1884 John Wesley Wedgwood Jasperware Plaque
WOMAN: Well, it was a gift to my father. My father was a surgeon who took very good care of little old ladies. And late in his career, one of the little old ladies gave him this. And she wrote a letter, and in the letter, it said that the plaque was made in 1790 by Josiah Wedgwood for his personal friend John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist religion. And this patient told him that she'd spent her life looking for a Methodist bishop to whom she could gift the plaque, but she couldn't find one.
And she said then in the letter that she found an angel in the cloth of a surgeon, and she gave it to my father.
That's wonderful. And so when did you get it? How did you get it?
Well, I'm the only Methodist of my siblings, and so it came to me after my father died.
Okay, well, great. Well, I, what I love is, I love family stories of, with objects that have a history like that, especially when they concern important and famous people. Certainly, Josiah Wedgwood was important. And John Wesley was, he was even very important and famous in his own time, and many different English pottery and porcelain manufacturers made figurines and depictions of him because he was so important. Now, according to the story, the gift was in 1790. Well, Josiah Wedgwood died in 1795, and John Wesley died in 1791, so that would seem to fit the story. But then you have to look at the object and see if the object fits the story. So in 1860s, Wedgwood started a date mark system. The back is impressed with three letters, and the last letter is the year that it was made. And so this piece has a date mark on the back, and it was made in 1884. So this plaque was first made in the 18th century, but throughout the, the period of Wedgwood manufacturing, they remade the plaque because John Wesley was such an interesting and important figure. So, unfortunately, this doesn't fit the story exactly, because it was actually made in 1884. It was made by the Wedgwood company, it does depict John Wesley, but it was made much, much later. In today's market, this would probably be worth between $200 and $300. I still love that written documentation, and I would recommend that you still keep it with it, but now you can write something else about, you brought it to the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, and it will just be part of the history of the piece.
Thank you very much.
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