The death of Wedgwood

Inkstand made for Lord Tweedmouth using old Wedgwood and a Neolithic arrow-head

Inkstand made for Lord Tweedmouth using old Wedgwood and a Neolithic arrow-head

The death of Wedgwood in 1795 deprived the factory of its great innovative dynamo. A factory which survives solely on its traditions puts its faith in a diminishing asset. Fortunately there was at least some fresh thinking.

Josiah's son John was a keen botanist and a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society. He introduced in 1807 the underglaze-printed Water Lily pattern, designed with great care following four different published botanical illustrations. It showed that printed decoration could be of the very best design. The earthenware plate| below comes from a service which belonged to Josiah Wedgwood's daughter Susannah and her husband Robert Waring Darwin.

From the 1850s 'Old Wedgwood' was becoming a fashionable area for collecting. The 'candlestick'| shown below was made up in Paris in the 1870s from a bell-pull and a saucer! The great collector Lord Tweedmouth had a group of little sweetmeat pots made up into an inkstand with a prehistoric flint arrowhead| found near his house at Guisachan in Inverness-shire. In the 1880s he had on display there many of the finest pieces which now grace the Lady Lever Art Gallery.