Pre-Felton acquisitions included:
- Josiah Wedgwood, medallion (1782); blue jasper. Purchased 1868. NGV 236-D1M
- Various pieces purchased 1876, including George III, cameo (18th century); black jasper. NGV 245-D1M; Coffee pot & bowl (c.1800-1830); blue jasper. NGV 224 & 225.a-b-D1M
- Various pieces acquired in 1877, notably Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides, plaque (after John Flaxman, c.1785-1800): blue jasper. Purchased 1877. NGV 231-D1M
- Two plaques showing Roman scenes (late 18th century); black basalt stoneware. Purchased 1887. NGV 246 & 247-D1M
- Covered vase, & Vase and pedestal (c.1769): earthenware & stoneware. Presented by Professor Giglioli 1889. NGV 250A.a-b-D1M & 250C.a-b-D1M
- Plate (early 19th century); earthenware. Purchased 1892. NGV 250B-D1M
[photo: Josiah Wedgwood, medallion (1782), purchased 1868. NGV 236-D1M]
The company (still in existence, under contemporary corporate ownership) was founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood (1730-95). It quickly rose to prominence among Staffordshire potteries, achieving particular fame for its cameo-style jasperware, especially in blue and white.
In addition to several significant early examples, various later 19th-century vases and other pieces were also acquired in the pre-Felton era (for details, refer NGV catalogue).
These included a copy of the ancient Roman cameo glass Portland Vase (British Museum, early 1st century AD), which was brought to England in the 1780s. Josiah Wedgwood’s black jasper replica was issued in a limited edition in 1790; a fine early example was presented to the NGV in 1992 through the Art Foundation of Victoria (D8.a-b-1992). The pre-Felton version, dating from the mid 19th century, was donated in 1877, and is also still in the NGV.
Various other pieces also bought during the pre-Felton period are no longer extant (presumably de-accessioned later). Nevertheless, the NGV’s current Wedgwood collection contains over 200 individual objects.
See AR 1876, p.42 (George III medallion); AR 1877, p.75 (Garden of Hesperides); AR 1887, p.34 (“tablets” with Roman scenes); AR 1889, p.44 (vases presented by Professor Giglioli); AR 1892, p.23 (Plate); and AR 1895, p.27 (pieces presented by Mr T.Chuck [no longer extant?]). Refer NGV catalogue for the gallery’s complete holdings
The mid 19th-century Portland Vase replica (NGV 232-D1M) is recorded as donated by R.Nutt in 1877. For the copy presented to the NGV in 1992, see Menz & Legge Decorative Arts (2003), pp.62-63. For further details on the original Portland Vase and its history, see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Vase
For a comprehensive survey of the history of Wedgwood, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedgwood (with further references)