English Porcelain Factories - Longton Hall, Liverpool

The city of Liverpool was the seat of a number of porcelain factories during the eighteenth century although evidence of their activities and their productions is scanty. Richard Chaffers is known to have made a ware similar to that of Worcester and containing soapstone as an ingredient. Zachariah Barnes is said to have been the maker of pieces printed in underglaze blue of a dark shade. Identified Liverpool porcelain is occasionally of good quality, but most of it is commonplace domestic ware. No figures have been found.

John Sadler and Guy Green of Liverpool claimed that they had invented a process for decorating pottery and porcelain with transfer-prints. In 1756 they said they had done this four years before, but they did not trouble to patent their process and it is open to argument whether they were the first to use it. Local porcelain was decorated by them, as well as ware from factories farther distant, and a small number of surviving Liverpool pieces are printed in several colours.

A small factory was started in this Suffolk town in 1757, and continued in operation until 1802. In the past it received attention out of all proportion to the merit of its productions, and through a mistake in a book published in 1863 a very large amount of Chinese hard-paste porcelain was accredited to it. In spite of the fact that this has been proved a fallacy, much Chinese ware of the once-disputed type is still called 'Lowestoft'; not only in England, but also in America.

Lowestoft ware is similar to that of Bow, and the factory is said to have been started by a man who smuggled himself into the Bow works and learned the secrets of their manufacture. This story may or may not be true, but the two porcelains are very alike in appearance and both contain bone-ash. Much domestic ware painted in underglaze blue was made at Lowestoft, and is indistinguishable from that made at the London factory. Many of the pieces were decorated in colours, and a few figures are claimed to have been made. One feature of the productions during forty-five years is the large number of commemorative pieces that were made. They range from small tablets honouring a birth or death, to sets of tankards with the name of the alehouse for which they were made. They are interesting, much sought after and rare, many having gone to museums.

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