English Porcelain Factories - Wedgwood, Nantgarw and Swansea, Rockingham

Wedgwood

The Wedgwood factory at Etruria made porcelain for a few years from 1812. It was decorated in colours, and has the name of the firm printed on the base in red, blue or gold.

Nantgarw and Swansea

A factory at Nantgarw, near Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, was started in 1813 by William Billingsley, potter and china-painter. A porcelain of remarkable whiteness and translucence was made, but it was difficult to manipulate and failures in firing made it costly to produce. Within a year it was transferred to Swansea where attempts were made to improve the ware, making it easier to fire while preserving its appearance. A return was made shortly to Nangarw, but after a few years Billingsley went to work at Coalport and probably only decorating was done at Nantgarw. In 1822, Rose bought up the moulds and stock, and took them to his Coalport factory.

The principal output was in the form of tablewares, but vases were made also. Much of the ware was sold undecorated, and then painted in London. It is sought eagerly today, and is very expensive. The mark is the name of the factory impressed, with the letters 'c.w.' below.

Rockingham

A factory at Swinton, Yorkshire, on the estate of the Marquis of Rockingham, is known by the name of that nobleman who became its patron. Porcelain was made there from about 1820 and lavishly decorated vases and tablewares bear the factory mark: a griffin from the Rockingham crest. Extravagant decoration on good-quality porcelain gained the firm royal patronage and the title 'Manufacturer to the King' in 1830. Plain and attractively-modelled biscuit figures and groups were made, as well as pastille- burners in the form of cottages and castles, and small figures of poodles. The factory closed in 1842.



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