Lobster salad bowl - 1880
Queen's ware, printed and painted in enamel colours. The popularity, in Victorian Britain, for exploration and the discovery of new flora and fauna lent itself to models echoing these ideas, such as this salad bowl in the form of a shell balanced on a lobster.
Towards the end of the 19th century, when the Victorian taste for all things extravagant and quirky, was at its height, Wedgwood introduced numerous items of novelty tableware. Salad bowls and servers in particular were eminently suitable vessels to be disguised with various flora and fauna. This example has the bowl itself balancing on lobster claws. It was patented in 1888 and manufactured in the same year. The entry for the bowl in the factory book where the cost of manufacture was recorded, estimated that it cost two shillings and seven pence to make one such bowl, comprising two shillings and threepence for painting, one penny for lining and threepence for the cost of firing. Altogether, in present day currency that would be approximately 13 pence.
- Type of object: Useful ware/bowl
- Mark: WEDGWOOD PTR [Impressed] RD110907 (Diamond registration mark) [Embossed] F1621 T [Painted]
- Year first produced: 1880
- Body: Queen's ware, cream-coloured earthenware
- Glaze: clear glaze
- Material: ceramic
- Decoration: hand-painted, transfer-printed
- Accession number: 11298
- Dimensions: 185 mm (height), 270 mm (width), 205 mm (depth)
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.