18th Century jasperware Neoclassical vase by William Adams

By Adams Pottery (English, est. 1657)


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This exquisite jasperware vase stands as a testament to the mastery of William Adams, a revered figure in the annals of English pottery. Crafted in the latter half of the 18th century, it boasts the rich, iconic dark blue jasper dip, a hallmark of high-quality craftsmanship that distinguished the finest pieces of this era. This hue serves as a dramatic backdrop, enhancing the vase's delicate Neoclassical detailing.

Embellishing its surface are pairs of classical figures, their forms and gestures telling tales of ancient times, skillfully applied alongside intricate florets. These are thoughtfully framed within arches, upheld by beautifully rendered Corinthian columns, each column adding a touch of Greco-Roman grandeur to the piece. The lower part of the body is adorned with accurately portrayed foliage while, to the foot, the vase is adorned with friezes, further enhancing its Neoclassical aesthetic. The vase elegantly culminates in a square plinth base, accentuated by a meticulous border of anthemion, further showcasing the potter's attention to detail.

Adding to its elegance is the domed cover, a graceful continuation of the vase’s form, crowned with a meticulously fashioned flower finial, separating it from strict Classical tradition, but reminding one of the delicate blossoms that inspired so many artisans of the period.

Behind this magnificent creation is the legacy of William Adams (1745-1805), a member of the illustrious Adams pottery dynasty. Earning the esteemed distinction of being Josiah Wedgwood's favourite pupil, Adams' talents did not remain in the shadow of his mentor. In 1789, he established his own pottery, producing an array of pieces that included Queensware, basalt, and of course, Jasperware. Each creation, much like this vase, encapsulated his passion, precision, and prowess, right up until his untimely passing in 1805, and his legacy is an esteemed one within the Neoclassical movement in decorative arts.

To own such a vase is not just to possess a piece of ceramic ware, but a fragment of history, etched with the dedication and artistry of one of the era’s greatest potters.


Artist / Maker
By Adams Pottery (English, est. 1657)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
18th Century
18th Century and Earlier
Blue, White


31 cm / 12.2 inches
14.5 cm / 5.5 inches
11 cm / 4.3 inches


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