Teapot, milk jug and canister

ARTIST / MAKER: Josiah Wedgwood & Sons (designer, teapot, attributed to)
DATE: ca.1760 (made)
PLACE: Staffordshire (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Lead-glazed earthenware

Ceramic vessels that were naturalistically modelled and painted to resemble both vegetables and animals were very fashionable during the latter half of the 18th century in Europe. The fashion probably originated in France or Germany and was soon taken up in England, especially at the porcelain factories of Chelsea and in Staffordshire. The lower parts of these tea wares are moulded and glazed to resemble cauliflower leaves while the top sections resemble the heart and core of a cauliflower. The teapot is attributed to the renowned English ceramics factory of Josiah Wedgwood. While his name is synonymous with wares produced in the classical style, he also produced rococo-style pieces inspired by fruit and vegetable forms. The Staffordshire potter William Greatbatch often supplied Wedgwood with models for such wares and designed and supplied the mould for the tea canister. Wedgwood sold his pottery through his London warehouse as well as from his Staffordshire factory site and exported these cauliflower wares to Europe, in particular Holland.