Pair of vases

Josiah Wedgwood, 1780 - 1836

Pair of vases

Josiah Wedgwood 1780 - 1836


Pair of 'Etruscan' vases, stoneware, black basalt painted with red 'encaustic' enamel decoration of Greek women. Amphora shaped vases with Etruscan scroll handles, narrow neck, and spreading foot. Foot decorated with broken border of enamel red dots at outer edge, red rim at junction with body. Main body plain black with single classical female figure in red and black enamel on one side (different on each vase), scrolling wave border below, simple arabesque above round shoulder. Tall narrow neck with inset band painted with leafy stem, flared rim with broken border of red dots around edge. Etruscan handles picked out in red, with cherub head terminals at neck rim, lion mask terminals at shoulder. One vase slightly taller than the other.

Display Label

Grand Tour and Grand Style The Influence of Travel Improvements in European travel during the 1700s had a wide-ranging impact on British culture. A particularly significant influence was the Grand Tour, which became almost obligatory for young gentlemen. Grand Tourists were led across Europe by tutors to study art, history and politics for two or three years. The Grand Tour focused on Italy, particularly Rome, and often incorporated new archaeological sites such as those at Herculaneum and Pompei, near Naples. Ancient antiquities were heavily trafficked across Europe and continental works of art flooded into Britain. A period of especially active collecting took place between the end of the Seven Years War in 1763 and the rise of Napoleon in the 1790s. As more artists and designers also visited the continent their work became increasingly informed by travel. The serious themes of classical antiquity and European art led to a new departure in painting called the Grand Style. This championed classical, historical or literary subjects, and inspired radical changes in portraiture and landscape. Widespread interest in Greek and Roman remains also fostered fresh interpretations of ancient designs by pioneers of decorative art such as Josiah Wedgwood.

Object Name

Pair of vases

Creators Name

Josiah Wedgwood

Date Created

c 1780

accession number


Place of creation



stone ware - black basalt


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