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Cadbury Bournvita Lidded Jug - 1933-4

Caneware Bournvita set - Coffee pot and lid, © Wedgwood Museum
    Caneware Bournvita set - Coffee pot and lid
    © Wedgwood Museum

Cadburby Bournvita lidded jug. Honey Buff coloured body earthenware.

In 1934 Wedgwood provided the Cadbury firm with the Bournvita Set comprising four beakers with saucers (the saucers doubled as lids to keep the beverage warm) a sugar basin and lidded jug. The beakers were originally made as an advertising exercise, to be supplied in exchange for coupons collected by customers. More than one million beakers were sold in two years, creating work for 200 workers at Wedgwood's Etruria factory at a time when sales were depressed. The beakers were the first product to be manufactured using the new flow-belt system introduced by Norman Wilson.

  • Type of object: Teaware/coffee pot
  • Mark: WEDGWOOD
  • Year produced: 1933-4
  • Body: caneware
  • Accession number: 10428+a


  • Cane ware

    Cane ware

    Caneware is a dry-bodied stoneware, perfected from local North Staffordshire clays which does not require glazing. It ranges in colour from a rich tan-yellow through to buff. Wedgwood commenced work on this body in the early 1770s, and on 9 September 1771 he was able to write to Thomas Bentley: ‘I am very happy to know the Fawn colour'd articles are agreeable to your wishes, - I believe they will sell, for all who have seen them here, have fall'n in love with them'.

    Cane Ware was used for both Ornamental and Useful pieces, many of which were decorated in imitation of bamboo. Major pieces do not seem to have been produced until 1779,  as late as 1783 this new body was still presenting production problems and it was not until the summer of 1786 that the new body was totally established. The problem was resolved when a finer-ground body was produced, which could be enhanced by the addition of bas relief ornamentation, encaustic painting, or - from the early years of the nineteenth century onwards - by the combination print and enamel patterns which later became known as 'Capri' ware. A rather coarser cane body was also used for game pie dishes and pastry dishes. It first appeared in the 1787 edition of the Catalogue of Ornamental Wares, when it was the fifth in Wedgwood's list of ceramic bodies.