- Museum number
Proof; "P 16", from Wedgwood's Catalogue of Earthenware and Porcelain (attributed title); designs reproducing 14 Wedgwood items, numbered "1457", "1554", "1553", "1459", "1461", "1565", "1467", "1538", "1566", "1481", "1469", "1556", "1486" and "1561". c.1816
Engraving and etching
- Production date
Height: 226 millimetres
Width: 169 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is one of 4 proofs in the British Museum's collections of Blake's plates for the Wedgwood catalogue. In addition, the museum has a complete set of impressions of Blake's 18 finished plates, all in the first state as described by Essick.
Essick writes: "Blake's plates were never published and sold in a conventional manner, but were apparently used by Wedgwood and his salesmen as a pattern book [or sample book] without any letterpress text." The prints were published without a title-page. In surviving complete copies, in the collections of Cambridge University Library and the Wedgwood Museum, Blake's 18 plates are accompanied by 13 not by him. The "pattern book" or "catalogue" was altered and re-used, and Blake's plates continued to be used until about 1840. See Essick 1991.
Blake was introduced to Wedgwood by the sculptor John Flaxman, who made many designs for Wedgwood. It has been thought that the designs for the pottery reproduced in this series were by Flaxman. Essick describes this claim as "unsubstantiated". The only evidence is in a note by Frederick Tatham, accompanying some proofs of the plates. The note was written from memory when "Wedgwoods last sale of Pottery was about 35 or 37 years ago" (Christie's 22.vii.1949/90). The prints do not resemble Wedgwood productions whose design can confidently be attributed to Flaxman.
This is the proof described in Essick 1991. Some surface marks on the paper.
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Wedgwood's Catalogue of Earthenware and Porcelain (no title-page - attributed title)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number