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Treasures: Not all “Wedgwood” was made by the famed English pottery

The print on this earthenware set is of the romantic English countryside but it wasn’t made by the renowned Wedgwood pottery.
The print on this earthenware set is of the romantic English countryside but it wasn’t made by the renowned Wedgwood pottery. TNS

Q: 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.

K. V.

A: When most collectors say they own “Wedgwood,” they are referring to the products of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), who founded the important business in Burslem, England, around 1759. The pottery moved to Etruria in 1769.

Confusingly, a number of other potteries have used the “Wedgewood” name over the years (note: real Wedgwood never has an “e” after the “g”). Among others, there were “John Wedge Wood,” Ralph Wedgwood and the potter in today’s question, Enoch Wedgwood, who was a distant cousin of Josiah.

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 Co., and the 1835 date printed on the bottom of K. Y.’s saucer probably refers to the founding of that enterprise.

Enoch’s Wedgwood & Co. 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 highly regarded Josiah Wedgwood in 1980, after which the company was renamed the Unicorn Pottery.

Enoch’s Wedgwood & Co. made earthenwares and stone-china, and until the late 20th century, was in no way associated with the more famous enterprise named Wedgwood.

K. V.’s pieces are in Enoch Wedgwood’s “Countryside” pattern, which was discontinued in the 1960s. Some of K. V.’s pieces are older than others, but they are all second or third quarter of the 20th century. 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 — with a blue glass cereal bowl — offered as premiums in boxes of breakfast cereal.

It was made by the Hazel Atlas Glass Co., which was founded in 1902. At the height of its production, the company, which was headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia, had 15 plants located from Montgomery, Alabama, to Pomona, California.

The company 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.

Write to Joe Rosson, 2504 Seymour Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917, or email treasures@knology.net. Include a high-resolution, in-focus photo of the subject.

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