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Taurus the Bull - 1975

Taurus the bull, © Wedgwood Museum
    Taurus the bull
    © Wedgwood Museum

Cream-coloured earthenware lithography printed with zodiac motifs and painted in brown enamel. Both the shape and surface pattern of Taurus were designed by Arnold Machin.

Cream-coloured earthenware lithography printed with zodiac motifs and painted in brown enamel. Both the shape and surface pattern of Taurus were designed by Arnold Machin.

  • Type of object: Portraits and figures/figurine
  • Mark: WEDGWOOD
    AM 75
    [Printed in black]
  • Year produced: 1975
  • Body: Queen's ware, cream-coloured earthenware
  • Glaze: clear glaze
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: hand-enamelled, lithographed
  • Accession number: 9148
  • Dimensions: 400 mm (length), 162 mm (height), 145 mm (depth)

Related people

  • Arnold Machin Designer

    Arnold Machin - Designer (1911 - 1999)

    Machin was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1911. He started work at the age of 14 as an apprentice china painter at the Minton Pottery, and during the Depression he learnt to sculpt at the Art School in Stoke-on-Trent. He later moved to Derby, and the Royal Academy in London. After spending the Second World War as a conscientious objector, he returned to modelling and sculpture, and created many notable ceramics which are now prized collectors' items. In 1946 he was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy, was appointed a Master of Sculpture from 1959 to 1966 and became the longest-serving member of the Academy. He was elected an Academician in 1956 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. From 1951 he was a tutor at the Royal College of Art, where he entered the culture that was to bring him his most celebrated commissions. He was probably best remembered for the designing of the new decimal coinage effigies of Queen Elizabeth in 1964 and 1967 and for the definitive issue of postage stamps in 1967.


  • Cream-coloured earthenware

    Cream-coloured earthenware

    Cream-coloured earthenware was first produced in Staffordshire some time between 1730 and 1740. The principal ingredients were white-firing clay and ground flint, the flint being used to increase the whiteness and strength of the composition. The result was a durable body, varying in tone from buff to a deep cream colour, which required the application of a clear lead glaze and a second firing to make it impervious to liquids.

    Wedgwood carried out an enormous number of trials to perfect the cream-coloured earthenware body. He commenced work whilst still in partnership with Thomas Whieldon in Fenton, although his first really successful creamware was produced at his Ivy House Works after 1759. It is probable that creamware was amongst the first of Wedgwood's productions as an independent manufacturer.

    The approbation of Queen Charlotte in 1765 permitting Wedgwood to rename his creamware ‘Queen's ware', and style himself ‘Potter to Her Majesty' brought his earthenware to the notice of the population. On the 7th March 1774 Josiah wrote to Thomas Bentley that "The cream colour is of a superior class, & I trust has not yet run its race by many degrees..." The popularity of Wedgwood's Queen's ware throughout the Twentieth Century and into the Twenty-First Century suggests Josiah was correct.


  • 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.