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London Salt-Glazed Stoneware

February 16, 2018
by the gentle author

As one who thought nobody else shared my passion for old salt-glazed stoneware, I was overjoyed when Philip Mernick granted me the opportunity to photograph these fine examples from his vast and historically-comprehensive collection which is greatly superior to my modest assembly.

In London, John Dwight of Fulham ascertained the method of the salt glaze process for rendering earthenware impermeable in 1671, thus breaking the German monopoly on Bellarmine jugs. Yet it was Henry Doulton in the nineteenth century who exploited the process on an industrial scale in Lambeth, especially in the profitable fields of bottle-making and drainpipes, before starting the manufacture of art pottery in 1870.

It is the utilitarian quality of this distinctive London pottery that appeals to me, lending itself to a popular style of decoration which approaches urban folk art. “I like it for its look,” Philip Mernick admitted , “but because nothing is marked until the late nineteenth century, it’s the mystery that appeals to me – trying to piece together who made what and when.”

Jug by Vauxhall Pottery 1810

Blacking bottles – Everett 1910 & Warren 1830 (where Dickens worked as a boy)

Gin Flagon, Fulham Pottery c. 1840

Spirit Flask in the shape of a boot by Deptford Stone Pottery c. 1840

Spirit flask in the shape of a pistol by Stephen Green and in the shape of a powder flask by Thomas Smith of Lambeth Pottery c. 1840

Reform flasks – Wiliam IV Reform flask by Doulton & Watts, eighteen- thirties, and Mrs Caudle flask by Brayne of Lambeth, eighteen-forties

Spirit flask of John Burns, Docks Union Leader, Doulton Pottery 1910

Nelson jug by Doulton & Watts 1830

Duke of Wellington jug by Stephen Green of Lambeth Pottery 1830

Mortlake Pottery Tankard, seventeen-nineties

Old Tom figure upon a Fulham Pottery Tankard c. 1830

Silenus jug by Stephen Green of Lambeth Pottery c. 1840

Victoria & Albert jug by Stephen Green of Lambeth Pottery 1840

Stag hunt jug by Doulton & Watts c. 1840

Mortlake Pottery jug, seventeen-nineties

Doulton jug hallmarked 1882

Jug by Thomas Smith of Lambeth Pottery 1840

Fulham Pottery jug c. 1830

Stiff Pottery jug c. 1850

Mortlake Pottery jug 1812

Figure of Toby Philpot on Mortlake jug

Deptford Pottery jug 1860

Stiff Pottery jug, with seller’s name in Limehouse 1860

Vauxhall Pottery jug with image of the pavilion at Vauxhall Gardens and believed to have been used there in the eighteen-thirties

Tobacco jug by Doulton & Watts, eighteen-forties

You may also like to read my earlier article

Doulton Lambeth Ware

10 Responses leave one →
  1. February 16, 2018

    A wonderful collection of stoneware. Valerie

  2. Ken Powell permalink
    February 16, 2018

    The last item looks like a portable font…..

  3. John Barrett permalink
    February 16, 2018

    Good assemblage of stone wares and pics today by GA . Variations used as cider jars in the West C.ountry, these domestic wares were strong well bodied they had to be. London wares shown here were beautifully decorated highly refined for domestic wares. John a bus pass poet PS different again was Bellarmine high fired stone glazed wares.

  4. Ron Bunting permalink
    February 16, 2018

    Running Dogs were a popular decoration . 🙂

  5. Paul Loften permalink
    February 16, 2018

    Taking a look at these lovely old pots I can well understand your passion. They are literally “history in the making”

  6. Sara K permalink
    February 16, 2018

    Fascinating. I have only recently discovered your writings and now eagerly await each new post. Many thanks

  7. February 16, 2018

    When I was scrolling down, I thought John Burns was Lenin.

  8. Kristine permalink
    February 16, 2018

    What a treat it is to learn about this style of pottery and to see all the examples. I especially liked the boot shaped spirit flask. I suspect it made the potter’s day more enjoyable when he took a utilitarian object and infused it with some of his creativity.

  9. February 16, 2018

    these are wondeful

  10. February 17, 2018

    I’m sure you know this, but Warren’s (right-hand bottle on the second picture) was the blacking factory where the 12-year-old Charles Dickens was sent to work in 1824. (

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