Emma Bridgewater designs are perfect examples of Modern Victorian Pottery.
They have a sense of vintage about them even though they’re made by a contemporary designer and pottery company in the Victorian village of Stoke on Trent, in England.
Each of the pottery pieces is hand-finished.
The distinct shape of the mugs have a handcrafted feel, and the bold graphics are reminiscent of Victorian advertising typography.
Something else that harkens to the Victorian era, is the use of historical motifs.
The Victorians loved historical references in their decorative arts. Medieval, Gothic, Ancient Egyptian, all had their revivals in the era.
Not all teacups are cups…
Emma Bridgewater is probably most famous for her Black Toast pottery – dishes that have the iconic black writing on creamware (plate in first photo).
Outside of the Black Toast line, Emma Bridgewater is also known for her hand-painted and colorful polka dots and more realistic bird designs.
Tempest in a teacup
But my favorite EB pieces are the ones illustrated by her husband, Matthew Rice, who helps run the company and writes about architecture as well.
The William Shakespeare and King Edward I, as well as the Jubilee mug, all feature his artistic endeavors.
The amount of detail and description on the pieces is simply wonderful.
Here, on the backside of the Shakespeare mug, the banner that threads across is inviting to the eye and the illustration style is charming and lighthearted.
Within each Emma Bridgewater mug of this style, there’s a flag of writing or illustration within the rim.
Even the bottom of the mugs are decorative.
These mugs, and the others of similar ilk, are a lovely to drink from.
The pottery is so well made, and the color and decoration stay true, even after many a washing.
Like many of the famous British tea companies, Emma Bridgewater produces special pieces for special occasions, like the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
These wonderful Modern Victorian Pottery pieces are a joy to collect. The last time I looked, some of the limited editions have gained in value.
I’ll be continuing to collect, not for future selling, but for the pure joy of drinking and eating from them.
Emma Bridgewater USA website
Emma Bridgewater UK website