In 1763 Mr. Josiah Wedgwood...invented a species
of earthen ware, for the table, quite new in its appearance, covered with
a rich and brilliant glaze... manufactured with ease and expedition, and consequently
Josiah Wedgwood, quoted in an article published in 1789
In fact, Wedgwoods self-promotional claim to have invented the cream-colored
earthenware, now known as creamware, was several fences shy of
the truth. Attempts to fire the white salt-glaze clays at a lower temperature
and to coat them with yellowing lead glaze had been going on among Staffordshire
potters since the 1740s. It was true, nonetheless, that Wedgwoods salesmanship
won him royal patronage and lasting recognition as the creator of what he
renamed Queens Ware.
Nine-tenths of the creamwares produced by Wedgwood and others were undecorated
save for their molded rims. But these hold little interest for collectors.
More desirable are the hand-painted or transfer-printed examples.