Dating wedgewood pottery
Josiah Wedgwood, whose ceramic creations evoked the styles and themes of antiquity so popular in the late eighteenth century, produced a copy of the celebrated Portland Vase in black-and-white jasper-ware.
The original, attributed to the Roman gem-cutter Dioskourides, is in the style of works made between 30 and 20 B. After its discovery in the late sixteenth century in the tomb of the Emperor Septimius Severus, it became one of the most admired works of antiquity and passed through an illustrious series of collections, among them those of Cardinal Barberini, Sir William Hamilton, and finally, the duchess of Portland, who donated it to the British Museum.
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Getting back to Messrs Wedgwood: In case any visitors looking for help with the real Josiah Wedgwood pottery marks find this page, I will list the dating marks: With Wedgwood marks you can pin-point to a certain month. The last letter depicts the year of manufacture: O - 1860P - 1861Q -1862R - 1863S - 1864T - 1865U - 1866V - 1867W -1868X - 1869Y - 1870Z - 1871A -1872B - 1873C - 1874D -1875E -1876F - 1877G - 1878H -1879I - 1880J - 1881K - 1882L - 1883M - 1884N - 1885From 1886 -1897 The date letters 'O' to 'Z' are repeated and from 1891 the words 'ENGLAND' should appear on the piece.
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His father's death in 1739 led him to an early start working as a 'thrower' in the pottery of his eldest brother, Thomas, to whom he was later apprenticed.
Wedgwood was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1783, primarily for inventing the pyrometer to measure oven temperatures.