Sold at Skinner this week were some rather unusual figures marked WEDGWOOD. Figures marked thus are generally not believed to have been made by the Wedgwood manufactory. Possibly they were made for Wedgwood--the firm may have needed to fill orders it didn't want to produce. Some of the figures are very similar to those formed from molds that Enoch Wood used--so perhaps EW made some of these figures for Wedgwood. More probably, the figures were made by Ralph Wedgwood, who potted in the 1790s. The figures are consistent with that period, and given the fame of the Wedgwood name even then, Ralph would have been stupid not to jump on the bandwagon and mark his wares.
- The WEDGWOOD mark, as found on Staffordshire figures, sometimes has a period (or a 'full stop', if you are reading this in the UK) after it. Were figures marked WEDGWOOD. made by someone other than the potter who marked his wares WEDGWOOD only? Who knows.
- Josiah Wedgwood was the first potter to mark his wares. He introduced the concept of branding. Wedgwood understood the concepts of marketing, way before the MBA had been invented.
So back to the Wedgwood figures. Lord knows who made them. We really can only speculate. But it is always nice to own a marked figure, because it does force you to ponder these things.