Babbacombe – Bursley

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Babbacombe Pottery Ltd

1952–?    

Manufacturer of tableware and ornamental earthenware at Babbacombe, Torquay, Devon. The Babbacombe Pottery was founded in 1952 by Mr E. D. Barrett the former owner of the Sterling Pottery Ltd, Fenton, and Mr Peter Priddoe a Torquay artist and potter. The Pottery produced tableware, cottage ware, and Devon motto ware. Some slip decorated art ware was also made. Mr Philip Laureston operated the Babbacombe Pottery in the 1980s producing art ware (vases etc), animal models and cottage models. The business may later have been taken over by the potter Bryony Maunders, Laureston’s sister.

Baggaley (E. Baggaley Ltd)

1957–Active 2009

Manufacturer of feldspathic china at the Branksome China Works, Westbourne, Bournemouth, and from 1966 at Shaftesbury St, Fordingbridge, Hampshire. Formerly Branksome Ceramics Ltd founded by Ernest Baggaley in 1945. Following the collapse of Branksome Ceramics Ltd in 1956 Ernest Baggaley re-opened his business at Westbourne, Bournmouth, under the name E. Baggaley Ltd (but still trading as Branksome Ceramics).

The business moved to Fordingbridge in 1966 and although Ernest Baggaley died in 1987, the family business continues to the present day. The business still manufactures its unique feldspathic china, producing a full range of tableware, beakers, mugs, porcelain seashells, vases, collectors’ plates, animal models and figurines. For the earlier history of the business see the entry for Branksome China Ltd.

Baifield Productions Ltd

1964–post-1971

Baifield Productions Ltd was a subsidiary company of S. Fielding & Co. Ltd established in 1964 to manufacture ornamental earthenware under the ‘Ranleigh Ware’ trade name. The company was still active in 1971 as a member of the Crown Devon group under the chairmanship of Mr D. K. Bailey, but is likely to have closed following the death of Derek Bailey in 1971 and the sale of S. Fielding & Co. Ltd by his widow in 1976. Baifield’s products included garden pottery, flower bowls, vases, jardinieres, oven-to-table ware and fancy earthenware.

Bailey (William Bailey & Sons)

1912–1914

Earthenware manufacturer at the Gordon Pottery, Longton (Godden, 1991).

Bailey (W. & J. A. Bailey)

1855–1908

Earthenware manufacturer at the Alloa Pottery, Alloa, Scotland. See the entry for the Alloa Pottery for further information.

Bailey Potteries Ltd.

1935–1940

Earthenware manufacturer at Fenton (Godden, 1991).

Bailey (Lorna Bailey Artware)

2003–2008

Manufacturer of ornamental pottery at Wedgwood St, Burslem. See the entries for Lorna Bailey Artware and LJB Ceramics.

Bairstow (P. E. Bairstow & Co. Ltd)

1954–Active 1960

Earthenware manufacturer at Mount Pleasant, Shelton. The business succeeded that of the Fancies Fayre Pottery and continued to use the ‘Fancies Fayre’ trade name. Products included animal models, flower jugs, vases, lamp bases, fancies, and souvenir wares. See the entry for Fancies Fayre Pottery.

Baker (W. Baker & Co. Ltd)

1839–1932

Manufacturer of earthenware and Ironstone China at Fenton (Godden, 1991).

Bakewell Bros Ltd

1925–1943

Manufacturer of earthenware and stoneware at the Britannic Pottery, Hanley. Bakewell Bros Ltd was established by brothers Wilfred and John Kenneth Bakewell with the backing of their father Walter Bakewell, a former proprietor and director of G. L. Ashworth & Bros and Cauldon Potteries Ltd. Bakewell Bros produced general earthenware and used the trade name ‘Royal Vitreous’.

Balfour China Co. Ltd

1947–1952

Bone china manufacturer at the Royal Crown Pottery, Longton. The business was purchased by Mr D. Carter and Mr S. Sanders from 1st January 1952 and traded from March 1952 under the new name of Trentham Bone China Ltd.

Ball Bros

1884–1918

Earthenware Manufacturer at the Deptford Pottery, Sunderland, Durham.

Bancroft & Bennett

1946–1950

According to Godden (1991) Bancroft & Bennett were earthenware manufacturers at Newcastle St, Burslem.

Barbican Pottery (I)

1932–1962

A studio pottery established in 1932 at Looe, Cornwall, by K. and M. Webb.

Barbican Pottery (II)

1983–2003

A studio pottery established in 1983 at Penzance, Cornwall, by Waistel Cooper.

Barina Potteries Ltd

1949–1955(?)

A pottery of this name operated at Luton, Bedfordshire, (Godden, 1991).

Barker Pottery Co.

1887–1957

Earthenware and stoneware manufacturer at New Brampton, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. The business closed in November 1957.

Barker Bros Ltd

1876–1981 (Inc. 1882)

Manufacturer of earthenware and bone china at the Meir Works, Barker St, Longton. Barker Bros was founded in 1876 and incorporated as Barker Bros Ltd in 1882. The business was acquired in 1910 by brothers William, Joseph and Arthur Hewitt and from 1928 to 1945 was owned and managed by William E. Hewitt. Sampson Smith Ltd was acquired in 1939 and from 1941 to 1945 production of the two firms was concentrated at the Barker Bros factory.

Barker Bros Ltd was taken over by Alfred Clough Ltd in 1959, but production under the Barker Bros name continued until the business closed in 1981 following the dispersal of the assets of Grindley of Stoke (Ceramics) Ltd (a successor company to Alfred Clough Ltd).

Barker Bros was an important manufacturer of mid-range earthenware tableware under the ‘Meir’, ‘Primrosa’, ‘Tudor Ware’ and ‘Royal Tudor Ware’ names. The ‘Royal Tudor’ name was also used by successor businesses including Grindley of Stoke (Ceramics) Ltd (1978-1982) and Federated Potteries Co. Ltd (1982-1987). Barker Bros Ltd produced domestic tableware, teapots and fancy earthenware. Virtually all marks include the name Barker Bros.

Barker Ellis Silver Co. Ltd

1972–July 1975 (As owners of Hudson & Middleton Ltd)

Barker Ellis, based in Birmingham, was a giftware manufacturer owned by Pentos Ltd of London. Barker Ellis purchased the bone china and earthenware manufacturer Hudson & Middleton Ltd and its Sutherland Works from the long-time owners, the Barlow and Chaplow families, in 1972; and in 1974 also acquired the Crown Clarence Pottery, Longton, owned and occupied by Jon Anton Ltd. Barker Ellis ceased production of earthenware at the Sutherland Works in 1974 and in July 1975 transferred the production of ‘Royal Sutherland’ branded bone china from the Sutherland Works to the modernised Jon Anton Ltd factory.

The residual Hudson & Middleton Ltd business and Sutherland Works were placed on the market in mid-1975 and sold to a partnership that included the former managing director George Fairweather. The new owners recommenced bone china manufacture in 1975 as Hudson & Middleton (Longton) Ltd. See the entries for Hudson & Middleton Ltd and Hudson & Middleton (Longton) Ltd.

Barkers & Kent (Ltd)

1889–1941 (Inc. 1898)

Earthenware manufacturer at the Foley Pottery, Fenton. Barkers & Kent Ltd ceased production and vacated the Foley Pottery in 1941 to be concentrated with W. H Grindley & Co. Ltd at the latter’s Woodlands Pottery. The business apparently did not re-open at the end of the Second World War.

Barlow (T. W. Barlow & Son Ltd)

1882–1940

Earthenware manufacturer at the Coronation Works, Commerce St, Longton. Control of the business was acquired by Thomas C. Wild & Sons (probably in the 1920s) and it traded as part of the Wild group of companies until the business was closed in 1940. This was a separate business to Barlows (Longton) Ltd, also a Wild controlled company. T. W. Barlow & Sons Ltd used the trade name ‘Coronation Ware’. Marks include the trade name and a crown, but do not include reference to the company name.

Barlows Ltd

Barlows (Longton) Ltd

(1920–1922), 1923–1952

Earthenware manufacturer at the Melbourne Works, Longton. Formerly Barlows Ltd (1920-1922). Control of the business was acquired by Thomas C. Wild & Sons (probably in 1922 coincident with the change in name) and it then traded as Barlows (Longton) Ltd as part of the Wild group of companies until production was suspended in 1941 under the war time concentration scheme.

Post-war, the business was purchased by Lawleys Ltd in 1946 and re-opened as a production unit of of the Lawley controlled ‘Adderley Group’ (including Adderleys Ltd, Hughes (Fenton) Ltd, and other potteries) until it was closed in 1952. The business was managed by Mr. H. T. Colclough from its inception in 1920 to his retirement in 1947. Barlows used the tradename ‘Melbar Ware’. Marks include the trade name and initials, but not the company name.

Barn Pottery

?–?

Earthenware manufacturer at Marldon, Paignton, Devon. Established by W. & M. Ridley, the Barn Pottery produced tableware and giftware.

Baron Pottery (Rolle Quay Pottery)

c.1895–c.1937

Earthenware manufacturer at Rolle Quay, Barnstable, Devon. William Leonard Baron was a modeller and designer who studied at the Lambeth School of Art and worked for Doulton & Co. and Brannam & Sons, before establishing his own Pottery at Barnstable in about 1895. Baron’s son, also William Baron, joined his father in 1902 and the pottery flourished producing typical Devon motto ware, puzzle jugs, grotesque figures and art pottery. William (junior) died in an accident in 1935 and when William Baron (senior) died in 1937, the business was absorbed by his former employer and long-time rival C. H. Brannam Ltd. Wares are usually hand inscribed ‘Baron Barnstable’.

Barratt’s of Staffordshire Ltd.

1943–1992

Earthenware manufacturer at the Royal Overhouse Pottery, Burslem. William G. Barratt incorporated his former Gater, Hall & Co. business as a private limited company Barratt’s of Staffordshire Ltd in 1943 with his daughter Winifred Barrett and Mr. J. Y. M. Halsall as the other directors. Barratt’s were acquired by retailer Greater Universal Stores Ltd in 1948 and became a part of the GUS Manufacturing Division.

The Barratt’s name and identity was retained by the new owners with the company’s wares primarily sold through its parent’s retail stores. Furnivals (1913) Ltd was acquired in 1967 as part of ambitious expansion plans, but labour shortages led to the closure of the Furnivals factory only two years later. Barratt’s became an independent company in 1986 as the result of a management buyout, but merged with Royal Stafford China Ltd in 1992, the new company adopting the name Royal Stafford Tableware Ltd.

Barratt’s were large scale manufacturers of mid-range tablewares and general earthenware under the ‘Delphatic’ trade name. Shapes and decoration were traditional with a heavy emphasis on floral borders, blue willow and Indian Tree type patterns. See the entry for Royal Stafford Tableware Ltd for the later history of the business.

Batterham (Richard Batterham)

1959–Active 2008

Studio potter at Durweston, Blandford Forum, Dorset. Richard Batterham studied pottery under Donald Potter at Bryanston School and worked at the Leach Pottery during 1957 and 1958. He established his own workshop at Durweston in 1959 and has manufactured his distinctive domestic stoneware at the site to the present day. The Batterham wares are exclusively functional hand-thrown domestic wares—storage jars, dishes, bowls, teapots, ovenware etc—designed for use rather than decoration. Most are unglazed on the exterior and are decorated in Batterham’s characteristic minimalist style.

Richard Batterham has come to be recognized as a significant interpreter of the Leach tradition and his wares are now included in many collections of ceramic art. Most Batterham wares are unmarked.

Beardmore (Frank Beardmore & Co.)

1903–1913.

Earthenware manufacturer at the Sutherland Pottery, Fenton. The business was founded in 1903 by Francis William Beardmore and produced general earthenware and art pottery, the latter under the ‘Sutherland Art Ware’ trade name. Frank Beardmore & Co. produced some notable art nouveau-style wares, however, the business was dissolved in 1913.

Beddgelert Pottery Co. Ltd

?–?

Earthenware manufacturer at Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, North Wales. The Beddgelert Pottery produced Welsh country kitchenware, mugs, jugs, tableware accessories, tankards and fine earthenware pomanders.

Belfield & Co.

c.1836–1941

Earthenware manufacturer at the Prestonpans Pottery, Prestonpans (Edinburgh), Scotland.

Belgrave Pottery

?–1954

Earthenware manufacturer at the Belgrave Pottery, Lower Hill St, Longton. Possibly a successor to Blackhurst & Hulme (1890-1932) at the Belgrave Works, Longton. The company was renamed Queensbury China Ltd in 1954. Belgrave produced teaware and teapots.

Bell (J. & M. P. Bell & Co. (Ltd))

1842–1928 (Incorporated c.1891)

Manufacturer of bone china and earthenware at the Glasgow Pottery, Dobies Loan, Glasgow. Brothers John and Matthew Bell established their pottery business in about 1842 as J. & M. P. Bell & Co. The business was incorporated in about 1891 and closed in 1928. The Bell business produced an enormous range of domestic and ornamental ware manufactured in bone china, stoneware, Parian and terracotta. The company made large quantities of blue & white printed ware decorated in oriental patterns engraved by the (later) noted artist Sir David Roberts.

Bell (The Bell Pottery Co. Ltd)

Post-1920–1948

The Bell Pottery Co. Ltd of the Bell Works, Broad St, Hanley was a subsidiary of the teapot maker G. M. Creyke & Sons Ltd.

Belleek Pottery (D. McBirney & Co.)

1857–1884

Manufacturer of earthenware and Parian china at Belleek, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The Belleek Pottery (more correctly D. McBirney & Co.) was established in 1857 by the partners John Caldwell Bloomfield, Robert Armstrong and David McBirney. Bloomfield was the property owner, Armstrong an architect familiar with pottery design and McBirney the financier of the venture.

Construction of the pottery began in 1857 and was completed in 1860 at a reputed cost of £40,000. The business initially manufactured domestic earthenware—tableware, hospital ware, toilet sets, tiles, etc using clays mined on the Bloomfield property. In the 1860s, in a quest for a higher quality product, Bloomfield imported skilled workers from the Staffordshire Potteries and a unique Parian china was produced from about 1863. Within a few years the business was exporting its Parian tableware and statuary to the United Kingdom and beyond. Awards at International Exhibitions and patronage from Queen Victoria increased demand for the high quality Parian wares, however, their high cost of production and the policy of only selling ‘perfect’ pieces apparently left little profit for the partners.

David McBirney died in 1882, followed by Robert Armstrong in 1884 and the business, including the pottery, was then sold to a group of local businessmen for the paltry sum of £4,500. It was re-named Belleek Pottery Works Co. Ltd. See the following entry for further information.

Belleek Pottery Works Co. Ltd

1884–Active 2009

Manufacturer of Parian china and earthenware at Belleek, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Formerly D. McBirney & Co. (1857–1884). The Belleek Pottery Works Co. Ltd was established in 1884 when a group of Irish businessmen purchased the assets of the pottery at Belleek. Under the new owners the company concentrated on the more profitable manufacture of earthenware although small amounts of Parian china were still produced until at least 1900.

The company barely survived the First World War and in 1919 was sold for £10,000 to Bernard O’Rourke who reintroduced the manufacture of Parian ware. The company reverted to making utilitarian earthenware during the Second World War, but production of earthenware ceased in 1946 and since that date Belleek has been a producer of porcelain and its famous Parian china.

The business was rescued from closure by the Northern Ireland Development Board in 1983 and in 1984 was sold to an investment group led by its recently appointed managing director Roger Troughton. The business was owned, briefly, by Powerscreen International (1988-1990) and was then purchased by the present owner, Dr George Moore for £3.7 million. Under Moore’s ownership, and the management of John Maguire, Belleek greatly expanded its production facilities in Northern Ireland and entered the giftware and collectors’ plate market. In the mid-1990s Belleek acquired Galway Irish Crystal Ltd (1995?), Donegal Parian China Ltd (1996) and, in 1997, the Staffordshire bone china manufacturer Aynsley China Ltd (formerly John Aynsley & Sons Ltd).

Belleek was originally a manufacturer of domestic and industrial earthenware, but is best known for its unique china made in a fine Parian body and with a lustrous glaze. The company remains a leading producer of high quality tableware, giftware, pierced baskets, figurines, busts, and commemorative and religious wares. Belleek has recently (c.2003) released ‘Belleek Living’, a modern range based on the iconic lustrous Parian china, but of modern design and including tableware, accessories, cutlery and glassware.

The famous Belleek ‘black mark’ of wolfhound, tower and harp was used from 1863 to 1891. From 1891 to 1926 (the second ‘black mark’) there was a banner below the mark with the words ‘Co. Fermanagh, Ireland’, and from 1926 to 1946 (the third ‘black mark’) there was an additional seal with the words ‘Deanta in Eirinn’. Three ‘green marks’ were used between 1946 and 1981 and a ‘gold mark’ has been used since 1981.

Belvedere China

?–Active 2009

Manufacturer of bone china giftware at Normacot Rd, Stoke. Belvedere China specialises in the manufacture of miniature giftware—miniature tea sets, miniature plates, etc, plus thimbles, candle holders, egg cups, commemoratives and similar wares.

Bembridge Pottery

1949–1961

A small pottery business established in 1949 at Bembridge, Isle of Wight, by T. R. Parsons and S. Finnemore. Parsons and Finnemore had earlier (1927–?) operated the Yellowsands Pottery at Bembridge. Tastefully decorated ornamental earthenware was produced at the Pottery.

Bennett (William Bennett (Hanley) Ltd)

1882–1937

Earthenware manufacturer at the Cleveland Works, Hanley.

Bennett (Sir John Bennett Ltd)

?–post-1934

London retailer at 65 Cheapside and (later) also at 105 Regents St, London. Sir John Bennett Ltd was primarily a watch, clock and jewellery manufacturer and retailer catering for the well-to-do. The ‘Sir John Bennett Ltd’ signature and trade name ‘The Mayfair’ are found on art deco inspired tea and coffee services made to the company’s order by Doulton & Co. and other manufacturers during the 1930s.

Bentall Pottery Co.

?–1882?

See the entry for the Salopian Decorative Art Pottery Co.

Bentham Pottery

pre-1985–Active 2009

A craft pottery at Low Bentham, North Yorkshire. Bentham Pottery wares include hand-made domestic earthenware and one-off commissioned items. Bentham blue earthenware has been in production at the pottery for over 20 years.

Bentley (G. L. Bentley & Co. (Ltd))

1898–1912 (Inc. c.1904)

Bone china manufacturer at the Old Cyples Pottery, Longton. The Bentley business manufactured teawares and other domestic china.

Beresford Bros

1900–c.1925

Bone china manufacturer at the Clarence Works, High Street, Longton. Beresford Bros produced domestic and ornamental china.

Berkshire China Co. Ltd

?–2000

Manufacturer of bone china mugs and commemorative items at King St, Fenton. Berkshire China specialised in high-technology, low cost, manufacture of mugs, often decorated with commemorative themes. The company was taken over by Mr Hugh Padley in 1986 and was sold to its management team in 1997. The company was placed in administration in November 2000.

Best (Ednah Best)

1920s – 1930s

Tablewares designed by Ednah Best, a prominent film actress, were produced by the Pearl Pottery Co. Ltd and sold exclusively through Lawleys Ltd in the 1920s and 1930s. Best was born in 1900 and was well known as a stage and screen actor in Britain and America from the 1920s to the 1950s. She died in 1974.

Ednah Best’s career as a ceramic designer was short-lived, but the hand-painted wares produced at the Pearl Pottery were decorated to a high standard for an exclusive market. The designs are art deco influenced, reminiscent of Clarice Cliff with banded edges and a brilliant colour palette. The wares identifiable with Ednah Best are little known, but are highly sought by informed collectors.

Beswick (J. W. Beswick)

Beswick (John Beswick Ltd)

1894–1938), 1938–1969

Earthenware and china manufacturer at the Gold Street Works, Longton. James Wright Beswick began earthenware manufacture in 1894 at the Baltimore Works, Longton. The business expanded rapidly and in 1898 took over the Gold Street Works now firmly associated with the Beswick name.

Sons John and Gilbert Beswick assumed control on the death of their father in May 1920. Of the two sons, John Beswick was the driving force behind the business and upon his death in 1934 he was succeeded in control by his only son John Ewart Beswick while Gilbert Beswick continued as the marketing manager. The business was incorporated as John Beswick Ltd in 1938 and from 1957 it traded as a listed public company. John Ewart Beswick had no heir and in June 1969 he sold the entire share capital to Doulton & Co. Ltd.

The Beswick businesses (up to 1969) produced domestic earthenware, dinnerware, teaware, teapots, vases, and commemorative and advertising wares. The company, however, is best known for its animal models—domestic animals, birds, fish etc—produced in enormous numbers from the mid-1930s. Arthur Gredington and James Hayward were responsible for the modelling and finishing of the early animal models and they were joined by Albert Hallam, who started work at Beswick at the age of 14 as an apprentice mould maker and became the firm’s leading modeller and mould maker in the 1950s, designing some of the well known dog, cat and horse models in addition to many of the uniquely-shaped vases, bowls and jugs of the period. Beswick’s best known models are the magnificent equestrian models produced over a long period and the Beatrix Potter figures produced from 1947. The company’s mark was a simple printed ‘John Beswick, England’ or the familiar script ‘Beswick’ name.

After its 1969 takeover, Doulton continued to produce the Beswick animal models and figurines under the Beswick name, although the range was reduced and only a few new models entered production. From early-1989 Doulton ceased using the Beswick trade name, although the Gold Street factory continuing to produce the same models with a Doulton backstamp. The Beswick mark was briefly resurrected for the centenary of the name 1994.

Doulton ceased production of the ‘Beswick’ models and closed the Gold Street factory in 2002, the site being sold for development in the following year. In 2004 Doulton put the Beswick ‘brand’ up for sale with an asking price of £1.5 million and, in mid-2005, it was sold to John Sinclair, owner of a chain of antique shops. The new owner announced plans to re-start production of prestige limited-edition Beswick collectors’ wares in Tunstall and to sell mass-market Beswick figures and ornamental wares manufactured in Malaysia by the giftware company Enesco.

In addition to the right to use the famous Beswick name, the new company inherited the moulds and archives of the original company and its first product was a limited edition of Przewalski’s Horse modelled for Doulton by Amanda Hughes-Lubeck in the mid-1990s but never put into production. Other models have followed and the new ‘John Beswick’ was still active in mid-2009 with a range including further limited edition wild horses, farm animals, Beswick Fishes, hunting scenes, Royalty and Alice in Wonderland figurines. See the entry for UKI Ceramics for further information.

Beswick & Son

1916–1930

Bone china manufacturer at the Warwick Works, Longton. Formerly Bridgett & Bates.

Beverley Tableware Ltd

?–1974?

Manufacturer of heat retaining tableware (insulated teapots). Beverley Tableware Ltd was a member of the Howard Pottery Group.

Biltons Ltd

Biltons (1912) Ltd

(c.1900–1911), 1912–1974

Earthenware and tile manufacturer at London Rd, Stoke-on-Trent. Biltons Ltd (c.1900–1911) was acquired by Joseph Tellwright in 1911. Tellwright adopted the name Biltons (1912) Ltd and the company traded under this name until 1974 when the name Biltons Tableware Ltd was adopted.

Until about 1920, the business was an important manufacturer of tea and coffee pots in addition to general earthenware and floor tiles. In the 1920s tableware, figures, nursery ware and animal ‘grotesques’ were added to the range and in the 1930s glazed wall tiles and tiled fireplaces were produced. Biltons (1912) Ltd was closed in 1941 as part of the war time concentration scheme, but the business re-opened at the end of the war and continued its tableware and tile businesses.

Tile manufacture ceased in 1962 and mass produced, mid-market tableware became the company’s main line. The only trade name used was ‘Biltons’ and from the 1950s a script form of the name was used as the company’s mark. For further information see the entry for Biltons Tableware Ltd.

Biltons Tableware Ltd

1974–1986

Manufacturer of earthenware tableware at London Rd, Stoke-on-Trent. Formerly Biltons (1912) Ltd, the business traded as Biltons Tableware Ltd from 1974 until 1986 when the business was purchased by Coloroll Ltd and became part of the Coloroll Ceramics Group. Owners of the business at the time of sale were Peter Tellwright (son of the founder), Alan Yates the managing director, and James Parker, sales director.

Biltons Tableware Ltd continued to operate as part of the Coloroll Ceramics Group from 1986 to 1989, and on Coloroll’s liquidation in 1990, the managements of Biltons and of Staffordshire Potteries Ltd (another Coloroll subsidiary) acquired their businesses and jointly adopted the name Staffordshire Tableware Ltd.

The Biltons part of the new business was put up for sale in August 1994 and eventually sold, again to its management, in August 1995 for £4.4 million. The company entered receivership in July 1998 and the business was purchased by a Liechtenstein-based investment trust the Dubelle Foundation. The new owners restructured the business forming a holding company Stoke Potteries (Holdings) Ltd, a manufacturing company Stoke Potteries Ltd, and a marketing arm named Biltons Tableware (1998) Ltd. The group went into voluntary liquidation in January 1999 and in December 1999 Biltons’ London Rd site was acquired by Portmeirion Potteries Ltd.

The Biltons Tableware Ltd products were mass produced tea and tableware aimed at the middle of the market, with earthenware mugs an important product in the 1980s. Shapes and patterns followed contemporary trends and the Biltons wares of the 1970s and 1980s are attractive and probably under-rated by collectors.

Biltons were also innovators in the packaging and display of tablewares and much of their production was sold in attractively designed carry-away packs marketed through large retail outlets, wholesalers and mail order houses. See the entries for Coloroll Ceramics Division and Coloroll Biltons. A company, Biltons Tableware Ltd, still (2009) operates at London Rd, Stoke-on-Trent.

Biltons Tableware (1998) Ltd

1998–1999

See the entry for Biltons Tableware Ltd.

Binns (Margaret Binns)

c.1953–?

Maker of scale miniatures of buildings. Margaret Binns produced detailed scale models of cottages and historic buildings from her home in Surrey. Active in the mid-1950s.

Birks (L. A. Birks & Co.)

1894–1900

Manufacturer of china and earthenware at the Vine Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent. Lawrence Arthur Birks and Charles Goodfellow founded the business at the Vine Pottery in 1894 and it became Birks, Rawlins & Co. in about 1900. See the following entry for Birks, Rawlins & Co. (Ltd).

Birks, Rawlins & Co. (Ltd)

c.1900–1933 (Inc. 1928)

Manufacturer of bone china ware at the Vine Pottery, Stoke. Formerly L. A. Birks & Co. (1894-1900). Birks, Rawlins & Co. failed in the late 1920s and the business and the Vine Pottery were acquired by Wiltshaw & Robinson Ltd in 1928 with the intent of using the business for the production of bone china tableware. The new owners incorporated the business, but it appears to have been merged with its parent and closed in 1933.

Birks Rawlins & Co. Ltd were producers of bone china tableware (Savoy China), but were also known for their extensive range of decorative china fancies including figurines, bird, animal and butterfly models, heraldic souvenir ware and commemorative items using the trade names Birks China, Queens China, Savoy China (from c.1910), Roseate Porcelain (from c.1917), and Carlton China (from c.1928). An article in the Pottery Gazette in June 1930 (Vol 55, page 951) showcases the Carlton China ‘Springtime’ pattern with the accompanying text—‘Improvements have been made to the body of the china to bring it up to the exacting demands of present-day standards. This much having been done, it has now been decided to alter the trade mark of the productions of the Vine Pottery, which are henceforth to be back-stamped ‘Carlton China’.’

It is unclear whether the attractive ‘Carlton China’ manufactured from c.1928, was all made at the Vine Pottery, or whether all production ceased when the business was closed in 1933. Nevertheless, it is of excellent quality in manufacture and decoration and is marked with a script ‘Carlton China’ backstamp.

Birmingham Tile and Pottery Works

?–1898

See the entry for Ruskin Pottery.

Bishop & Stonier (Ltd)

1891–1939

Manufacturer of bone china and earthenware at the Waterloo Works, Hanley (china) and the Stafford Street Works, Hanley (earthenware). Formerly Powell, Bishop & Stonier (1878–1891). The origins of this business date to 1845, but following the death of Edwin Powell in 1890 and Frederick Bishop in 1891, a new partnership was formed between Frederick Bishop’s son, Duncan Watson Bishop, and John Stonier to continue the very substantial business under the name ‘Bishop & Stonier’.

The business was acquired by George Jones and Sons Ltd in 1933 and they continued use of the Bishop and Stonier name, but transferred operations to their Crescent Pottery. The business closed in 1939 and did not reopen at the end of the war.

Bishop & Stonier specialised in dinner, tea and dessert wares, nursery ware, toilet ware and ornamental china. Children’s ware, including toy tea sets and novelties, were an important part of the firms output and mugs with nursery rhyme figures as handles were produced in the late 1930s. The best of the company’s bone china ware is of excellent quality and was decorated to a high standard. There are collectible art nouveau and art deco wares. The business used the trade names ‘Oriental Ivory’ and ‘Bisto’; and the wand of Caduceus appears in many marks from 1876 to 1939.

Black Ryden plc

2003–2005

A manufacturer of art pottery at the McIntyre Works, Hot Lane, Stoke-on-Trent. Black Ryden was a subsidiary of Moorcroft plc and was established by Hugh Edwards, the latter’s owner. The Black Ryden wares are distinctive and could be described as a contemporary interpretation of the art nouveau style. The ornamental wares include vases, lamp bases and similar wares designed by Moorcroft designers including Anita Harris, Emma Bossons, Kerry Goodwin and Carole Lovatt and were produced in limited numbers. The business is believed to have closed in July 2005.

Blackhills Pottery

? Active 2009

A studio pottery established by John Christie at Elgin, Moray, northern Scotland. Christie produces ornamental stoneware, mainly tall vases, bowls, dishes, tea bowls, lidded pots etc in a wood-fired kiln. Many pieces are hand-thrown and the body then subject to further modification to make the finished product. John Christie’s mark is a circular seal enclosing the initials ‘JC’.

Blackhurst & Hulme

1890–1932

Bone china manufacturer at the Belgrave Works, Longton.

Blackhurst (John Blackhurst & Co. Ltd)

?–1959

Earthenware manufacturer at the Prospect Works, Cobridge.

Blair & Co.

Blairs Ltd

Blairs (Longton) Ltd

(c.1880–1911, 1912–1923), 1923–1930

Bone china manufacturer at the Beaconsfield Pottery, Longton. Founded as Blair & Co. (c.1880–1911), the business was incorporated as Blairs Ltd in 1912. Control of the business was acquired by Thomas C. Wild & Sons Ltd (probably in 1923) and Blairs continued to operate under the name Blairs (Longton) Ltd as part of the Wild Group of companies until the business was closed in 1930. Blairs produced good quality china teaware and developed an extensive export trade to Continental Europe and the Dominions. Marks include reference to ‘Blairs China’.

Blakeney Art Pottery

Blakeney Pottery Ltd

(1969–?), ? –post-1986

Manufacturer of art pottery at South Wolfe St, Stoke-on-Trent. The Blakeney Pottery Ltd was founded by Michael and Sheila Bailey in about 1969 as the Blakeney Art Pottery. The business later (from early 1980s?) traded as the Blakeney Pottery Ltd. The business produced ornamental and useful earthenware including commemorative ware, vases, lamp bases, jugs, bowls, and dinner and tea ware, but specialised in making reproductions of collectable 19th century pottery & porcelain. The company advertised Staffordshire figures, jardinieres, flow blue wares and lustre pottery, some with marks in matching antique style. In the mid-1980 under the management of Stephen Bailey, the pottery produced attractive art nouveau and art deco-style vases in addition to its antique lines.

Blue John Pottery Ltd

1936–1975

Earthenware manufacturer at Union St, Hanley. The Blue John Pottery was founded in about 1936 by members of the Lockett family, originally as a pottery factor (dealer and wholesaler), but from the late 1930s as a manufacturer of general and fancy earthenware including vases, mugs, bowls, jugs etc. The name ‘Blue John’ is possibly derived from the rare blue-banded fluorospar mineral known as ‘Blue-John’ found near Castleton in Derbyshire. The pottery remained in production as a nucleus firm throughout the Second World War and continued as a manufacturer until the business closed in September 1975. Mr Harold E. Lockett was the Managing Director at the time the business closed.

Blyth Porcelain Co. Ltd

1903–1939 (Inc. 1904)

Bone china manufacturer at the Blyth Works (formerly the Newtown Works), Longton. Formerly the Dresden Porcelain Co., the business was renamed Blyth Porcelain Co. by its owners the Forester family in 1903. The business was incorporated in 1904 and subsequently run by Victor A. Forester, the youngest son of Thomas Forester. The Blyth Works was taken over by A. T. Finney (maker of Duchess China) in 1939 and the company ceased operations. Blyth Porcelain Co. Ltd produced high quality bone china teaware and tableware under the ‘Diamond China’ trade name. Marks include the ‘Diamond China’ name and the initials of the company ‘B P Co. Ltd’.

Blyth Pottery (Longton) Ltd

c.1960–2000?

A subsidiary company of John Tams Ltd operating at the Blyth Works, Uttoxeter Rd, Longton. The Blyth Works of A. T. Finney & Sons Ltd was acquired by John Tams & Son Ltd in about 1960 and it is reasonable to assume the company was formed at this time. The Blyth Pottery operated as a production unit for John Tams Ltd producing tablewares and probably closed in 2000 when the Tams business entered receivership. Products probably carried the Tams trade marks.

Boehm of Malvern England Ltd

1971–post-1982

Manufacturer of high quality ceramic art ware, mainly for the collectors’ market. Boehm of Malvern Ltd was established in 1971 as a modelling studio and gallery at Tanhouse Lane, Malvern. The company was a branch of Edward Marshall Boehm Inc. of Trenton, New Jersey.

Edward Marshall Boehm was a well known sculptor and ceramic artist who created hard paste porcelain animal sculptures modelled from nature. Boehm died in 1969, but the business was continued by his wife, Helen S. Boehm, who established the English branch of the business in 1971 in association with the ceramic artist Mr Ricky Lewis and his company Cranleigh Art Ceramics. Mr Lewis left Boehm in July 1974 and from November 1974 the Boehm wares were advertised under the company name of Edward Marshall Boehm Ltd.

Boehm of Malvern aimed to create true-to-life bone china portraits of natural subjects to the highest standards and their limited editions catered mainly for the sophisticated collectors’ market. Most production, at least until the early-1980s, was exported to the United States. Boehm’s subjects included bone china models of flowers, birds, animals and natural objects. Limited edition hand painted display plates with botanical and bird subjects were advertised from about 1975. See the entry for Cranleigh Art Ceramics.

Bolingey Pottery

Mid-1960s–1990

A studio pottery established in the mid-1960s at Perranporth, Cornwall by Norman Taylor. Taylor was a self-taught potter and also employed Michael Edwards previously of Lake’s Cornish Pottery. Many designs reflect Lake’s Pottery wares. The Pottery closed in 1990. Wares are marked with an inscribed script ‘Bolingey’ and ‘Perranporth’.

Boote (T. & R. Boote Ltd)

1842–?

Manufacturer of earthenware and tiles at various locations in the Potteries. Boote was originally a maker of Parian ware and domestic earthenware, but the Waterloo Pottery, Burslem, used for the manufacture of earthenware was closed in 1906 and the company then focused on the manufacture of tiles.

Booths Limited

1850s–1948 (Inc. 1898)

Earthenware manufacturer at the Church Bank Pottery, Tunstall and at other locations in the Potteries. The Booths business was founded by Thomas Booth at Burslem in the 1850s, manufacturing earthenware dinnerware and toilet ware. On Thomas Booth’s death (date uncertain) the business was continued by his son Thomas G Booth at the Church Bank Pottery, Tunstall, until his retirement in 1905.

The appointment of Charles H. Bowers as general manager of the business in 1905 elevated Booths to the position of a leading earthenware manufacturer. In the 1920s the Pearson Group, an industrial conglomerate led by Lord Cowdray, purchased an interest in the business and later (date uncertain) moved to full ownership. In 1944 Booths acquired Colclough China Ltd and the two businesses finally merging in 1948 under the style Booths & Colcloughs Ltd. In 1954 the firm became associated with Ridgway and Adderley Ltd (also owned by the Pearson Group) and after trading briefly as Ridgway, Adderley, Booths & Colclough Ltd, the group adopted the style Ridgway Potteries Ltd in 1955. The well known Booths name and some Booths trade marks were continued by Ridgway (1955-64), by its successor Allied English Potteries Ltd (1964-1971) and by it final owner Royal Doulton (1971 onward). Doulton’s use of the Booths name is believed to have ceased in the mid-1980s.

Booths Ltd was a well known maker of high quality earthenware marketed as ‘Royal Semi-Porcelain’ and ‘Silicon China’. The latter was an improved body introduced in about 1900 and used to produce thin, lightweight earthenware that, although opaque, could pass as fine porcelain. It was much used for the liner, railway and hotel markets. Under the direction of Charles Bowers from 1905, the company made many high quality reproductions of Worcester and other classical blue printed wares in the silicon china body and the initials ‘CB’ appear on many of these wares.

Tableware decorated to suit the North American market was an important Booths product in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the array of Booths domestic and export earthenware is vast. The firm is best known, however, for its traditional ‘Eastern’ patterns with names such as Nankin, Bamboo, Oriental Pheasant, Georgian Willow, Ming and many others. Booths most famous, and widely collected, pattern is ‘Real Old Willow’ which can be found with the pattern numbers 9072 (believed to date from c.1906-1944) and the later, more common, A8025 introduced in 1944 and used into the 1980s. Royal Doulton also produced the Booths ‘Real Old Willow’ pattern under its own name from c.1981 to 1999 and it has even appeared on Royal Albert branded bone china. A crown, the name ‘Booths’ and the words ‘Silicon China’ appear in most post-1906 marks.

A script ‘CB’ mark may occur alone or with the words above on silicon china reproductions of Worcester porcelains produced during the tenure of Charles Bowers. The Booths ‘book’ mark, surmounted by a crown is now believed to date from 1944. Many Booths wares have an impressed three or four digit month-year cypher that allows the date of manufacture to be ascertained.

Booths & Colcloughs Ltd

1948–1954

Manufacturer of earthenware and bone china at various locations in the Potteries. Booths Ltd purchased Colclough China Ltd in 1944. The businesses traded separately under their existing names until 1948 when they amalgamated as Booths & Colcloughs Ltd. The business was combined with that of Ridgway & Adderley Ltd in 1954 and after trading briefly as Ridgway, Adderley, Booths & Colcloughs the group was re-titled Ridgway Potteries Ltd in February 1955. For further information see the entries for Booths Ltd and Ridgway Potteries Ltd.

Border Fine Arts Co. Ltd

1974 – Active 2009

A ceramic art studio at Langholm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Border Fine Arts was established by Mr John Hammond and Mr Victor Hayton in 1974 to produce true-to-life animal and bird models sculpted and manufactured to the most exacting standards. The company used a proprietary resin-china dust material termed ‘Thorionware’ developed by Victor Hayton and designed for reproduction of fine sculptural detail. Mr Victor Hayton was also the company’s modeller, specialising in models of birds of prey, equestrian and canine studies and wildlife models. He was joined in 1976 by sculptor Ray Ayres who has created models for the company for over 30 years. Border Fine Arts was acquired by the Enesco Worldwide Giftware Group in 1994.

The Border Fine Arts giftware range is enormous and in addition to the original animal models of dogs, cats, birds, farm animals, wild animals etc, includes mugs, themed table accessories and money banks. There is an active collectors’ club, the Border Fine Arts Society.

Boscastle Pottery

1967–Active 2009

A studio pottery established in 1967 at Boscastle, Cornwall, by Roger Little. The pottery is now run by Roger Little and his son Timothy Irving Little and specialises in handmade ‘mocha’ decorated giftware and art pottery. It is also known as the Camelot Pottery.

Boscean Pottery

1961–Active 2000

A studio pottery established in 1961 at St Just-in-Penwith, Cornwall, by Scott Marshall and Richard Jenkins. Marshall continued to operate the pottery following the death of Richard Jenkins and was later joined by his son Seth Marshall. The pottery produced hand-made domestic ware and art ware decorated with rich high-temperature glazes. Scott Marshall’s wares are marked with an impressed seal mark incorporating the superimposed letters ‘SM’. A similar seal with a ‘B’ may also have been used.

Bossons (W. H. Bossons Ltd)

19461996

Manufacturer of plasterware and pottery at Congleton, Cheshire. W. H. Bossons Ltd was established in 1946 by Mr W. H. Bossons, a retired pottery worker. His son, W. Ray Bossons, joined the business shortly after its inception and the business continued as a family concern until it closed in December 1996.

The company manufactured ornamental ware and giftware and is best known for its three-dimensional plasterware (gypsum) wall plaques featuring mythical figures, flying ducks, high-relief floral studies and a host of other topics. The company also produced ornamental ware in conventional earthenware and in a proprietary PVC-based ‘Stonite’ material, and the range includes character busts, animal models, figurines, lamp bases, mirror and clock surrounds, wall pockets, and similar items. Some pottery wall figures were modelled for the company by designer Colin Melbourne.

There is an active collector interest in the Bossons wares and there is an International Bossons Collectors Society based in the Unites States.

Bough Pottery

c.1912–1942

A decorating studio established by Elizabeth Amour in Edinburgh in about 1912. The Pottery decorated bought-in wares for resale. Wares are hand-marked ‘Bough’ and usually include the initials of the decorator.

Boulton Pottery

?–?

Earthenware manufacturer at the Harlington Works, Newton Abbott, Devon. Boulton Pottery products included tea and coffee sets, kitchen ware and fancy pottery.

Bourne & Leigh (Ltd)

1937–1941 (Inc. 1937)

Earthenware manufacturer at the Albion Pottery and the Leighton Pottery, Albion St, Burslem. Bourne & Leigh was a partnership between Mr E. Bourne and Mr J. E. Leigh from 1892 to 1913, and then between Mr Leigh and a Mr A. W. Potter until 1937. The business was incorporated as Bourne & Leigh Ltd in 1937 when Gerald F. Wood the principal of Arthur Wood & Son (Longport) Ltd and others acquired an interest in the business. The business closed in 1941 as part of the wartime concentration scheme and did not reopen.

Bourne & Leigh (Ltd) were large manufacturers of mid-priced tableware and domestic earthenware sold under the ‘Leighton Ware’ trade name. The company was prominent in the development of ‘print and enamel’ tableware in the 1920s and 1930s. Most marks include reference to the Albion or the Leighton Pottery.

Bourne (Joseph Bourne & Son Ltd)

c.1850–1981 (Inc. 1916)

Stoneware and earthenware manufacturer at Bourne’s Pottery, Denby, Derbyshire. The famous ‘Denby’ pottery business was founded in about 1809 by William Bourne and was run from the start by his son Joseph Bourne. The business became Joseph Bourne & Son in about 1850 when Joseph Bourne entered a partnership with his son, Joseph Harvey Bourne. The latter died in about 1866 and the business was continued by his widow, Sarah Elizabeth Bourne until her death in 1898. Joseph Bourne Wheeler, a nephew of J. H. Bourne, continued the business in association with relatives of Elizabeth Bourne until 1907 and then, as the sole proprietor, until 1916 when the business was incorporated as Joseph Bourne and Son Ltd.

Joseph Bourne Wheeler continued as the governing director of the company until his death in 1942. Overall control and management of the business then passed to members of the Wood and Dale families, both long associated with the Bournes’ in the management of the business. In March 1970 the business became a public company, listed on the Stock Exchange under the new name Denbyware Ltd of which Joseph Bourne & Son Ltd became a subsidiary. Denbyware Ltd was bought by the Crown House Group in 1981 and renamed Denby Tableware Ltd at which point the Bourne name was probably discontinued.

Joseph Bourne & Son (Ltd) produced domestic and ornamental stoneware over a period of some 130 years. In the 20th century, the pottery has been well known for its kitchenware, ornamental ware, art pottery and, latterly, tableware. The business continued throughout the Second World War and, from the 1950s, became an important producer of tableware and giftware in addition to the ornamental and art pottery associated with the well known designers Albert and Glyn Colledge. Numerous trade names have been associated with the Bourne business including Danesby Ware, Tigo Ware, Glyn Ware, and Glynbourne Ware used on the now highly collectible ornamental wares.

Tableware and kitchenware with names like Cottage Blue, Manor Green and Homestead Brown were important Denby products in the 1930s and were re-introduced in the 1950s as the company became predominantly a producer of tableware. Stylish dinnerware and tableware, including the oven-to table ware for which Denby is also well known, continued to be the mainstay of the company’s business into the 1980s. The name ‘Denby’ is prominent in most marks. For further information see the entries for Denbyware Ltd and Denby Tableware Ltd.

Bournemouth Pottery Co.

1945–1952

Earthenware manufacturer at Bournemouth, Dorset. Established at Bournemouth in 1945, the business was acquired by Mr Kennedy Gordon the owner of the Sylvan Pottery Ltd of Longton in 1952, and the moulds and machinery moved to a new factory at Elm St, Hanley. The Bournemouth Pottery ware included twin-tone tea and tableware, and earthenware fancies. Similar lines were produced at Hanley post-1952, but probably branded as Sylvan Pottery wares.

Bovey Pottery Co. Ltd

1894–1957

Earthenware manufacturer at the Folly Pottery, Bovey Tracey, Devon. Formerly the Bovey Tracy Pottery Co. (1842-1894). The Bovey Pottery produced good quality domestic earthenware, including tableware and fancy items using local clays and in-house glazes, and was a well known Devon Pottery.

In 1930 the Bovey Pottery purchased the rights to the famous ‘Wemyss Ware’ following the closure of Robert Heron & Son the original manufacturer of Wemyss Ware. Joseph Nekola, son of Karel Nekola the designer of Wemyss Ware, moved from Scotland to Devon and continued to decorate the hand painted wares until his death in 1952 (Bovey continued to produce the wares until 1957). Much of this Bovey ‘Wemyss Ware’ was marketed through the London wholesaler Jan Plichta. The company may have been a subsidiary of Pountney & Co. of Bristol at the time of its closure in 1957, a consequence of economic pressure.

Bowker (Arthur Bowker)

1948–1958

Manufacturer of porcelain figurines and ornamental china at King St, Fenton.

Bradleys (Longton) Ltd

1922–1939

Manufacturer of bone china at the Crown Clarence Works, King St, Longton, from 1922. Charles Bradley purchased the Clarence (or Crown Clarence) Works in 1921 and produced mid-range domestic china. The business failed in 1939 and went into receivership. Bradleys (Longton) Ltd used the trade name ‘Clarence’ and the mark includes a crown and the name ‘Bradleys’. Charles Bradley may have also been associated with the Salisbury Crown China Co. Ltd (1927 – 1961) as some early Salisbury marks include the name ‘Bradley’s’.

Brain (E. Brain & Co. Ltd)

1903 1963 (1967)

Bone china manufacturer at the Foley China Works, Fenton. Elijah Brain became a partner in Robinson & Son producers of earthenware at the ‘The Foley’ (King St, Fenton) in 1855 and in 1885 he purchased the works, possibly in partnership with A. B. Jones and W. Hawker. His partners later withdrew and were replaced by his only son William Henry Brain. The father and son established a new company, E. Brain & Co. Ltd, at Blurton Rd, Fenton in 1903 and the company moved to the Foley China Works, Fenton, in 1904. Founder Elijah Brain died in 1910 and was succeeded as head of the firm by his son W. H. Brain until ill-health forced his semi-retirement in 1924. His son, Eustace William Brain, joined the company in 1931 becoming chairman and managing director on the death of his father in 1937.

  1. Brain & Co. Ltd was designated a nucleus firm under the wartime concentration scheme and continued in production, also producing wares for the concentrated business of Jackson & Gosling Ltd. In 1958 the company acquired Coalport China Ltd from the failing pottery conglomerate run by Sydney and Stanley Harrison and from 1963 onward the E. Brain & Co. Ltd business traded under the more prestigious Coalport China Ltd name. Family control of the business continued until Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd purchased the whole issued capital (including the wholly owned Coalport China Ltd) for £260,000 in July 1967. The Coalport name has continued as a core Waterford Wedgwood plc brand.
  2. Brain & Co. is best known for its high quality, bone china tea and breakfast wares. Under Elijah and William Brain the company was a leader in stylish design and decoration in the 1910s and 1920s. Although best known for high quality bone china tea and breakfast ware, the firm also produced art pottery and china in this period under the Peacock (Art) Pottery name. Harjian faience and Coon Ware are other art wares that reflect the art nouveau influence of the period. Thomas Fennemore was appointed managing director in 1932 and his influence, and that of Freda Beardmore (employed by Brain as a designer in c.1930), and other well known artists and industrial designers used by the firm in the 1930s maintained the company’s position as a leader in contemporary design. Its products competed with the better known Shelley and Clarice Cliff art deco-style wares, but with a restraint in design and decoration that appealed to its own more conservative segment of the market.

In 1934 the firms of E. Brain and A. J. Wilkinson commissioned well known artists to design tableware for an ‘Exhibition of Modern Art for the Table’ held at Harrods’ department store. Many well known artists took part including Vanessa Bell, Frank Brangwyn, Gordon Forsyth, Dame Laura Knight and Clarice Cliff. The designs were produced in bone china and earthenware and the most well known is probably the ‘Circus’ designed by Dame Laura Knight.

Following the Second World War, the firm expanded its range to include bone china dinner ware and hotelware, including sets for the liner trade. The firm continued to employ leading designers and during the 1950s Maureen Tanner, Hazel Thumpston, Peter Cave and Donald Brindley modelled or designed ware for the firm. Trade names include Peacock Pottery, and Foley Art Pottery art wares and the familiar ‘Foley China’ used until the Foley name was discontinued in 1963 in favour of the prestigious Coalport brand.

The E. Brain wares are clearly marked and relatively easy to identify. The words ‘FOLEY’ or ‘FOLEY CHINA’ and the initials E B & Co or full company name are included in one form or another in all porcelain marks. Later marks (post-1948) incorporate the initials ‘EB’ in a cursive script and lion surrounded by the words ‘Established in 1850’ (possibly the date Robinson & Son began potting at the site of the Foley Works) and ‘Foley Bone China’. The trade name ‘Foley’ was also used by a number of manufacturers notably by Wileman & Co. from 1892 to 1925, and Robinson & Son (to 1903). For further information see the entry for Coalport China Ltd.

Branksome Ceramics Ltd

1945–1956 (1957?)

Manufacturer of feldspathic china at Surrey Rd, Bournemouth West. Ernest Baggaley left the Poole Pottery, where he had been production manager during the wartime years, to establish his own company at nearby Bournemouth with partners Horace Sweeney and Morris Benjamin. The venture first made ceramic bars for electric fires, but soon began manufacture of tableware in a unique hard-paste feldspathic china body. The business grew rapidly, but in 1956 (1957?) the bubble burst and the company entered receivership. Baggaley retained some of the company’s assets and re-established the business at Westbourne, Bournemouth as E. Baggaley Ltd.

Branksome Ceramics’ products include tableware, ornamental and useful china, animal models and figurines. ‘Graceline’ tableware produced from 1946 to 1960 is reminiscent of the art deco style of Wedgwood’s Keith Murray wares and is now sought by collectors of the period. Early Branksome animal models are also of interest to collectors. See the entry for Baggaley (E. Baggaley Ltd).

Brannam Pottery (C. H. Brannam Ltd)

1879–Active 2009

Earthenware manufacturer at the Litchdon Pottery, Barnstable, Devon. The Brannam pottery business was started by Thomas Brannam in about 1847 making earthenware pipes and tiles using local clays from the company’s Bickington Claypits. His son, Charles Hubert Brannam, joined the business in about 1867 and from 1879 Charles Brannam produced art pottery that rapidly gained a national and then international reputation. Art wares were produced until at least the 1930s, but following Charles Brannam’s death in 1937 the business, under his two sons Charles and John Brannam, returned to the production of utilitarian earthenware.

Currently (2009) the pottery trades as Barum Pots Ltd and is mainly an importer of pottery products. ‘Brannam’, ‘Barum’ and ‘Royal Barum’ have been used to mark wares. Brannam products include red ware and terra-cotta including garden pots, souvenir wares, ‘peasant pottery’, vases, bowls etc.

Braunton Pottery Co. Ltd

1912–1971

Earthenware manufacturer at Station Rd, Braunton, Devon. The Braunton Pottery was established in 1912 by a Mr Hooper who employed William Fishley Holland to manage the pottery (Holland had been working with his grandfather Edwin Beer Fishley at the Fremington Pottery until the latter’s death in 1912). Holland ran the Braunton Pottery until 1921 when it was sold and he left to start his own Fishley Holland Pottery at Clevedon, Somerset. The Braunton Pottery continued under various owners until it closed in 1971. The Braunton Pottery produced mainly utilitarian earthenware.

Bretby Brick & Stoneware Co. Ltd

c.1957–?

Manufacturer of stoneware and ornamental pottery at Newhall, Burton-on-Trent. This business should not be confused with the Bretby Art Pottery (Tooth & Co. Ltd) located at Woodville, Burton-on-Trent. The Bretby Brick & Stoneware Co. Ltd produced oven-to-table ware, ovenware, vases, bowls, lamp bases, pet wares etc.

Bretby Art Pottery

1883–1997

Earthenware manufacturer at Woodville, Burton-on-Trent. See the entry for Tooth & Co. Ltd.

Brian (Thomas Brian Ltd)

?–late 1940s

Earthenware manufacturer at the Bank Works, Warren St, Longton. The business was concentrated with Dennis (Fenton) Ltd at the Alexandra Pottery, Fenton, from 1941. It is unclear whether the business re-opened after the end of the Second World War.

Brickhurst Pottery

1952–1982

A studio pottery established in 1952 by Keith and Fiona Richardson at Brickhurst, Sussex. The Richardsons had worked at the Dicker Pottery and their Brickhurst Pottery produced art pottery in the Dicker style. The Pottery closed in 1982. Wares are marked ‘BRICKHURST ENGLAND’.

Bridge Products Co.

1954–1963

Earthenware manufacturer at Bridge House, Winscombe, Somerset.

Bridgeness Pottery

1887–1958

Earthenware manufacturer at Bridgeness, Grangepans, Scotland, also known as the Jubilee Pottery. See the entry for McNay (Charles W. McNay (& Sons)).

Bridgett & Bates

1882–1915

Bone china manufacturer at King St, Longton. The business was purchased by J. W. Beswick in 1915 and renamed Beswick & Son. The new business operated from the Warwick Works, Longton.

Bridgewater (Emma Bridgewater Ltd)

1985–Active 2009

Earthenware manufacturer at the Eastwood Pottery, Hanley. The business was established in 1985 by Emma Bridgewater. Originally based in Fulham, London, the company moved to Stoke-on-Trent in the mid-1980s, initially contracting-out production of Emma Bridgewater designs, then purchasing a pottery (1991) and, in 1996, moving to the former Johnson Bros Eastwood Pottery, Hanley. The company produces a full range of ceramic tableware, mugs and giftware designed by Emma Bridgwater using traditional techniques such as sponging to decorate the wares. A collectors club was established in 2000 as a part of a business that now includes textiles, glassware and other homewares designed by Emma Bridgwater.

Bridgwood (Sampson Bridgwood & Son (Ltd))

c.1805–1984 (Inc. 1932)

Manufacturer of earthenware and china at the Anchor Works, Longton. Sampson Bridgwood and his son Samuel Bridgwood entered a manufacturing partnership in about 1853. Both had other pottery interests and it appears the partnership was established with the intent of constructing a new factory, the Anchor Works, in Bridgwood St, Longton. Construction may have started in 1852 and the substantial works were completed in about 1860. Both Sampson Bridgwood and his son Samuel died in 1876 leaving the business in the hands of Sampson Bridgwood’s two daughters. From 1879 the business was continued by Mary Walker (nee Bridgwood) who purchased her sister’s half-share in the business for £15,000. Mary Walker’s son George Edward Walker joined the business in 1880 and in 1882 became a full partner with his mother.

Mother and son, however, could not match the business acumen of the company’s founders and in 1887 bone china manufacture ceased, to be followed in June 1890 by the business being placed in receivership by its creditors. The Anchor Pottery and the manufacturing plant and equipment was auctioned in July 1890 and was purchased by John Aynsley possibly for the benefit of his son John Gerrard Aynsley.

The Aynsley family continued the Sampson Bridgwood fine earthenware and ‘granite’ business in parallel to their high-class Aynsley bone china business, the company being managed by John Aynsley until his death in 1907, John Gerrard Aynsley until his death in 1924 and then by his son Gerrard Aynsley. The business was incorporated in 1932 as Sampson Bridgwood & Son Ltd with Gerrard Aynsley, Arthur Swift, George Sherratt and Eric Powell as the directors although ownership of the Anchor Works was retained by Gerrard Aynsley and leased to the new business.

The company continued in production as a nucleus firm during the Second World War relying predominantly on its established hotelware business. In 1944 the company purchased the Anchor Works from Gerrard Aynsley and in 1948 Aynsley retired from active management, being replaced by his fellow director Arthur Swift. Both Aynsley and Arthur Swift died in late-1959 and although the business continued under new management, it was sold to James Broadhurst & Sons in 1965. Broadhurst continued the Bridgwood hotelware and earthenware business at the Anchor Works under the Sampson Bridgwood name until 1984 when the company was renamed Churchill Hotelware Ltd and, with James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd and other companies, became part of the Churchill Group. Bridgwood’s Anchor Pottery is still in use as one of the Churchill Group’s production units.

Sampson Bridgwood & Son (Ltd) was an important manufacturer of tableware, toilet ware, jugs etc in bone china, in a fine earthenware known as ‘Porcelaine Opaque’ and in durable ‘granite’ ware; and the company were major exporters to North America. Although perhaps now more remembered for the durable ‘White Granite’ and ‘Parisian Granite’ made for the domestic market, the colonies and, especially, for the North American market, the best hand-decorated Sampson Bridgwood bone china matched that of the major bone china manufacturers. Crested ware was an important product from the early 1900s but by the 1920s hotelware, catering ware and hospital ware had become the business’s major lines, hotelware continuing as the major product through the Second World War and into the 1960s.

Sampson Bridgwood used the trade names Porcelaine Opaque, Limoge, White Granite, Parisian Granite and Anchor China. Many marks, but not all, include an anchor and the initials or name of the firm. See the entry for Churchill Hotelware Ltd for the later history of the business.

Briglin Pottery

1948–1990

A studio pottery established by Brigitte Goldschmidt (later Appleby) and Eileen Lewenstein in London in 1948. Lewenstein left the business in 1959 and the pottery closed in 1990. Briglin is known for its high-temperature-fired red earthenware decorated using a wax-resist technique. The pottery also produced white-glazed earthenware with hand-painted decoration that, although not in the mainstream of pottery design at the time, was both attractive and marketable. Wares are marked with the name ‘BRIGLIN’ sometimes within in a circular ‘Hand-made in England’ seal. The Briglin wares are collectible.

Brindley (Donald Brindley Pottery Ltd)

1961–?

Manufacturer of earthenware figurines and ornamental pottery at Chelson St, Longton.

Bristol (Charles F. Bristol & Son Ltd)

Active in the 1950s

Pottery wholesaler and distributor at Lench St, Birmingham. Charles F. Bristol used the trade name ‘Flosmaron’ on table lamps and other ceramics manufactured for the company. The Falcon Pottery of Thomas Lawrence (Longton) Ltd is believed to have been the main supplier of Flosmaron-branded ware, but the mark also appears on ornamental ware made by Barker Bros Ltd and Burgess & Leigh Ltd. The company were also distributors for the Babbacombe Pottery and were agents for European pottery manufacturers. Active mid-1950s.

Britannia China Company

1895–1906

China manufacturer at Longton.

Britannia Pottery Co. Ltd

1920–1935

Earthenware & stoneware manufacturer at the Britannia Pottery, St Rollox, Glasgow. Britannia Pottery Co. Ltd followed a partnership between Alexander Cochrane and J. Arnold Fleming (1896–1920), but the business was short-lived and ceased operation in 1935. Britannia Pottery Co. Ltd produced good quality transfer printed and hand-painted earthenware and semi-porcelain, mainly for the domestic market.

Britannia Designs Ltd

?–Post-1971

Earthenware manufacturer at the Townstal Pottery, Dartmouth. Britannia Designs produced tableware, teapots, giftware and souvenirs including tankards, tiles, trays and plates. Active 1971.

British Pottery Ltd (I)

1920–1926

Earthenware manufacturer at High St, Tunstall (Godden, 1991).

British Pottery Ltd (II)

1933–1960s (?)

The British Pottery Ltd was founded by Mr A. T. Godwin in London in 1933 as a pottery manufacturers’ agent. The business, and that of the associated Hales, Hancock & Godwin Ltd, moved to the New Park Pottery in Longton in about 1941 and then to the Melbourne Works, King St, Longton in about 1958. British Pottery Ltd was the agent for W. H. Grindley & Sons Ltd, Wood & Sons Ltd, James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd, Sampson Bridgwood & Sons Ltd and various European manufacturers. British Pottery Ltd sold to wholesalers and retailers from bulk stock supplied by the manufacturing potteries. Godden (1991) notes that some wares distributed by the business were marked ‘B. P. Ltd’ by the maker. Active in 1959.

British Anchor Pottery Co. Ltd

1884–1970

Earthenware manufacturer at Anchor Rd, Longton. The British Anchor Pottery Co. was a large-scale supplier of mid-market domestic and export earthenware in the late-19th and first half of the 20th century. The Anchor Rd factory was vacated in 1941 and the business concentrated with that of J. & G. Meakin Ltd at their Eagle and Eastwood Potteries for the duration of the Second World War. The company successfully resumed production following the war and at some point (date uncertain) the business was purchased by the Gailey Group Ltd a Staffordshire property company. In 1970 the owners acquired control of Thomas Poole & Gladstone China Ltd (TPGC Ltd) merging their British Anchor business into the new acquisition. British Anchor’s earthenware and TPGC Ltd’s Royal Stafford bone china businesses became brands of a new TPGC Ltd subsidiary Hostess Tableware Ltd (Hostess Tableware had been a British Anchor trade name).

British Anchor were makers of domestic earthenware—teaware, dinnerware, jugs, teapots and general household earthenware, and the company was also known for its cottage ware. An anchor or the words ‘British Anchor’ occur in all trade marks. See the entries for Poole (Thomas Poole and Gladstone China Ltd), and Hostess Tableware Ltd.

British Art Pottery Co. (Fenton) Ltd

1920–1926

China manufacturer at the Rialto Works, Fenton. British Art Pottery Co. produced domestic china and crested souvenir wares using the ‘Rialto China’ trade name.

Broadhurst (James Broadhurst (& Sons) (Ltd)) (I)

c.1860–1939 (Inc. 1922)

Earthenware manufacturer at the Crown Works, Longton (to 1870) and then at the Portland Pottery, Frederick St, Fenton. James Broadhurst leased the newly constructed Portland Pottery in 1870, finally purchasing the freehold to the works from its owner, John Aynsley, in 1876. Control of the successful business passed to Broadhurst’s sons James and Harry in 1894 and it is reasonable to assume that the change in name to James Broadhurst & Sons took place at this time. James Broadhurst (senior) died in 1897 and the brothers continued to own and manage the business. Neither, however, had children and in 1922, looking to secure the future, James Broadhurst incorporated the business as James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd with a new partner, Edward Robert Roper.

Edward Roper became managing director and was joined in the business by his son Edward Peter Roper in 1928. James Broadhurst died in 1929 and the executors sold his share of the business to the Ropers who, in 1933, also acquired the freehold to the Portland Pottery from the Broadhurst family. In 1939 the company was re-formed as James Broadhurst & Sons (1939) Ltd with Edward R. Roper and his wife Ida C. Roper as life directors.

From its inception, the Broadhurst family business manufactured basic, simply designed and simply decorated domestic earthenware for the UK market and for export. Tableware predominated, but the company also manufactured toilet ware, jugs, platters and the usual table accessories. In keeping with the company’s low profile, there are no known pre-Second World War trade names, and wares were only marked with the initials of the firm. See the entries below for the later history of the company.

Broadhurst (James Broadhurst & Sons (1939) Ltd)

Broadhurst (James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd.) (II)

(1939–1959), 1959–1984

Earthenware manufacturer at the Portland Pottery, Frederick St, Fenton. Originally James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd, the name was changed in 1939 to James Broadhurst & Sons (1939) Ltd. Mr. Edward Roper died in 1941 and in the same year the Broadhurst business was concentrated with W. H. Grindley & Co. Ltd under the wartime pottery industries concentration scheme. Production ceased and Grindley wares, in limited amounts, were supplied to Broadhurst’s customers while the Portland Pottery was used for wartime purposes.

Edward Peter Roper returned from war service in 1945 and assumed the position of managing director (the sole director) of the dormant company. Earthenware production, for export only, re-started at the Portland Pottery in October 1945 and for domestic consumption in 1946. During the late-1940 and early 1950s the Portland Pottery, left virtually derelict at the end of the war, was re-equipped and an extensive modernization of the pottery was completed in 1956. Sons Michael and Stephen Roper joined the business in the late-1950s and in 1959, the company name was changed to remove the ‘(1939)’, reverting to the original name James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd. Edward Peter Roper and Ida Roper were the sole directors with Edward’s sons Michael and Stephen Roper in executive roles. Andrew, the third son, joined the business in 1973.

A new phase of expansion began in 1965 with the acquisition of Sampson Bridgwood & Son Ltd, a leading manufacturer of hotelware. Churchill China Ltd was established as a subsidiary in 1974 to cater for the burgeoning demand for mugs and the Crown Clarence Works was acquired in the same year from the Co-operative Wholesale Society. In 1984 James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd was renamed Churchill Tableware Ltd and became the holding company for the various businesses that now constituted the Roper family’s Churchill China venture.

James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd was an important manufacturer of domestic tableware, boxed teaware, giftware and presentation and promotional wares. Best known of the Broadhurst wares are the tablewares decorated with the highly individual designs of Kathie Winkle the self-taught designer who worked for Broadhurst from 1950 until her retirement in 1992. Her unusual repeated geometric patterns matched the mood of the 1960s and Broadhurst produced over 120 Winkle patterns the best know of which is ‘Rushstone’ and the related ‘Concorde’ introduced in 1965. In keeping with Broadhurst market positioning, most patterns were rubber stamped onto the unglazed wares, hand coloured with a limited colour palette and then glazed. Broadhurst did not use a trade name, but wares are marked with the company name and most wares also carry the Kathie Winkle signature. See the entries for Churchill Tableware Ltd and Churchill China plc for the later history of the company.

Broadhurst Bros.

?–Active 1980s

Decorator of bone china and earthenware at Waterloo Rd, Longton. Active in the 1980s.

Broadstairs Pottery

1967–1983

A studio pottery established in about 1967 at Broadstairs, Kent, by David White, formerly owner of the Thanet Pottery. White produced fancy tableware, vases, lamp bases, dishes, and art pottery, but closed the business in 1983.

Bron Border Pottery

1951–?

A studio pottery established at Eastgate, Peebles, Scotland in 1951 by James Cassidy and Richard Dodd. The pottery produced whiskey jugs and hand-thrown ornamental pottery under the name ‘Bron Border Ware’.

Bronte Porcelain Co. Ltd

1996 – Active 2009

Manufacturer of art ceramics at Hanley Rd, Malvern, Worcestershire. Bronte Porcelain Co. Ltd was established by Robert Price and Henry Sandon in 1996 to manufacture high quality porcelain sculptures and figurines aimed at the ‘limited edition’ market and the sophisticated collector of ceramic artefacts. Articles are hand made and the product range includes flora studies, themed character candle snuffers, ceramic wall plaques, porcelain reproductions of Victorian greeting cards, nativity and ballet scenes and highly decorated coffee sets. The ‘Clowder of Cats’ and ‘Peter Pan’ collections are of note.

Brough (Alan Brough Pottery)

1972–Post-1988

A studio pottery established by Alan Brough at Newlyn, Cornwall in 1972. See the entry for the Newlyn Pottery.

Brown (Robert Brown & Co)

1876–1933

Earthenware manufacturer at the Ferguslie Fire-Clay Works, Paisley, Scotland.

Brown (T. Brown & Sons Ltd.)

1919 (1926?)–1984?

Earthenware manufacturer at the Ferrybridge Pottery, Knottingly, Yorkshire. T. Brown & Sons Ltd commenced business at the Ferrybridge Pottery following the dissolution of the partnership of Sefton & Brown that had operated at the pottery since 1897. The date of transfer is alternately give as 1919 or 1926. The business was still operating under its own name in 1957 as an advertisement in the Pottery Gazette (Vol. 82, page 1124) under the banner T. Brown & Sons Ltd proclaims ‘Specialists in the large scale manufacture of pudding bowls in eleven sizes’.

  1. Brown & Sons Ltd is believed to have purchased the rights to the Royal Cauldon name in the mid-to-late 1970s (from Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd), but the name was subsequently sold to the Kingston Pottery, probably in 1984. The Ferrybridge Pottery site was purchased by the Kingston Pottery in 1984, but is unclear whether the purchase included the T. Brown & Sons Ltd business. In 1985 the site was sold to the Perkes Ceramics Group and the Ferrybridge Pottery finally closed in 2002. T. Brown & Sons Ltd produced general earthenware including pudding bowls, mugs, beakers and similar utilitarian domestic wares.

Brown & Steventon Ltd

1900–1923

Earthenware manufacturer at the Royal Pottery, Burslem. The business became J. Steventon & Son in 1923. See the entry for Steventon (J. Steventon & Son).

Brownfields Guild Pottery Society Ltd

1891–1900

Manufacturer of earthenware and china at the Cobridge Works, Cobridge. The Brownfields Guild Pottery Society Ltd succeeded the business of William Brownfield & Sons at the Cobridge Works following the retirement of William Etches Brownfield from his family business in 1891. The new business operated as a workers’ co-operative, however, it closed in 1900. William Brownfield produced china, majolica, earthenware and stoneware of exceptional quality and exquisite stoneware jugs were a speciality. The Guild produced similar wares. Various marks were used including twin globes surmounted by clasped hands. Godden (1991) notes that a company with the title ‘Brownfields Pottery Ltd.’ operated from the same site from 1898 to 1900.

Brown-Westhead, Moore & Co.

1862–1904

An important china and earthenware manufacturer at the Cauldon Place Works, Hanley. See entry for the successor business Cauldon Ltd.

Buchan (A. W. Buchan & Co. (Ltd))

1882–1999 (Inc. 1943)

Stoneware and earthenware manufacturer at the Portobello Potteries, Portobello, Edinburgh, and then (from c.1970) at Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland. Alexander Buchan and Thomas Murray established a pottery business at the long-established Portobello Potteries in 1867. Murray left the partnership in 1877 and Buchan continued the business, trading as A. W. Buchan & Co. from about 1882. The business was incorporated as A. W. Buchan & Co. Ltd in 1943 under the management of Carlyle Buchan and other Buchan family members. The business was long-lived and successful, but closed in 1999.

The 19th century Buchan businesses manufactured stoneware jars and other containers, including flagons for the whiskey industry. From the 1890s on, products were decorative stoneware and earthenware including vases, bowls, tankards, ashtrays and oven-to-table ware. In the 20th century the pottery also manufactured tableware and giftware and were well known for ‘Thistle’ wares decorated with the Scottish thistle emblem. Trade marks include the Buchan name and the words ‘Cenolith ‘, ‘Portovase’ and ‘Thistle’. Following the closure of the Buchan Pottery in 1999, similar wares have been produced, under license, by the Crieff Thistle Pottery.

Buckfast Abbey Pottery

1952–2004?

A manufacturer of ornamental stoneware at Buckfast Abbey, Devon. The Buckfast Abbey Pottery produced stoneware jugs, vases and similar ware, mainly for sale to visitors. The pottery’s mark includes a leaping deer and the words ‘Buckfast Potteries’.

Buckley (F. Buckley & Son)

1930s

Designer and decorator of tableware at the Plex Pottery, Tunstall. Frank Buckley was active as a tableware decorator in the 1930s and produced hand-finished tableware in art deco style. Buckley was also associated with H. J. Colclough and with W. H. Grindley & Co. Ltd, and the latter firm supplied white wares used for decoration. Most decorated wares carry a characteristic orange/black backstamp and the words ‘A Frank Buckley Production’. Active in the 1930s.

Bullers Ltd

1937–1980?

Bullers Ltd were primarily manufacturers of electrical insulators and industrial earthenware operating at the Joiners Square Works, Hanley and at Milton, Staffordshire. The company was headquartered in London. In addition to its industrial products the company also produced some ornamental pottery. Agnete Hoy joined Bullers in 1939 or 1940 to run the company’s small design studio, producing art pottery and animal figurines for sale through the Heals department store in London. Hoy developed a small team of potters and decorators, but in 1952 she left to join her family in London, later becoming head of Doulton’s Lambeth design studio. Bullers ceased production of art wares on her departure in 1952.

The Bullers ornamental wares are notable because the company employed well-known designers Agnete Hoy, Anne Potts and James Rushton in its studio. Other Bullers consumer products were porcelain architectural items—door handles, plaques, bathroom fittings etc. The Agnet Hoy designed art wares are the best known and are inscribed on the base with the intertwined letters ‘AH’ and the inscription ‘By Bullers’.

Bullers plc

1980–1995

Formerly Bullers Ltd. Bullers plc, originally makers of industrial ceramics, became a diversified company in the 1980s and 1990s, acquiring interests in giftware, media and meat processing. Bullers plc acquired Caverswall China Co. Ltd in 1986 (from its receiver after owners London retailer Thomas Goode & Co. placed the company in liquidation) and Caverswall becoming part of Bullers Consumer Products Division. Caverswall China Co. Ltd was subsequently re-sold (February 1994) to Thomas Goode & Co. In July 1993 Bullers purchased Michael Sutty Ltd the specialised maker of porcelain military sculptures for a consideration of £120,000, the business becoming part of the company’s giftware division. Bullers plc was placed in receivership in October 1995 although its giftware division, including Michael Sutty Ltd, was sold to new owners.

Burgess & Leigh (Ltd)

1851-1999

Earthenware manufacturer at the Central Pottery and the Hill Pottery (from 1867), Burslem, and then at the Middleport Pottery, Middleport, from 1889. William Leigh and Frederick Rathbone Burgess founded the business in 1851 at the Central Pottery, Burslem, and remained in partnership for over 30 years, the partnership only ending with the death of William Leigh in 1889. Frederick Burgess died in 1898 and the original partners’ sons Edmund Leigh and Richard Samuel Burgess continued the business until the death of Richard Burgess 1912 when Edmund Leigh acquired his former partner’s share of the business. Leigh family control of the company continued until 1999 when it was rescued from receivership by the Dorling family and now trades as Burgess, Dorling & Leigh Ltd.

Burgess & Leigh (Ltd) were important manufacturers of domestic and ornamental earthenware for more than 150 years. The company’s wares are known for the use of traditional patterns such as ‘Asiatic Pheasants’ used extensively since the 1870s, willow patterns and the popular ‘Calico’. The company’s well known beehive mark was borrowed from Samuel Alcock the former owner of the Hill Pottery, and the ‘Burleigh Ware’ trade name dates from the 1930s.

Burgess, Dorling & Leigh Ltd

1999–Active 2009

Earthenware manufacturer at the Middleport Pottery, Middleport. Formerly Burgess & Leigh Ltd. Burgess, Dorling and Leigh Ltd was formed in 1999 when Rosemary and William Dorling purchased the former business of Burgess & Leigh Ltd at the Middleport Pottery. The new owners have continued to draw on the Burgess & Leigh archive of antique shapes and patterns to produce the modern blue & white wares for which the Pottery is well known. Current products include breakfast, tea, and dinner sets, mugs, bowls, plates, platters, and kitchen and bathroom ware. Shapes are drawn from original moulds, some purchased by earlier owners from Samuel Alcock of the Hill Pottery in the mid-19th century, and patterns include long-time favourites such as Asiatic Pheasants, Willow and Calico.

Burgess (Thomas Burgess)

1903-?

Earthenware manufacturer at the Mount Pleasant Works, Hanley. Formerly the business of Harrop & Burgess, the partnership ended in 1903 and Thomas Burgess continued the business alone.

Burgess Bros

1922–1939

Earthenware manufacturer at the Carlisle Works, High St, Longton. Burgess Bros. was a subsidiary of Thomas C. Wild & Sons Ltd producing domestic earthenware. An advertisement in the Pottery Gazette (1930) lists ‘Derby patterns in dinner, tea, fruit and supper sets’ all made in a semi-porcelain body. The business was closed in 1939. The trade name ‘Carlisle Ware’ was used.

Burmantofts

1863–1889 (1957)

Manufacturer of architectural earthenware, tiles and art pottery at Burmantofts, Leeds, Yorkshire. William Wilcock and John Holroyd established Wilcock & Co. in 1863 to continue an earlier Wilcock brick manufacturing business at Burmantofts. Wilcock died in 1877 and from about 1879 the business began manufacture of architectural glazed bricks, decorative tiles and art pottery advertised and sold as ‘Burmantofts Fatience’. In 1888 the company name was changed to The Burmantofts Co. and in 1889 the Burmantofts business amalgamated with five other local potteries and brickworks to form the Leeds Fireclay Co. (Ltd). The new company continued to use the now well known ‘Burmantofts’ name, however, production of art pottery was discontinued in c.1904. Production of architectural products, still under the ‘Burmantofts’ name continued until the company closed in 1957.

The Burmantofts art wares (vases, bowls, jardinieres, etc) are noted for the bold use of strongly coloured glazes and the use of sgraffito and incised decoration. Wares are impressed with the name ‘BURMANTOFTS’ or with an impressed monogram ‘BF’.

Burslem Pottery

2005–Active 2009

A studio pottery established by sculptor Andrew Hull and others in December 2005 at Hines St, Heron Cross, Stoke-on-Trent. Andrew Hull had worked as a modeler for Cobridge Stoneware Ltd and when that business closed in August 2005, he continued an arrangement with Moorcroft to produce models under the name ‘Burslem Pottery’. Running the Burslem Pottery business impacted on Hull’s creative talent and in May 2006 the day-to-day business was taken over by Mr. Jeremy Marshall. Hull remained as a modeler on a freelance basis until 2008 when he severed his connection with the Burslem Pottery.

The Burslem Pottery has specialized in handmade ‘grotesque’ animal models in the style of the famous Martin brothers (modelled by Andrew Hull and Robert Tabbanor), and in ornamental stoneware vases. All of the wares have been hand-made and are usually limited editions (in many cases of less than 50) for the collectors’ market. Burslem Pottery has employed other designers and decorators from the Moorcroft/Cobridge stable including Robert Tabbanor, Steven Shaw and Tracy Bentley. Andrew Hull left Burslem Pottery in 2008 to become a freelance designer and modeler.

Burslem Pottery Co. Ltd

1894–1934

Earthenware manufacturer at the Scotia Works Burslem. The Burslem Pottery Co. Ltd was established by brothers Charles Frederick Bailey and Alexander Bailey in 1894. C. F. Bailey was also the owner (with another brother J. C. Bailey) of the much larger business of Furnivals (1913) Ltd. The Bailey family owned and managed the business until the death of C. F. Bailey in 1934. The company manufactured domestic earthenware and the company mark includes the name around a seal surmounted by a crown.

Bursley Ltd (I)

1920–1937

Manufacturer of ornamental earthenware at the Crown Pottery, Newcastle St, Burslem. Mr Harry Wood acquired the Crown Works in 1920 and established Bursley Ltd as a vehicle for manufacture of ornamental and fancy earthenware to complement the tableware produced by his principal company Wood & Sons Ltd. At Harry Wood’s invitation, Susie Cooper operated her design and decorating studio within the Crown Works from 1931 as the ‘Susie Cooper Pottery’. The Susie Cooper business became, to all intents and purposes, an associate or subsidiary of Wood & Sons Ltd and, in October 1937, a notice in the Pottery Gazette (Vol 62, page 1381) announced that the name of the company known as Bursley Ltd had been officially changed to that of Susie Cooper Pottery Ltd.

Bursley Ltd (II)

Active mid-1970s–1982

A pottery distribution business established by Wood & Sons Ltd in the 1970s for the wholesaling of seconds from the Wood Group of companies. Wood & Sons Ltd had used the Bursley Ltd name from 1920 to 1937 and revived the name in the 1970s for its pottery factoring and wholesale business. An advertisement for traditional 19th century shaped wares decorated in a ‘chinoiserie’ pattern appears under the name ‘Bursley Ltd (part of Wood & Sons Ltd Group)’ name in Tableware International in January 1978 (Vol 8 (1)). Bursley Ltd was one of the three operating companies of the Group in 1980. Note that Wood & Sons Ltd also used the ‘Bursley Ware’ name for ornamental pottery produced by another Wood company H. J. Wood Ltd.