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British Industrial History

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A. J. Wilkinson

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May 1931. Clarice Cliff.

A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, of Royal Staffordshire Pottery, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs. Telephone: Burslem 7117. Cables: "Wilkinson, Burslem". (1929)

  • 1880s Following the acquisition of several potteries around Burslem, in Stoke-on-Trent, by Arthur J. Wilkinson, a large, successful business was established, with the name A. J. Wilkinson Limited, The Royal Staffordshire Pottery.
  • 1894 The company was taken over by A. J. Wilkinson's brother-in-law, Arthur Shorter and produced export pottery, mainly for export to America. A few years later he bought the firm.
  • Between 1897 and 1901, President William McKinley imposed a 50% tariff on all ceramics entering the United States. This caused a general slump in the Staffordshire export trade.
  • The young Colley Shorter, son of Arthur Shorter, was very enterprising, however, and managed, during the period preceding the First World War, to expand the Home Trade as well as to find new overseas markets in South America and in Canada. He was therefore able to offset the loss to the previously stable United States Market.
  • 1920 Business had expanded so much, that the firm of A. J. Wilkinson was able to take over another neighbouring pottery which came to be known as the Newport Pottery Co.
  • 1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of White Granite, White and Decorated Semi-porcelain, dinner, Toilet, Tea Ware, Fancy Goods for Home and Export. (Stand No. G.21) [1]
  • 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.
  • 1947 British Industries Fair Advert in British Industries Fair Catalogue as Exhibiting Member of the British Pottery Manufacturers' Federation of Federation House, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Composite Exhibit. (Pottery and Glassware Section) [2]
  • A. J. Wilkinson and their Newport Pottery Co continued to sell ware under Clarice’s name.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] 50 Connect Website
  • [2] Wikipedia on Clarice Cliff