Staffordshire pottery refers generally to the wares created starting from around the 1700s in the English Midlands. Using materials readily available in the area, potters made their wares within a cluster of six English towns called, collectively, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. Several of these potters became household names. Among them are Adams, Aynsley, Doulton, Minton, Spode and Wedgwood, although the manufacture of exquisite Staffordshire pottery was not limited to these individuals and their companies.
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Josiah Wedgwood founded his company, Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, in 1759. Wedgwood is renowned for its pottery innovations and manufacture of Jasper Ware, Queen's Ware and fine bone china.
Josiah Spode established his business in 1767. Spode is credited with developing the formula for fine bone china and for the 1790 creation of the "Blue Willow" pattern (see Resources).
William Adams & Sons was founded in 1769. In 1780, the company began producing its noted Jasper Ware. In 1966, the company became part of the Wedgwood group.
John Aynsley founded his pottery company in 1775. He and his family specialised in the manufacture of fine bone china. The firm has created specially commissioned dinnerware for members of the English Royal Family.
Thomas Minton & Sons was founded in 1793 and is also known for popularising the "Willow Pattern" (see Resources). Minton became part of the Royal Doulton group.
In 1882, Sir Henry Doulton, son of the founder of Royal Doulton, was the first potter to receive a knighthood. He expanded the original pottery partnership established by his father, John Doulton in 1815, taking production into new areas of ceramics.
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