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Cauliflower ware teapot - 1765

Cauliflower ware teapot, photography m.coupe, ©  Wedgwood Museum
    Cauliflower ware teapot, photography m.coupe
    © Wedgwood Museum

In the early days of the company wares were not as sophisticated as the classically inspired production of later years. Around 1759, when the Wedgwood factory was first established, earthenware items naturalistically modelled or moulded in the form of fruits and vegetables formed a staple part of the factory’s production.

Rococo-inspired wares formed a very small part of early Wedgwood production, but the most distinctive of these were those naturalistically-moulded earthenware fruit and vegetable forms made around 1760. Other potters in Staffordshire also made similar wares at this time.The lower portions of the cauliflower wares received a decoration of a brilliant green glaze, considered by many to have been developed by Wedgwood himself around the time of his partnership with Thomas Whieldon, master potter at Fenton. Wedgwood’s early experiment books mention the development of coloured glazes, and William Greatbatch, also an associate of Whieldon and Wedgwood, is known to have supplied local potters with models and biscuit wares in these forms. Cauliflower ware as the name implies had the lower part modelled to resemble the leaves, and was covered with green glaze, the green colour was derived from copper oxide, which was purchased from the specialist firm of Robinson and Rhodes in Leeds. Wedgwood’s formula for ‘A Green Glaze to be laid on common white biscuit ware’ is number 7 in his Experiment Book entered on 23rd March 1759. The upper part of the ware which emulated the cauliflower head was either cream or yellow, in this case cream. The main body of the teapot is Queen's ware.

  • Type of object: Teaware/teapot
  • Year produced: 1765
  • Body: Queen's ware, cream-coloured earthenware
  • Glaze: deep-green glaze
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: glazed, moulded
  • Accession number: 4255, 4255a
  • Dimensions: 130 mm (height), 180 mm (width), 100 mm (depth)

Other images

Glossary

  • Queen’s ware

    Queen’s ware

    In 1765 Wedgwood provided a tea and coffee service to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte (wife of George III) in the new earthenware body he had recently perfected. She was so pleased with the set that she not only allowed Josiah to style himself ‘Potter to Her Majesty’, she also allowed him to call his new earthenware ‘Queen’s ware’ - a name by which Wedgwood’s cream coloured earthenware is still known today.