The Wedgwood manufactory was founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood, a skilled ceramics technologist and entrepreneur who quickly became recognised for his innovative techniques and experiments with various clays, glazes and decoration. His success in developing British ceramics manufacture into an international industry saw him nicknamed ‘the father of English potters’, while the Wedgwood manufactory is still in production today.
This teapot’s design was included in The Wedgwood Illustrated Catalogue of Ornamental Shapes 1878 and is attributed to Hugues Protât. A French sculptor, Protât was employed by Minton ceramics manufactory for over ten years and taught as a modelling instructor at Stoke Schools of Design alongside his work with Wedgwood. His appointment and imposing designs enabled Wedgwood to compete with other ceramic manufactories in their output of majolica wares, or lead-glazed earthenware. The teapot’s vibrant surface colours and deep blue glaze are characteristic of Wedgwood majolica and demonstrate the contemporary interest in 15th century Spanish and Italian ceramics.