Monday, 9 August 2010

My fascination for bone china and why

Having been brought up in Africa,  and now returned to the UK,  I have renewed interest in the place I was born,  which is Longton,  Staffordshire,  the home of the makers of bone china.  It therefore stands to reason that I love collecting china cups, plates, anything that displays the maker's name,  and thus the history follows:
I picked up some plates and bowls at the local charity/thrift shop,  and here is some of their history:
'Chapman' which are the plates have the following history:


Chapman China (?1898-1905?)was located on Uttoxeter Road, almost opposite St James’ church and parallel to Normacot Road where Sutherland Works is situated. There is very little information to be found on this Staffordshire china company, other than the fact it existed between 1898 and 1905. If it really only existed for 7 years, it probably explains the dearth of information pertaining to it.

It seems that Chapman China became Atlas China and in fact I own some cups and saucers which have the Atlas China pottery mark with “Chapman” written across it, however, far more common is ware with the Atlas China backstamp with “Grimwades” written across it and it seems that Atlas China later became Grimwades.

(Mine has the Atlas pottery mark backstamp)

This backstamp was used by D Chapman & Sons in the 20th century. As far as I am aware, this is the Atlas China backstamp.

D Chapman & Sons (1882-1902) was located in Longton, according to Staffordshire china expert Steve Birks of but I can find no reference to where in Longton this was. It would seem highly likely that David Chapman (b1844-d1927) founded this company as the dates fit (he would have been 38 at the time of its inception) although originally, according to Keates Gazetteer & Directory 1873-1874, David Chapman belonged to Robinson & Chapman located in Forrister Street, Longton, a Staffordshire china company which seemed to exist for just 9 years (1872-1881).

I can find very little mention of this company at all. Judging by the dates, D Chapman & Sons existed (1882-1902), it appears it was established some 16 years prior to the inception of Chapman China (1898-1905) and ended 3 years before Chapman China finished. Therefore, I can only assume that Chapman China and D Chapman & Sons were two separate companies.

The Keates Gazetteer & Directory also noted that David Chapman resided at "Ashwood Hotel" in Wood Street, Longton where he was not a Staffordshire china potter but a Licensed Victualler although the following year the residence had dropped the “hotel” and he was no longer Licensed Victualler. Many years later he lived at Myrtle Villa, 339 Uttoxeter Rd, Blythe Bridge and in 1921 he is listed as living at The Oaks or Oak Villa, Forsbrook.

Written by Helen Gregory (nee Chapman)

The bowls are 'English Village' by Salem China (transferware) apparently circa 1940.

The potteries looked like the picture when I left in 1953,  now they no longer exist,  and the countryside is green and smoke free,  but the world is without the beauty of the chinaware,  and places such as Wedgewoods.  That is what makes collecting the items so enjoyable.

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