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James Marriot Blashfield 1811-1882 was one of the great stoneware and terra cotta manufacturers of Victorian times. His first factory was in Millwall where he continually experimented with the techniques and clays to produce durable fired garden and architectural ornament. He patented his methods and became a celebrated supplier to architects such as Barry and clients such as the Marquis of Northampton at Castle Ashby.
Blashfield moved his works to Stamford Lincolnshire in 1858.
Casts of this very urn can be seen at Castle Ashby. Blashfield supplied the Marquis with large quantities of his stoneware ornament. The model was described in Blashfield's catalogue as being "taken from an antique at Bologna, surrounded by laurel leaves at the top, and supported by acanthus and water leaves".
This particular vase bears the foundry indentation inside the bowl and on the plinth foot, "Published J.M.Blashfield, Stamford, 1869". One of the Castle Ashby tazza's is illustrated in John Davis "Antique Garden Ornament" pp175-186. Davis comments that it is rare to find dated examples. 1869 was perhaps the peak of Blashfield's output - he had 1400 items in his catalogue by then but three years later, overstretched he went bust - not for the first or the last time.
The pedestal is also marked but here "J.M.Blashfield, Paddington London" where his retail outlet was located at No.1 Praed Street.