Archive for Wedgwood
Care of Wedgwood Jasper jewellery
From my Postbag:
I have Wedgwood jewelry from the 1970s. How do I clean it and maintain it? I am not having much luck finding the info on the web.
With this Wedgwood jasper jewellery we have two different materials to consider – the jasper and the metal it is mounted in. We also need to take a look at how it is mounted to decide how we can clean it.
Firstly – can you see the back of the jasper? If so it has an open mount. If the back is covered by metal then it is a closed mount.
Care of Wedgwood Jewellery with an open mount
Is the metal gold, silver or costume jewellery? Take a close look and you will find it written on it if it is gold or silver – perhaps some hallmarks or perhaps the word ” silver”. If neither of these appear for safety’s sake please assume it is costume jewellery and use only soap and water.
If the mount is silver or gold then your Wedgwood jasper jewellery is safe to clean in an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner with just water and a touch of washing up liquid ( not citrus scented). If you do not have an ultrasonic cleaner you can use a soft toothbrush instead.
If the gold or silver is very dirty you can clean that with a little jewellery cleaner appropriate to the metal but use a cotton wool bud and avoid getting the cleaner on the jasper.
Now a quick rinse in clean water and dab dry with a lint free cloth and your Wedgwood Jewellery should be ready to wear.
Care of Wedgwood jasper Jewellery with closed mount
We need to take special care of Wedgwood jasper jewellery with a closed mount as if this gets wet the water may get between the jasper and the metal. This could lead to the metal rusting ( not silver or gold mount) or the jasper coming unstuck from the mount. With these pieces you need to clean the jasper carefully with water and a little washing up liquid without getting it wet. You can dip an old toothbrush into the water and then partially dry the tooth brush and clean it with that. Dab the jewellery dry with a little lint free cloth.
Similarly you will need to clean the gold or silver separately – perhaps using a cotton wool bud and some jewellery cleaner appropriate to the metal
I have been lucky to acquire quire a collection of vintage Wedgwood jasper jewellery mostly in its original boxes. One of these retained the original leaflet from Wedgwood giving a little on the history an care of Jasper jewellery. Since my last blog post touched on this subject I thought you would like to see what it had to say: Read More→
On theme of Vintage for Valentines day- I have just noticed how often Wedgwood used Cupid as a motif applied to Wedgwoods jasper ware. There are examples of Cupid in all sorts of poses including Cupid Kneeling, Cupid asleep and Cupid pretending to be oracle to name just a few.
So just who was Cupid? According to Wiki :
In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido) is the god of erotic love and beauty. He is also known by another one of his Latin names, Amor (cognate with Kama).In popular culture Cupid is frequently shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine’s Day. The more common holiday representation of Cupid is a putto with a bow and arrow. Sometimes the arrow will have a heart for its tip. Cupid is most often seen either nude or diapered. Cupid is sometimes blindfolded, as in the expression “love is blind. Modern reinterpretations of the Cupid character may leave off traditional details of the character, but the character’s main purpose generally remains to help or make people fall in love or possibly engage in physical intimacy.
The picture above shows a silver ring set with a Wedgwood jasper Cameo featuring Cupid Kneeling – antiquesavenue antique shop offers a range of Wedgwood cupids set into jewellery and into trinket trays
I know Wedgwood jasper jewellery is a very popular collectable from antique Victorian pieces through the 20th century jasper cameos set into silver and through to the designer pieces of the last few years. These cameos are sprigged in the same way as Wedgwood jasper vases and tableware, that is the designs are created as separate pieces and then applied to the body. The jewellery also come in all the colours of Wedgwood jasper but it is most usual to see it in blue.
I have just acquired a lovely selection of 20th century Wedgwood jasper rings and Wedgwood jasper brooches from the early 1970s. You can find most of the pieces for sale in my shop in the vintage jewellery section.
I am fascinated by the range of designs available on these pieces – have you seen the lady and dolphin ( or grotesque fish / monster) brooch ? If you have any pieces of wedgwood jewellery with unusual designs please do send me a .jpg photo. I want to create a gallery on here of the designs and identify what the pictures symbolise.
The first in an occasional series of mini articles I will be writing on identifying your antiques. Antique dealers are often faces with strange items they dont recognise – things from the past which are not often seen today. Before we can work out a value we have to know what it is. Should I by this item? what can I tell my customers about this ? So antiques object identification , knowing what and item is, is quite important to me.
This piece is made of porcelain and has the Wedgwood backstamp dating from the very early 1900s, it is prettily decorated and so you can guess that is was for use by a lady. This is a small object, quite delicate and not for heavy use. Any ideas?
Here is is again showing its original intended use as a ring tree:
Recently I was delighted to bump into Susan Tobin on the interenet. Susan is the author of the book “Wedgwood Glass” which ( to the best of my knowledge) is the only book on wedgwood glass available.
I have found this book most useful and it is always my first call if I have need for more information on a piece of Wedgwood Glass. For me there are two particularly interesting sections – “Paperweights” and “Candlesticks and Candleholders”. There is also a fascinating section about Kings Lynn glass and how where many of wedgwoods famous glass designs started out.
With plenty of colour pictures and a reference section indexing the wedgwood codes to their shapes and colours this book is a must for serious wedgwood glass collectors. I had hoped to be able to point you to this book for sale but unfortunately it seem to be out of print at the moment so good luck hunting for it on second hand book sites.
Published in 2001 and has 26 pages, ISBN 0-9580234-0-9
I have introduced Wedgwood Jasper ware in previous posts. Todays blog is about telling how old your piece of Wedgwood Jasper from the marks impressed on the base. Wiki has the following entry which is in line with my thinking:
Before 1860: Mark is “Wedgwood”. Usually accompanied by other potter markings and a single letter.
After 1860: A three-letter mark represents in order, the month, the potter, and the year. The year code starts mid-alphabet with the letter “O” for 1860, the letter “P” for 1861, etc., returning to “A” after “Z”. For certain letters there are two possible year dates.
1891-1908: Marks are “Wedgwood”, “England”, separated.
1908-1969: Marks are “Wedgwood”, “Made in England”, separated, or “Wedgwood England” on small objects like thimbles.
1970-present: Mark is “Wedgwood Made in England” as single stamp
In addition to these marks I find that pieces which date fromthe 20th century often have a 2 digit number which I believe is the year which should be prefixed by 19 eg “56″ is 1956. Sometimes you are lucky enough to find pieces which commemorate specific dates and events which helps us date silmilar items from that time.
Susie Cooper originally issues her pots under her own trade mark and later sold designs to Wedgwood. Amongst others her Susie Cooper Glen Mist Design can be found made by her own pottery and by Wedgwood – only the backstamps are different. I have several pieces of Susie Coopers own label Glen Mist available and so wanted to know the date that this was produced.
Whilst searching out the date of this transfer I came across a rather good Susie Cooper information website which may interest you.