by Elizabeth Paynter – CART Lab Director
Often called cauliflower or vegetable ware, this creamware ceramic is defined by the introduction of a rich green glaze and molded vessels that imitate the shape or attributes of fruits and vegetables. Most often these wares were teapots, coffee pots and plates. People refer to this type of ceramic in a variety of ways. Some include the ceramic as a Whieldon ware type. Others have begun to classify it by its green glaze. Around 1740, this vegetable and fruit ware was developed by Thomas Whieldon and Josiah Wedgewood and the elaborate vessel shapes were designed for them by William Greatbatch.
The cauliflower design was truly made to look like a cauliflower. Cauliflower patterned tea and coffee pots have large bright green molded leaves on the lower part of the vessel. The top of the vessels has a molded cauliflower texture with a cream or yellow glaze. Each portion is very distinct, so even a fragment is usually easy to identify. Pineapple and melon patterns were also popular in the 1760’s and were produced through the 1780’s. (MAC Lab 2015)
For a picture of a whole cauliflower teapot, click here.
FLMNH Ceramic. (n.d.). Whieldon Ware, Cauliflower Pattern. Historical Archaeology. Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). Electronic. https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/histarch/gallery_types/type_list.asp accessed February 8, 2018
MAC Lab. 2015. Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland. Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab (MAC Lab). Originally Published 2002. Electronic. http://www.jefpat.org/diagnostic/index.htm accessed February 8, 2018
Wedgewood. (n.d.). Wedgewood and Nature. The Wedgewood Museum. http://wedgwoodmuseum.org.uk/collections/themes/theme/wedgwood-and-nature/object/cauliflower-ware-teapot accessed February 8, 2018