English, active 1898–1935
17.3 x 12.7 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Mrs. George H. Sellers donation
The Birmingham Tile and Pottery Works was founded in 1898 by Edward R. Taylor (1838–c. 1912), the Principal of the Birmingham School of Art, and was initially led by his son William Howson Taylor (1876–1935). The younger Taylor renamed the enterprise Ruskin Pottery in 1904, an indication of his high regard for the renowned English art critic and writer John Ruskin. Taylor shared Ruskin’s ideas regarding beauty, nature, and art’s ability to communicate truth. Ruskin Pottery is recognized for its high-quality production of Chinese-inspired forms and glazes, evident in both of these vases. The fineness of Taylor’s glazes and his technical virtuosity brought much recognition to the factory. To ensure his glazes remained a secret, Taylor destroyed all documentation regarding his formulae before his death.