Mason's & Other Ironstone China Wares

The word IRONSTONE was introduced in 1813, it was the Mason

family who developed the potting techniques, registered the patent name.

Other factories were already producing this type of ware.

Miles Mason's youngest son Charles James Mason who at

21 years took out the patent No 3724 31st July 1813 a process


"Improvement of the Manufacture of English Porcelain',


The process, according to the specification consisted of using Scoria

Slag of Ironstone, pounded and ground in water in certain proportions

with flint, Cornwall stone, clay and blue oxide of cobalt, the origin of

the word IRONSTONE is evident from this specification

PATENT IRONSTONE CHINA it was an extremely tough greyish

porcellanous stoneware. Because of its strength and durability it was

suitable for everyday domestic use and for export.



The patent was granted for a period of fourteen years and was not renewed,

probably because the other major potters had perfected their own

ironstone body recipes.


IRONSTONE was an immense success, the name was commercially identifiable.


Publicity was very important to Mason's as the main feature of their

sales policy was to sell to the public through auctions, before this auctions

had only been used to dispose of surplus and bankrupt stock.

Their production of IRONSTONE right from its the earliest pieces reached

extraordinary levels of technical and artistic excellence. The combining of

rich colours mazarine blue, brick red, and bright gilding, created a strong effect.

New Bodies

An earthenware called 'Cambrian Argil' and 'Felspar' porcelain were

added to production. Together with 'Bisque' ware and 'Bandana' ware

The White Ironstone was primarily made for the American market.


Approximately a hundred and twenty patterns a year were being

introduced, by 1840 the table ware numbered over three thousand.

Not all of these new products proved successful and in 1848

Charles James Mason was declared bankrupt.

Charles made a brief attempt to revive his business at the Daisy Bank

Pottery to coincide with the Great Exhibition of 1851 but his last years

were not prosperous, he sold out to Francis Morley.

Charles James died in 1856 exhausted and broken by the irreversible

decline in his fortunes.

Francis Morley acquired the Mason's designs and moulds and continued

to produce Ironstone. He entered into apartnership with Taylor Ashworth

until 1861 when he retired.

Taylor Ashworth's father George then acquired the firm, and the

trading title remained the same although different ownerships took place.

In 1884 John Shaw Goddard acquired the firm, producing traditional ware.


In 1910 John's son John Vivian Goddard

started to experiment in decorative glazed lustre ware.

'Lustrosa' and 'Estrella' ware, were the new and exciting products.

They became known for their excellence and were described as 'highly artistic'.

They were exhibited at the Lourve in Paris in 1914, unfortunately due

to the outbreak of the war, production ceased.

In 1930 John Vivian Goddard repurchased the Ashworth company and

a few pieces of 'Lustrosa' ware reappeared, today they are extremely rare.

During 1922, ' Amber Glaze' ware was introduced to production.

It was described as 'a ground colour of the ware is a soft pale Ivory'

The colouring unusually fine and was based on the reproduction of

Georgian originals, in 'Romney', 'Gadroon' and 'Milburn'shapes.

Pattern number C.2484 'Minuet', was the first pattern used on Amber

Glaze, 'Pink Vista', 'Langley', 'Mandarin', 'Oakland' and many others followed.

John Vivian Goddard died in 1962, his son John Stringer Goddard continued

production. In 1960 John reversed the Ashworth nameto Mason's Ironstone China

the company was sold to the Wedgwood Group in 1973 in 1981 John retired.


In 1998 production at the Hanley factory ceased, ssthe premises were demolished.

It was the end of an era for one of the most famous names in

the history of English Ceramics.

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