Tag Archives: chintz tea cups

Grimwade Brothers: Home of Royal Winton Chintz

One of the most successful chintz producing potteries, Grimwade Brothers, began in 1885 at the Winton Pottery, Stock-on-Trent when Leonard Grimwade invited his older brother Sidney to join his manufacture business.  Sidney was a potter, however, it appears that Leonard was the enterprising force behind the prosperity of Grimwade Brothers. He was described by business associates and employees alike as a man of vision, energy and generosity.

His company grew quickly receiving patents for a number of innovative products including the Paragon coffee pot with a removable strainer, a Safety Milk Bowl and a Quick-Cooker Bowl. Earthenware for the kitchen, toiletry, hospital, nursery and table was produced by the company. The chintz ware for which the company is well know may have been produced as early as 1913 in more traditional patterns such as Jacobean ware, Hampton chintz and Spode Chintz. These patterns were large and widely spaced.

Today, we generally associate chintz with smaller closely packed patterns. The first chintz of this nature produced by Grimwades was Paisley in 1923. However, the pottery’s first major success with a “modern” chintz pattern was the design Marguerite in 1928. This pattern is said to have been inspired by a design Mrs. Minnie Grimwade was working on a cushion at the time. The success of Marguerite was followed by numerous new chintz patterns during the next 20+ years. Some patterns remained proprietary to Grimwade such as Julia and Welbeck, while others were sold for use by other potteries such as Rose Du Barry.

Although Leonard Grimwade died unexpectedly in 1931, his company florished for many years. By the 1960s, due to a number of factors, the market for chintz had dropped off. The Grimwade company was sold to Howard Potteries in 1964 with the Royal Winton trade name kept intact. Various company buyouts proceeded over the years with the Royal Winton name still remaining. As far as we know, the latest company to trade as Royal Winton is still producing chintz ware. There are 12 patterns available with some of the most popular original chintz designs reintroduced in the 1990s.

Royal Winton chintz continues to be a favorite with collectors. Listed below are some excellent resources available for those who wish to explore the rich history of Royal Winton and English chintz ware.

This brief summary was gleaned from Collecting Royal Winton Chintz by Muriel M. Miller, Francis Joseph Publications 1996 available on Amazon.

Book Resources:

Collecting Royal Winton Chintz by Muriel M. Miller

Royal Winton Porcelain: Ceramics Fit for a King by Eileen Rose Busby

The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Chintz, 3rd Edition by Susan Scott

Chintz Ceramics by Jo Anne Welsh

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea sets, teapots & antique chintz tea cups.

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The Wileman Shelley Pottery: A brief history

Shelley CountrySide Chintz

In a nod to all those wonderful & dedicated Shelley collectors, we’re starting off our history series on English Potteries with the Wileman Shelley works.

The Shelley pottery was prolific in producing a large variety of very fine patterns in fine bone china. As the Shelley Pottery, it operated from 1925 to the late 1960s. However, the pottery got its start under Henry Wileman. Around 1860, he was producing earthenware products at the Foley pottery in Staffordshire, England. He started a second pottery for the production of fine china which became the Shelley pottery.

The Shelley name comes from Joseph Shelley who joined the Wileman family as a salesperson. In 1870, Joseph became a partner with James Wileman, Henry’s son, in Wileman & Company. James ran the original earthenware pottery and Joseph focused on the fine china production. Joseph Shelley worked hard to produced the finest quality china and expand foreign export. His son, Percy, joined the business in 1881.

Example of Shelley Backstamp

Percy Shelley brought in top artists and litho designers thereby improving the appearance of the fine china wares. He was so successful that the reputation and demand for Shelley china grew both at home and abroad. Both Wileman and Shelley wares are still avidly collected today and the value of many patterns remains high.

Wileman Foley Demitasse Empire Shape

Upon the death of his father, Percy took full control of the pottery and ran the company for about 50 years. Around 1910, he became involved in a legal battle over the use of “Foley” in his backstamp which was the name of a pottery region. After losing, he renamed his manufacturing works Shelley around 1925. Thus the Shelley brand was born.

As is true of other major English chintz manufacturers, production and creativity was greatest from the 1920’s through the 1950’s with a brief drop in the years surrounding World War II. In 1966, the company was sold to Allied Potteries.

Wileman Shelley collectors have at least three collector’s clubs accessible online with a wealth of information on history, shapes, patterns and backstamps. For detailed histories & further research, please check out the following club sites as well as the reference books listed below and available on Amazon.

Example of Wileman Foley Backstamp

Online Club Sites:

Australasian Shelley Collector’s Club

The Shelley Group

National Shelley China Club

Book Resources:

Shelley Chintz: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pattern Books by Kelly Moran

Shelley China: Schiffer Book for Collectors by Tina Skinner

Shelley Tea Ware Patterns by Sheryl Burdess

More Shelley China: Schiffer Book for Collectors by Lee Jones & Russ Nicholas