Histories of UK potters and pottery manufacturers

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© Michael Perry 2011. Contact

Image courtesy of Lema Publishing Ltd, publishers of ‘Tableware International’ www.tablewareinternational.com

Last updated: 1st August 2011


A rather sharply shaped lip to 18th-century jugs.


A shallow bowl or cup on a footed stem. Tazze were used to hold fruit or other accompaniment to a meal and also served as a table centrepiece.

Toby jug

A figural or character jug sometimes of grotesque from.  Said to be named after Toby Fillpot (Henry Elwes) recorded on a print published on his death in about 1761.  Made by numerous manufacturers, the best know of which is probably Doulton.

Toilet set

A set, usually of earthenware, manufactured for the 'toilet', that is the process of washing and dressing oneself. Toilet sets usually consisted of seven matching pieces - ewer (large water jug), wash bowl, soap dish, sponge dish, cup, slop pail and chamber pot.  Toilet sets were an important product for many manufacturers during the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Vienna Secession

An art movement founded in 1897 by a breakaway group of artists, designers and architects who wished to differentiate themselves from the conservative Vienna art establishment of the time.  Leading members include Gustav Klimt, .... Berlin and Munich had similar Secessionist groups.  Charles Rennie McIntosh is the best know UK associate of the Vienna secessionists.

Wiener Werkstatte

Literally 'Vienna Workshop'.  An Arts and Crafts movement based in Vienna circa 1900-1930 that aimed to combine utility with aesthetic qualities in the design of everyday objects including ceramics.


Coupe shape

A modern (popular from the 1950s) plate shape that lacks a rim.  Originally popular in America, the shape was popularized in the United Kingdom by manufacturers such as Midwinter and J & G Meakin.


A genuine object that has been altered or converted to increase its apparent rarity or value.


An object newly created in an attempt to deceive


Ornamentation added to the top of a lid on a tureen, teapot or similar object.


Decorated with parallel grooves.


The shaped rim found under most tablewares.  The foot rim may be formed in the mould for slipware, or pressed flatware, or turned on a lathe.

Liberty & Co.

A shop in Regent St, London founded by Arthur Lazenby Liberty (1843-1917) and famous for its sponsorship of Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau craftsmen and artists.  The shop sold fabrics, ceramics, metal wares and oriental goods.

Mansion House dwarf

A porcelain figurine in grotesque form (an alternative name is a ‘grotesque punch’) usually with a large hat to which is attached a message or advertisement. The name ‘Mansion House Dwarf’’ arises from the real-life dwarfs that were once employed to stand outside the Mansion House in the City of London with advertisements written on, or attached to, their large hats.

More generally, the representation of the dwarf form in porcelain is thought to have followed the work of the 17th century French engraver Jaques Callot who produced a series of engravings of dwarf entertainers in Florence.

The most well-known Mansion House Dwarfs were manufactured by the Derby porcelain factories, beginning with the Nottingham Road factory in the second half of the 18th century and continuing to the present Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Co. Ltd in the 1970s.