Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Swadlincote (made)

  • Date:

    1892-1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dresser, Christopher, born 1834 - died 1904 (designer)
    William Ault Pottery (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Earthenware, moulded and glazed

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Object Type
This spiralling vase recalls burgeoning, organic growth and the vibrant combination of pink and yellow suggests some exotic plant. Although it is a 'vase', it is also a decorative object in its own right and needs no flowers, which might conflict with its sculptural appearance. It was made in a range of colours and sizes.

Dresser's contract with the Ault Pottery specified that he would travel twice a year to Swadlincote to 'inspect the production of objects', 'instruct the workmen' and 'criticise objects already made'. At this time Dresser lived at Elm Bank, Barnes, Surrey. Ault agreed to pay 'the said Christopher Dresser upon each visit his travelling expenses to and from Swadlincote, from and to London first class and one guinea a day for a period not exceeding three days on the occasion of each visit for hotel expenses'.

This vase was designed between 1892 and 1895. The Ault Pottery was established in 1887 and Dresser's contract was signed in May 1893. The Ault Pottery was the last of three in the north of England with which Dresser was associated. By the 1890s the production of 'art pottery' was well-established and commercial.

Physical description

Vase of cream-coloured earthenware, with circular base and twisted body narrowing to a short neck and three-lobed wavy rim. Red, shading to pale yellow.

Place of Origin

Swadlincote (made)


1892-1895 (made)


Dresser, Christopher, born 1834 - died 1904 (designer)
William Ault Pottery (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Earthenware, moulded and glazed

Marks and inscriptions

Mark: impressed facsimile signature 'Chr. Dresser'


Height: 31.1 cm, Diameter: 18.1 cm

Object history note

Designed by Christopher Dresser (born in Glasgow, 1834, died in Mulhouse, France,1904); made at the Ault Pottery, Swadlincote, near Burton-on-Trent, Derbyshire

Descriptive line

Twisted vase, earthenware and glazed, designed by Christopher Dresser, made at the Ault Pottery, Derbyshire, 1892-95.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
From 1893 to 1896 Dresser had an exclusive contract, worth £400 over three years, to supply designs to the Ault Pottery in Swadlincote, Derbyshire. The contract stipulated that Dresser's signature would be stamped on each pot, and that he would exercise control over the quality of production. Many versions of this moulded vase were produced under these terms. [27/03/2003]
Designed by Christopher Dresser, made by Linthorpe Pottery, Middlesborough, Cleveland, England, made by John Harrison, 1879-1890
Mark: 'Chr Dresser', impressed
Lead-glazed earthenware

C.27-1971 [23/05/2008]


Glazing; Technique


Ceramics; Earthenware; Scotland


Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.