Allan Blackburn looks at Minton pottery...
A prestigious and well-respected firm, Minton routinely made wares for royalty and state officials. The company was founded in Stoke in 1793 by Thomas Minton.
Over the last 220 years, the quality of its products has been consistently high.
From its early days, Minton used a comprehensive marking system so it is possible to date every piece very accurately. Popular with collectors, these marks mean that with just a little research, the manufacturer’s mark, pattern numbers and date ciphers can be decoded to confirm the date from which any piece was produced.
During the course of its history, Minton has traded under many different names from “Thomas Minton” in its early days to “Minton and Boyle” in the mid 19th century. It has also been known as Herbert Minton and Co as when Thomas Minton died in 1836, his son, Herbert took over the business.
Herbert was innovative and inventive. He was regarded as one of the great Victorian entrepreneurs.
Thomas was the only manufacturer in 19th century England to adopt new decorative techniques from France like pâte-sur-pâte.
He had already welcomed the development of new products like bone china, but it was Herbert who really moved Minton up to a new level of achievement.
Herbert brought some of the industry’s great designers to Minton and continued to embrace new production processes. Alongside the tableware company, he set up a decorative tile manufacturing company, which was to become Minton Hollins & Co. This new company was a leader in a booming industry which supplied many different churches, businesses and homes throughout the country.
Minton was always accomplished in its production of high-quality beautifully decorated pieces and were renowned for their blue transfer-printed wares. As well as this type of porcelain tableware, the factory also made bone china decorative wares, figures and candlesticks, too.
Successive owners continued the tradition of innovation, creativity and quality at Minton until 1968 when Minton merged with Royal Doulton. Minton continues today as part of Royal Doulton Tableware Ltd.