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British Industrial History

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Pilkingtons Tile and Pottery Co

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Nov 1919.
Dec 1921.

of Clifton Junction, near Manchester. Telephone: Pendleton 519-20. Cables: "Tileries, Manchester"

1891 Formation of Pilkington's Pottery Co

1892 Name changed to Pilkington's Tile and Pottery Co.

The products of the Pilkington Art Pottery or, more correctly Pilkington's Tile and Pottery Co, were produced in the same vein as the art pottery at the Lambeth Art Pottery which were financed and subsidized by the main commercial business.

What became known as the Lancastrian Lustre ware developed through early glaze experiments by William Burton who became Manager of Pilkington's after having previously been employed as a chemist at Wedgwood's.

By 1893, some hollow-wares were brought in and decorated with William Burton's recently developed Sunstone glaze to be followed by other crystalline glazes, transmutation glazes and orange peel effect glazes.

By 1905, Lancastrian wares were being sold through Tiffany and Co in New York, and Arthur V. Rose of Tiffany wrote a short pamphlet about the pottery when it was first shown. Many pieces of Lancastrian ware were bought by Sir Casper Purdon Clarke through Tiffany's and later donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at the height of their popularity and success, not only for their hollow wares but also their increasingly high profile tile production, Pilkington's were issued with the Royal Warrant, after which the firm was known as Royal Lancastrian.

1906 Lancastrian Lustre wares were introduced with metalized true lustre glaze effects. A new kiln was built and a new team of designers employed under the guidance of the new Art Director Gordon M. Forsyth. Designs were also commissioned from eminent outside artists such as Walter Crane and Lewis F. Day. As with the Doulton Lambeth pottery, the new designers were allowed to develop their own personal styles and areas of specialization which were largely based on typical, floral, aquatic, animal, bird and mythological subjects. What Gordon Forsyth was able to add to the training of the artists was a strong sense of balance and proportion between the shape of the vessel and the pattern. He also brought a considerable knowledge of heraldic patterns and calligraphy which feature prominently on Pilkington's Lancastrian ware.

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of White Glazed, Enamelled Lustred, Painted Majolica, and Printed Tiles; Flooring Tiles and Mosaic; Faience for External and Internal application. Royal Lancastrian, Plain Glazes, Decorated and Lustered, Lapis and Scraffito Ware. (Stand No. F.11) [1]

1938 The art pottery closed. The name of the company was changed to Pilkington's Tiles Ltd

See Also

  • [1] Harriman Judd Collection of British Art Pottery

Sources of Information