Numbering system

The vast majority of Gray’s Pottery patterns was designated in one of two series:

  • using a four-digit number
  • using the letter ‘A’ plus a four-digit number

However, no patterns have yet been seen which are less than 100 (the lowest recorded so far is 427) or less than A100.

The ‘A’ prefix appears to have been introduced in 1932 when, theoretically, 9999 had been reached – note that the highest four-digit number recorded so far is 9726.  When A9999 had been reached, in about 1955, new series were introduced using a range of other prefixes such as: B, D and S.

Research shows that some pattern numbers had a suffix which, usually, indicates a colour variant of a basic design – see patterns A8515 or A9339 as examples. This practice appears to have started in the mid-1940s and continued throughout the 1950s. Note that this is different from a paintress’ suffix which usually comprised alphabetic characters but which also, occasionally, was a number.

The conclusion of current research can be summarised as follows:

Predicted RangeLikely UsageActual PatternsDate(s) Used
100-999All900Up to and including 1915
2000-2999All1000Early 1920s
4000-4999Up to 4745800Early to mid-1920s
5000-5999Up to 55776001923-1925
6000-6999up to 601720End of 1925/Start of 1926
9000-9999Up to 97268001930-1931
A6000-A6999Up to A6018201939
B100-B999Up to B1721001950s
D100-D9999Up to D258925001950s-1962
S100-S9999From S1400-S16002001950s

Small quantities of patterns with other prefixes have been recorded but with little information and examples it is difficult to know how extensive these ranges were. They include:
C – five numbers known (C133, C511, C583, C655 and C1640)
F – three numbers known (F104, F113 and F131), both seen on William Kent figures. The ‘F’ may simply signify a figure.
K – one number known (K2059), on a 1950s stoneware casserole dish.
M – one number known (M1481) on a 1950s plate which exists as a boxed set with a small, matching ceramic-handled knife.
T – one number known (T225/5), on a square tile. The ‘T’ may simply signify a tile.
Y – one number known (Y9339), vine resist pattern on a yellow ground. A9339 is the same pattern on a white ground, so ‘Y’ may signify yellow.

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