Exhibitions 1946-1961


September 24 – October 31, extended to November, then to the end of December, 1946
Britain Can Make It Exhibition

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

P&G 3.46 p34 and PG 4.46 p266:
Pottery Industry Committee (to assist the Council of Industrial Design) has amongst its members: Mr AE Gray, Mr W Moorcroft, Miss Susie Cooper, Mr John Wedgwood ….
PG 6.46 p404:
Selection of pieces to take place on June 4th and 5th at the Masonic Hall, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

P&G 9.46 p20:
…. photograph No 3 shows a beautiful example of the hand-decorated lustre ware for which AE Gray & Co are famous. This piece is a silver wedding bowl and exemplifies an interesting revival from earlier times – the specially inscribed pottery presentation piece for private occasions; the fashion should be further popularised today. The decoration comprises the Vine design, with initials and date, finished with lines and bands, the whole carried out in silver lustre on a white ground. The designer is SC Talbot NRD.

Design ’46, Council of Industrial Design report on the ‘Britain Can Make It’ exhibition, HMSO, pp26 & 27:
The Council of Industrial Design’s 144-page report has chapters based on the type of product exhibited. WB Honey (Keeper of the Department of Ceramics at the Victoria & Albert Museum) appraised the ‘Pottery and Glass’ and there are two images of Gray’s Pottery products included in the total of 18 used to illustrate ceramics. These and four other black & white images exist in the Brighton Design Archives.

PG 11.46 p736:
Pattern A8320, designed by SC Talbot, exhibited.

P&G 10.47 p45:
…. an article on presentation pieces of yesterday …. reference to recent works …. There was, too, the silver lustre wedding bowl that formed one of the more striking exhibits at the ‘Britain Can Make It’ exhibition ….
The following lists are taken from the official catalogue of the Britain Can Make It exhibition, courtesy the Ken Stradling Collection at the Bristol Guild.

Following continuing manufacturing and supply restrictions in the aftermath of war, it was considered essential to show the product availability for each item (see code list at the end). Serious shortages gave rise to a nickname for the Exhibition: Britain Can Make It but Britain Can’t Have It!

There’s a general cautionary note in the catalogue: …. (necessarily), items were selected well in advance … some may not have finally been shown in the Exhibition …

Pages 84/5
A E Gray & Co, Whieldon Road

18710-in plateA8381SC Talbot NRD3
188TeapotA8381SC Talbot NRD3
189Veg dishA8381SC Talbot NRD3
190Teacup & saucerA8381SC Talbot NRD3
191Cream jugA8381SC Talbot NRD3
1925-in plateA8381SC Talbot NRD3
19310-in plateA8375SC Talbot NRD3
19410-in plateA8386SC Talbot NRD3
19510-in plateA8384SC Talbot NRD3
196Teacup & saucerA8384SC Talbot NRD3
1975-in plateA8384SC Talbot NRD3
19810-in plateA8385SC Talbot NRD3
19910-in plateA8252SC Talbot NRD3
200Teacup & saucerA8252SC Talbot NRD3
201Peebles trayA8252SC Talbot NRD3
202TeapotA8252SC Talbot NRD3
203Sugar bowlA8252SC Talbot NRD3
204Cream jugA8252SC Talbot NRD3
205Jug size twoA82503
206Jug size threeA82503
207Jug size fourA82503
208Jug size twoA81443
209Jug size threeA81443
210Jug size fourA81443
211Cigarette box “York”A8320SC Talbot NRD3
2123½-in ashtrayA8320SC Talbot NRD3
213Cigarette box “York”A8235SC Talbot NRD3
2143-in silver lustre ashtraySC Talbot NRD3
215Silver lustre commemorative bowl“Vine”SC Talbot NRD3

Page 93
Manufactured by AE Gray & Co, Stoke-on-Trent for Heal’s (Wholesale & Export) Ltd, 196 Tottenham Court Rd.

49526-piece dinner serviceShell 1213Miss A Stone3C
49621-piece tea serviceShell 1213Miss A Stone3C

Availability codes:
Home Trade 1 – now, 2 – soon, 3 – later

Export A – now, B – soon, C – later


May 5 – 16, 1947
25th British Industries Fair

Olympia, London

P&G 6.47 p28 (Fair review):
AE Gray & Co Ltd, Stoke-on-Trent (Stand No A1231). Manufacturers of dinner ware, tea ware and general tableware, domestic and ornamental ware in hand-painted lustres. Exhibiting earthenware, tableware and ornamental jugs with hand-painted decorations in contemporary styles, featuring a variety of designs in lustres; prominence was given to the A8395 (image 1) (image 2) design table service decorated with a pattern of silver lines and gold leaf motifs on a white ground; [plain copper] and silver lustre tea and coffee services, and purple lustre ware.


‘Spring’, 1947
British Colour Council – exhibition on colour

Portman Square, London

P&G 6.47 p50:
At a London exhibition illustrating some of the colours which will be included in the British Colour Council’s Dictionary of Colours for Interior Decoration, now in course of production, ware was exhibited by several pottery firms. The firms included Messrs WT Copeland & Sons Ltd, AE Gray & Co Ltd, Johnson Brothers (Hanley) Ltd, Mintons, and Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd.


October, 1947
British Pottery

Public Library, Johnannesburg and City Hall, Durban

P&G 1.48 p49:
Exhibitors included Doulton, AE Gray, Mintons, Moorcroft, Susie Cooper, Wedgwood ….


May 3 – 14, 1948
26th British Industries Fair

Earl’s Court, London

PG 5.48 p417 (Fair preview) and 6.48 p516 (illustration 1 / illustration 2):

AE Gray & Co Ltd – tableware and ornamental goods with distinctive decorations, largely consisting of hand-painted treatments – the leading speciality of this house – will again be on view, incorporating many new patterns. In fact, with the exception of their traditional style of silver lustre and copper lustre decorations in service plates and coffee ware for the USA and Canadian markets, all the tableware decoration on view will be new, none having yet been put on the market.

P&G 6.48 p31 (Fair review):
AE Gray & Co Ltd, Stoke-on-Trent, manufacturers of dinner and tea ware, table fancies, kitchenware, lamp bases, bulb bowls, flower vases etc. Specialists in hand-painted decorations, silver resist and coloured lustres. Exhibiting a variety of tableware, featuring mostly lustre decorations in silver, gold, copper and purple, in traditional and modern designs; also a limited number of tableware decorations printed and filled in with colours. Jugs with lustre finish with old colour prints inset, cigarette boxes, ashtrays, etc, in lustre and colours and in plain lustres. Featuring a new silver lustre table service with a striking decoration in green and white.


May 2 – 13, 1949
27th British Industries Fair

Earl’s Court, London

PG 5.49 p504b (Fair preview):
AE Gray & Co Ltd – this firm is presenting a comprehensive display of decorated ware of which perhaps the silver lustre resist process is most outstanding. The process, which dates from about 1700, has been used for decorating coffee ware, service plates, and such fancies as candy boxes, teapot sets, ashtrays, etc. [Magnolia range] of service plates, coffee ware, etc, which is proving of considerable interest to American buyers, is being shown for the first time this year. Old engravings of Dickens’ scenes and characters are reproduced in conjunction with Sunderland lustre in an attractive line of ornamental fancies including small and large jugs, candy boxes, etc. In the field of kitchenware, domestic jars, etc, highly-coloured bands have been introduced to brighten up dull kitchens.

PG 6.49 p613 (Fair review):
Royal visitors (May 3rd) – HM the Queen, Queen Mary, HRH Princess Elizabeth, HRH Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Princess Royal, …. while visiting the Pottery & Glass section, the Royal visitors paused to admire the silver and copper lustre decorations of the ware exhibited at the stand of AE Gray & Co Ltd. The Queen graciously remarked that the purchases she had made from the firm before the war had sustained no damage, and were still in perfect condition.

P&G 6.49 p31 and 59 (Fair review):
AE Gray & Co Ltd, Stoke-on-Trent. Manufacturers of dinner and tea ware, table fancies, kitchenware, lamp bases, bulb bowls and flower vases etc. Specialists in hand-painted decorations, silver resist and coloured lustres. Exhibiting lustre ware in great variety, mainly silver, copper and purple lustre, including tea, coffee and dinner ware and jugs, lamps and fancies, a special feature being made of fancies being decorated with old prints and purple lustre. Silver and copper resist designs are produced by an old process re-discovered, giving a much sharper edge to the pattern. A new hand-painted [Magnolia design on raised paste on a green], mauve or white ground was featured for tableware and on service plates with gold edges as well as other hand-painted decorations.

…. Another pottery stand visited by the Royal party was that of AE Gray & Co Ltd. The Queen complimented Mr Gray on the fine display of lustre ware and recalled that she still had the table service she had purchased from the firm before the war. ….


October 19 – November 4, 1949
British Colour Council – Exhibition of Interior Decoration

Portman Square, London

P&G 11.49 p58:
A British Colour Council exhibition. Firms exhibiting china and pottery were Poole, Copeland, AE Gray, Wedgwood …. etc.


May 8 – 19, 1950
28th British Industries Fair

Earl’s Court, London

PG 5.50 p701 (Fair preview):
AE Gray & Co Ltd – full ranges of general tableware, fancy ware, lamp bases, and kitchenware. Decorations have been designed principally to attract buyers from the USA and Canada. Silver and bronze lustre resist patterns will be very prominent, as usual, as well as an extensive range of prints. The latter cover typical old English scenes, such as [inns], [mills], [hunting], and [coaching].

PG 6.50 p852 (Fair review):
…. At the AE Gray stand, Queen Elizabeth admired the firm’s lustre ware and other products. Before leaving, the Queen ordered a [Strawberry design tea service], and spoke with Miss Beryl Amos, an employee who was responsible for the decoration. Queen Mary too, spent some time at the stand, being particularly interested in a lustre bowl. It was a commemorative piece bearing an inside decoration which included the coat-of-arms of the City of Nottingham.

P&G 6.50 p63 (Fair review):
Gray AE & Co Ltd, Gray’s Pottery, Whieldon Road, Stoke-on-Trent. Manufacturers of dinner and tea ware, fancy ware, kitchenware, lamp bases, bulb bowls, vases, etc. Specialists in hand-painted decorations, silver resist and coloured lustres. Decorations were displayed principally to attract buyers in the USA and Canadian markets – tableware decorations of the more exclusive styles, appealing to the discriminating buyer with an appreciation of good colour and design. Silver and bronze lustre patterns were shown with an extensive range of prints covering typical old English scenes engraved in the traditional style. Also scenes of buildings of national importance in the USA and Canada. Kitchenware, particularly suitable for the modern kitchen, was decorated in bright coloured bands.


April 30 – May 11, 1951
29th British Industries Fair

Earl’s Court, London

This was the last British Industries Fair at which Gray’s Pottery exhibited (see reference for the 1952 Fair). The entire workforce was photographed on the company’s stand.

PG 5.51 p738 (Fair preview):
AE Gray & Co Ltd (T38). Prominence given to [Dickensian tankards] supper sets and fancies bearing print-and-enamel, and printed decorations reproduced from old engravings. Usual range of high-quality table and decorative ware in silver and bronze lustres, also lustre resists, together with the new blue and green lustres in resist patterns. Mr AE Gray, Mr RE Gray and Mr SC Talbot in attendance.

PG 6.51 p927 (Fair review):
Her Majesty Queen Mary made purchases at the stands of AE Gray & Co Ltd , and Miss Dulcie Vaughan. Illustration.

P&G 6.51 p77 (Fair review):
Gray AE & Co Ltd, Gray’s Pottery, Whieldon Road, Stoke-on-Trent. Showed a fine display of dinner and tea ware, fancy ware, kitchenware, lamp bases, bowls, vases, etc. Specialists in hand-painted decorations, silver resists and coloured lustres.


May – September, 1951
Ceramics on the South Bank – part of the Festival of Britain exhibition


PG 3.51 p427:
– the plate will be on show near a special demonstration of pottery decorating which AE Gray & Co Ltd will be giving at the Festival.

P&G 5.51 p53:
Grays Pottery, Whieldon Road, Stoke-on-Trent. Seven patterns will be exhibited, and also a souvenir bowl painted in silver lustre. Operatives from the firm will give a demonstration of pottery decorating (in the Power and Production Pavilion) during the first two weeks in September.

PG 6.51 p907:
…. in the section ‘Minerals of the Island’ are exhibits by AE Gray & Co Ltd, Shelley Potteries, Adderleys, Josiah Wedgwood and John Walsh Walsh. (Also in ‘Homes & Gardens’ section).

Design and British Industry, Richard Stewart 1987, p150:
…. here an effective setting is provided in the Power and Production Pavilion for a pottery demonstration by AE Gray & Co.

The following patterns were either exhibited and/or sold as souvenirs at the Festival of Britain:
A8261, (A)8429, A8645, A8666, A8940, A9038 and A9039


Hospitality begins at Home

Tea Centre, 22 Regent Street, Piccadilly, London

P&G 6.51 p68:
(A critical review of the exhibition held recently in London): …. exhibition of furnishing for entertaining arranged by the Council of Industrial Design …. exhibition made up of a series of sets, several of which are pictured here ….
‘Luncheon and the living room’, the second set (Fig 2) was dominated by the dining table with W3257 Appledore dinner service (V Skellern, Jos Wedgwood) …. our photograph shows only a part of the suggested dining room. The other section was laid out for tea, conversation and general dalliance, and once again the outstanding feature was the china – this time the beautiful [(A)8429 Blue Stella] pattern designed by SC Talbot and made by AE Gray & Co Ltd. Amid a confusion of decorative ornaments, pictures and furniture, this tea set alone seemed to be happily fitted for its purpose, yet at the same time quietly conscious of its own self-sufficient beauty.


June 9 – 23, 1951
British Pottery Manufacturers’ Federation Festival of Britain exhibition

King’s Hall, Stoke-on-Trent

P&G 7.51 p66 and p69:
(An exhibition held by the British Pottery Manufacturers’ Federation to celebrate the Festival of Britain).
Gray’s Pottery, Whieldon Road, Stoke-on-Trent. Established by Mr AE Gray in 1907, this firm specialises in the manufacture of table wares and decorative pottery, silver lustre resist, and hand-painted silver, in exclusive designs.


30th British Industries Fair

Earl’s Court, London

PG 5.52 p735:
… The composition of the (Pottery) Section, however, is very different from what it was in 1951. Well-known concerns such as AE Gray & Co Ltd, Johnson Bros Ltd, Kirkhams …. and others, are absent.


British Industrial Design

(Bulawayo), Southern Rhodesia

P&G 3.53 p94:
Many examples of Staffordshire pottery are included in the exhibition of British industrial design which is going to Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia to form part of the UK Pavilion in the Rhodes Centenary exhibition ….
…. firms whose products will be shown include J Wedgwood, Susie Cooper, Moorcroft, …. Shelley, …. AE Gray & Co.

1953 to 1954

1953 to 1954
British Industrial Design

USA touring exhibition

P&G 4.53 p124:
A travelling exhibition containing a representative selection of well-designed British goods will tour the USA in 1953-4. It has been arranged by the Smithsonian Institution with exhibits by the Council of Industrial Design on behalf of the Dollar Exports Council. Pottery manufacturers include Worcester, J Wedgwood, AE Gray, Susie Cooper, WT Copeland, Lucie Rie, The Leach Pottery, Ehlers Pottery.

1953 to 1954

Wylie Hill & Co – a retailer’s event


P&G 5.54 p160:
Wylie Hill used a novel idea to promote tableware when they invited leading Glasgow women journalists to plan breakfast, luncheon, tea and dinner tables, using ware from their stock …. Pottery selected included dinner sets from Gray’s Pottery, Stoke, and luncheon and tea sets from Poole ….


March 30 – April 8, 1954
British Pottery at the Utrecht Fair

PG 4.54 p568:
Zebra (image 1) (image 2) pattern early morning set, designed by SC Talbot.


6th Harrogate Fair

Harrogate, Yorkshire

P&G 1.55 p1 with illustration p2(1) (Fair preview):
AE Gray & Co Ltd (stand 343/344) for their first showing at the Fair have selected table fancies, early morning sets, jugs and soup sets(1). Lamp bases are to be shown and some examples of souvenir pottery: this can be engraved with local views or buildings to customers’ orders. Decorations include silver and bronze lustre resists, hand-painted designs and printed patterns.

P&G 3.55 p77 (Fair review):
A roomful of lustre ware, now back in fashion, and a second room of fresh-looking modern patterns for tableware, some novel hors d’oeuvre dishes decorated with signs of the Zodiac, and kitchenware which would put an end to the blue and white or red and white kitchen, if it were more widely shown here. It is in glorious rich clear colours: lime, turquoise, yellow, olive, maroon, orange, black, grey, relieved with white lines and white interiors.

PG 3.55 p416 (Fair review):
Practically everything being shown was new. We were attracted especially, however, to a range of colourful kitchenware in six colours, which, we were not surprised to learn, had proved to be the most popular selling line of all during the Fair. In a second stockroom this firm had their well-known lustre and lustre resist, as well as ‘Punch sets‘ and other items of particular appeal to the American market.


August 26 – September 10, 1955
Canadian National Exhibition


P&G 8.55 p230:
Illustration – the [Athena Silver Vine] designed by SC Talbot, which represents AE Gray & Co. One of the designs chosen ….


Halsingborg Exhibition


P&G 8.55 p258 and PG 8.55 p1224:
Besides the Canadian National Exhibition, the Council of Industrial Design under the auspices of the Board of Trade have been busy choosing items for inclusion in a ‘show flat’ at Halsingborg …. among the pottery and glass …. Josiah Wedgwood …. and some yellow kitchenware by AE Gray.


February 6 – 10, 1956
Blackpool Gifts & Fancy Goods Fair

Blackpool, Lancashire

P&G 1.56 p10 (Fair preview):
AE Gray & Co Ltd (stand 230) are another firm showing kitchenware. Their exhibits will include their range obtainable in strong colours which have the advantage of being available as loose stock so that the housewife can make up a harlequin kitchen set. Gray’s are also taking the opportunity of the Fair to launch a series of six contemporary patterns for tea and dinner ware which have every indication of following the customary success of this firm’s designs.

PG 2.56 p290 (Fair preview):
Tea and dinner ware, table sundries, contemporary kitchenware and fancies, steins, cigarette boxes and tobacco jars (hunting, coach and inn scenes), lustre resists, vases, lamp bases, souvenir items, boxed gift ware, including TV sets.

P&G 3.56 p76 (Fair review):
Outstanding sellers were the coloured kitchenware, a pleasant change being run with the design chiefly in colour and with the white restricted to only an occasional ring. Most popular colour was a pillar-box red (illustration of framed pot-lids).

PG 3.56 p428 (Fair review):
Hitherto more noted for tableware and ornamental pieces, presentation lines, etc, AE Gray & Co Ltd succeeded in catching the eye as producers of top-class kitchenware. Beautifully modelled, and decorated in six colours, this ware was relieved by sgraffito rings. They reported many sample orders. Complementary to this range were some very nice beakers. Mr SC Talbot said that several buyers showed considerable restraint and tolerance at having to wait for attention. Some said they would call at the Stoke factory after the Fair.


February 4 – 8, 1957
Blackpool Gifts & Fancy Goods Fair

Blackpool, Lancashire

PG 2.57 p247 (Fair preview):
A number of new patterns in modern table fancies will be among the exhibits shown by this firm; also a range of contemporary kitchenware, new patterns in dinner and tea ware, their well-known silver and bronze resist, and reproduction prints etc. Our illustration shows some of the different styles that will be included.

P&G 3.57 p88 (Fair review):
‘McIan’ Scottish prints and Scottish proverbs series was on display, also several new bowls and vases with a white ground and a black band edged with gold twisted stripes. There was a selection of ashtrays, including a series of maps as decorations and some brightly coloured kitchenware with white bands, which was popular.


February 3 – 7, 1958
Blackpool Gifts & Fancy Goods Fair

Blackpool, Lancashire

P&G 1.58 p7 with illustrations p3(2) p17(1) (Fair preview):
AE Gray & Co Ltd (I.230) have several new ranges on show including engines(1), ballerinas(2), and the Cutty Sark(3). In addition a range of tableware, kitchenware, and souvenir items will be shown.

PG 2.58 p242 (Fair preview):
Showing their usual range of dinner and tea ware, lamp bases, giftware, some new kitchenware and fancies, also some tiled trays.

P&G 3.58 p78 with illustration p83(3) (Fair review):
Some particularly interesting items were engravings of historical architectural subjects on trays, dishes, jars and tankards, among them being ‘Temple Bar'(as it was originally), Knolle House at Sevenoaks, and the Iron Bridge over the Wear, begun in 1793. Some details of this famous structure are given, all of which adds to the interest.


February 2 – 6, 1959
Blackpool Gifts & Fancy Goods Fair

Blackpool, Lancashire

P&G 2.59 p134 (Fair review):
AE Gray & Co Ltd had a wonderful variety of souvenir and special occasion pieces on show. Oven-to-tableware depicting ‘the cooks’ coat-of-arms’ caught the eye, together with the best-selling ‘Fisherman’s prayer‘ range, map-decorated tiles, dishes and mugs, colourful ‘Spangles’ giftware, ‘Apothecary’ jars requested by America, and the Gaiety kitchenware now with a deeper coloured red.


January 30 – February 3, 1961
Blackpool Gifts & Fancy Goods Fair

Blackpool, Lancashire

P&G 2.61 p146 with illustration p147(1) (Fair preview):
AE Gray & Co Ltd (I.230). This will be the first showing of many new designs by Susan Williams-Ellis, including a [floral design] for table and kitchenware, reminiscent of the decorative painting on old canal narrowboats; Portmeirion Dolphin, a range of kitchen and tableware available in eight colours; Malachite apothecary jars and a boxed child’s set(1).

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