Agate and porphyry

Agate ware is made to imitate natural polished stone. It is either achieved by wedging coloured clays together to form the body - solid agate; or by blending coloured liquid clays - slip - on the surface of an object. The imitation of natural stone - agate and porphyry - on vases is frequently referred to in Wedgwood's correspondence and must, in the 18th century, have been one of the wonders of the London scene. A special curtained-off area of the showrooms was reserved for these variegated and polished wares, where they could be shown to the most important and influential customers.

‘Some others had seen our Vases & there seem'd to be a violent Vase madness breaking out', Josiah wrote to Bentley on 2 August 1770

Images

Vase with scroll handles and pendant laurel swag, made of terra cotta stoneware with surface agate d

Vase with scroll handles and pendant laurel swag, made of terra cotta stoneware with surface agate d