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An Exquisite Collectible for Every Antique Lover

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COLLECTIBLE WEDGWOOD JASPER BOXES AND VASESJasperware, a type of unglazed stoneware with a matte finish, was introduced by Josiah Wedgwood in the 1770s. Since then, it has been a favorite among antique collectors. Jasperware has been admired for its classical beauty, elegant designs, and pastel hues.

The History of Jasperware

Josiah Wedgwood, a master potter and entrepreneur, developed Jasperware in the late 18th century. He was inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman pottery he saw during his travels to Europe. Wedgwood's goal was to create a ceramic material that would mimic the beauty and elegance of those classical designs.

Jasperware was made by mixing clay with other materials, such as flint and basalt, to create a dense, hard, and fine-grained ceramic body. The resulting unglazed stoneware was then decorated with white relief patterns in classical designs, such as figures, mythological scenes, and geometric shapes. These patterns were created by pressing molds into the clay, which would leave a raised, white design on the surface after firing.

Jasperware was an instant success and became a signature product of Wedgwood's pottery company. It was so popular that other manufacturers tried to imitate it, but none could match the quality and elegance of Wedgwood's Jasperware.

Characteristics of Jasperware

Jasperware is known for its distinct characteristics that make it stand out from other ceramics. Here are some of the key features of Jasperware:
  • Matte finish: Jasperware has a smooth and velvety matte finish, which gives it a soft and delicate appearance.
  • Pale colors: Jasperware is typically produced in pastel colors, such as pale blue, green, pink, lilac, and yellow. These colors were popular during the neoclassical period, and they complement the white relief patterns on Jasperware.
  • Relief decoration: Jasperware is decorated with white relief patterns in classical designs. These designs are typically inspired by ancient Greek and Roman mythology, literature, and art. The relief patterns are often intricate and finely detailed, which adds to the beauty and elegance of Jasperware.
  • Wedgwood mark: Authentic Jasperware pieces bear the Wedgwood mark, which is a stamp or impressed mark on the bottom of the piece. This mark identifies the manufacturer and the period in which the piece was made.

Collectibility of Jasperware

Jasperware has been a popular collectible for over two centuries. Its historical significance, elegant design, and exquisite craftsmanship make it a desirable addition to any antique collection. Here are some factors that affect the collectibility of Jasperware:
  • Rarity: Some Jasperware designs were only produced for a short period or in limited quantities, which makes them rare and valuable. Examples include the Portland Vase and the Fairyland Lustre series.
  • Condition: The condition of a Jasperware piece is critical to its collectibility. Pieces that are in excellent condition, with no cracks, chips, or restoration, are more valuable than those that show signs of wear and tear.
  • Age: Jasperware pieces that are older are generally more valuable than newer pieces. The earliest Jasperware designs are from the 1770s, and pieces from the late 18th and early 19th centuries are particularly desirable.
  • Design: Some Jasperware designs are more popular than others, and this affects their collectibility. For example, designs that feature classical figures, such as the Dancing Hours or the Sacrifice Vase, are highly sought after by collectors

Tips for Buying and Caring for Jasperware

If you're interested in starting a Jasperware collection or adding to your existing one, here are some tips for buying and caring for these exquisite pieces.

When buying Jasperware watch for:
  • Authenticity: Always buy from reputable dealers who guarantee the authenticity of their pieces. Look for the Wedgwood mark on the bottom of the piece, and check if it matches the period and style of the piece.
  • Condition: Inspect the piece carefully for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or restoration. Avoid pieces that have been heavily restored or altered, as these can significantly reduce their value.
  • Rarity: Look for pieces that are rare or unique, as these can appreciate in value over time. Do your research and learn about the different designs and periods of Jasperware to help you identify rare and valuable pieces.

When it comes to caring for Jasperware, it's important to keep in mind the following crucial factors:
  • Display: Jasperware should be displayed in a secure and stable location, away from direct sunlight, heat, and humidity. Avoid displaying it near windows or in areas that are exposed to temperature changes.
  • Cleaning: Jasperware should be cleaned with a soft cloth or brush, using mild soap and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals, as these can damage the delicate surface of the piece. Rinse the piece thoroughly and dry it with a soft cloth.
  • Storage: Jasperware should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from other objects that can scratch or damage it. Use acid-free tissue paper or bubble wrap to protect the piece, and avoid stacking or overcrowding pieces.


Jasperware is a beautiful and collectible antique that has stood the test of time. Its elegant design, historical significance, and exquisite craftsmanship make it a desirable addition to any antique collection. By following these tips for buying and caring for Jasperware, you can enjoy its beauty and value for years to come.

For more see Collecting Wedgwood Jasperware Cameos

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