William Brownfield Ceramics
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WILLIAM BROWNFIELD

1837-1900

The ceramic factory run by William Brownfield was one of the big six Staffordshire pottery manufacturers in the second half of the nineteenth century. This placed it alongside Copeland, Davenport, Minton, Ridgway (Brown Westhead-More), and Wedgwood. The Cobridge pottery factory went into final voluntary liquidation in 1900 and has long been forgotten.

The table below outlines a brief history of the Brownfield Factory.

1837-37

William Brownfield was probably sales and marketing manager for Robinson, Wood & Brownfield. Noah Robinson died prematurely, aged thirty seven.

1837-1850

William Brownfield ran the factory jointly with John Wood.

1850-71

William Brownfield was manager, initially on his own, then joined by his son. Porcelain and majolica production began in 1871.

1873 

William Brownfield died; William Etches, his eldest son, took over the running of the firm.

1883

Arthur, the younger son, replaced William Etches.

1892

The factory went into voluntary liquidation.

1892 - 1897

It was replaced by the Brownfield Co-Operative Guild.

1898-1900

Brownfield Pottery Ltd.

1900

 The factory went into final liquidation in August.

In the nineteenth century Brownfield's employed over 500 workers and played a prominent role in the export market.  It exhibited at international exhibitions all over the world:

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Paris (1867)

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London (1871)

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Philadelphia (1876)

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Paris (1878)

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Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (1879-80-81)

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Crystal Palace (1884)

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Calcutta (1884)

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London (1889)

The Pottery Gazette (1879) described Brownfield's as "a trend setter in dinner service design" and it had the distinction of an order for a full dinner service from the royal house of Persia.

From 1872 until the mid 1890s, its technical director was Louis Jahn (formerly at Mintons).  He supervised the manufacture of the largest porcelain piece the world had ever known - the eleven foot high 'Earth Vase', displayed at Crystal Palace in 1884. Over 25,000 people went to see it during a one-day display at the factory.

The Book Vol 1 | The Book Vol 2 | Earthenware | Majolica | Porcelain | Marks | Unmarked Brownfield | Reproductions | Topic of the Month | About the author | Feedback | Links

This page was last updated 04-02-2005