Raised work

  • The Benthall Pottery Company produced a range of pieces with distinctive, highly modelled, applied decoration, which it referred to as “raised work”.

  • The earliest known reference to raised work appears in the Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News,  24 September 1881, describing the bazaar held at the opening of the Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Shrewsbury: “Across the front of the orchestra was a row of specimens of Salopian decorative art in pottery sent from the Benthall Works. Amongst them were some very beautiful vases, with raised flowers after the style of the Sevres china.” 

  • An advertisement in The Pottery Gazette, 1883–84, mentioned this range: “The raised fruit and flower work is a spécialité with us, and is quite unique.” 

  • Modelled lemons, apples, pears, plums, cherries, grapes, roses, passion flowers, lilies of the valley, water lilies, shells, sea urchins, lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, alligators, birds and monkeys all occur as raised work.

  • Raised work was applied to a wide range of ceramic shapes, including wall plaques, bowls, vases, teasets, baskets and tazzas or comports.

  • The raised work decoration can be as much as 50mm / 2in proud of the piece.

  • Raised work was usually marked with the  impressed “diamond” Salopian Art Pottery mark, used on higher quality pieces. However, some pieces were only marked with the simple impressed SALOPIAN mark.

  • According to the Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks (Geoffrey Godden, revised edition 1991) the “diamond” mark "was registered in 1882”. It has not been possible to independently verify this. The mark seems to have been used until c.1910. 

  • Raised work is thought to come from the Benthall Pottery Company’s early period, c.1880s–1900s.

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