The Wedgwood manufactory was founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood, a skilled ceramics technologist and entrepreneur, who was characterised by his innovative techniques and willingness to experiment with various clays, glazes and decoration. The success enjoyed by the company saw Josiah knicknamed the ‘Father of English Potters’, while the Wedgwood manufactory is still in production today.
This earthenware tea cup and saucer have been decorated with lead glazes in imitation of 15th century Spanish and Italian maiolica ceramics. Wedgwood was heavily influenced by earlier experiments in majolica production at the Minton ceramics manufactory, drawing upon their extensive resources and adapting many of their designs. The bases of this teacup and saucer bear the design pattern ‘C. 1219’, described in the Wedgwood pattern books as ‘New Japanese Derby Desert &c on glaze & finished (in pale red line)’.