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Turquoise lustre vase: C.41-2006

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Turquoise lustre vase


Factory: Ruskin Pottery
Maker: Taylor, William Howson




Stoneware vase with a lustrous turquoise glaze

Thrown white stoneware, with a cloudy, iridescent turquoise glaze completely covering the exterior and inside of the neck. The vase is tall and slim and stands on a circular projecting foot. The sides curve outwards very slightly and then inwards to the rounded shoulder from which rises a short, narrow neck with an everted rim. The underside is flat and glazed, with a slightly raised, unglazed, foot-rim. There are three spur marks just inside the rim.


History note: Unknown before testator, Hove, Sussex

Legal notes

Bequeathed by S.V. Finn

Measurements and weight

Height: 20.9 cm
Width: 6.7 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Smethwick ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2006) by Finn, S.V.


20th Century, Early
George V
Production date: AD 1924 : (marked)


Early examples of Ruskin ware were all individual art pieces but, by July 1915, ‘Pottery Gazette’ notes that ‘Mr Taylor has commercialised many of his productions, and brought some really artistic conceptions within the reach of every class of people able to appreciate pottery that is soulful’. The unusual shape of this vase, however, suggests it is an individual piece.

William Howson Taylor (1876-1935) came from a Staffordshire potting family and set up his pottery c.1898 with his father, Edward, a well known art educator and Principal of the Birmingham Municipal School of Art. Active supporters of the Arts & Crafts movement, the Taylors were friends of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones and admirers of Ruskin. Wares were known as ‘Ruskin Pottery’ from c.1903 until 1933 (with the Ruskin family’s agreement only from 1906), and first shown at the 1903 Arts & Crafts Exhibition. Later they were exhibited widely, from Louisiana to Milan to Christ Church, New Zealand, and received many prizes including the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition in Brussels, in 1910. . A staff of around 20 included William Forrester, trained at Ruskin as a thrower, and from 1898-1912, Emily Boswell (decorator). Taylor favoured local clays and became known for his experimental lustre, flambé and soufflé glazes, all of which were leadless. His fascination with the effects of glazes on simple oriental-shaped pots is apparent in this example. A booklet he published in 1924 lists thirteen lustre colours, including turquoise; and a similar glaze to this one is shown in the brochure for the 1924 Wembley Exhibition, at which the Ruskin Pottery featured ‘new footed shapes and mottled lustre effects’.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of glaze ( lustrous turquoise)
Base Diameter 5.8 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : Thrown white stoneware, coated with a cloudy, lustrous glaze.

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: ENGLAND is below and to the right of RUSKIN

  • Location: On base
  • Method of creation: Impressed separately
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: 1924
  • Location: On base, below ENGLAND
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Date mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.41-2006
Primary reference Number: 134026
Stable URI

Audit data

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

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Turquoise lustre vase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-20 15:28:14

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{{cite web|url= |title=Turquoise lustre vase |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-20 15:28:14|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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