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British Industrial History

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George Clews and Co

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George Clews and Co, earthenware manufacturer, of Brownhills Pottery, Tunstall

1906 Initially set up at the Progressive Works, Burslem

1908 Moved to Tunstall. The firm appears to have been run as a partnership between George's son Percy Swinnerton Clews, who acted as Managing Director, Henry Preece and David Capper, who was the Works Manager and creative force behind the company.

c. 1913 Production of art pottery began, the inspiration (it is thought) of David Capper.

Early 1920s: The hand-painted Chameleon Ware, for which the company is best known, was introduced with the intention of selling commercial quantities of pieces previously only made by studio potters

1930s Heyday of Chameleon Ware - the production of art wares far exceeded that of teapots

1941 Designated as a nucleus firm - continued teapot manufacture throughout WWII.

1942 Percy Clews died

1946 ownership of the firm passed to Hubert Alan Brown who had joined the business in 1933. Under his management the pottery was extensively modernised up to 1952. The company continued the manufacture of its core teapot lines and animal models but greatly expanded the manufacture of tableware including tea and coffee sets, table accessories and vitrified hotelware.

1961 Despite the modernisation and the post-War economic boom, the business failed in May 1961 and its assets were liquidated.

Teapots were the mainstay of the George Clews business throughout its existence. Jet (made from local red clays with a shiny black cobalt glaze), Rockingham (brown glaze) and Samian (clear glazed) styles were produced in a large range of styles and sizes and decorated with banding and simple hand-painted patterns. The ‘Perfecto’ teapot/hot water/earthenware tray set in classical art deco style was introduced in the late-1930s and continued in production post-1945. The company was one of a number that made the well known ‘Cube’ teapots and accessories for domestic and hotel use and for the ocean liner trade over a considerable period including orders for the Queen Mary (1936), RMS Mauretania (1939) and the Queen Elizabeth (1946).

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Pottery Histories [1]