Tea caddy

ARTIST / MAKER: Daisy Makeig-Jones (designer)
Josiah Wedgwood & Sons (manufacturer)
DATE: ca.1915-1935 (made)
PLACE: Stoke-on-Trent (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Bone china with lustre ware glaze and gilt

Lustre ware is a type of ceramic which originated in the Middle East in the 8th century and was revived in England between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterised by a metallic glaze that gives the effect of mottled iridescence, which can be seen on this bone china tea caddy made by the Wedgwood factory. The effect is produced using a mix of gold, silver, copper metallic oxide pigments and oil, which is applied as an overglaze finish to the ceramic surface and then fired at a low temperature to allow the metals to swirl and blend. In 1914, the Wedgwood factory produced its first line of lustre ware, and although the complexity of the process coupled with the high cost of the materials meant that these wares were expensive, they were nevertheless a success. The gold-printed decoration of ‘celestial dragons’ on this lustre ware caddy can be attributed to Daisy Makeig-Jones, a lead designer and decorator at the factory who later became known for her line of ‘Fairyland’ lustre ware.