While Wedgwood produced its signature models of the Roman Portland Vase in almost as many...
While Wedgwood produced its signature models of the Roman Portland Vase in almost as many different jasper colors as sizes, examples executed in green are relatively scarce. This medium size example displays the sharp detail and beauty of the justly famed figures of gods and demi-gods.
As with the ancient original in the British Museum, the shape is that of an amphora with the pointed end truncated and replaced with a flat base. The modesty of the classical figures (and of the consumer) is preserved by the modified draperies adopted by the pottery for most of its nineteenth century versions. The figures, rocky ledges, and architectural elements stand in elegant contrast to the cool green jasper ground.
|Mark:||Impressed WEDGWOOD, ENGLAND|
|Date:||1891 - c. 1908|
|Dimensions:||Height 8 in.; diameter at shoulder 5 3/4 in.|
The Portland Vase, along with the Elgin Marbles, must stand in the forefront of ancient Me...
The Portland Vase, along with the Elgin Marbles, must stand in the forefront of ancient Mediterranean treasures that have found a home in Great Britain. Josiah I's obsession with copying the Roman cameo glass vase in jasper is well known, as is the association of the vase with Wedgwood as its corporate logo.
There are many twists and turns in the vase's history that are less well-known, but are recounted in a most entertaining manner in The Portland Vase: The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Mysterious Roman Treasure by Robin Brooks (2005). We recommend the book and, of course, also recommend the inclusion of some variant of the Portland in any serious Wedgwood collection.