John Dwight, a physicist, founded the Fulham Pottery in 1671 having developed techniques for using English clay to produce fine, strong pottery. He is recognized as the father of English pottery making and was the inventor of a salt glaze stone ware which ended England’s dependence on imports for such products. The Pottery operated under the Dwight-White family until the last of them died and it was sold in 1862 to Macintosh & Clements who ran it for two years. C.J.C. Bailey took over the works in 1864. Finding the old place run down, using outdated techniques and equipment, he made great improvements and updates and was able to restore Fulham Pottery as a leading producer of both industrial and household ceramics. He also produced “works of art in a high order …” while crafting the highest quality salt glaze jugs, pitchers and commercial containers such as the one offered here. (Online references: Jewitt’s Ceramic Art of Great Britain; Mernick’s Brown Jugs; British History Online)
This captivating little antique stoneware jar has a tan field and a cream-gray one separated by a belt of striking impressed chain links all around. Each side of the jar bears a sprig of two embossed fishes, one crossed over the other. The front is inscribed with a merchant’s name and address: M.B.C. & S. Ltd / 210, Piccadilly in blue. Lip at top shows three slots, probably for hasps. One side of the tan upper part impressed with GO. The jar measures 4 5/8” tall x 3 7/8” wide x 2 ¾” diameter at rim x 2 ¾” at base. Rounded foot is about ¼” high.
Partial incised mark on underside is for Bailey & Co. / Fulham inside an oval. Used from 1864-1889. Condition is excellent in spite of a small old chip at base about ½” x 3/16” in size (last photo). Both sprigs are intact as is the commercial inscription. A wonderful addition to a saltware or antique stoneware collection, as a distinctive vase, or just for display. This piece is a handsome, charming little relic of daily life in mid-19th century London!