HAND EMBOSSED QUEEN'S WARE
What's In A Name
By Leslie Canavan
Even though it has been discontinued for several years, Wedgwood's popular hand-embossed Queen's Ware dinnerware is still in high demand. Many people are not aware that it was produced in any color combination but the white relief on pale blue, known as lavender. Even fewer realize it came in more than one plate blank, i.e., plain versus shell-edge. And even fewer people, including many Wedgwood employees that we have asked, know that the various color combinations and plate shapes had pattern NAMES as well as identifying pattern numbers. Below is a list of the various colors, names and numbers.
This information is recorded in the Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, Inc. January 15, 1959 price book used by retailers when selling and stocking the wares.
|Pattern #||Description||Table Shape||Pattern Name|
|2243||CC on CC (for cream color)||Plain Edge||Prince Charles|
|2243||Lavender (light blue) on CC||Plain Edge||Margaret|
|2243||CC on Lavender||Plain Edge||Mountbatten|
|3258||CC on CC||Shell Edge||Cornwall|
|3258||Lavender on CC||Shell Edge||Princess Anne|
|3258||CC on Lavender||Shell Edge||Edinburgh|
|2243*||Celadon on CC||Plain Edge||Gloucester|
|2243||CC on Celadon||Plain Edge||Kent|
|2243||CC on Windsor Grey||Plain Edge||Elizabeth|
|3258||Celadon on CC||Shell Edge||Phillip|
|2768||Pink on CC||Plain Edge||**|
* As is still true today, when a pattern is not regularly exported to the US it is known as an Import pattern. This means that one can only order it from the UK and wait until there is sufficient demand to warrant a shipment. The patterns listed above from Celadon on down were at the time of this catalog available only on Import Status.
** These two patterns were marked "Special prices on request" indicating their production was very limited. "Aurora" is described as "Grey Rim with CC laurel and cameo" and in fact looks a great deal like Jasperware because the cameo is Aurora Goddess of the Dawn (racing to the dawn of new love).
For price comparison, in July, 1957 "Aurora" cost $80 for a 20 piece Starter Set ($20 for 5 piece place setting); at that same time "Kent", "Mountbatten" and "Elizabeth" were $59 for 20 piece Starter Set, $14.75 for 5 piece place settings. CC on CC in either table shape was the least expensive at $43 for the 20 piece starter set and $10.75 per 5 piece place setting. By January of 1959, "Kent", "Mountbatten" and "Elizabeth" had increased in price by $3 for the 20 piece set.
Interestingly in the September, 1962 catalog, things had changed. No longer were the pattern names even mentioned and the pattern #s changed. As an aside, when pulling out my catalog I noted that on the supplement which has been clipped into the back of the book, the top of the back page is entitled, in large hand-written letters, "QUEEN'S WEAR"!
Q1100 CC on CC/plain
Q2100 Lavender on CC/plain
Q3100 Celadon on CC/plain
Q5100 CC on Lavender/plain
Q6100 CC on Celadon/plain
Q7100 CC on Windsor Grey/plain
Q1200 CC on CC/shell
Q2200 Lavender on CC/shell
Q3200 Celadon on CC/shell
Q5200 CC on Lavender/shell
In 1962 CC on Lavender was $17.95 for the 5 piece place setting; CC on CC was $13.50 for the 5 piece place setting.
The 1962 catalog information is from the Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, Inc. of America September, 1962 retail price list.
There is a lovely variety of earlier embossed Queen's Ware which we find from time to time. So far we have not been able to find a listing of all the patterns. If you browse our Embossed Queen's Ware category, you will find several fine examples of the older patterns. When people hear the term Embossed Queen's Ware they normally immediately think of these patterns listed above, i.e., the "Grapes & Leaves" patterns, however, the term actually applies to any pattern with an embossed border or decoration. "Wellesley", "Patrician" and "Corinthian" are some others which are also considered "embossed" patterns.
If we go back a bit in time, we find that in the 1940-1950 Catalog of Shapes issued by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons has yet another name for the embossed dinnerware. It is simply called "Embossed Grape Vine". This catalog lists the same pattern numbers as in our first table above. The colors listed are CC on CC, Lavender Blue on CC, Celadon Green on CC, Coral Pink on CC and CC on Lavender Blue. We also know that at some point they produced CC on Celadon and CC on Windsor Grey.
Also in the 1940 - 1950 catalog is illustrated the complete line of embossed Queen's Ware giftware. These are the pieces we see that look just like Jasperware except they are glazed. Vases, Grecian Flower Pots, covered boxes, upright rope handled, Dutch and Etruscan jugs, candy dishes, many shapes of baskets and bowls, fern pots, etc. etc. were made in Queen's Ware then embellished with grapes and leaves embossed sprigging or in some cases oak and acorn or laurel leaf borders. These were made in CC on Lavender, CC on CC, Pink on CC, Celadon on CC and Lavender on CC. Additionally some pieces also are adorned with the typical classical scenes found on Jasperware.