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Small side plate from ‘Travel ‘ series (bus): C.15-2005

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Small side plate from ‘Travel ‘ series (bus)


Factory: Wedgwood
Designer: Ravilious, Eric William




Small earthenware plate, printed underglaze in black and painted overglaze in pale turquoise enamel.

'Windsor Grey' body, printed in black and painted in turquoise enamel. Circular with a narrow slightly concave rim, and shallow curved sides. Decorated in the centre with a ’Bus’ in ‘Travel’ pattern: a bus containing figures driving towards the viewer, along a road with turquoise kerd-stones; on the rim, black weather cones (?) alternating with turquoise semi-circles under curved black lines.


History note: E Sworder & Sons, auctioneers, 20 September 2005, lot 118; the Fry Art Gallery, Bridge End Gardens, Castle Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1BD (not accessioned), from whom purchased

Legal notes

Purchased with the Applied Arts Duplicates Fund

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 15.3 cm
Height: 1.5 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Barlaston ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (2005-11-21) by The Fry Art Gallery


Elizabeth I
20th Century, Mid
Production date: AD 1954


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 produced at least seven Wedgwood tableware pattern series, each with a number of vignettes on a single everyday theme, and sometimes also drew the tableware shapes for additions such as jam-pots. ‘Travel’ was designed c.1937 and first made in 1953. It was printed in black on a newly-introduced Windsor Grey body and hand coloured. A ‘Travel’ dinner service for six, depicting travel through snow and by balloon, bus, train, aeroplane, steamboat and sail, cost £17 3s 6d. Ravilious also designed commemorative wares, including a Coronation Mug for Edward VIII (1936), later adapted for the coronations of both George VI and Elizabeth II; a mug celebrating the company’s relocation to Barlaston (1939); and a ‘Boat Race Day’ bowl, cup and stand (1938). Earlier designs were engraved at the factory from Ravilious’ drawings, but 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 and a number of his prints, and a book of Tirzah Ravilious’ engravings.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( turquoise) print

Materials used in production

Windsor Grey Earthenware

Techniques used in production

Moulding : Earthenware printed underglaze and painted in turquoise enamel
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD/IF54 (?)
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Inscription
  • Text: WEDGWOOD/MADE IN ENGLAND’ with above ‘OF ETRURIA’and below ‘& BARLASTON’ forming a circle
  • Location: On the base
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: very pale

  • Text: TK 472 [illegible]
  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Painted in red
  • Type: Factory mark

Inscription present: also '£100' handwritten in black ball-point

  • Text: ‘GE Sworder & Sons / 20th September 2005 / 118’
  • Location: On back
  • Method of creation: Rectangular paper label printed in black
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.15-2005
Primary reference Number: 125044
Entry form number: 645
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 14 July 2023 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Small side plate from ‘Travel ‘ series (bus)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-23 17:13:29

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