Naturecraft – Northfield

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Naturecraft Ltd

1931?–c.2006

Manufacturer of earthenware figures, figurines, wall ornaments, plaques and other fancy goods at the Daneside Works, Eaton Bank, Congleton, Cheshire, and at Jackson Rd, Congleton. Naturecraft Ltd entered the collectible market in the 1960s producing ‘Country Cottage’ models and comic figurines. The principals of Naturecraft in the 1970s were E. J. and P. A. Tomlins and J. W. Dale. The company was active in 1986, but appears to have closed in about 2006.

Nautilus Porcelain Co.

1896–c.1911

The Nautilus Porcelain Co. produced bone china at Barrowfield, Glasgow, and at the Possil Pottery, Possil Park, Glasgow. The company was owned by McDougall & Sons, Glasgow pottery retailers. Pottery manufacture at the Possil Pottery ceased in about 1911, however, McDougall & Sons retained ownership of the pottery, leasing it to the Tennant Brewery in 1916 for the manufacture of stone beer bottles. The pottery was sold to Tennants in 1920.

McDougall & Sons manufactured a range of bone china wares (‘Fine Art Ivory Porcelain’) including vases, tea and dessert sets, and miscellaneous china figurines and trinkets in a fine bone china. Crested souvenir china and china wickerwork were made at the Possil Pottery from c.1900. Marks usually include the trade name ‘Nautilus Porcelain’ and an ‘M’ (for McDougall) traced by a snake. Marks with ‘Possil Pottery’ and ‘Nautilus Porcelain’ also occur. Godden (1991) notes that the name Possil Pottery Co. was used from 1898 to 1901 before reverting to the former name. For the later history of the Possil Pottery site, see the entry for the Possil Pottery.

New Devon Pottery Ltd

Active in the 1970s

Earthenware manufacturer at Forde Rd, Newton Abbott, Devon. The New Devon Pottery was established by M. E. and P. H. Carter and made souvenirs, giftware, kitchenware and other fancy earthenware. The pottery was associated with Devon Leathercrafts Ltd of Newton Abbott and amongst the wares advertised in 1971 were the ‘Golden Crocodile’ range of jugs and coffee wares with ‘faithfully reproduced crocodile grain’.

New Chelsea Porcelain Co. Ltd

c.1912–1951

Manufacturer of bone china at the Stanley Works, and subsequently at Bagnall St (Chelson St), Longton. This business was established by brothers R. H. & S. L. Plant in about 1900 and traded as Plant Bros until about 1912 when the ‘New Chelsea’ name was adopted. The company continued to be controlled by the Plant family and during the Second World War it was concentrated with the parent firm at the Tuscan Works of R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd. Post-1945 the New Chelsea business was re-established and modernised, but in September 1951 the business and trade names were sold to Susie Cooper Pottery Ltd and the new business then operated under the name New Chelsea China Co. Ltd.

New Chelsea produced good quality, moderately priced bone china teaware and coffee ware. In the 1920s the company produced some striking teawares decorated with colourful on-glaze enameling. Trade names include Chelson China and New Chelsea. The trade name Royal Chelsea was used from c.1943 especially on teaware for the North American market. Marks do not include the company name, but have the script ‘Chelsea’, ‘New Chelsea’ or ‘Royal Chelsea’ trade name below an anchor. See the entry for New Chelsea China Co. Ltd.

New Chelsea China Co. Ltd (I)

1951–1961

China manufacturer at Bagnall St (Chelson St), Longton. Formerly the New Chelsea Porcelain Co. Ltd, owned by R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd. The New Chelsea China Co. Ltd name was adopted following the company’s sale in 1951 (possibly 1953?) to Susie Cooper Pottery Ltd. The company acquired the business of Jackson & Gosling Ltd (and the well-known ‘Grosvenor’ trade name) in 1957 continuing china manufacture under both the New Chelsea and Grosvenor trade names.

In 1958 R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd and the Susie Cooper companies combined in a friendly merger, both groups continuing to operate under the umbrella of Tuscan China Holdings Ltd. Following the merger, the New Chelsea China and Jackson & Gosling businesses were reorganized (1961) and the rights to the ‘New Chelsea’ and ‘Royal Chelsea’ trade names, and the right to reproduce popular New Chelsea patterns was re-purchased by R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd. The new owners reportedly (see the following entry) formed a new ‘New Chelsea China Co. Ltd’ and re-commenced production of high quality New Chelsea/Royal Chelsea bone china teawares, presumably at their Tuscan Works. At the same time, the Chelson St premises previously occupied by the ‘old’ New Chelsea China Co. Ltd were given over to a newly formed company Grosvenor China Ltd who continued the Jackson & Gosling Ltd business and manufactured the New Chelsea China Co. Ltd’s wares not taken by R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd.

Over its ten-year life, the New Chelsea China Co. Ltd produced mid-market tea and tableware targeting the same home and overseas markets to that of its predecessor—but in very different style. The shapes and decorations are typical of the 1950s and to modern eyes may appear fussy and over-decorated. The business was a significant exporter to Canada and the United States using the ‘Royal Chelsea’ trade name. The post-1951 wares are marked ‘Royal Chelsea’, but with the name above an anchor thus differentiating them from the earlier Royal Chelsea mark. In the absence of any other company name, ‘Royal Chelsea’ is often referred to as the manufacturer. See the entry below and also the entries for Jackson & Gosling Ltd and Grosvenor China Ltd.

New Chelsea China Co. Ltd (II)

19611966?

A note in the Pottery Gazette in October 1961 (Vol 86, page 1225) records that R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd (a subsidiary of Tuscan China Holdings Ltd) had purchased the New Chelsea and Royal Chelsea trademarks and had formed a new company, ‘New Chelsea China Co. Ltd’. The purchase was made in collaboration with the Emerson Nichols China Co. Ltd of London, Ontario, who was to continue the distribution of ‘New Chelsea’ and ‘Royal Chelsea’ china in Canada. R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd was acquired by Wedgwood in 1966 and the ‘Royal Chelsea’ name and historic anchor mark have since been used by Wedgwood on ‘The London Collection’ collector’ plates (1980s?) and possibly on other items.

New Hall Pottery Co. Ltd.

1899–1956

Earthenware manufacturer at the New Hall Works, Hanley. The business closed in 1956 and the moulds for the company’s hotelware were acquired by the Royal Art Pottery, a member of the Clough Group. New Hall Pottery Co. Ltd. made tableware, general domestic earthenware and hotelware.

New Park Potteries Ltd

1935–1957

Earthenware manufacturer at the Park Works, High St, Longton. New Park Potteries produced art ware and fancy earthenware under the ‘Parkleigh’ name.

New Pearl Pottery Co. Ltd

1936–1941

Earthenware manufacturer at the Brook Street Potteries, Hanley. Formerly the Pearl Pottery Co. Ltd (1894-1936), the name changed to New Pearl Pottery Co. Ltd in 1936. The company closed under the wartime concentration scheme and did not re-open. See the entry for the Pearl Pottery Co. Ltd.

Newbridge Pottery

?–Active 1970

Earthenware manufacturer at City Rd, Fenton. Newbridge Pottery produced bowls, vases, lamp bases, florists’ wares and similar ornamental earthenware. The principal was E. R. Taylor.

Newlyn Pottery

1972–Post-1988

A studio pottery established in 1972 at Newlyn, Cornwall by Alan Brough after he left the Leach Pottery at St Ives. Newlyn Pottery is also know as the Alan Brough Pottery and produced handcrafted stoneware.

Newlyn Harbour Pottery

1957–1969

A small studio pottery established in 1957 at Newlyn by Dennis Lane. The pottery produced mainly domestic ware for local consumption and for the tourist trade using a stoneware body. The pottery closed in about 1969, but Dennis Lane continued as a potter using the name ‘Trevithal Studios’ until about 1985.

Newport Pottery Co. Ltd.

1920–?

Earthenware manufacturer at Newport Lane, Burslem. The Newport Pottery Co. Ltd was purchased in 1920 by the Shorter family, owners of the adjacent A. J. Wilkinson Ltd’s Royal Staffordshire Pottery. The pottery was used by its new owners for the manufacture of simple, inexpensive domestic ware and hotelware. From c.1927, the pottery became the base for the decorating shop and, later, the design studio used by Clarice Cliff to develop ‘Bizarre’ ware and the other shapes and patterns for which she is now well known.

In 1941 the Newport Pottery business was concentrated with the other Shorter factories at the Royal Staffordshire Pottery and the Newport Pottery buildings diverted to war-time purposes. The Newport Pottery buildings was demolished shortly after the end of the war and post-1945 the Newport Pottery Co. Ltd operated from the other Shorter factories manufacturing its original mundane domestic ware and hotelware.

Clarice Cliff joined the firm of A. J. Wilkinson as an apprentice lithographer in 1916 and rose to be the head designer. She married the owner of the business, Arthur Colley Shorter in 1940 and was the final owner of the Shorter businesses following the death of her husband in 1961. She was both a modeller of shapes and a pattern designer and, from late-1927 to 1936, the studio at the Newport Pottery produced an almost unbelievable array of novel shapes and patterns. Remarkably, this enormous creativity was condensed into a relatively short period of about 10 years from the launch of the ‘Bizarre’ range in 1927. Other decorative styles followed but Bizarre was the first, the most prolific, and the longest lasting. There are numerous books and web sites devoted to the life of Clarice Cliff and her influence on 20th century English ceramic design.

The ‘Bizarre’ mark introduced in 1927-28 was phased out in 1936 to be replaced by a more general ‘Clarice Cliff’ signature widely used on wares from the Newport Pottery and the Royal Staffordshire Pottery. The change also signalled a more conservative style as the strident patterns and extreme shapes of the period from 1928-1933 were replaced with more sober designs and a softer palette. Between 1936 and 1939 designs were gradually simplified and Clarice Cliff took a less direct interest in the modelling and decoration.

Post-1945, Wilkinson’s Royal Staffordshire Pottery was modernised and production concentrated on printed ware for the export market. A small hand painting shop was re-established in 1946 and production of some of the most popular Clarice Cliff designs such as Crocus and Rhodanthe continued on a small scale. Post-1945 many Clarice Cliff shapes and patterns appear with a Royal Staffordshire mark. In the 1950’s Clarice Cliff worked with the new, younger, modellers and designers employed at A. J. Wilkinson Ltd including Peggy Davis, Eric Grindley and Eric Elliott, even so, the innovation of the 1930’s was never recaptured. Arthur Colley Shorter died in 1961 and Clarice Cliff-Shorter subsequently sold A. J. Wilkinson Ltd and the Newport Pottery Co. Ltd to W. R. Midwinter Ltd in 1964. Midwinter were, themselves, absorbed by J. & G. Meakin Ltd in 1968 and then by Wedgwood in 1970.

In the 1990s Wedgwood re-issued many of the classic Clarice Cliff shapes and patterns as limited edition collectors’ wares. Manufacture of the reproductions ceased in 2002 and they have since become collectible in their own right.

Nicholas John

Active 1982

A company established by designer Nicholas Holland (c.1982) at Buxton, Derbyshire as the production and marketing vehicle for his designs in cutlery and ceramics. In 1982 the company launched the ‘Nicholas John Designer Collection’ of fifty bone china, earthenware and stoneware mugs decorated with Holland’s designs.

Norfolk Pottery Co. Ltd

1958–1979?

Earthenware manufacturer at Norfolk St, Shelton. In the early 1970s the business became part of the Howard Pottery Group. The Howard Pottery Group was purchased by Taunton Vale Industries in 1974 and the latter company was itself acquired by Staffordshire Potteries Ltd in November 1979. The Norfolk Pottery Co. Ltd produced fancy tableware, tea sets, teapots, vases, bowls, jardinieres etc using the ‘Royal Norfolk’ trade name.

North Light

1978–Active 2005

Manufacturers of high quality animal sculptures at Biddulph, Staffordshire. North Light was founded in 1978 by designer Guy Pocock in association with sculptress Ann Godfrey to manufacture models of pedigree dogs accurate to the ‘breed standard’. The North Light business failed in early-2005 and was acquired by Wade Ceramics Ltd in July 2005. It was then to be known as NorthLight@Wade. North Light products included its models of dogs (over 345 models), horses, other animals, fish, and birds cast using a ceramic resin and porcelain powder.

North Staffordshire Pottery Co. Ltd

1940–1955?

Earthenware manufacturer at the Globe Pottery, Cobridge, and subsequently operating from Cobridge Rd, Hanley. The North Staffordshire Pottery Co. Ltd was founded by Mr Thomas Lawley and Mr James C. H. Halsall in 1940. The business became part of the Lawley Group Ltd when brothers Edgar and Thomas Lawley combined their potteries interests in 1948. The company became a subsidiary of Ridgway Potteries Ltd in 1955. As part of Allied English Potteries Ltd (from 1964), the North Staffordshire Pottery Co. Ltd factory became the production unit for Ridgway Hotelware including Ridgway ‘Steelite’ vitreous hotelware and North Staffordshire Pottery Co. Ltd hotelware marketed under the ‘Vitrock’ brand. The company also produced general domestic earthenware. The marks used by the business included a depiction of a rocky headland and the slogan ‘Strong as a rock’.

Northfield Hawley Pottery Co. Ltd

1903–1919

See the entry for Hawley Bros. Ltd.