Initially basalt dominated the scene, with its imposing black stoneware forms imitating Greek vases. However, it was Wedgwood's invention of the jasper body which was to be the tour de force associated with his name. Wedgwood's jasper vases, purchased by gentry and nobility alike, were soon imitated by a myriad of potters.
This book is the first to explore the vast subject of English dry-bodied stoneware, and to discuss the antecedents of the eighteenth-century neo-classical wares, the red stonewares of the seventeenth century, as well as the other bodies produced by Wedgwood and his contemporaries: caneware, white felspathic stoneware and, of course, the flagship of the Wedgwood name, jasper.
The authors, have utilized for the first time Wedgwood's sales records from 1774-1794 as they survive. These have made it possible to allow for more specific dating of body types and forms as they correspond to the Wedgwood Shapes Books.