Marketing the Portland Vase

The first perfect vase was sent to Erasmus Darwin. A private showing of the Wedgwood Portland Vase to Queen Charlotte ensured that many notables, including HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Marlborough. were keen to acquire a copy. Wedgwood also laid on a ‘ticket only’ public exhibition and a European promotional tour.

Thomas Hope, art connoisseur and author of books on interior design, particularly in the Greek and Egyptian styles, had a London residence which housed antique vases acquired from Sir William Hamilton, along with marbles, sculptures and exotic furniture. When Josiah decided to sell the vase by subscription, Hope gave it the seal of approval by electing to appear on the list of official subscribers. His vase is considered one of the finest surviving copies.

Images

The admission ticket to Josiah's exhibition of his Portland Vase, issued in April 1790

The admission ticket to Josiah's exhibition of his Portland Vase, issued in April 1790