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Black Egyptian teapot - 1759

Black Egyptian teapot, © Wedgwood Museum
    Black Egyptian teapot
    © Wedgwood Museum

This teapot is in the black Egyptian body. The body of the teapot is supported on lions' heads and paw feet.

This teapot is in the black Egyptian body. The body of the teapot is supported on lions' heads and paw feet. The black clay was coloured by the use of 'carr', an oxide of iron suspended in the water drained from the coal mines. Accumulations of this suspension were scraped out, allowed to dry and sold to the local potters for 1 guinea a cart load.

  • Type of object: Teaware/teapot
  • Mark: None
  • Year produced: 1759
  • Body: black Egyptian
  • Glaze: unglazed
  • Material: ceramic
  • Accession number: 4795, 4795a
  • Dimensions: 150 mm (height), 230 mm (width handle to spout), 130 mm (depth)

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Glossary

  • Black Egyptian

    Black Egyptian

    Black Egyptian was a locally produced black body, that was later perfected by Josiah Wedgwood into his black basalt.

    The black clay which typifies black Egyptian was coloured by the use of 'carr', an oxide of iron, which was suspended in the water drained from the coal mines. Accumulations of this suspension were scraped out, allowed to dry, and sold to the local potters for 1 guinea a cartload.

    Josiah's commonplace books records his early development of black Egyptian into black basalt. in 1777 he writes that 'our Black Body' consists of the following proportions:

    80 of ball clay (Hydes) sifted

    80 of Carr (ochre) calcined & ground

    9 of manganese

    The above is one blending

     

    This recipe was for an intermediate body before Josiah had truly perfected black basalt.