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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!



Thursday, December 22, 2011

WEDGWOOD SANTA CLAUS FUN -Merry Christmas everyone

One Wedgwood side-topic that I enjoy is finding restaurants, inns and hotels named Wedgwood. I have a stack of menus, ads, etc. to do an article on the subject someday but for now I was going through the stack recently to straighten it out and ran across something fun for the season. This Santa is a heavy cardboard giveaway from The Wedgwood, Family Dining, Corner Tampa Ave. & Business Route 41, Venice, FL I have not yet researched this particular one, but can just see many touring families in the restaurant with the children entertaining themselves, and maybe some of the adults :-)), with these toys, trying to get that ring caught on Santa's moustache. It isn't difficult, I did it on the second try! We at Alexis Antiques wish for all our customers, readers and Wedgwood friends a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and may 2012 be a kinder, gentler year to all of us, we need it!


Herewith the text of the official Wedgwood Museum Press Release. As of this writing it appears there are several ideas being floated in several circles in which the goal is that the Museum holdings would remain with the WMT in one fashion or other so that the Wedgwood Museum can continue to function with its contents intact. Click the title of this post to read the Release.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Thanks to the editor [my good friend Adele Barnett] of The Capital Wedgwoodian, the newsletter of the Wedgwood Society of Washington, DC, I have just learned that this year is the 75th anniversary of the Williamsburg Reproductions Program "a concept developed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.". Over the years we have carried many of the beautiful products from Wedgwood through this program to help one carry the colonial theme into one's home. At this time we have a few in stock which you might enjoy seeing. Click on the title of this post to see what we have available right now. These are all high quality reproductions of actual items in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. The 1936 Husk Queensware pattern was the first of the items licensed by Wedgwood and we have a piece or two in stock to add to a collection, or perhaps start a new one! For information on the Wedgwood Society of Washington, DC and its newsletter, see

Wedgwood Museum Case update

There are MANY links floating around to the news stories relative to the recent unfavorable decision on the future of the holdings of the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston. This recap seems to tell pretty much the current story in an organized fashioned. I suggest if one is interested, continue to watch the Internet, perhaps Googling Wedwood Museum Trust for the latest news on a daily basis. New information is coming forth frequently.

Top level talks to help save Wedgwood collection

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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The Sentinel

URGENT meetings have been taking place to secure the future of the world-renowned Wedgwood Museum collection in the wake of a High Court judgment which paves the way for it to be sold to pay off creditors.

Tristram Hunt, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, met with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey yesterday along with officials from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

It came as Potteries-born billionaire John Caudwell offered to buy the entire collection – valued at between £11.5 and £18 million – if no other solution can be found.

The Sentinel reported yesterday that the High Court in Birmingham had ruled the collection is not held by the Wedgwood Museum in trust, and can therefore be sold to pay off debts.

The Barlaston attraction went into administration last year after being hit with a £134 million claim from the Wedgwood Group Pension Plan. The Pension Protection Fund – which provides compensation for members of defined benefit pension schemes when companies have collapsed – could not accept the Wedgwood scheme because five of its 7,500 members were employees of the still-solvent museum trust.

Mr Hunt said the Attorney General would have to wait for a written transcript of Monday's judgment to see whether there are grounds for appeal, which is unlikely to arrive until the New Year.

He said: "The Minister was pretty bullish about how the collection is of national if not international significance and that everything has to be done to save it for the nation.

"We talked about the process of appeal but we also talked about what our strategy would be in terms of fund-raising if any appeal fails.

"Around the table we had the Heritage Lottery Fund, who have an £8 million investment in the museum, The Art Fund and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

"It was a good meeting but we do need to know whether there are grounds for appeal.

"If not we are getting all our ducks in a row in terms of a fund-raising strategy.

"The ideal is obviously a sustainable, long-term future for the museum at Barlaston.

"That involves a number of partners including Wedgwood owner KPS, leading national organisations, members of the Wedgwood family and also the people of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, because it is part of their heritage."

The 10,000-piece collection includes rare ceramic pieces, such as company founder Josiah Wedgwood's copy of the famous Roman Portland Vase, paintings by Thomas Gainsborough and George Stubbs and Josiah Wedgwood's handwritten notes.

Mr Hunt added: "It is part of the soil and the history of the people of Staffordshire, but it is also about current jobs and the economy too because the museum is part of our tourism offer.

"This is not about sentimentality or nostalgia."

Meanwhile former Phones4U tycoon John Caudwell has offered to buy the collection if no other solution can be found.

The billionaire, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent but now lives near Eccleshall, said: "The first thing that strikes me is just how grossly unfair it is that a law designed to protect people in totally different circumstances is causing such vast worry and uncertainty among those who are completely blameless for a debt that may result in an important collection – and a big piece of Potteries heritage – being broken up."

He added: "I passionately believe that the collection should remain intact and in place, and available for public viewing.

"If the trustees don't find any other way of solving the issue, then I will attempt to buy the entire collection and keep it in situ and continue with public access.

"This would be subject, of course, to the outcome of any discussions with administrators, and input of the trustees.

"It is vital that such an important piece of history and heritage remains in the Potteries."

When the museum went into administration last year, administrators at Begbies Traynor sought a High Court ruling on the status of its collection.

At a three-day High Court hearing in Birmingham earlier this year, lawyers acting for the Attorney General argued the treasures could not be sold as they were held in charitable trust.

But lawyers acting for the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) said it was an asset of the company and could therefore be sold to pay off creditors.

Administrators Bob Young and Steve Currie, from Begbies Traynor's Caverswall office, said the decision in favour of the PPF does not necessarily mean "the end of the road" for the museum.

Mr Currie said: "We need to look at all the options available. Ideally we would like to preserve the collection at Barlaston if possible.

"We will wait and see whether the Attorney General decides to appeal before we can plan a route forward, but we will work with all the stakeholders to see if there is a solution that can keep the collection at Barlaston."

Mr Currie and Mr Young said that although they are obliged to raise money to the value of the collection for distribution to creditors, they would try to do that without selling the collection, perhaps by way of a three-year Creditors' Voluntary Arrangement.

If the collection does have to be sold, it could go to benefactors who would allow it remain where it is.

Mr Currie added: "It is not the end of the road at all."

Mr Young stressed that the company and the collection would continue with the protection of administration for the time being and that there were no immediate plans to close the museum, which continues to be open to the general public.

A spokesman for the Wedgwood Group Pension Plan said: "The pension trustees would like to highlight that they were under a legal obligation to seek to clarify the ownership of the museum collection. "While it is regrettable that the museum did not take the appropriate action to separate the collection itself from the museum's liabilities to the pension plan, the pension trustees are pleased that the ownership of the collection has been clarified.

"Given the size of the deficit of the plan, unless very substantial sums are recovered from the museum's collection or other sources, it is likely that the plan will move towards transferring to the Pension Protection Fund so that members can benefit from the compensation it provides. "Without the steps which the plan trustees have taken in relation to the museum, members would probably not qualify for this compensation and would see even bigger reductions to their pension benefits."

Museum trustees, who described the court ruling came as a "huge disappointment", said their priority was now striving for a solution which would save the collection for the nation and keep it on display at Barlaston.

More related stories:

'This is the worst possible outcome for us and a grave day for British history...'

£10m Wedgwood Museum has thousands of pieces on display

Tycoon's bid to buy collection

Offer to buy collection will keep it intact

John Caudwell pledges to help keep Wedgwood collection in Stoke-on-Trent

Wedgwood Museum collection can be sold to help plug £134m pension deficit

Monday, December 19, 2011


Well, in their full stupidity, the powers that be in England have decided that the Wedgwood Museum holdings will be sold to the highest bidder. The repercussions of this mess are going to be felt far and wide. People are going to lose jobs, money spent in the past is now a total waste. The family and the public will likely lose access to one of the most valuable records of a nation, industry and society in the civilized world. All because of a poorly written law that no one bothered to think through. That is a major flaw with our modern society, no one can think. Now we will see the consequences...what a loss to the world of history of the industrialized world. The phrase that someone is rolling over in his or her grave pales by comparison to what Josiah and his contemporaries are doing right now.

Monday, December 12, 2011



Thursday, October 20, 2011


We've found a great blog called Staffordshire Daily Photo and today's photo is taken from an angle most of us don't think of. All of MY photos of this statue of Josiah are from the FRONT, how about yours? This is just a short article, but a powerful picture! And be sure to click the link within to the Save The Museum website ~ it's growing close to the end of the month, the deadline by which we have been hearing we'd know the fate of The Museum Mess! Happy Wedgwooding! You know the drill, click the title of this post to go to the article!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Here's an unusual take on Josiah Wedgwood...the connections in the world to Josiah seem endless, and this story from This is Staffordshire is no exception. What must Jos be thinking? Click the title of the post to see the story and photo.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


As if there weren't enough reasons to go to Edinburgh, Scotland here is one more! What fun to add a matchbook, swizzle stick or coaster from this restaurant to your Wedgwood accessories collection! We'll all probably assume the china on which the food is served is by Wedgwood & Sons! Be sure to try afternoon tea at The Balmoral, another great spot! Photograph: Mike Wilkinson, article courtesy The Guardian "When this restaurant opened four years ago it sent out a clear message that on Edinburgh's touristy Royal Mile you could still find seriously good restaurants with seriously interesting menus. Many a business in this historic location would be tempted to bask in their success; maybe put their feet up and watch the tourist money roll in. Not Wedgwood; its pigeon served with haggis, neeps and tatties is as unusual as it is delicious. Try to avoid being seated downstairs, as the natural light of the street-level dining room is where you will enjoy this inventive and innovative experience the most." For recent (12/2011) reviews of this restaurant go here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


If one clicks the title of this post, the story of Wedgwood comes alive, a great YouTube video highly recommended to learn a lot quickly! It is mainly the story of Josiah's campaign for the Trent & Mersey Canal and why it was so important to the development of Wedgwood and the potteries area in general. It's about 8 minutes, so give yourself time to watch. THEN, be sure to click on the other videos on the right side, several very good documentaries on our favorite subject, and some of its side-lights from trains to a beautiful Satsuma teapot. The 250th Anniversary video is excellent. There are a couple of errors, and one that made me laugh; in the first video the narrator shows a piece of creamware falling off a horse-drawn haywagon; unfortunately, the modern Wedgwood backstamp shows very clearly on the shard as it hits the bricks. I guess Gaye wouldn't let them just toss a good, old piece of Queen's Ware to its demise, even for a great video! Spend some time learning! Our modern technology does so much to help us learn about so much. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


We Wedgwood aficionados normally spend our time reading and studying the pots or their history, the potters and their history and the potteries, but how often do we think about the underpinnings of the Wedgwood & Sons firm? Speaking for myself, not often and I suspect that goes for others as well. Click the title of this post to read about the Wedgwood's IT operations, a subject I'd imagine few of us think about! It always amazes me what little tidbits one can turn up on our favorite subject, from toilets to bits & bytes - and most everything in between!!

And speaking of the underpinnings, I read this morning that the decision on the Museum Mess is due next month, hopefully a more accurate prediction than the "end of the year" I read earlier in the week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


On August 12th our friends, and superb Wedgwood collectors, Colin & Judy Jones of Sydney, Australia, were featured on "Collectors" a TV series in Australia. They and some of the Wedgwood in their collection can be seen by clicking the title of this post to go to the video. Earlier, I tried typing this URL into my browser and it didn't seem to work, but when I clicked the link it did, so please let me know if it doesn't work for you. I checked it just as I am posting and it's working well. Congrats to Judy and Colin for a lovely glimpse and great TV interview! And thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



Below is the ACC recent Press Release. If you have any ceramics marked WYKSTRA or with a conjoined V and W, please get in touch. These may be products of the pottery which I am researching. To see some examples of the VW Pottery, you can go to my Vander Meulen family blog and scroll down to the pix on the left hand side. Click the title of this post to go to the rest of the announcement and the ACC website.

"The American Ceramic Circle has awarded Leslie Vander Meulen Canavan a grant in support of original research in the history of ceramics. Leslie will conduct research on the small, but important, early twentieth-century pottery, the Van der Meulen & Wykstra Art Pottery Co. of Dunkirk, NY. The pottery was founded in 1905 by Leslie’s great great uncle, Theake Van der Meulen, a Dutch immigrant, and his partner Gerrit Wykstra.

The ACC awards up to $5,000 for expenses associated with the preparation of scholarly papers based on original research in the history of ceramics. Grant recipients are required to offer completed papers for publication in the American Ceramic Circle Journal and may be invited to speak at an annual ACC symposium. The next deadline for completed applications is April 1, 2012.

An application form and a statement of general principles pertaining to the grants process are available on the website, Questions may be addressed to ACC Grants Chairman, Anne Forschler-Tarrasch, Curator of Decorative Arts, Birmingham Museum of Art, 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35203-2278 or

Founded in 1970, the American Ceramic Circle promotes scholarship and research in the history, use and preservation of ceramics. Symposia are held in early November at various museums around the country. A limited number of scholarships to the symposia are available for students. For information about membership and publications, contact Executive Director, Suzanne Findlen Hood,"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Over the years we have had the pleasure of corresponding with and selling to several Wedgwood collectors in Australia to include some we have even been able to meet 'in person'. We like to try to take interesting information to the world-wide Wedgwood market and we don't want to ignore our Aussie friends. By clicking
here one can see an interesting article about a lady trained in the Staffordshire art of producing and decorating bone china. I'm sure you will enjoy reading her story and perhaps some of our readers will have visited her studio or own some of her work, we'd love to hear from you if so! And stay tuned, our roving reporter Judy Jones has compiled a very comprehensive list of Wedgwood with an Australian connection which she has graciously allowed us to share, it'll be coming soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interesting new find - work by Eric Ravilious

Click this post title to check this new article about a recently-uncovered mural by artist & Wedgwood designer Eric Ravilious in Wales. If it can be saved it would be the only extant example of his mural work. Here is a picture of the Midland Hotel, Morecambe taken in 1936. And thanks to our super sleuth Tony Pulford in Scotland, we found that the Hercule Poirot episode "Double Sin" was filmed at the Midland Hotel & we watched that episode with more interest this time 'round. Thanks Tony for that piece of Poirot trivia.

Monday, July 4, 2011


What was it I was just saying the other day, that we can't pass a day without finding something relative to Josiah in our surroundings? Today we have an interesting article about women designers, specifically Elizabeth Templetown, who were commissioned by Josiah I to create designs for his execution in jasper and other bodies. Josiah's was an age when men certainly dominated most areas of design and art. Click the title of this post to read an informative article, but like the other earlier in the week, with a bit of a mis-statement in the first paragraph - you'll spot it if you know anything about George Stubbs! In the meantime, check out Wedgwood Society of Washington, D.C. on Facebook for a picture of another work by Lady Templetown and sip a cuppa with the New York Times and Wedgwood as we celebrate our nation's birthday! Have a Glorious Fourth!

Hensleigh Wedgwood chimes in on that Pesky Extra E

While researching in my library sometime back, I randomly picked a book from the shelf and to my delight noticed it had been one of Elizabeth Chellis'. The title page of Staffordshire Pottery and its History by Josiah C. Wedgwood does not state a publication date, but in Elizabeth's hand in pencil I found: [1913]? 1922 says C V Wedgwood check again I smiled as I thought about her thorough attention to detail. I found enclosed in the front a news-clipping from the local Wellesley newspaper of 12 Feb 1953- an ad for the local Community Playhouse with coming attractions, a fun commentary on the times, to wit: The Promoter, Operation Secret (with Karl Malden), Everything I Have is Yours, with Marge and Gower Champion and Claudette Colbert in Outpost in Malaya. More interesting to us Wedgwoodians perhaps is an article, dated 4 Feb 1947, from the Boston Herald which I think bears repeating: "Hensley [sic] Wedgwood, of the British family whose name is famed in china and pottery, arrived in this country recently on a business trip. He was interviewed by a group of newspaper and magazine writers about the manufacture and sale of Wedgwood...One interviewer noticed that in his lapel [he] wore a tiny pin on which was the letter 'E'. Wedgwood was asked whether this was a British award similar to the 'E' Awards, given by the War and Navy Depts. during the war. 'Not at all,' said Wedgwood. 'It's there to remind people abut the correct spelling of my name-that there's only one 'E' in Wedgwood'". One would think that since the article was about the spelling of his name, the newspaper proofers would be sure his FIRST name was spelled correctly! Perhaps we need to retell this story to young collectors, those on eBay and other places where we SO often find this annoying mis-spelling. We really need to commission a jewelry manufacturer to make us a blue & white enamel E lapel pin! In a quick search for a photo of Hensleigh, I found a very interesting article by Hensleigh in a 1970 issue of American Heritage about Josiah, another article about our favorite potter, which bears a good read. Click the title of this post to read it! And another amazing find popped up as I searched for that picture of Hensleigh. Check out this book by a much earlier Hensleigh Wedgwood! I don't remember having heard of this one, but perhaps I have and simply never investigated!

And from the back of Elizabeth's book, perhaps used as a placemarker, fell a short poem cut from a newspaper without attribution or date with which I close, in hopes that someday when my library is disseminated others will enjoy the odds and ends I seem to be constantly tucking inside my books.

Where lichened locks all dripping cool
So deeply store their limpid pool,
Gay-painted barges dream and drowse
In soft shadows of haymows.

And by the inn with open door
Old bargemen speak of water lore,
Crews or cargoes, miles per day,
Copper bars, and bales of hay.
[wonder if Elizabeth itched to change this to 'pots of clay' as do I]

While off in distant growing gloom
I see dark massive Wrekin loom,
Low lightning-lit in Shropshire sky.
An anchored cloud as night flows by.
R. N. T.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


It seems that the subject of Josiah Wedgwood, his pots, his family and his own story never seem to disappear from some facet of the public consciousness in today's world of instant international communication for the masses. In Josiah's time the world was much larger, meaning that one couldn't reach it so fast and easily as we can today when the world has been made much smaller by fast travel, fast communication and more global thinking. One of the reasons he and subjects involving him are so prevalent is that he was so many things - and the things in which he involved himself were important, and in many cases momentous. The building of the Trent & Mersey Canal affected so many in England; his scientific discoveries and inventions, and those of his descendants, still matter in our world (think photography for one). It is amazing to me how often Wedgwood-related subjects pop into the modern consciousness. Clicking the title of this post will show just one small example of my thoughts of the day. A musician in Indiana making a list of important happenings not only adds Josiah's founding of Wedgwood & Sons, but the photo that accompanies his article is a picture of a tribute to Josiah from our times. Josiah on the mind of a Nicaraguan musician raised in New Orleans and an expert on early music - go figure!

But this week, that's not all. At the University of Edinburgh, an archaeological
dig has unearthed evidence of chemistry accoutrements made by Josiah & his firm as well as several other important artifacts and has the chemistry world quite excited. To read a bit about this news circling around the globe this week, one can go here to a post which includes a video interview with an expert on the subject. So we have an article on historic music and chemistry and Josiah all falling into my computer in one morning. It's an amazing world isn't it? There is one more thing that fell into my realm this morning, which is interesting, odd and in part inaccurate but certainly worth a quick read.

Galileo once used one to look at the sun... but it wasn’t as big as ours! So what has THIS to do with Josiah Wedgwood you ask? I did too and couldn't resist reading further in this article from The News, Portsmouth, England.

GALILEO had one so he could safely look at the sun.

Now schoolchildren are following in his footsteps by having their very own camera obscura – but on a much grander scale.

This octagonal white building, pictured below, is in fact a pin-hole camera and is one of just 12 of its kind in the UK.

It works by projecting light and reflections of the surrounding landscape via mirrors through a large lens in the roof, creating a moving image onto a white table below.

Youngsters at Wicor Primary School in Portchester have been using the £10,000 camera obscura – which means ‘dark room’ – to complement art, science and history lessons.

Alexandra Birch, 10, said: ‘The first time I went inside it was so exciting. I had never seen anything like it before, it was almost like stepping inside a time machine or a different period.

‘In my class we’ve been using it to draw trees and it has really helped me with my artwork because the quality of the image it reflects is so accurate.

‘It’s not just great for art, it also gives you an amazing sense of history and all the great people in the past who have used the camera obscura from the Greeks to famous painters.

As well as helping Galileo study the sun, the invention – which led to modern cameras – was also used by Dutch artist Vermeer to paint his intricate canvases and Josiah Wedgwood to sketch English countryside scenes for a 900-piece dinner service.

Elizabeth Harbridge, 10, added: ‘It is incredible to think we have just one of 12 camera obscuras in the whole country.'

For dramatic effect the reference to Josiah works, but it's of course not accurate. Josiah was a potter and a scientist, but not really an artist. Those images on the well-known dinner service he produced for Catherine the Great of Russia were not sketched by Josiah, but purchased by him from artists and / or commissioned by him for the purpose of providing Catherine with 952 pieces of dinner and dessert ware to remind her of her English homeland, where she never lived. It was by the images on the dishes which we lovingly call The Frog Service today that she knew of the surroundings of her English relatives.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


For those of you thinking of a trip to Birmingham, AL to see the largest and best collection of Wedgwood outside of England, click the title of this post to read a great article on the tourist advantages in Birmingham. Not only is the Birmingham Museum of Art featured, you will also find a good deal of information about all the other things to do in this fabulous Southern city. Check our older posts for a great picture of Vulcan after you read the article here on its history.

Additionally, you can click here to see a video interview with the current CEO of Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton, Pierre de Villemejane, with commentary on the direction the company is now taking. With the fast-moving changes in the world market today, and the china industry is no different, this gives a quick overview of where Wedgwood seems to be going.

And you can check out Lord Wedgwood's recent travels to Houston here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Some weeks back I somehow stumbled upon a World War II era ship named "Josiah Wedgwood". One thing led to another and I learned a lot, as did my friend Tony in Scotland, who is a former mariner. Between the two of us, our curiosity got the better of us and Tony spent a good deal of time not only doing the research to figure out why the ship was named "Josiah Wedgwood", but to condense the large amount of information down to a more reader-friendly article. The links we've provided give additional detail for anyone interested in a more in-depth version! We've found trains and boats, books and pots, wonder what else we'll find named "Josiah Wedgwood"! We hope you will enjoy the fruits of Tony's labours and a big thanks to him for taking his time to elucidate this fascinating story. As is our habit, clicking the title of this post & the colored links will lead to more information on the topic.

"The corvette "Beauharnois" was built by the Morton Engineering and Dry Docks Co., Quebec City and launched on 11th May 1944 for service with the Canadian Navy. Corvettes were a temporary answer to a shortage of patrol and escort vessels until the larger destroyers entered service. Short (205 ft) and broad in the beam, they were based on a whaling ship design which allowed them to patrol in heavy weather. The hull design also gave them a reputation of being capable of "rolling on wet grass" - a challenge to the stomach of even the most hardened naval veteran! They could make 16 knots whilst a surfaced U-boat was capable of 17-18 knots.

Decommissioned in July 1945 she was purchased, along with her sister ship the "Norsyd", by Mossad Le'Aliya using a false shipping company as a "front". She was sailed to New York and renamed "Josiah Wedgwood", joined a fleet of ten Aliyah Bet ships manned by largely American crews for the purpose of running the British blockade of Palestine. Sailing from New York with a crew of 20 men (the usual crew numbered 85) she eventually reached Italy where 1259 Jewish refugees were taken on board for passage to Palestine. However, she was intercepted by the British destroyer "Venus" and towed into Haifa where all on board were transported to the Atlit Detention Camp. After being laid up in Haifa harbour she was renamed the "Hashomer" and served with the Israeli Navy until 1955.

The name "Josiah Wedgwood" was chosen as a tribute to Colonel Josiah Clement Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood of Barlaston, DSO. Also known as Josiah IV, he was the son of Clement Wedgwood and Gt-Gt-Grandson of Josiah 1. He followed a career, first in industry and then, after seeing service in South Africa during the second Boer War, became a Liberal Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1906.

After serving in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in the First World War, he returned to Parliament and, in 1919, joined the Labour Party. It was for his championing of Zionism and his attacks on the government's Middle East policies over the next twenty years that the ship was named in his honour. Serving in the Home Guard during the Second World War, he toured the USA putting Britain's case against Germany. It was while there that Churchill offered him a Peerage and he became Baron Wedgwood in 1942. He died the following year in London aged 71.

Much more detail on the background to the politics which brought about the blockade of Palestine and the formation of the Aliyah Bet fleet can be found on the internet as can a full account of the life of Josiah IV. [Go here to read a first-person account of a sailor on the ship.]

In total the 66 ships of the Aliyah Bet fleet transported 71,534 refugees out of which the 10 American ships transported 31,078 or 43.4%."

Refugees at Haifa

Friday, June 17, 2011

Wedgwood Interest Photography

Some time back I corresponded a bit with Gered Mankowitz, the son of Wolf Mankowitz of Wedgwood fame. Wolf was a dealer of Wedgwood and an author. Many of us collectors have his books in our libraries. Gered is a very famous photographer and well known for his work with The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. In working at my desk just now, I have the TV show Pawn Stars on for noise; nothing else I like better was airing! Amazingly, someone took a framed black & white photo of Jimi Hendrix in to sell and the son bought it for $2,000 as a Father's Day gift for his dad. It was signed by Gered and numbered #4 of 25 prints made. It would probably have sold for more at an auction, but the seller was happy. By the way, the Wedgwood retail shop in London named Gered was named after Gered as I recall his telling me. For more information about this famous photographer, just Google Gered Mankowitz. You can also click here to see the Wedgwood Queensware mug with the front of the Gered store in Piccadilly, a great place to shop for Wedgwood in the not-so-long-ago-past plus it's a great looking mug!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


The beautiful buildings, gardens and grounds at the former Wedgwood Memorial College have been given a new lease on life. Imagine a beautiful sunny day and your wedding and / or reception at Barlaston in the former Wedgwood Memorial College campus, renamed Wedgwood College and Conference Center, and now having undergone changes to provide 22 hotel rooms and venue for weddings and other celebrations, meetings, conferences. Congratulations to the Stoke-on-Trent City Council for a great idea and great execution! In MY next life, I'm getting married there! Click the title of this post to see a recent article on this exciting new conference center!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Here is an interesting article about a great new honor for the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston. Our friend Gaye Blake Roberts is quoted in the article. Thanks to Google for the link to this BBC News article! I love Google! Click the title of this post to go directly to the article.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


On a sad note, the Wedgwood world has recently lost four long-time citizens whom we should remember and thank for their important contributions to the knowledge and enjoyment of the ceramics so many of us love to study and collect. May they rest in peace and love. Thank you to Adele Barnett, editor of the Capital Wedgwoodian, newsletter of the Wedgwood Society of Washington, DC, in whose next newsletter these items will also appear. We appreciate the sneak peek since I was working on my blog today.

B. F. (Ben) Sherman, Jr. (1923 - 2011): Ben Sherman of McLean, Virginia, was a founding and active member of the WSWDC and served on its Board as a director for seven years. For decades he attended the Wedgwood International Seminar, participated in WSWDC exhibitions, and was a collector of primarily early 20th century Wedgwood artists. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, Ben later earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Stamford University and spent his long naval career mainly in submarines. He was commander of the USS Alexander Hamilton and a submarine commodore based in Scotland. After retiring from the Navy in 1943, Ben hiked the entire Appalachian Trail before embarking on a career developing educational toys as president of Orbix Corp. Ben leaves two sons and two grandchildren. He was 87 and will be missed by many, especially those of us among the local WSWDC membership.

Ronald H. Zimmerman (1944-2011): Ron Zimmerman of Kingsville, Maryland, was also a founding WSWDC member and very much involved in its activities and exhibitions. His love of Wedgwood was eclectic, but he especially gravitated toward colorful wares of all types and Napoleon Ivy patterns (Ron’s recently deceased partner, Alex Mowery, and also a member of the WSWDC collected Napoleonic memorabilia). Before he retired, Ron’s career was mostly in the publishing business. He enjoyed traveling and was a leader in his Lutheran church. Ron’s health deteriorated rapidly after Alex’s tragic death months prior. He was 66 and left no surviving relatives. Again, another dear friend of the WSWDC who will be sorely missed.

Milton I. (Mickey) Aion (1919 -2011): Mickey Aion of Rydal, Pennsylvania, was well known in Wedgwood circles. In 1969 he founded the first Wedgwood Collectors Society in collaboration with the Wedgwood firm. A jeweler by trade, Mickey created Wedgwood cameo-mounted pieces of which virtually every Wedgwoodian has an example. He also designed for Bing & Grondal porcelain and provided services for Lenox China. Mickey commissioned, among other wares, the blue jasper tray for Philadelphia’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s Beth Shalom Synagogue. He was a long-time member of the English Ceramics Study Group of Philadelphia and in recent years, the WSWDC honored him with complimentary membership for all his generous donations of Wedgwood wares, books, and ephemera. Mickey as 92 and leaves a daughter, Edith Weinstein, a son, Larry, and one grandchild. The WSWDC is grateful for all that Mickey contributed to the Society. Background information provided by Suzanne Rubin

Denbeigh Garrard (1940 -2011): Denbeigh Garrard of Australia was the president of the Wedgwood Society of New South Wales and a collector of Wedgwood jasperware, stamps, and DVDs. A doctor of medicine, he served in a number of capacities to include pathology registrar, general practice, and hospital superintendent, and served as a head deacon, elder, and Sabbath school leader. Denbeigh was 70 and leaves his wife, Bev, WSNSW secretary, two children and five grandchildren. Extracted from WSNSW “The Medallion”


Through our friends Lord Wedgwood, Adele Barnett of the Wedgwood Society of Washington, DC, Judy Jones of New South Wales and Paul Thomas, editor of the Wedgwood Society of New South Wales' newsletter The Medallion, comes this wonderful pdf file of the March issue of the gorgeous Elle Magazine Russian edition. The featured item is gorgeous photos of and commentary on the antiques-filled Philadelphia residence of Lord and Lady Wedgwood. Thank you to all who made the digitized version of this sumptuous article available to on-line Wedgwood aficionados, and of course to those of us who cannot visit Philadelphia or Russia! Enjoy! Be sure to click on the little "sticky note" symbols in the captions, that is where the translations of the text are found.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation owns and runs properties around the country and most are filled with unimaginable treasures. The NTHP publishes a great blog which I follow but I'd forgotten that Villa Finale in San Antonio had been featured there in the past. Click the title of this post to check out the blogpost link. Our late dear friend Gwen Steapp was a Wedgwood "pal" of Walter's and she talked often of his mentoring her and sharing his adventures in his collecting pursuits. The pictures on the Villa Finale website give an amazingly comprehensive glimpse of what is in store when one visits. I can't help but imagine that this will be one of the stops on the Wedgwood trail followed by the attendees of the 2012 Wedgwood International Seminar in San Antonio - slated for April 25 to 28, 2012..

Friday, May 20, 2011


GO HERE to see an earlier status update of the Wedgwood Museum Trust pension fiasco and learn how YOU can help. Here is yet another article. PLEASE GO HERE NOW TO SEE HOW YOU CAN DIRECTLY & POSITIVELY IMPACT THE STRUGGLE FOR THE FUTURE OF THE WEDGWOOD MUSEUM, AND PLEASE READ DR. TRISTRAM HUNT'S ARTICLE, IT IS PROBABLY THE MOST WELL-WORDED OF ANYTHING RECENTLY PUBLISHED ON THIS VASTLY IMPORTANT SUBJECT. It is not only the Josiah Wedgwood & Sons employees who beseech us to help, but also the family itself. If the Museum's treasures are sold, that will include the FAMILY correspondence and papers also, lost to them and the Wedgwood admiring public, as well as historians of ceramics, Staffordshire, the Industrial Revolution, and so many more subjects! 10/26/10, it appears the Museum is getting a bit more proactive, check out their current court plans here. And WHILE WE STILL DO NOT HAVE A COURT DATE, GO HERE TO READ SOME OF THE PUBLICITY.

SEE SAVE THE WEDGWOOD MUSEUM on FACEBOOK & see another article here. Follow the Save The Museum news blogs. Here is another article, indicating the court date now may have been moved to Spring, which as of 3/22/11 is now untrue, it's been moved again, see blogpost of this date.

Check out one other article. as yet another family member weighs in on the subject, read here what Anne Makeig-Jones has added to the volume of opinion coming forth.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Martha Stewart and Piers, Lord Wedgwood have become friends along their way over the years, being a good team of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons advocates. Click the title of this post to read a good and accurate (accuracy often difficult to find on-line) article about the history of the company and various Wedgwood products. If you look through our posts, you'll see other articles about Piers, and photos of him too. At our website,, in our Featured Items section you'll see another good article about an appearance by His Lordship on Martha's TV show which features a piece of the Frog Service Reproduction Queen's Ware series which we loaned them for the show. Martha is a Wedgwood collector so her interest in the subject is not merely one of having another subject to highlight in her magazine and on her TV show, but also one closer to her heart as a collector. 5/19/11, the Ice Pail has sold, so this featured item frame will be gone, but the link above will take you to any Frog Service items we may have in stock at any one time. Today His Lordship is in Australia at a signing event and word has it that he's with our friends Colin Jones and Lee Bradshaw helping spread the Wedgwood spirit in that part of the world. Have fun fellows!