Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) is known as one of the most famous potters in history.
He was born in Burslem in Stoke-on-Trent England.
As a child he was paralysed by chicken pox and could only move with a stick.
His family were potters, but his bad leg prevented him from turning the foot wheel. That is why he trained himself on the baking technique and the quality of the material.
Later in life after an accident with a horse, his right leg had to be amputated.
From the age of 14 he started working as an apprentice potter and started experimenting with glazes etc.
When he was 28 he started his own pottery. From 1761 he made his famous cream coloured pottery and business went well.
For example, he made a tea and coffee service for Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, and because of this he was appointed stoneware maker to Her Majesty and his service was called Queensware.
He also made Black basalt, a fine black porcelain, but he became best known for his Jasperware, made from a special clay that he developed. Jasperware usually has a pastel blue background with portraits or figures laid out in white relief.
Wedgwood opened a new factory in Barlaston in the 1940s and continues to produce tableware to this day, which is sold all over the world. The factory also made British commemoratives, the designs for Wedgwood by Richard Guyatt are very well known. .
What is less known is that Wedgwood also made various Orange Souvenirs related to members of the House of Orange, because they had a large sales area to the Netherlands.
For example, plaques and medallions have been made of Prince Willem Vth and his wife.
Two plaques are known of Willem van Oranje and plates of Queen Wilhelmina have also been made in addition to plaques.
Here are some examples from our collection:
William of Orange
Black basalt plaque
now for sale on 1st DIBS ca 1785 Wedgwood plaque ca 1875
Stadtholders Willem IV & V
Wedgwood plates ca 1840
King Willem II
Wedgwood ca 1840
Jasperware plaques Queen Wilhelmina 1898
Wedgwood plates Queen Wilhelmina inauguration 1898
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