A WEDWOOD AND BENTLEY BLACK BASALT LION HEAD HANDLED VASE
42.0 cm high
Impressed Wedgwood & Bentley Etruria mark in a circle under the base
The form is loosely based on a design by Jacques Stella, but Wedgwood simplified the ornament and extended the neck. It became no. 1399 in the factory shape book.
Wedgwood wrote to Bentley on 22 August 1770: ‘I am glad you have met with such a Treasure in Stella, & shall be glad to have it here for our edification – Cannot Mr Coward offtrace the heads and handles & so we may have the book almost immediately, for I long to see it’, seven days later, on receiving the volume, he described it as ‘an admirable one indeed’, adding ‘many good things may be made out of it’. (Young 1995, p.105).
Minute chips to edges of base
Colonel Maurice H. Grant Collection, no. 50 (paper label)
J.D. & Louise Trabue Collection.
Sotheby’s, New York, 6 April 1988, lot 3
Jeffrey Milkins Collection, no. 102
Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, ‘Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries’, 9 February 2020 – 3 January 3, 2021, no. 44
Colonel Maurice H. Grant, Makers of Black Basaltes, first published 1910, p. 79, pl. XX, fig. 2 (author’s collection)
Brian D Gallagher, Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, exhibition catalogue (Mint Museum of Art, 2020), pp. 148-149, no. 44
Young, Hilary (ed.). The Genius of Wedgwood. London, (Victoria & Albert Museum, 1995), p. 106, E11