A pair of early 19th century black basalt Wedgwood urns decorated with neoclassical scenes of figures in oval medallions. Further decorated with floral festoons and goat head handles, all set atop antique square wood bases. The urns have pierced covers and stand 18 1/2 inches tall, including the attached stands.
While we are always looking for pieces of this caliber to add to our collection of fine black basalt, these urns are particularly wonderful and we are excited that we were able to acquire them.
H 18.5 in. x W 7.5 in. at the widest point
Black basalt was created by Josiah Wedgwood in the 18th century. Before Wedgwood’s innovation the English potters used material found in the ground around local coal deposits to make Egyptian Black. He transformed Egyptian Black, a traditional Staffordshire stoneware into black basalt. Wedgwood used the native materials but added manganese to obtain a richer black for his black basalt.
In the mid-18th century Josiah Wedgwood and his circle saw the classical images uncovered in the excavation of the buried Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. By the middle of the 18th century the return to classicism had taken a firm hold on the decorative arts. Josiah Wedgwood, satisfied the consumer market with wares in the new neo-classical style. Classical decoration was incorporated into the decorative arts and a fashionable family could display its style credentials through Wedgwood’s neoclassicial vases, figures, plaques, and dishes.
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