. Designs are taken from The Sydney Cove Medallion, the Dancing Hours, Neo-Classicism, the new Renaissance Gold dinnerset and one where rouletting is sculpted in the pile. These can be ordered by contacting Designer Rugs at Edgecliff in Sydney.

Last but by no means least was the Official Launch of the Sydney Cove Medallion silver Coin and entre size bone china plate on March 6. This was held at The Museum of Sydney which is built on the site of the First Australian Government House. We were treated to the viewing of one of the original Sydney Cove Medallions of which there are 11 in existence. The last one in a private collection went to Auction about 5 years ago and the hammer price was $110,000AU. Once again the plate is from Wedgwood but designed here in Sydney. The silver Coin was designed and minted by Perth Mint in Western Australia. Another first for the Aussies. The night was balmy and once again champagnes and wines were free-flowing, along with delicious gourmet finger food. The Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney was in attendance as well as members of The Wedgwood Society of NSW, staff from Waterford Wedgwood Sydney and Museum and Mint representatives. Once again the buying was fast and furious and stocks were exhausted. More will be available from David Jones.

We are sure Lord Wedgwood will leave these shores tired but content at what a great job was done in enthusing us antipodeans.

Friday, February 19, 2010


From our good friends at the Wedgwood Society Of New South Wales, Inc., we have received permission to publish Josiah's Obituary from Gentlemen's Magazine. I might add that The Medallion latest issue is already here on our USA shores with a report on the events during His Lordship's recent Australian Tour. Good Job Paul and THANKS!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


FLASH Just in from our DC area snow-bound Wedgwood friends of the Stringfellow Arms, comes word of the new partnership between the London 2012 Olympics planners and Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton (WWRD). Great news for us Wedgwood fans. Click the title of this post for one article, or go here for another. London 2012 will start selling its global marketing items soon to help raise funds for the London Olympics, maybe some fun shopping! We hope the snow starts to melt soon guys, but will there then be flooding?@#$!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Wedgwood Family Blog: Ruth Padel

I have corresponded a bit with John Wedgwood Pound for many years and find him to be not only a huge source of Wedgwood family information, but a guru of many things Wedgwood. His devotion to the subject and sharing of his knowledge are amazing. I hope many of you will go to his BLOG where you will find connections to many aspects of Wedgwoodiana. There is a link to his sites also on our LINKS page at This post is a very interesting gateway to the Wedgwood Darwin connections. If you are lucky enough to have the movie 'Creation' showing in your area by all means try to see it! A moving story about an interesting family to be sure!

The Wedgwood Family Blog: Ruth Padel

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I'm often asked to appraise items of Wedgwood and other ceramics, frequently dinnerware, and the subject of getting rid of our accumulations of "stuff" comes up. Yesterday I was giving a talk to a group of ladies on a very narrow historical china subject and the dinnerware styles and values subject emerged during the question and answer period. I find myself telling the story of a set of "Edme" dinnerware, about as masculine and classic a pattern as one can imagine. I gave my son a set when he moved into his first apartment after college, of course arriving there dinnerware-less. A few weeks later I was at the apartment seeking a plate, and lo and behold I spotted a set of unfamiliar plain white dishes in the cabinet! When I asked he said, "Oh yeah, I got those at Target, the Wedgwood is in the hall closet boxed up for you to take home." This story illustrates the situation quite a few [million I suspect] of us are facing, our kids don't want the fine things we've collected when we are ready to divest ourselves of them. In my case, my 30somethings won't take their OWN "stuff" let alone the silver, crystal and china I want them to take! This month's Editor's Letter in The Magazine Antiques is a thought-provoking treatise on this exact subject. Elizabeth Pochoda observes that our fretting about the dearth of young collectors may not be so dangerous as we fear. She feels their time to collect will arrive when they are ready. But she brings up another point, that being the possibility that the "culture of collecting" could die out. Her comment that "The digital world has eroded our physical environment" really set me to thinking. Certainly iPods, Kindles and other new gadgets are replacing books; dishwasher safe dishes replacing dinnerware which may require more care and be "fancier" in style and shape is another danger, not part of the digital world, but certainly a casualty of modern technology. She also reminds us that at the magazine they must "worry about how we can widen the circle of people who are passionalte about Shaker boxes and Wedgwood creamware."

Ms. Pochoda suggests to us that giving young people antiques, especially family heirlooms, to help them connect their past to their present and future is a logical step we older collectors can take to encourage the collecting habit. Further she says, "And while there is no digital replacement for a great piece of scrimshaw [Wedgwood] , the habit of accumulating objects may not come naturally to the next generation." This is a valid observation and one upon which I expound often in my business life. Her quotation from Ezra Pound, Canto 81, rings very true:

"What thou lovest well remains, the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage...."

I've been pondering this subject for quite awhile, and this particular letter ever since my December issue of TMA arrived. However something is absent from her missive, and nearly slipped my own mind. How many of us have chosen to collect something, or many things, not because of the thing, but because of the urge to collect? I'm thinking this is a genetic anamoly, it's in the genes. There are people who just want/need to collect, and if they're lucky, something wonderful emerges from an image, a texture, a scent, a shape, an experience, even a memory perhaps and strikes their fancy inciting them to accumulate that particular thing. Think about the people in your family - I'll bet you'll find another collector hanging around in your family tree....

Me? Oh yes, my kids collect nothing, my mother nothing but recipes because she loved to eat, but that was all. My father? Coins and stamps from his childhood until he died at age 75. My grandmother? Dishes, little boxes, ancestors and matching hats & purses. So, perhaps some of our worry about the lack of young people wanting our china and other "treasures" will turn out to be unfounded, once they have finished their educations, amassed some capital, established their lives, and realized the itch to collect is there...trains, post cards, antique chairs, Wedgwood, they'll all find a way to satisfy that itch! Maybe my girl friends are right, I just have to wait a bit... only worry is that I was already collecting, bottle caps & the color photos on the cover of our newspaper TV listing booklet, by the 3rd grade. Then post cards by 4th, Avon bottles by 7th or so and I had fallen in love with my first Wedgwood (blue jasper of course) by the 8th. Okay, back to my original premise, collecting is in my blood, but probably not my kids'... I often say I wish I had borne more children, not because the two I have aren't wonderful, but for the variety! I wish you all at least one child with the collecting gene! Perhaps if we each give away something old and meaningful this week we'll start a trend!


In cleaning out some computer files today I found some tidbits that I thought I'd share in the "whatever it's worth" department as my husband loves to say.


What Americans call cookies and crackers, the British call biscuits. Therefore, these cracker barrels or cookie jars to them are Biscuit Barrels! If you are a Hercule Poirot fan, you might have noticed that he has one on the top of his fridge in his London flat!

Most biscuit barrels are mounted in silver plate mounts, known as EPNS for electro-plated nickel silver. We always try to keep ours polished, but sometimes we fail! Sometimes they will not polish much better than what we have done. They CAN be replated; use a reputable silversmith, replater etc. Or simply enjoy them as they are, knowing they have been well loved by others in the past! You will note most of ours have the shiny glazed stoneware interiors, made to facilitate your using them for cookies! The silverpolish will not harm the jasperware body. We use Wright’s Silver Cream routinely on them with excellent success.

WEDGWOOD bas relief wares

Bas-relief ware is the name given to white stoneware body with jasper dip and bas-relief ornament. This method of production was introduced in 1817 as a substitute for solid jasperware when jasperware was discontinued for a time. The stoneware is glazed on the interior to limit porosity. Some bas relief ware is jasper dip over a gray white jasper. This type has a grainy feel to it and is easily distinguishable from the stoneware body.

The dark blue dip which is still so popular today was made from 1866 to 1941. Most of our pieces are identified as to approximate date.

Bas-relief ware pieces may be found in everything from cameo jewelry to large jardinieres.


Almost every piece of jasper you see in our inventory, or ever will see there, has been or will be cleaned in a dishwasher. Because jasperware is a porous unglazed stoneware, it gets dirty – from dust, the dirt and oils on our skin, etc. For the same reason, its porosity, it loves a good scrubbing. Use Comet, Old Dutch, etc. and a soft brush or washrag; it’s tough, you won’t hurt it! But, if you have many pieces, carefully place them in your dishwasher and wash with your regular detergent. You will be pleased and amazed at how well they clean up!

DO NOT wash broken, cracked or repaired pieces in this fashion. Clean them in clear water, gently rubbing with your fingers to remove dust; spot clean with a rag or sponge but avoid any repainted places. Of course, be cautious in handling cracked or otherwise damaged/repaired pieces!


Springtime in Colonial Williamsburg will be brighter this year when the members of the Wedgwood International Seminar gather from April 28 to May 1 for the 55th Annual Seminar at Colonial Williamsburg. This year's theme, Ceramics Artistry: Wedgwood, America, and Beyond boasts a varied agenda of lectures, dinners, receptions, opportunities to buy and visits to Virginia area sites of ceramic interest. CLICK ON THIS POST TITLE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE BROCHURE for joining and sign up details, plus a complete description of the well-planned activities, always well-executed by the WIS committee.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Word is out about a new book from Winterthur of interest to Wedgwood collectors. The title is Success to America; Creamware for the American Market. It is not shipping until end of March, but you may order it now at a considerable discount at the pre-publication price. The ordering process is very simple. Click on this post's title to go directly to the Winterthur order page. Regular price will be $75, now $48.75. Shipping to us in St. Louis is $11.49; don't know if that is a universal shipping price. Just in, we're grateful to one of our readers, Nancy from the WSWDC, who has advised that Amazon ( has the book at a tad bit lower pre-publication price and free shipping! The book should be an important addition to ceramics collectors' libraries as the authorship is stellar: S. Robert Teitelman, Patricia A. Halfpenny, and Ronald W. Fuchs II, with essays by Wendell D. Garrett and Robin Emmerson. Many of the Wedgwood collectors in USA have met the charming Mr. Emmerson in Liverpool; many know Pat Halfpenny as she is a popular speaker on the Wedgwood circuit and of course Wendell Garrett is well known by anyone who reads The Magazine Antiques.

Winterthur holds the wonderful Campbell Collection of Soup Tureens, bowls and other soup-related items, a collection which holds several Wedgwood examples. To me, the most important holding of Winterthur is its large, beautifully displayed, collection of George Washington's china set emblazoned with the insignia of the Society of the Cincinnati, which George founded. Still a going concern today, the Society is a symbol of the continuity of our blood lines through the ages, no matter from whom we descend. Winterthur sells reproductions of pieces of the Cincinnati service, beautiful work to grace any dining table, china closet or side table. We have a piece in our American Historical China category. When I give my talk about George Washington's China I always tell the story of my visit to the Winterthur Cincinnati collection, while my Wedgwood Int'l Seminar pals were off to find the Wedgwood! I caught up later.....

I'm sure this book will be a wonderful reference to add to a few others on the subject of early American Creamware, certainly some of which was supplied by Wedgwood to the colonies, and to George & Martha at Mount Vernon, which he supported, even though he bore the moniker Potter to the Queen! I'd love to receive a review of this new book for posting on the blog from any of its readers among our own readers.

See the comments for this post, but know that after I added that I found another great article on the subject of Nelson pottery, meaning pottery commemorating Horatio Nelson. On two pages, six black & white photos illustrate the topic of various potteries' issues to commemorate Nelson, to include an example by Wedgwood. Apollo Magazine back issues can be difficult to find, but for the serious creamware collector this one would be worth the effort - look for February 1953.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Buten Museum Collection - Where it is now

Many of us Wedgwood collectors know about the former Buten Museum of Wedgwood, at one time located in the Buten home in Merion, PA. The saga of the collection's movements over the past years is also known to many of us, but here is a great article on its current home, the Birmingham Museum of Art. CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THIS BLOG POST TO CONNECT DIRECTLY TO THE ARTICLE.