Neo-classicism in the 19th century
By the beginning of the 19th century, when the second generation of Wedgwoods were at the helm of the company, neo-classicism had expanded and diversified, absorbing eclectic influences and tastes. Greek revival designs, particularly on the continent, kept alive the spirit of the classical world.
The company's products reflected change. The goods on sale mixed traditional Wedgwood wares and new products to suit the times. Simpler multi-hued stonewares, for both ornamental and useful goods, supplemented jasper production, while innovative variegated and steel lustres embodied the scientific leanings of the second generation.
Ornamental and useful ware production at the factory often evolved as a direct response to prevailing political and fashion influences. Extravagant and bold oriental-inspired patterns and shapes were much sought after, following the tastes established by the ebullient Prince Regent, epitomised in his spectacular Royal Pavilion at Brighton.
Public interest was equally excited by extensive reporting of Napoleon Buonaparte's overseas campaigns, sparking a craze for all things Egyptian. Customers, whether of humble origin or wealthy background, would have their appetites constantly whetted by multi-coloured and eye-catching ranges of everyday and ornamental wares suited to ordinary house or stately home.