The Different Types of Porcelain Potters

By: rhusain
Thomas Turner the founder of the Caughley factory is credited with producing the original version of the favored 'willow-pattern', which was copied on both pottery and porcelain by innumerable other makers, and remains popular today. And there are numerous factories that either copied others styles and designs or do their own things. Let us have a look at some of these factories.

Caughley
A manufactory was built at Caughley (pronounced 'Coffley') near Bridgnorth in Shropshire, by Thomas Turner in 1772, and porcelain was made there soon after that date. It was called at the time, and still is, Salopian ware, and is very similar in appearance to Worcester, which it copied. Much of it was printed in under glaze blue and sometimes shows a yellow or brownish tone if held up to the light, whereas Worcester is more often inclined to appear a pale green. Turner is credited with producing the original version of the favored 'willow-pattern', which was copied on both pottery and porcelain by innumerable other makers, and remains popular today.

John Rose of Coalport bought the factory in 1799, and eventually the two were merged and the Caughley works closed.

New Hall
In 1781 a group of Staffordshire potters bought the Plymouth hard-paste patent from Champion of Bristol, and opened a factory at Longport, Staffordshire, which they called New Hall. They made simple tablewares with cottage-type simple decoration and are said to have made more ambitious painted pieces as well. Many of the productions are marked under the base with 'N* or 'N?' in red and a pattern number. The factory closed in 1835.

Davenport
A factory at Longport in Staffordshire was operated by successive members of the Davenport family from 1793 until 1882, and during much of the time porcelain was made. The ware is not especially distinguished and varies in quality, but some good porcelain-painters worked there at times. Two of them, James Holland and Joshua Cristall became well-known watercolour artists. Much Davenport china is unmarked, but some pieces bear the name of the factory with or without an anchor, and sometimes with the word 'Longport' added. The mark was at first impressed, but later was printed.

Minton
Thomas Minton, an engraver of designs for printing on china, started a factory in 1793 and the firm continues today. He made good bone china, but it is on the productions of his descendants that the fame of the firm rests; they concentrated on making close copies of old Sevres, which were bought by those who could not afford the extremely high prices realized by the latter in the mid-nineteenth century and later. In 1870, a Frenchman, Marc-Louis Solon, introduced a technique of decorating china by painting and modelling with white slip on a dark background, known as pate-sur-pate: 'clay on clay'. Solon is equally remembered for forming a large collection of English pottery and porcelain and for writing a number of early books on the subject.

Pinxton
William Billingsley, who was later at Nantgarw, started a small factory at Pinxton, Derbyshire. Billingsley was at Pinxton from 1796 to 1801, and made particularly fine glassy soft-paste porcelain, which was well decorated. After he left, the quality of the ware declined, and the factory closed in 1813.

Some of these factories made good wares but some of them vary in qualities. Most of the time these wares were unmarked. This creates problems for the collectors to identify the manufacture names. One of the significant things about these factories was that they did not exist for long and get closed down when ownership changes or the owners died. And equally significant is that some of them are still producing porcelains and they are still running well.
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