Pretty cobalt blues! We are offering this wonderful Antique Plate which measures 9" across and is back stamped with the Royal Venton mark for 1897. This piece is in great condition except for a chip on the backside - please see pic! Although the name of 'Royal Venton' is still used today as part of the Ideal Standard Group (Bathroom Ware) pottery as shown and described is no longer made. The firm was first established in 1897, although a some back marks have shown 1895, and pottery was produced until the mid 1930's, usually quoted as ending in 1936. The main production was at the Hill pottery site in Burslem. Production at the site goes back at least as far as 1736, when John Mitchell. a manufacturer of salt-glazed stoneware was working at Hill Top. He was later to become a patron of John Wesley. The young Aaron Wood became one of the employees there. Mitchell was made bankrupt in the 1780s and by 1786 the works was in the hands of John Robinson, who eventually also took over the old Methodist Chapel. This had been built in 1766 on the adjoining site given by John Mitchell and was turned into a warehouse by Robinson By the early 1830s the pottery had been passed from the Robinson family to Samuel Alcock, who incorporated it with two neighbouring pot works and reorganised the whole as the Hill Pottery. Four hundred 'hands' were employed there by that time. The works itself was described in the early 1840s as 'one of the largest and best conducted in the Potteries'. Samuel Alcock and Company, who made good porcelain, bisque, purian vases and figures failed in1859. In 1860 the works was taken over by Sir John Duke and Nephews (J & C Hill) who sold it to Thomas Ford in 1865. He in turn sold it in 1866 to the Earthenware and Porcelain Company. This operated for a year as the Hill Pottery Company and was then liquidated. Thomas Ford bought it back in 1867. The China Department as taken over by Alcock and Diggory (Bradley & Diggory) in 1870 and. as the Crown Works, was then in the hands of the firm Bradley from 1871 until at least 1892. The earthenware department passed in 1867 to Burgess & Leigh who held it until 1889. John Steventon arrived in the Potteries from Oakengates, Shropshire and had been employed by Shelton Iron & Steel Ltd. In 1890 he was described as a China Decorator on the Birth Certificate of one of his children and in 1898 he was described as a Licensed Auctioneer on another. In the 1901 Census he is listed as an Earthenware Manufacturer. It is known that a partnership was formed in about 1896/97 with William J Brown, W Lees & John Steventon with a limited capital of £300. To date no examples of this ware are known but it is believed that at the time the sales were mainly to markets.