Collection Online

Covered cream vase
(c. 1790)

earthenware (creamware)
(a-b) 37.6 × 33.4 × 27.4 cm (overall)
Place/s of Execution
Staffordshire, England
(a) painted in brown u.c.: SL (monogram) (in a wreath)
impressed (vertically) in base l.l.: WEDGWOOD
(b) painted in brown l.c.: SL (monogram) (in a wreath)
Accession Number
International Decorative Arts
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Mrs Norma Deutsher, Governor, 1994
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
18th Century Decorative Arts - Great Hall Costume Corridor
Level 2, NGV International
Physical description
Shield-shaped vessel with horizontal handles and a lid which rises in a curve towards a broad vent at the top. Both are decorated with a band of 'flute and wreath' design in brown and blue.
This beautifully proportioned vase, with its elegantly curving profile and Greek-style handles, is executed in the fine white earthenware body known as creamware, perfected by the eighteenth-century English ceramics entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood. The vessel was intended to hold cream, and was destined for use in a fashionable pleasure dairy. The blue and brown painted bands of ‘flute and wreath’ pattern derive from Roman wall paintings and owe nothing to the decoration of a Classical vase. The white ground is also wholly eighteenth-century in conception. The vase is not a copy of an ancient ceramic but an evocation of the idea of the ‘Classical’.