Tag Archives: josiah wedgwood

Josiah Wedgwood and the Abolition of the Slave Trade

Josiah Wedgwood, the English potter, was an original member of the Lunar Society, a group of prominent figures in the Midlands, including industrialists, natural philosophers, and intellectuals. Matthew Boulton, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestley, and the author and abolitionist Thomas Day were members of the social club formed to discuss issues with other like-minded individuals.

In 1773 Thomas Day wrote the epic poem The Dying Negro, which may have been partly responsible for arousing Josiah’s practical opposition to the slave trade.… Read More

The Portland Vase: How Josiah Wedgwood Turned an Ancient Glass Masterpiece into a Ceramic Legacy

One of the most famous surviving Roman works of art, The Portland Vase, is a fused glass vase and was believed to have been made during the reign of Augustus, sometime between 27 BC and AD 14. It consists of two layers, a dark blue overlaid with a soft white. The relief was cameo cut by gem engravers of the highest order and is considered a masterpiece of its kind. At some point the base was damaged and an additional disc was added showing a portrait of a man wearing a Phrygian cap.… Read More