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Coronation Mug : Edward VIII 1937: EC.1-1945

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Coronation Mug : Edward VIII 1937


Factory: Josiah Wedgwood & Sons
Designer: Ravilious, Eric William




Creamware mug transfer-printed in black, glazed and painted in blue and yellow enamels with the Royal Arms, 'ER' and '1937'.

Cream-coloured earthenware transfer-printed in black, glazed and painted in blue and yellow enamels. Cylindrical, with a reeded loop handle. On the lower half of the exterior: a design incorporating the date (1937), the Royal Arms and 'ER', over-painted with a solid band of cornflower blue. On the upper half: fireworks highlighted in yellow, on one side against a darkened sky. Inside, near the rim: 'ER' beneath a crown, not coloured. The underside is flat and glazed, with a narrow, raised foot-rim.


History note: Given by R S Hart, 1945; unknown before donor

Legal notes

Given by R.S. Hart

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 10.6 cm
Height: 10.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Etruria ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1945) by Hart, R. S.


Edward VIII
1936 CE - 1937 CE


Eric Ravilious (1903-42) studied engraving, illustration and colour printing at the Royal College of Art and by 1926-28 was exhibiting watercolours, producing book illustrations and commissioned to paint murals. In 1930 he married Eileen Lucy "Tirzah" Garwood (1908-1951) also a noted artist and engraver. From around 1936, he became one of Wedgwood’s most prolific freelance designers, although many of his designs were not produced in quantity until after World War II, during which he was killed while serving as a war artist with the Royal Marines. Wedgwood had revived the use of engraved designs in the mid 1930s – a mode of decoration which allowed the artist’s own work and ‘hand-writing’ to be reproduced in a factory setting, and well suited to Ravilious’ style.

Ravilious’ engraving for this mug was produced in 1936, for the Coronation of Edward VIII the following year, but the king abdicated before the event took place. The design was later adapted for the coronations of both George VI and Elizabeth II. Other Wedgwood commemorative ware by Ravilious includes a mug celebrating the company’s relocation to Barlaston in1939 and a ‘Boat Race Day’ bowl, cup and stand (1938). He also designed at least seven Wedgwood tableware services, each with a number of vignettes on a single everyday theme. His ‘Travel’ dinner service for six, produced in the 1950s and depicting travel through snow and by balloon, bus, train, aeroplane, steamboat and sail, cost £17 3s 6d. Earlier designs were engraved at the factory from Ravilious’ drawings; others, including the ‘Boat Race’ images, were lithographs drawn by Ravilious himself for direct application to the ware.

The Fitzwilliam Museum also holds a war-time watercolour by Ravilious, two books with his engravings a number of his prints, a book of Tirzah Ravilious’ engravings, and Wedgwood Coronation mugs designed by Richard Guyatt.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamels ( blue and yellow)

Materials used in production

Clear glaze
Cream-coloured earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Cream earthenware, transfer-printed and painted with enamels
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: back-stamp in black with a crown above

  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Stamped in black
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: (towards the rim, above and below the back-stamp)

  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: R
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: CL6203/A
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Painted in red
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: 4
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Painted in blue
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: EC.1-1945
Primary reference Number: 11751
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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