Author of "How to Identify Old China" and "How to Identify Old Chinese Porcelain"

The Flattery of Imitation - An Unfounded Accusation - How it Arose - Turner's Pottery and Its Characteristics - Other Followers of Wedgwood - The Work of John Adams - Interesting Links with the Past - A Treasured Souvenir - The Brothers Adam

During the latter half of the eighteenth century Wedgwood's black, jasper, and other wares became so popular both in our own country and upon the Continent, that it seems only natural his contemporaries should accord him the sin-cerest flattery - that of imitation.

It has been said that several firms, and also individual potters, "pirated" his work, and that it was a common practice amongst these people to buy from his London agents his latest productions, the forms, designs, and colouring of which were immediately reproduced. Indeed, some writers have asserted that J. Voyez - at one time a pupil at Etruria - not only copied

Wedgwood, but also marked his wares with this name. The assertion, however, still needs confirmation. Pieces of Voyez pottery, frankly copied from one or other of the products of Etruria and others, such as the jug illustrated, will generally be found to be marked with the maker's name, and, so far as I am aware, no pieces bearing the forged name "Wedgewood" have been identified.

It is quite true that many of the designs used by Josiah Wedgwood may be found upon pieces made in other factories, but this, I think, can be accounted for by the fact that these classical designs came from books, such as those of Sir W. Hamilton, prints, and statuary to which the whole public had access.

Jug in old Staffordshire ware, by Voyez, at one time a pupil of

Jug in old Staffordshire ware, by Voyez, at one time a pupil of

Wedgwood's, and a zealous imitator of the great potter's work

From the South Kensington Museum

A beautiful urn in black basalt, ornamented in Wedgwood style with classical reliefs. A fine example of the work of John Turner, a successful contemporary of Wedgwood

A beautiful urn in black basalt, ornamented in Wedgwood style with classical reliefs. A fine example of the work of John Turner, a successful contemporary of Wedgwood

There is no doubt that many of Wedgwood's contemporaries made black ware and the jasper ware which he invented. Among these John Turner, who worked at Lane End from 1762 until his death in 1786, was certainly one of the most successful. His black ware - of which an illustration is given - is fine in texture and the reliefs and cameos with which it is embellished are sharp in outline and are beautifully modelled.

His jasper ware shows certain distinctive features - it is more porcellaneous than Wedgwood's, and the blue colour has a purple tinge. For fineness of grain it nearly rivals that of its great inventor.

Turner was not merely a copyist; many of his productions show distinct elements of orginality. He also made cane or bamboo ware, and a cream stone ware or semi-porcelain. Large jugs - one of which in the South Kensington Museum holds half a gallon - were characteristic products of Turner's factory. These were gener-ally moulded with classic or other scenes in relief, and were further ornamented with a coat of chocolate brown glaze round the neck and upon the handle. These jugs, which were also made in small sizes, were frequently mounted in silver, which in these days adds materially to their value, though they are so perfect in their way that, mounted or unmounted, they will always command high prices.

Turner had been a pupil of Josiah Wedgwood, and the fact that they remained close friends through life is sufficient guarantee that the business transactions of the pupil were approved by the master.

Ridgway was another imitator of Wedgwood, and his jugs - one of which we illustrate - are very desirable possessions. H. Palmer, of Hanley, who afterwards took into partnership J. Neal, also made black and jasper ware. Few pieces, however, were marked, so that they are not easy to identify: but a set of five portrait medallions in black basalt made by this firm were sold in London some years ago.

Elijah Mayer, of Hanley (1770 to 1813) produced many fine imitations in Wedgwood style. His cane or buff unglazed wares, ornamented with lines and patterns in green or blue enamel, are of remarkably fine texture, and are generally marked, with an impressed stamp, E. Mayer.

We spoke in an article, page 2620, Vol. 4, Every Woman's Encyclopaedia, of the black, jasper, and other stone wares made by Josiah Spode, and decorated with cameos and reliefs. It is probably due to the fact that he was a pupil at Etruria that his copies of Wedgwood are such fine productions. These are marked with the name Spode, either printed or impressed, in some cases with both.

Birch, of Hanley, Enoch Wood, of Burslem, and Caldwell his partner, J. Lockett, of Burslem, Warburton, of Cowbridge, and several other potters, imitated Wedgwood's wares in the latter half of the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth century.

Although, as we have seen, many potters assayed to reproduce the masterpieces of the prince of potters, none came so near perfection as did William Adams, of Tunstall.

This man was known amongst his contemporaries as Wedgwood's "favourite"

Jug in cream coloured ware, partly glazed brown, moulded in relief with groups representing Painting, Music, and Sculpture. Such jugs were frequently mounted in silver, and are of exquisite workmanship

Jug in cream-coloured ware, partly glazed brown, moulded in relief with groups representing Painting, Music, and Sculpture. Such jugs were frequently mounted in silver, and are of exquisite workmanship