stoneware was the ultimate ceramic expression of the neoclassical wave which erupted in England and on the Continent in the mid-eighteenth century. Initially basalt commanded the scene, with its imposing black stoneware forms imitating Greek vases. However, it was Wedgwood’s invention of the jasper body which was to be the tour de force associated with his name. Wedgwood’s jasper vases, purchased by gentry and nobility alike, were soon imitated by a myriad of potters.
This book is the first to explore the vast subject of English dry-bodied stoneware with discussions on the antecedents of the eighteenth century neoclassical wares, the red stonewares of the seventeenth century, as well as the other bodies produced by Wedgwood and his contemporaries: caneware, white felspathic stoneware and, of course, the flagship of the Wedgwood name, jasper.
The authors have, for the first time, utilised Wedgwood’s surviving sales records from 1774-1794 and these have made it possible to allow for more specific dating of body types and forms as they correspond to the Wedgwood Shapes Books.
Three hundred and fifty black and white illustrations with seventy-five colour plates, many shown here for the first time, provide an invaluable guide to the identification of these wares. Detailed research into the more than sixty other potteries concerned with the production of these handsome, ornamental and useful stonewares, makes this the most comprehensive reference book ever produced on the subject.