Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jasperware

Jasperware (also written as Jasper Ware), remains the most popular product line of household wares and decorative arts from the Josiah Wedgwood factory founded in 1759 at Burslem, Staffordshire, England. Jasperware is a high-fired, creamy-white, fine-grained unglazed ceramic with added metal oxides stained in various colors, the most popular being "Wedgwood Blue." Then, pre-molded, white, bas-relief motifs are appliqued to the surface; the countless motifs include the classical and neo-classical, foliage, flowers, crowns, chariots, scrolls, etc. Pipe bowls were probably considered as miscellanea or sundries, and to accompany these occasional bowls, Josiah's factory also produced ashtrays, tobacco containers, cigar humidors, and lighter bases. It is believed that pipe collectors own more of these smokers' utensils than do the most devoted collectors of Wedgwood/Jasperware.

As an aside, there is no record that Wedgwood ever manufactured pipe stems or mouthpieces. Those components to make a complete and functional pipe were produced by other artisans. Hence, to a smoker or collector, any stem that complements and fits the bowl can be used.



This Jasperware pipe bowl is of the more common configuration. The lower section is the reservoir (or drain plug). Note the matching acanthus leaf decor on the pipe rest, known as a sled.

(From the Dr. Sarunas Peckus Pipe Collection)

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