Gray's Pottery Advertisements

In the 20th century, the British ceramic industry had two important monthly trade journals: The Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review (PG) and The Pottery and Glass Record (P&GR), which became Pottery and Glass (P&G) in 1944. These publications exist today under the name TableWare International, now owned and published by Lema Publishing Ltd of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England. Due credit is given to that company for the advertisements which appear in this section. The images have been made possible with the notable assistance of the Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Gray’s Pottery is first advertised in 1915, some 2½ years after establishing its production base in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. There’s a flurry of adverts in 1919 and 1930, followed by just one in 1935 and then nothing until after the Second World War. Then, starting in January 1946, Gray’s Pottery features monthly, alternately, in PG and P&G until 1958. During 1959 and 1960 there is just one design of advertisement, promoting splash lustre products, and only appearing in PG. Three Portmeirion-inspired adverts, all based on a similar theme, appear in 1961 to be replaced by a Portmeirion Potteries advert proclaiming “formerly Grays Pottery” in February 1962.

Throughout the life of the company, Gray’s Pottery products appear regularly as part of editorial features or exhibition reports. These, together with the advertisements, kept buyers informed of the range on offer.

The advertisements in this section appear in order of their publication. Additionally, an advert can be selected by clicking on any of the following pattern numbers or names.

427 576 1798 1800 2284 2301 8312 A2911 A3189 A5410 A5561 A5855 A7338 A7894 A8261 A8391 A8403 A8404 A8464 A8474 A8481 A8489 A8496 A8497 A8526 A8551 A8552 A8603 A8649 A8656 A8665 A8666 A8667 A8669 A8670 A8671 A8672 A8673 A8674 A8676 A8677 A8678 A8692 A8724 A8990 A9010 A9123 A9252 D647

Ballet, Coaching Scenes, Dickensian Ladies, Dolphin, Gaiety Ware, Golden Diamond, Harmony, Hunting Scenes, Jacobean, Ludlow, Magnolia, Malachite, One o’clock, Portmeirion Rose, Splash lustre, Strawberry (BC), Strawberry (silver), Talisman, Tiger Lily, Tree (sepia & gold), Tudor Rose, Water Lily

The Pottery and Glass Record 1915. June p22
1915

The Pottery and Glass Record 1915

June p22

The first known advertisement. Note AE Gray & Co (rather than the later Gray’s Pottery). The name Glebe Works harks back to the company’s origins in Back Glebe Street in another of the Potteries’ six towns: Stoke-upon-Trent.

1915
The Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1 Feb 1919 p100
1919

The Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1 Feb 1919 p100

1919
The Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1919 July p692, Aug p822, Sept p938
1919

The Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1919

July p692, Aug p822, Sept p938

Jacobean pattern has a range of numbers such as: 427, 576, 1798 and 1800.

1919
Advertisement from the 1922 British Industries Fair Guide.
1922

Advertisement from the 1922 British Industries Fair Guide

Image courtesy of www.gracesguide.co.uk

1922
Advertisement from the British Institute of Industrial Art 1922 exhibition catalogue Present Day Industrial Art.
1922

Advertisement from the British Institute of Industrial Art 1922 exhibition catalogue Present Day Industrial Art.

Image courtesy ‘RIBA Collections’

1922
Advertisement from the British Institute of Industrial Art 1929 Autumn Exhibition catalogue.
1929

Advertisement from the British Institute of Industrial Art 1929 Autumn Exhibition catalogue.

Image courtesy ‘RIBA Collections’

1929
The Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1930
1930

The Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1930

Feb p163, March p351, April p511, May p695

The London showrooms were opened in December 1929, initially run by AE Gray’s nephew John Gray. Note the name Grays Pottery features more prominently than AE Gray & Co. The slogan based on the theme ‘Pottery of Distinction’ was to be used for almost 30 years.

1930
The Pottery and Glass Record 1935 Sept p248
1935

The Pottery and Glass Record 1935 Sept p248

This advertisement incorporates Gray’s new Stoke-upon-Trent works’ address: Whieldon Road.

1935
1946

Pottery and Glass 1946 March p30

This advertisement, together with four others created later the same year, are the only ones known to have incorporated an image of the company’s backstamp; the Clipper (mark N).

1946
1946

Pottery and Glass 1946

1946
1946

Pottery and Glass 1946

1946
1946

Pottery and Glass 1946 Sept p12

The pattern advertised is A5855, a purple lustre resist pattern designed by SC Talbot and entered onto the national Design Council index.

1946
1946

Pottery and Glass 1946 Nov p49

The pattern advertised is A7338, designed by SC Talbot, comprising a cerise print on an ivory or buff earthenware body with a centre hand-painted in cerise, lilac, pale yellow and spice brown.

1946
Pottery and Glass 1946-1947
1946-47

Pottery and Glass 1946-1947

1946: Jan p35, 1947: Jan p61

On this and all later advertisements the name AE Gray & Co no longer appears.

1946-47
1947
Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1947 April p284, June p459

Compare this to the advertisement for pattern A8403.

1947
1947

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1947

Aug p610, Dec p970

The patterns illustrated are likely to include A8481, A8496 and A8497.

1947
1947-1948

Pottery and Glass 1947-1948

1947: July p18, Nov p18, 1948: March p57

Slight changes exist in the text printed at the bottom left of the advertisement.

1947-1948
1947-1949

Pottery and Glass 1947-1949

1947: May p14, Sept p14, 1948: Jan p16, Sept p16, 1949: Jan p20, May p14, Sept p67

Slight changes exist in the text printed at the bottom left of the advertisement.

1947-1949
1948

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1948

Feb p159

Compare this to the advertisement for pattern A8404.

1948
advert
1948-49

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1948-1949

1948: June p545, Oct p929, 1949: Feb p120, May p456, Aug p816, Dec p1418

Minor change with either [1] or [2] in bottom left.
© Lema Publishing Ltd.

1948-49
1948-50

Pottery and Glass 1948-1950

1946: May p28, 1948: May p18, July p22, Nov p24, 1949: March p24, July p60, Nov p62, 1950: Jan p34

From 1948 the Clipper backstamp is not included and a note is added: ‘painted in silver lustre and gold’.

1948-50
1948-50

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1948-1950

1948: April p347, Aug p694, Dec p1078, 1949: April p330, June p574, Oct p1121, 1950: Feb p170

A8464 is a pattern designed by SC Talbot.

1948-50
1950-51

Pottery and Glass 1950-1951

1950: March p30, July p38, Nov p28, 1951: March p26, July p40, Nov p46

Note that Ludlow pattern, number A8692, came in a range of different groundlayed colours.

1950-51
1950-51

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1950-1951

1950: April p506, Aug p1148, Dec p1811, 1951: April p518, Aug p1184, Dec p1835

The plate is decorated in one of several versions of the Magnolia patterns, in this case number A8674. The silver vine-based pattern is number A8656.

1950-51
1950-52

Pottery and Glass 1950-1952

1950: May p42, Sept p42, 1951: Jan p26, May p24, Sept p40, 1952: Jan p46

This advertisement promotes six patterns, each in either silver or copper (bronze) lustre. (Left to right, top to bottom, silver/copper: A8672/A8673, A8603/A8676, A8667/A8677, A8671/A8678, A8669/A8670, A8665/A8666)

1950-52
1950-52

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1950-1952

1950: June p832, Oct p1474, 1951: Feb p218, June p852, Oct p1545, 1952: Feb p198

This advertises two patterns in Gray’s range of the Magnolia design (A8649 – green background, A8724 – pink).

1950-52
1952-1954

Pottery and Glass 1952-1954

1946: July p13, 1952: May p47, Sept p34, 1953: Jan pxliii, May pxxviii, Sept pxl, 1954: Jan pxxx

From 1952 the Clipper backstamp is not included and a note is added: ‘Strawberry finish in silver or bronze lustre’

1952-1954
1952-56

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1952-1956

1952: April p520, Aug p1230, Dec p1834, 1953: April p494, Aug p1110, Dec p1748, 1954: April p506, Aug p1108, Dec p1738, 1955: April p540, (Aug p1170), Dec p1810, 1956: April p546

A8990. The August 1955 advertisement has an illustration of A9010!

1952-56
1952-56

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1952-1956

1952: June p866, Oct p1544, 1953: Feb p188, June p812, Oct p1438, 1954: Feb p205, June p812, Oct p1424, 1955: Feb p212, June p874, Oct p1496, 1956: Feb p210, June p842

Minor change with either [1] or [3] in bottom left.

1952-56
1952-58

Pottery and Glass 1952-1958

1952: July p38, Nov p46, 1953: March pxli, July pxxviii, Nov pxxxii, 1954: March pxxxviii, May pxxx, July pxxxiv, Sept pxxxvi, Nov pxxxii, 1955: May pxxxix, July pxxxvi, Sept pxxxvi, Nov pxxxv, 1956: March pxxxvi, May pxxxiii, July pxxxviii, Sept plvi, 1957: Jan plxiv, March pxxx, May pxxii, July pxxxii, Sept pxxviii, Nov pxxviii, 1958: March pxxxvi, May pxviii, July pxiv, Sept pxxxiv

A9123 is the copper/bronze lustre version of this pattern, A9252 the silver.

1952-58
1954-55

Decorative Art 1954-1955, The Studio Ltd

Reference AD143

1954-55
1955

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1955

Sept p1302

The Susie Cooper pattern 8312, called Harmony, supplied to Harrods among others, was created in 1929.

1955
1956-57

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1956-1957

1956: Aug p1118, Oct p1412, Dec p1694, 1957: Feb p200, April p472, Aug p986, Dec p1502

Gray’s London agent’s details were added to this advertisement from April 1957. D647 was named Gaiety Ware in 1959.

1956-57
1958

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1958

Feb p208, April p458, June p704, Sept p1074

A feature in Pottery and Glass (Jan 1958 p3) refers to this pattern as ‘Ballet’.

1958
1958-60

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1958-1960

1958: Nov p1308, 1959: Jan p75, March p334, May p566, July p816, Sept p1032, Nov p1286, 1960: Jan p64, March p346, May p574, July p861, Sept p1098, Nov p1338

A range of splash (‘Sunderland’) lustre patterns is illustrated. The London agent reference does not appear from March 1960.

1958-60
1961

Pottery and Glass, Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1961

P&G: Feb pp114/5. PG: Feb pp200/201, March p323 & p348

The first of the Portmeirion-influenced advertisements. Note the introduction of glassware. The March advertisement excludes reference to the Blackpool Fair. Dolphin is also publicised with other designs: see Golden Diamond and Tiger Lily.

1961
1961

Pottery and Glass 1961

June p 434/5

A double-page spread with the Swedish glass range equally prominent. Golden Diamond is also publicised with other designs: see Dolphin and Tiger Lily.

1961
1961

Pottery and Glass, Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1961

Pottery and Glass, Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1961

P&G: Aug pp605/7. PG: Sept pp1064/5

This advertisement reflects the purchase of Kirkhams pottery earlier in the year. The Pottery Gazette version excludes the page on glassware. This is the last advert in Gray’s name.

1961
Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1962 Feb pp244/7
1962

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1962 Feb pp244/7

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review 1962

Feb pp244/7

Note the reference on p246: Portmeirion Potteries Ltd (formerly Grays Pottery).

1962
Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review Reference Book and Directory 1962
1962

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review Reference Book and Directory 1962

Annual reference books/directories tend to be prepared a year in advance; this may account for the ‘late’ use of the name Gray’s Pottery. Malachite is also publicised with other designs: see Dolphin and Golden Diamond.

1962
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