Three dolphins on a curved triangular base raise their tail fins to support a lidded vessel...
Three dolphins on a curved triangular base raise their tail fins to support a lidded vessel intended for the burning of air-freshening "pastilles." The result is a Wedgwood form famed for its elegance and delicacy, but rarely encountered except in Wedgwood's recently produced "masterpiece" editions.
The round burning pot is ornamented with a garland that more resembles seaweed and tiny shells than Wedgwood's ivy swags. The lid consists of a collar with an unusual honeysuckle and husk border. This is surmounted by an extraordinary cap, pierced in a complex spiral pattern. The delicate lattice allowed the aroma to waft upwards, but its fragility must account for the rarity of the piece today.
This example is complete with its functional burner insert, almost always missing from surviving examples. The plain round disc supports the pastille while allowing air circulation to facilitate burning.
|Dimensions:||Height 5 1/2 in., Width 4 7/8 in.|
|Condition:||Fine.Slight Firing separation along the spine of one Dolphin support. Lid Knop slightly tilted in firing.
Riley's Wedgwood: The New Illustrated Dictionary includes quite a bit of information...
Riley's Wedgwood: The New Illustrated Dictionary includes quite a bit of information concerning this burner. The form was first produced as an oil lamp base in the 1770's and adapted for pastilles shortly after 1800. It shares its dolphins with the well known candlesticks, believed to have been modeled by Josiah I himself. Riley even enlightens us about pastilles: cones of powdered charcoal mixed with aromatic oils--ancesters of the incense cones that caused so many dorm rooms to reek in our college days.