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© The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
|Object type||In category: Costume and textiles » Clothing and accessories » Buckle|
Wedgwood, Josiah (British ceramicist, 1730-1795) (known) - Manufacturer(s)
|Place of origin||Europe » Northern Europe » British Isles » Great Britain » England|
9.5 cm height whole
11.0 cm width whole
|Materials & techniques||
Metal » Steel
Rock/ Mineral » Jasper
|Description||Cut-steel buckle set with two blue and white jasperware plaques. Each octagonal plaque depicts a pair of classically draped females below a garland of laurel leaves and a rosette. The closed cut-steel mounts are studded with facetted rivets of two sizes.|
|Marks and inscriptions||
This buckle was probably made as a fastening for a woman's belt that was worn high under the bust.
The jasperware plaques were made at the Wedgwood factory at Etruria, Staffordshire. In 1771 Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) embarked on a series of 5,000 experiments which were to result in Jasperware, his most famous invention. This was a dense, white stoneware which could be stained throughout with metal oxides to produce consistent blue, green, lilac or brown grounds to which decorative low-relief sculpture was applied. Wedgwood had perfected the 'jasper' body by 1775 and the material was used to produce a huge range of objects, from large vases to tiny buttons, earrings, watch cases and buckles.
Talented artists were employed by the factory to design the sculptural decoration. These included the sculptors John Flaxman and John Bacon, the painter George Stubbs, and a group of women artists including Lady Diana Beauclerk, Emma Crewe and Lady Elizabeth Templetown. Although Wedgwood sold small quantities of steel-mounted Jasperware medallions in his London and Bath showrooms, the majority were mounted and sold by other manufacturers.
The Birmingham manufacturer Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) pioneered the combination of cut-steel and Jasperware plaques but Green & Vale of Birmingham and Vernon & Hasselwood of Wolverhampton also mounted Wedgwood plaques. The chief centres of cut-steel production in England were Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Woodstock. The brightly polished rivets were intended to imitate the glitter of diamonds but the labour-intensive faceting on the best cut-steel work made it expensive.
Sir T. W. Holburne's collection of 117 Wedgwood plaques was listed in the Front Drawing Room at Cavendish Crescent in 1874 (AR153). It was housed in a rosewood collector's cabinet (1625); no. C371.42 was one of two buckles kept in the third drawer.
|Muse theme||The Art of Collecting
Art and Culture in Georgian Bath 1714-1830
The History of the Holburne Collection » Sir William Holburne and his Collection » Arranging the Collection: Sir William at Home
The History of the Holburne Collection » The Collection » Ceramics
Art and Culture in Georgian Bath 1714-1830 » Leisure » Shopping & Fashion
|Method of acquisition||Bequest|
|Provenance||Sir T. W. Holburne (1793-1874); by whom bequeathed to Mary Anne Holburne (1802-1882); by whom bequeathed to the Museum|