Pair 18th Century Black Basalt Covered Urns



A pair of Black Basalt covered urns made by H. Palmer of Hanley Staffordshire.

This pair of vases is a gem of the neoclassical style. They combine beautiful molded cameos, exceptional Cleopatra mask handles, supported by swags of husk. The proportions are magnificent. The size is wonderful.

In “Black Basalt Wedgwood and Contemporary Manufacturers,” Diana Edwards describes a vase identical to our pair of vases. “Vase with simulated handles in the form of Cleopatra portraits from which a husk swag falls. The central cameo is Athena (the goddess of wisdom), on the reverse the cameo shows Apollo ( god of knowledge and the arts) with Marsyas. The vase can be found with either the Neale or the Palmer imprimature. H. Palmer Hanley circa 1770-78. 9 inches high. Kansas City Gift of Mr. and Mrs. F P Burnap.”

Our vase is marked on the bottom “H. Palmer Hanley.” It would be a wonderful addition to any collection of Black Basalt.


5.5″ deep x 5.5″ across x 10″ tall





Composition of Black Basalt

A Wedgwood Book of Records from 1789 notes the composition of Black Basalt was:

“20 Blue ball clay, 5 calcinated carr, 1.5 calcinated manganese”. This mixture was fired
at a stoneware temperature of approximately 1200 degrees centigrade” (almost the temperature for firing porcelain).

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