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Jasper commemorative Christmas plate - 1975 - 1975

Jasper commemorative Christmas plate - 1975
    Jasper commemorative Christmas plate - 1975

The last quarter of the twentieth century saw a variety of items specifically released to celebrate Christmas. These had a strong appeal to the collectors market. Between 1969 and 1988 Wedgwood retailed Christmas plates in jasper with white bas-relief. Until 1978 the artist behind these plates was Tom Harper, however in subsequent years the artist's name was undisclosed. Each year featured a London landmark - which also featured on the jasper Christmas tankard that was also annually issued between 1971 and 1985. This example from 1975 features Tower Bridge.

The last quarter of the twentieth century saw a variety of items specifically released to celebrate Christmas. These had a strong appeal to the collectors market. Between 1969 and 1988 Wedgwood retailed Christmas plates in jasper with white bas-relief. Until 1978 the artist behind these plates was Tom Harper, however in subsequent years the artist's name was undisclosed. Each year featured a London landmark - which also featured on the jasper Christmas tankard that was also annually issued between 1971 and 1985. This example from 1975 features Tower Bridge. The legend 'CHRISTMAS 1975' is shown in relief and the plate has a border of holly. The number of plates created was limited by the year of issue, but the edition size was undisclosed. Plates were purchased boxed with a certificate. This item retailed at £9.75.

  • Type of object: Ornamental ware/plates and platters
  • Mark: WEDGWOOD
    MADE IN
    ENGLAND
    JS
    [Impressed]
  • Year produced: 1975
  • Body: Jasper
  • Glaze: unglazed
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: moulded, ornamented
  • Accession number: 12200
  • Dimensions: 205 mm (diameter), 22 mm (depth)

Other images

Related people

  • Tom Harper Artist

    Tom Harper - Artist (1920 - 1983)

    Tom Harper joined Wedgwood at Etruria straight from school in 1934. His first job was as a mould runner for the china saucer makers. He then joined the Jasper department, and transferred with that department in 1940 to the new factory at Barlaston. He joined the modelling department within the Design Studio in 1967, and was instrumental in the design of the early editions of the famous Jasper Christmas Plate. (The first produced in 1969 is still one of the most collectable items worldwide). Tom was also responsible for creating the original clay bas reliefs of scenes for the American Bicentenary merchandise including a set of six Jasper plates. The 'Mountie' bas relief was also produced by Tom to mark the centenary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1973. Sadly Tom died on Christmas Eve in 1983 having completed 48 years and one month of service at both the Etruria and Barlaston factories.

Glossary

  • Bas reliefs

    Bas reliefs

    A term referred to raised ornamentation, often of classical origins, and generally applied to stoneware bodies. In the production of jasper the ornamentation is often white.

  • Jasper

    Jasper

    A fine-grained stoneware body developed by Josiah Wedgwood I in the mid 1770s, and the ceramic ware most associated with the name. The most famous colour combination known today is the traditional blue and white, which is usually decorated with classical bas reliefs.

    With changes in architectural styles and the rise in popularity of neo-classical styles of interior decoration Josiah Wedgwood began a series of experiments to create a new ceramic material that would complement the new fashions. Thousands of meticulously recorded experiments were carried out to make a stoneware body that was capable of taking a mineral oxide stain throughout. The search for the jasper body absorbed much of Wedgwood's energy and time, the result being his most important contribution to ceramic history.

    The majority of the actual trials were carried out between December 1772 and December 1774, Josiah writing on the 17 March of the latter year: ‘have for some time past been reviewing my experiments, & I find such Roots, such Seeds as would open & branch out wonderfully if I could nail myself down to the cultivation of them for a year or two'.

    By January 1775 he was ‘absolute' in the production of jasper with coloured grounds. He was also in a position to advertise that he could manufacture bas reliefs, ranging from large plaques to small cameos for mounting as jewellery. The range of colours steadily increased, and by March 1776 Josiah was sending his first specimens of yellow to London. By September experiments were in hand for black jasper. Certainly by Spring of 1777 he was carrying out further experiments to perfect a surface ‘dip' to provide deeper coloured grounds for his cameos; and by the middle of December 1777, he was able to offer Bentley a choice of ‘Green - yellow - lalock [lilac] etc. to the colour of the rooms', referring to the tones favoured by their mutual acquaintance the architect Robert Adam.

     

  • Tower Bridge

    Tower Bridge

    Tower Bridge, opened in 1894, spans the River Thames in London very close to The Tower of London from which it takes its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London, although sometimes mistaken for London Bridge which is the next bridge upstream. The central span is split into two separate bascules (or leaves) that can be raised to allow shipping to pass through.