Dating Wedgwood

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Dating Wedgwood

Post by Johners2000 on February 2nd 2017, 4:57 pm

I have a Wedgwood Biscuit barrel and I'm not exactly sure of the date. It has no England mark so I know it's early.

On the base it has the Wedgwood name and the letter X - plus it looks like the letter J close by.

So by my research it's either January 1868 or January 1895.

The barrel is mounted in pewter so no marks on the metalwork.



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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by NaomiM on February 2nd 2017, 7:07 pm

I think 1895 is more likely because by then they had passed the Duty Act which specified that the country of origin must be included on anything made for export

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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by Johners2000 on February 2nd 2017, 7:17 pm

As it doesn't have 'England' on it then presumably it was before the Duty Act (I don't know the date of this) or not made for export?
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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by denbydump on February 2nd 2017, 10:05 pm

this is known as "blue dip"

Much more likely to be tarnished silver plate than pewter.


Last edited by denbydump on February 2nd 2017, 10:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by NaomiM on February 2nd 2017, 10:30 pm

My apologies, I read that as having an England stamp. Yes, without it is more likely to be the earlier date

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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by Mordeep on February 2nd 2017, 11:04 pm

Wedgewood can like many other things be dated by a combination of how it is made, how it is marked and what it is. Without the obvious date stamp you have to go with the time period certain marks were used. This is clearly 19th century because it does not have the England or the later made in England marks. The two choices you have given 1895 or 1868 sound about right. The question is which one.

Based on the size, its intended use I would have guessed 1870's so 1868 would be a good choice. 1895 is a bit late for these larger metal mounted barrels.

If your looking to move it one I would suggest holding back. A huge collection hit the market last year and I have been seeing this barrels by the tray full on various dealers stalls recently. Quality does vary in what's available but prices are very low with lots of choice for collectors.
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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by Johners2000 on February 2nd 2017, 11:25 pm

I was wondering if it might be earlier than 1868.

The reason being that it only has a single letter mark rather that a 3 character date mark.

The 'X' under the Wedgwood name looks more like potters marks rather than a date mark - the single impressed character mark could be a J or a C or even a U.
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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by Mordeep on February 3rd 2017, 5:36 am

Johners2000 wrote:I was wondering if it might be earlier than 1868.

The reason being that it only has a single letter mark rather that a 3 character date mark.

The 'X' under the Wedgwood name looks more like potters marks rather than a date mark - the single impressed character mark could be a J or a C or even a U.

Your right the single date late indicates from what I have read a pre 1860 date. Beyond that it gets a little vague. There appear to be lots of variations of the Wedgewood stamp, periods with no production of Jasperware and no indication of what year that letter relates to if it is a date code at all. I think a bit more digging is in order. There is lots on the web to get through, although lots appear to be copies of other data so do check the facts are that and not a mistake copied across multiple sites (it happens). I would be interested to hear if you get closer to a firm date.
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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by Johners2000 on February 3rd 2017, 11:15 am

I have done a little more research and emailed the Wedgwood Museum and it would appear that this is not pure jasper but a line of wares that ran along side the Jasper line called Bas-Relief. Bas-relief was more course grained and less detailed and generally is glazed on the inside.

Production of this would put the date between 1860 and 1930. Here's what the Museum said:

"Although three letter date stamps are very useful, they don't always appear on pieces post 1860. It is often a matter of looking at the general style and type of piece as well which enables to to put a date to something. The impressed mystery letter is in all likelihood a potters mark, and would have orginally identified who had made it - a useful thing considering so many people were at the time paid on piece work"

The museum dates my item at C1890.
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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by Johners2000 on February 3rd 2017, 12:02 pm

Just for info and reference here is the full response I got from the Wedgwood Museum archivist.

Dear Dan,

Thank you for your email. Your biscuit barrel is an example of bas- relief ware.
Following the date of circa 1850, with the revival of the Jasper body in general production, again the ‘dip’ colours were far more popular, but also a more basic ‘Bas Relief’ Ware was also produced side by side with the Jasper body proper.

To all intents and purposes, the Bas Relief Ware is extremely similar in appearance to true Jasper production. However, a closer examination reveals that true Jasper is a more fine-grained ceramic ware, whereas the Bas Relief production is more coarse-grained, tends to have the interiors of the pieces produced glazed, and the ornamentation is not as delicate.

Bas Relief Ware production which continued from circa the 1860s until the 1930s, was used in the production of, for example, biscuit barrels, tea wares, garden pots etc. ‘True’ Jasper tended to be utilised for more ornamental items such as vases, and candlesticks – although obviously there was some cross-over depending on the customers’ requirements.

I would imagine that it dates to c.1890. Although three letter date stamps are very useful, they don't always appear on pieces post 1860. It is often a matter of looking at the general style and type of piece as well which enables to to put a date to something. The impressed mystery letter is in all likelihood a potters mark, and would have orginally identified who had made it - a useful thing considering so many people were at the time paid on piece work.

Best wishes,

Lucy Lead

Archivist
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Re: Dating Wedgwood

Post by Mordeep on February 3rd 2017, 12:25 pm

Cool to have so much detail and to have more information available about date coding for the period.
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