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We know from surviving factory records that Josiah Wedgwood produced a wide range of flowerpots and root pots to appeal to all markets and tastes. The ornamental ware catalogues mention that ‘…there is a great variety, both in respect to pattern and colour; and the prices vary accordingly.’ Many ‘root’ pots were traditional in form while others had ‘novelty’ appeal.

Rarely has nature been more important to our quality of life than during these current times yet, way back in the 1750s, Josiah Wedgwood had a fascination with the natural world that has proved to be a source of constant inspiration for the craftspeople and designers of Wedgwood. During this series we look at the lasting creations that nature inspired.

On Inauguration Day 2021, we look back to the days of the creation of the White House Service by Wedgwood for US President Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1902, Theodore Roosevelt had moved into new executive offices in the newly built West Wing for which Congress had voted to invest $65,196. $475,445 had already been agreed for repairing and refurnishing the Executive Mansion.

Since the company’s foundation in 1759, we have made use of a number of very talented female artists in their own right. Women such as Lady Templetown, Therésè Lessore, Louise Powell, Daisy Makeig-Jones and Susie Cooper are perhaps some of the better known ones. One of my favourites, however, is Millicent Taplin who worked for the company for 45 years.

There are lots of items from the company’s history that we would love to have but the ones I’d like most have been missing for many years.

Some of the most important items in our collection are the personal correspondence between Josiah Wedgwood and his friend and business partner, Thomas Bentley.

From 1762 until Bentley’s death in 1780, the two corresponded frequently on a range of topics. From business to family, current politics and news of friends and acquaintances, the correspondence shed a vast quantity of light on the life and work of Josiah Wedgwood.

The history of the museum collection is really very interesting. There is a story that in the early 1900s, a long forgotten room was reopened at the Etruria factory, and inside they discovered a collection of thousands of different ceramic trials that Josiah Wedgwood himself had produced in the 18th century. Keen to preserve what they had found, the company decided that the best course forward was to set up their own museum.