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Shape 225 - Lunar tureen - 1984

Shape 225 - Lunar tureen, © Wedgwood Museum
    Shape 225 - Lunar tureen
    © Wedgwood Museum

In 1984, to celebrate the 225th anniversary of continuous trading, Wedgwood launched a new and innovative range of forms that became known as ‘Shape 225’. Available in both white bone china and black basalt, which Josiah I had perfected in 1768, this range responded to the elegance of past products while taking Wedgwood design into the future.

In 1984 Wedgwood celebrated 225 years of continuous trade. Josiah Wedgwood I founded the Company on May Day 1759, at the Ivy House Works in Burslem, Staffordshire. To commemorate this historic event Wedgwood evolved a totally new and innovative range of forms that became known as ‘Shape 225’ Contemporary advertising copy made the most of Shape 225’s modern parentage, noting that it was ‘ the creation of Jerome Gould of the international design studio, Gould and Associates.’ Robert Minkin, Wedgwood’s then Art Director, headed a highly qualified and experienced team of designers and craftsmen who worked in collaboration with ceramic technologists in order to bring to life Gould’s concept. Decoration on this piece plays with matt and gloss finishes to give a simple yet effective pattern. Interior of this tureen is decorated with a clear glaze, the exterior however has a dual finish applied, running diagonally from one of tureens handles towards the base area a clear glaze has been applied. The remaining area from opposite handle up to and including cover has is unglazed. Body of this piece is formed from Black Basalt. At launch in 1984 this piece retailed at circa £87.06.

  • Type of object: Dinner ware/tureen
  • Mark: SHAPE 225
    [Printed in gold]
  • Year produced: 1984
  • Body: Black Basalt
  • Glaze: clear glaze
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: glazed
  • Accession number: 11826, 11826a
  • Dimensions: 140 mm (height), 260 mm (width, handle to handle), 192 mm (depth)

Other images

Related people

  • Jerome Gould Associated

    Jerome Gould - Associated

    American graphic designer based in Los Angeles. Gould’s graphic design influences included native Australian art, and he was a keen collector of aboriginal artworks.

  • Thomas William Kellogg Designer

    Thomas William Kellogg - Designer (1932 - 2003)

    American industrial designer who worked in many fields including the automotive industry, for which he is best known. He also designed the interiors of DC-10 aircraft for McDonnell-Douglas and the design of shuttle-craft for the original Star Trek TV series. His work for Wedgwood was during his time at the industrial design and packaging firm of Gould & Associates where he was Vice President of Product Development.


  • Black Basalt

    Black Basalt

    A fine-grained black stoneware body, composed of ball clay, calcined ochre and manganese oxide. Josiah Wedgwood developed black basalt in 1768 to replace the earlier ‘black Egyptian’ ware produced in Staffordshire in the mid-eighteenth century. 


    Basalt was described by Josiah Wedgwood as ‘A fine black Porcelain, having nearly the same properties as the Basaltes i.e., the mineral rock', resisting the Attack of Acids; being a Touch-stone to Copper, Silver and Gold, and equal in Hardness to Agate or Porphyry'. It was the result of his experiments to perfect fine-grained stoneware suitable for the production of ornamental pieces, one that would complement the neo-classical styles then coming into vogue. It is probable that Wedgwood was experimenting with a basalt body in September 1767. He wrote to Bentley, ‘I am still going on with my tryals, & want much to shew you some of them'. Certainly within 12 months Basalt was generally available. From 1773 Wedgwood's plain-black body became universally known as ‘basaltes'. Both ornamental and useful wares were produced in this versatile body and it was used to make virtually anything the public required. Wedgwood placed great confidence in his material, predicting that ‘Black is Sterling and will last for ever'.

    Black clay was derived from ‘Carr', an oxide of iron suspended in the water that had flowed through coal seams and mines. This was drained and dried and then sold by the cartload to potters for use in the production of basalt pottery. Wedgwood made no secret of his recipe for Basalt, which he recorded on page 236 of ‘Common Place Book I. The entry is dated 1777, and reads:

    ‘Our Black Basalt Body. 80 of ball clay sifted 80 of Carr [ochre] calcined & ground 9 of manganese. The above is one Blending.'

    When these ingredients were fired together at a high temperature they vitrified into a fine-textured black body. The distinctive colour of Wedgwood's basalt, which has a deep purplish-black hue, is due to the high proportion of manganese included in the formula.