Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Wedgwood and Co

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of Unicorn Pottery and Pinnox Works, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Podmore, Walker were the first producers of "Asiatic Pheasants" wares,

c.1850 Enoch Wedgwood, a distant relative of the famous Josiah Wedgwood, joined the Podmore Walker partnership.

Podmore Walker and Co had established strong export links, particularly in North America, with a series innovative contemporary romantic patterns, which Wedgwood and Co continued to produce. Enoch Wedgwood's company built on this firm foundation with high quality domestic earthenwares and ironstones which found much favour with shipping companies.

Enoch went about much rationalisation and improvement between 1853 and 1861, renting the Swan Banks works for that period until they took over the whole of the Unicorn Works in Great Woodland Street after Edward Challinor moved out. The modernised Unicorn and Pinnox Works were recognised by contemporaries as being some of the best facilities in the district.

1854 - 1859 As Podmore, Walker and Wedgwood of Pinnox Works, Amicable Street, Tunstall, Staffordshire (and at other addresses).

By 1856, Enoch had been recognised as a senior partner and included in the firms cartouche as Podmore Walker and Wedgwood

1859 The old partnership folded, and Enoch took his brother Jabez into a new partnership entitled Wedgwood and Co.

1860 - 1965 As Wedgwood and Co of Pinnox Works, Amicable Street, Tunstall, Staffordshire.

1860 - 1890 Also at Unicorn Works, Great Woodland Street, Tunstall, Staffordshire

1890 the company had lost its initial vigour and Hollinshead and Kirkham took over the Unicorn Works together with the "Asiatic Pheasants" copperplates.

1900 The firm became a limited company and effective control passed out of the hands of the Wedgwood family. The new money and management put new life into the company and up to 1950 great efforts were put into regaining their former markets, largely by playing to the company's strengths in producing high quality goods.

1914 Listed as manufacturers of semi-porcelain. [1]

1947 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 - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1203) [2]

1965 the company was refloated as Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd 1965, of Pinnox Works, Amicable Street, Tunstall, Staffordshire.

Achieved only limited success

1980 Taken over by the Wedgwood Group who rather anonymously operate the factory as a subsidiary called Unicorn Pottery.

  • Competition in the use of the "Asiatic Pheasants" pattern opened up around 1860, with the immediate dilution of quality. Not so with Wedgwood and Co. With the concentration on good earthenware and ironstone bodies they continued to produce high quality "Asiatic Pheasants" wares throughout their existence until 1965. Whilst not quite as fine as the Podmore Walker originals they are the most sought after maker behind Podmore Walker, including their 20th century production. The ceramic and glaze is the most durable of all "Asiatic Pheasants" wares.

See Also

  • [1] The Potteries Website
  • [2] Asiatic Pheasants Website

Sources of Information