How to Date Wedgwood: A Comprehensive Guide
Dating Wedgwood pottery and porcelain can be a fascinating endeavor for collectors and enthusiasts. The long and illustrious history of this iconic British brand, combined with the numerous variations and styles produced over the years, make it an exciting and rewarding pursuit. In this article, we will explore the various methods and tips to help you accurately date your Wedgwood pieces.
1. What is Wedgwood?
Wedgwood is a prominent English pottery company founded Josiah Wedgwood in the mid-18th century. It is known for its high-quality ceramics, innovative designs, and distinctive blue and white jasperware.
2. How can I determine the age of my Wedgwood?
The age of Wedgwood can be determined examining the markings, style, and materials used. Early pieces may bear impressed marks, while later ones often feature printed or stamped marks.
3. What are the different types of Wedgwood marks?
Wedgwood marks have evolved over the years. The early impressed marks from 1759 to 1769 feature the word “WEDGWOOD” in all caps. Later marks include variations such as “WEDGWOOD & BENTLEY,” “WEDGWOOD & SONS,” and “WEDGWOOD ENGLAND.” The modern marks usually include “WEDGWOOD MADE IN ENGLAND.”
4. How do I identify Wedgwood patterns?
Identifying Wedgwood patterns can be challenging, but there are helpful resources available. Reference books, online databases, and collector forums can provide invaluable assistance. Familiarize yourself with the different patterns and their respective time periods to narrow down the possibilities.
5. Are there specific Wedgwood styles associated with different periods?
Yes, Wedgwood’s styles evolved over time. The neoclassical style, exemplified the famous jasperware, was prevalent in the late 18th century. Other popular styles include Queen’s Ware (early 19th century), Fairyland Lustre (early 20th century), and Black Basalt (late 18th to early 19th century).
6. How can I determine the authenticity of my Wedgwood piece?
Authentic Wedgwood items exhibit certain characteristics, such as finely detailed craftsmanship, consistent glazing, and accurate markings. Familiarize yourself with genuine examples through research or consulting experts to spot any discrepancies.
7. Are there any rare or valuable Wedgwood pieces?
Yes, certain Wedgwood items are highly sought after collectors and can command high prices. Rare patterns, limited editions, and pieces associated with renowned designers like Keith Murray or Eric Ravilious are particularly valuable.
8. Can I date Wedgwood based on the color of jasperware?
The color of Wedgwood jasperware can provide a rough indication of its age. Early pieces often feature a pale blue or lilac hue, while later ones may be darker or even black. However, this method alone is not sufficient for accurate dating.
9. How can I determine the age of Wedgwood majolica?
Wedgwood majolica, a type of glazed earthenware, can be dated examining the impressed or printed marks. Early majolica pieces may bear the words “Wedgwood & Co.” or “Wedgwood Etruria England,” while later ones typically include “Wedgwood Made in England.”
10. Are there any specific hallmarks on Wedgwood silver items?
Wedgwood produced silver items in collaboration with other manufacturers. Look for hallmarks such as “W&Co” or “Wedgwood & Co” to identify these pieces.
11. How can I date Wedgwood basalt items?
Wedgwood basalt is a type of unglazed black stoneware. Early pieces were unmarked, while later ones bear impressed or printed marks. Additionally, the style and subject matter of basalt items can indicate their age.
12. Does Wedgwood produce modern pieces?
Yes, Wedgwood continues to produce pottery and porcelain today. Modern pieces often feature the “WEDGWOOD MADE IN ENGLAND” mark, but they can also have additional marks denoting specific collections or designers.
13. What resources can help me in my Wedgwood dating journey?
There are several valuable resources available for dating Wedgwood, including books like “Wedgwood: A Collector’s Guide” Peter Williams and online databases such as The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery’s “Wedgwood Online.” Collector forums and Wedgwood societies are also excellent sources of information.
In conclusion, dating Wedgwood is a captivating pursuit that requires patience, research, and a keen eye for details. By examining marks, styles, colors, and materials, collectors can unlock the rich history and value behind their Wedgwood pieces. Happy dating!