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Earthenware bowl supported by lobster figure

A Lobster salad bowl, ©  Wedgwood Museum
    A Lobster salad bowl
    © Wedgwood Museum

Salad bowl decorated with lobster, with matching salad servers. Earthenware 1883-86

Towards the end of the 19th century, when the Victorian taste for all things extravagant and quirky, was at its height, Wedgwood introduced numerous items of novelty tableware. Salad bowls and servers in particular were eminently suitable vessels to be disguised with various flora and fauna. This example has the bowl itself balancing on lobster claws. It was patented in 1888 and manufactured in the same year. The entry for the bowl in the factory book where the cost of manufacture was recorded, estimated that it cost two shillings and seven pence to make one such bowl, comprising two shillings and threepence for painting, one penny for lining and threepence for the cost of firing. Altogether, in present day currency that would be approximately 13 pence.

  • Type of object: Useful ware/bowl
  • Mark: UK WEDGWOOD
    [Impressed]
    PTR
    [Impressed]
    RD1 10904
    [Embossed on pad]
    L
    [Impressed]
    monogram
    [Painted]
    T
    [Painted]
  • Decoration: edge-lined
  • Accession number: 9071
  • Dimensions: 180 mm (height), 265 mm (width), 210 mm (diameter)

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Glossary

  • Earthenware

    Earthenware

    Fine-quality earthenwares are white or off-white in colour. Since the middle of the eighteenth century earthenware has contained calcined flint. This gives the ceramic both strength and its lightness of colour. Earthenware is sometimes referred to as cream-coloured earthenware. Since Josiah Wedgwood received the patronage of Queen Charlotte in 1765 Wedgwood cream-coloured earthenwares have been called Queen’s ware.