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Dessert plate from 'Travel' series (train): C.14-1997

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 27 (Glaisher)


Dessert plate from 'Travel' series (train)


Factory: Wedgwood
Designer: Ravilious, Eric William




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

'Windsor Grey' body, circular with slightly concave rim and shallow, curved sides. Decorated in the centre with 'Train' in 'Travel' pattern: a steam train and carriages coming out of a tunnel; on the rim, black weather cones (?) alternating with turquoise semi-circles under curved black lines.


History note: Purchased from `Gabor Cossa', Trumpington Street, Cambridge

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 23.1 cm
Height: 2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Barlaston ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1997-03-03) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


20th Century, Mid#
Elizabeth II
Production date: circa 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.

School or Style

Art Pottery

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( painted in pale turquoise)

Materials used in production

'Windsor Grey' Earthenware
Clear glaze

Techniques used in production

Moulding : 'Windsor Grey' earthenware, printed underglaze in black and painted overglaze in pale turquoise enamel.
Glazing (coating)

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On the back, over circular backstamp
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Factory mark

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

  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Printed in black
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: WEDGWOOD/9 N 5
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: N/TL 472
  • Location: On the back
  • Method of creation: Painted in red enamel
  • Type: Mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.14-1997
Primary reference Number: 12100
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 6 September 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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