The preeminence of Wedgwood in English ceramics must be traced in large degree to the genius of its founder Josiah Wedgwood I. Business man, manufacturer, colleague and peer to Enlightenment intellectuals, Josiah may have been the most technically innovative potter of his time. He can claim personal credit for the development of basalt and jasperware and for major improvements in creamware and stoneware. Association with important neo-classical designers and artists like Flaxman and Stubbs established the dynasty's tradition of artistic excellence.
Josiah's descendents throughout the 19th century maintained the principal lines and the classical tradition of the earlier days while introducing a variety of goods relating to the changing interests of the times - from the Rosso Antico wares reflecting the influx of Mediterranean antiquities around 1800 to the aesthetic movement patterns reflecting the influx of Japanese imports in the last quarter of the century.
Because Wedgwood has maintained some designs across the boundaries of decades and even of centuries, dating specific pieces can be confusing. The basic first resource in this regard is the impressed or printed mark. In general,
While this key provides only a rough cut and ignores many other chronological clues, it is a useful starting point.
Seekers Antiques ends its Wedgwood offerings with wares marked WEDGWOOD ENGLAND with the exception of lines first introduced or principally produced after that period.