Urn with two handles and greek design depicting people and patterns.

Black basalt ware with painted encaustic decoration, made by Josiah Wedgwood, Staffordshire, about 1780-1800

Wedgwood used his newly-developed black basalt ware to imitate the Greek red-figure ware vases of the fifth century BC, many of which had only just been excavated. Wedgwood's vases were the more affordable alternative to the expensive ancient vases if one wanted to be seen as a person of taste and learning.

Given by Joseph Mayer, 1867