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Dessert plate from ‘Garden’ series (deckchair): C.3-2001

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Dessert plate from ‘Garden’ series (deckchair)


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




Earthenware plate, printed underglaze in black and painted overglaze in yellow enamel.

Cream-coloured earthenware decorated with lithographed print. Circular with a narrow, slightly concave rim, curved sides, and flat centre. Decorated in the centre with a vignette of a woman holding a book while sitting in a deckchair, to the left of a tree. A shopping basket on wheels stands on the right in the shadow of the tree. On the rim there are nineteen overlapping lengths of twisted, striped, ribbon, with a broad yellow band on the inner edge.


History note: 'Gabor Cossa' Antiques, Trumpington Street, Cambridge

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum, purchased from Gabor Cossa Antiques

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 23.3 cm
Height: 2.0 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Barlaston ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2001-01-22) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


20th Century, Mid#
Elizabeth II
Production date: AD 1954-03


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. ‘Garden’, introduced in 1938 and also produced in the 1950s, used lithography on earthenware, with enamel wash bands of yellow, blue or green; four of the nine original drawingss - including with the deckchair - are shown in Batkin. The design was also produced without the printed centre image. A comparable dinner service with ‘Travel’ design sold for £17 3s 6d in the early 1950s. 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.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( yellow)

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: WEDGWOOD/3 R54
  • Location: Underside, off centre
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: over circular factory back stamp

  • Location: Underside, off centre
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: circular mark, 'WEDGWOOD / MADE IN ENGLAND' in the centre

  • Location: Underside, off centre
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: with indistinct red enamel numbers (259?) painted over it

  • Text: 7
  • Location: Underside, off centre, below circular factory stamp
  • Method of creation: In enamel
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3-2001
Primary reference Number: 20885
Entry form number: 150
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 5 March 2019 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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