Pair of Wedgwood Black Basalt Sphinxes Made, circa 1840 For Sale
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Pair of Wedgwood Black Basalt Sphinxes Made, circa 1840

About

WHY WE LOVE IT: The beauty and strength of woman A Sphinx has the head of a woman, the body of a lion, and a pair of wings. This pair of Wedgwood black basalt sphinxes, are modeled on a rectangular base with a 'lotus' shaped candleholder. The original models date from circa 1773 and were probably obtained by Wedgwood as casts from the London cast makers, Hoskins and Oliver. Beginning in the late 18th century Wedgwood made two models of sphinxes: the Greek and the Egyptian. This pair is of the Egyptian type which represents the sphinx reclining (the Greek form shows the sphinx seated upright in a typically feline position). The modeling of these figures is crisp. They are a fine example of Wedgwood's neo-Egyptian style. They would be wonderful in a library with warm neoclassical decoration where they would blend beautifully with the warm colors, and at the same time they would be a focal point, stark and exciting if you had them alone on a white mantle in a contemporary room. The underside of each sphinx is impressed "WEDGWOOD" in upper case letters. See "The Dictionary of Wedgwood" R Reilly and G Savage pg. 323. Background of Wedgwood Black Basalt Sphinxes In the late eighteen century Josiah Wedgwood created a black stoneware which he named "Black Basalt", as it resembled Egyptian basalt stone. Influenced by Egyptian antiquities, artists first crafted this Black Basalt model of a sphinx in 1773. This pair of sphinxes is part of our large collection of Black Basalt.  

Details

  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 5 in. x W 2.2 in. x D 6 in.H 12.7 cm x W 5.59 cm x D 15.24 cm
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU866514791051
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About Wedgwood (Maker)

Arguably the most celebrated of all English ceramics makers, Wedgwood was founded in 1759 by Staffordshire potter Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795). The company is famed for its Jasperware — molded Neoclassical stoneware vases, plates and other pieces, inspired by ancient cameo glass, featuring white figures, scenes and decorative elements set in relief on a matte colored background. The best-known background hue is light blue, but Wedgwood’s iconic silhouettes also appear on green, lilac, yellow, black and even white grounds. Some pieces use three or more colors.


     The Wedgwood firm first came to prominence for its tableware, which quickly gained favor in aristocratic households throughout Britain and Europe. In 1765, Wedgwood was commissioned to create a cream-colored earthenware service for Queen Charlotte, consort of King George III. The queen was so thrilled with her new china that Wedgwood was given permission to call himself “Potter to Her Majesty,” and the decorative style became known as Queen’s Ware. Not to be outdone, Catherine the Great of Russia commissioned her own set of Wedgwood china in 1773. Nearly 200 years later, the firm created a 1,200-piece service for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In recent years, leading designers including Jasper Conran and Vera Wang have collaborated with Wedgwood — in the tradition of such distinguished 18th century artists such as the painter George Stubbs and metalsmith Matthew Boulton.


     From plates and other dinnerware to decorative items like urns, cachepots and candlesticks, Wedgwood designs lend a traditional air to Anglophile interiors. And even if you have to make your own tea, you may find it comforting to sip it from a delicate cup that was manufactured in the same Stoke-on-Trent kiln that produced Her Majesty’s tea service. Be sure to keep your pinky raised.

About the Seller

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Located in New York, NY
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