Benjamin Cheverton, ceramics pioneer, c 1836-1860.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Parian sculptured bust of Benjamin Cheverton. In the early nineteenth century, the middle clases liked to display busts of famous figures in literature and music, or copies of famous antique sculptures. A new material, Parian ware, was introduced in the 1840s by the firm of Copeland and Garrett, closely followed by Minton. This unglazed, fine-grained porcelain had a slight sheen and soon replaced plaster of Paris. James Watt (1736-1819) had developed a machine to produce scaled-down copies of original works. Cheverton perfected the machine for commercial use in 1836.