Dear Helaine and Joe:
I am wondering if you can identify these Wedgwood plates for me. I have two different sets, one with serial numbers and one without. What can you tell me?
Thanks for your help.
Dear K. V.:
When most collectors say they own “Wedgwood,” they are referring to the products of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), who founded the important business around 1759.
Wedgwood’s first pottery was located in Burslem, England, but a move was made to Etruria in 1769. Confusingly, a number of other potteries have used the “Wedgewood” name over the years.
Among others, there was “John Wedge Wood” (note: real Wedgwood never has an “e” after the “g”), Ralph Wedgwood and the potter in today’s question, Enoch Wedgwood, who was a distant cousin of Josiah.
Despite what the mark on K. V.’s saucer says, Enoch Wedgwood (1813-1879) established his pottery in Tunstall, Staffordshire, England, in 1860, and it was called the Unicorn and Pinnox Works — thus the symbol of the unicorn as part of the mark. The site had formerly been worked by Podmore, Walker and Company, and the 1835 date printed on the bottom of K. V.’s saucer probably refers to the founding of that enterprise.
Enoch’s Wedgwood & Company made earthenwares and stone-china, and until the late 20th century, was in no way associated with the more famous enterprise named Wedgwood.
The company was renamed Enoch Wedgwood in 1965 and became part of the more famous and highly regarded Josiah Wedgwood in 1980, after which the company was renamed the Unicorn Pottery.
K. V.’s pieces are in Enoch Wedgwood’s “Countryside” pattern (technically “Countryside Blue” because the earthenware pattern was made in other colors) and was discontinued in the mid- to late 1960s.
Some of K. V.’s pieces are older than others, but they are all second or third quarter of the 20th century. We have no idea exactly what K. V. actually has, but a cup and saucer in this pattern retails for around $12, a dinner plate brings the same, a salad plate $16 and an individual fruit bowl $8.
In her letter, K. V. also includes a picture of a cobalt blue glass pitcher with the image of Shirley Temple in white.
This was originally part of a two-piece set offered as premiums in boxes of breakfast cereal, and this pitcher was accompanied by a blue glass cereal bowl.
It was made by the Hazel Atlas Glass Company, which was founded in 1902 in Washington, Pa.
At the height of its production, the company, which was headquartered in Wheeling, W.Va., had 15 plants located from Montgomery, Ala., to Pomona, Calif.
They made a vast variety of wares, but today’s collectors often associate them with Depression glass.
Hazel Atlas churned out vast quantities of everyday glassware (often signed with an “HA” on the bottom), and K. V.’s pitcher should be valued in the $20 to $25 range.