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Bowl with mottled blue glaze: C.42-2006

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Bowl with mottled blue glaze


Factory: Ruskin Pottery
Maker: Taylor, William Howson




Stoneware bowl with matt blue and brown glaze.

Thrown white stoneware, circular, with deep sloping sides. Towards the base the sides curve inwards towards a raised foot-ring. The whole surface is coated with matt glazes of mottled blue and pale-blue/turquoise over mottled brown. The centre is mainly deep blue and brown, the upper surfaces mainly blues with brown specks, and the underside more thinly glazed with the brown dominant.


History note: Unknown before testator, Hove, Sussex

Legal notes

Bequeathed by S.V. Finn

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 23.2 cm
Diameter: 9.125 in
Height: 8.5 cm
Height: 3.375 in

Place(s) associated

  • Smethwick ⪼ Staffordshire ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Early 20th century
George V
Production date: AD 1927 : dated


Howson Taylor favoured local clays and became known for his experimental lustre, flambé and soufflé glazes, all of which were leadless. By1927 the market for lusterware was waning and demand shifting to simpler styles, and Ruskin introduced a range of new matt, semi-matt and crystalline glazes. The Pottery was able to sell these wares at lower prices, as they generally needed only two firings compared to the five often used for lustred pieces, and thus helped a move into the domestic market. On 29th July 1930, the Birmingham Gazette reported ‘Mr Howson Taylor carried out no less than 1,500 experiments to obtain new and delicate shades of colouring […] each piece has a dominant note of broken colour, and these harmonise with home furnishings and costume’.

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.

School or Style

Arts & Crafts

Components of the work

Whoel composed of glaze ( mottled blue, pale blue, and brown)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : White stoneware glazed with blue, pale blue, and brown

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: ENGLAND is smaller and above RUSKIN

  • Location: Underside of base close to the footring
  • Method of creation: Impressed separately
  • Type: Factory mark
  • Text: 1927
  • Location: On base, below and to the left of ENGLAND
  • Method of creation: Impressed
  • Type: Date mark

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.42-2006
Primary reference Number: 134027
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 15 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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