Wedgwood vases and other fine china are produced by Wedgwood, a British pottery firm that was founded by Joseph Wedgwood in 1759. The company recently merged with Waterford crystal to become Waterford Wedgwood. Wedgwood vases and other china are relatively easy to identify because Wedgwood is one of the only manufacturers to almost always mark its products with its name.
Pick up the vase and turn it over. You may want to wear cloth gloves when doing so if you think the vase is exceptionally old or rare.
Examine the underside of the vase's base. Wedgwood vases are typically clearly marked with a painted or embossed Wedgwood mark. According to eBay's Wedgwood Buying Guide, the mark should either say "Wedgwood England," "Wedgwood Made in England," or "Wedgwood of Etruria & Barlaston." In some cases the vase may bear a picture of an urn with the word "Wedgwood" under it.
Make sure the spelling is correct. Authentic Wedgwood vases do not have an "e" after the "g." Another company, Enoch Wedgewood of Tunstall, makes china with the "Wedgewood & Co." mark. These pieces are generally dinnerware made for Avon and have no collectable value.
Check online auction sites such as eBay and see if you can find your vase. eBay typically has upwards of 300 listings for Wedgwood vases, much of it in the Jasperware style, which traditionally consists of a light blue background with white scenes of Greek or Roman patterns. These listings come with descriptions and photos that should prove helpful.
A small percentage of Wedgwood china is not marked. These are generally the earliest pieces. In these instances, seek out a qualified antiques appraiser.
Cracks, chips or spider veins running through the porcelain can render even a rare Wedgwood vase practically worthless.
Tips and warnings
- A small percentage of Wedgwood china is not marked. These are generally the earliest pieces. In these instances, seek out a qualified antiques appraiser.
- Cracks, chips or spider veins running through the porcelain can render even a rare Wedgwood vase practically worthless.