2011 Number 27
Published September 2015
©2015 by The Wedgwood Society of New York, ISSN 1043-3317
On the cover: A Wedgwood perfume flask, white on blue jasper and silver, c. 1790, 2" (5.1 cm) h., Collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art; the Dwight and Lucille Beeson Wedgwood Collection 1977.75. The flask bears on one side a portrait of Catherine the Great, empress of Russia, in the guise of Minerva, and on the other a portrait of a gentleman who is possibly William V, Prince of Orange. William V (1748-1806) was the last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic. In 1795, after the establishment of a French-style revolutionary regime in Holland, he went into exile in England. Catherine the Great (1729-1796) was one of the greatest rulers of her adopted Russia, expanding its territory, notably to the south, widening its horizons to incorporate influences from western Europe, and becoming a great patron of the arts – hence, perhaps, her depiction here as Minerva. In the world of ceramics, she encouraged the manufacture of porcelain in Russia, and is of course well-known as a major customer of Josiah Wedgwood, who manufactured the huge and distinctive “Frog Service” in painted creamware, made for Catherine’s La Grenouillière. Anne Forschler-Tarrasch discusses an unrecorded plate from this service.
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