Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Herculaneum Pottery Co

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The Herculaneum Pottery was based in Toxteth, Liverpool, between 1793/4 and 1841, and made creamware and pearlware pottery as well as bone china porcelain.

c1793-4 Richard Abbey, who had been apprenticed to John Sadler, an engraver, started a pottery at Toxteth Park, on the north side of the River Mersey, along with a Scotsman named John Graham.

In 1796 they sold the business to Worthington, Humble and Holland, who engaged as manager Ralph Mansfield, of Burslem. He left them after some years' service, and commenced a small pottery on his own account. In addition to Mansfield, the new company engaged about forty men from the Staffordshire potteries, and they were transported there by boat. The buildings acquired from Abbey were considerably enlarged and improved, and as Wedgwood had called his new colony "Etruria", the company christened theirs "Herculaneum".

1800-05 Listed as Samuel Worthington and Co, Herculaneum Pottery.[1][2] and of the Copper Works, Toxteth.[3]

The first productions were printed earthenware, which was carefully potted and of a somewhat deeper shade than that of Wedgwood. The company must have done a good trade with America, because there are many pieces bearing American designs and emblems. Some services had the embossed basket rims, and one of these was printed with views of well-known English scenery. Terra-cotta vases and statuettes in black basaltes were also made, as were also jugs with relief figures.

In 1800 the manufactory was considerably enlarged, and again in 1806. Early in the 19th century china was produced, and its manufacture was continued to the close of the works.

1821 Advertising as the Herculaneum Pottery Co.[4]

In 1833 the company was dissolved, and sold for £25,000 to Ambrose Lace, who leased the premises to Thomas Case and James Mort. They introduced as a trademark the Liver, which is the crest of the borough of Liverpool.

In 1836 they were succeeded by Mort and Simpson, who continued until the close of the works in 1841. Early wares were marked "HERCULANEUM".

The company gave its name to the Herculaneum Dock which occupied the site later

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 22 May 1800
  2. Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 11 April 1805
  3. Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 20 March 1800
  4. Liverpool Mercury - Friday 24 August 1821