If you cannot find what you are looking for here are some useful tips on using the search facility.
Our search facility is designed to be very flexible and it really does work with any combination of selections.
If you are not certain what you are looking for start with a broad search. Select just one of the periods or one item type or one pattern type (leave everything else blank or unselected). This will find you a selection of china to browse through, from which you can refine your search.
If you have a piece of the china you are searching for, look on the back and make a note of everything that is printed or impressed or otherwise appears there. Try to figure out the makers name and pattern name.
Maker or Brand Name
This is the makers business or trade name. Some have more than one!
It will search by all names used by the same maker. Enter any one of Copeland, Spode, or Copeland and Garrett etc. and you will find all the china made at the Copeland Spode factory, whatever name was used.
It also searches by brand name. For example, Royal Warwick was a brand name of Wedgwood and Co. Enter Royal Warwick and all the china made by Wedgwood and Co will be found.
Common mis-spellings or shortened versions also work. Wedgewood will find the correctly spelt Wedgwood. We use “short” names for makers, for example Doulton for Royal Doulton, but both work in the search facility.
The search facility is not case sensitive, but do leave spaces between words.
Do omit the words the, &/and Co/Company, Son/Sons, Ltd/Limited and any punctuation, including * # ". For example, for George Jones and Sons Ltd. type George Jones
If the name seems a long one, try a search with just one or two key words.
Omit place names such as Burslem, Cobridge, Fenton, Hanley, Longport, Longton, Stoke, including Stoke on Trent and Stoke upon Trent, and Tunstall, which are all towns in The Potteries area of the county of Staffordshire, England. They are very rarely part of the makers name. If you want to search by place of manufacture use one of the place name links on the Home page.
Omit England or English and generic terms such as Ironstone, Stoneware, Transferware or Pottery (unless you are really sure it is part of the makers name). Also do not type general or vague terms such as all, any, unknown, not known, old, new, current, present or etc.
Enter only one makers name for each search. Dont type Doulton Wedgwood Spode together, but do three separate searches entering one makers name at a time.
This is the name, normally as used by the maker, for the pattern or design used to decorate the china.
Many of the tips under Makers Name apply equally to Pattern Name.
Do not use your own pet name or nickname for the pattern or type the word pattern. For example, type willow not willow pattern.
Pattern names are usually short, one or two words, so if you have a long name try just one word at a time.
The word Blue may not be part of the pattern name, so try a search omitting the word blue.
If you have a pattern number (and no name) type the number in Pattern Name box.
If you have a pattern name and number, type just the name
For finding kitchenware, wash or bathroom accessories etc or any other item use the Item type search, not Pattern name box.
To find all flow blue use the button on the Home page. Flow blue is not a pattern name, but a technique used to make the glaze and ink flow together.
As blue and white china specialists most of our china is blue printed, but we do have other colours. In our descriptions we use these colour words:
Blue for all shades, including greeny blue, grey blue, blackish blue and flow blue.
Red includes cranberry
Brown includes orange and rust
Black includes charcoal
Grey Gray also works
Lilac includes lavender and mauve
Plum includes mulberry and purple
White includes off-white and cream
Colour is used for all multi-coloured or polychrome patterns, including those that are blue or brown printed, but have added colour(s). Color also works, by the way. Chinese Bird by Adams is an example of a pattern with a blue and an added colour version.
Blue patterns appear on our website described by the pattern name, for example Chinese Bird. The word blue is included only if it is part of the proper name of the pattern.
For all patterns in other colours, the appropriate colour word is added after the pattern name. So the added colour version of Chinese Bird appears as Chinese Bird Colour.
To search for all Chinese Bird items, type Chinese Bird in the Pattern name box and both versions will appear. Type Chinese Bird Colour and only the added colour version will appear. Type Chinese Bird Blue and only the blue version will appear.
Johnson Bros Old Britain Castles is another example. Type Old Britain Castles in the Pattern name box to find all pieces or Old Britain Castles Pink to find only pink and Old Britain Castles Blue for only blue.
You can make general pattern searches by colour. To find all the pink, black, brown or whatever colour patterns you seek, type one of the colour words listed above into the Pattern name box. Entering Pink into the Pattern name box will bring up all the pink patterns currently to be found. All the colour words work the same way, but you cannot search by more than one colour at a time.
Searching by colour works the same way in the Museum
Pattern type is probably best used as a general search method, when you know what you like, but do not have a particular maker or pattern to look for.
Patterns are grouped fairly generally by type. A Chinese floral pattern will be under Oriental/Chinoiserie and not under Floral! It may be worth trying different types if you are not certain.
Classical World are scenes inspired by Ancient Greece, Rome and Italy.
Historic/Literary are real historic scenes or literary figures.
Romantic Scenes are the contrived scenes and views, rural or otherwise, that were popular from 1840 onwards.
This is ideal for finding the specialist older pieces from the early 1800s, regardless of maker or pattern. For example, if you combine Pattern Type: Country/rural/English scene and Period: 1780-1849 you will find all those lovely early rural scene pieces.
Or use it to find a selection of more recent tableware, by selecting the 1950-1999 period and leaving all other selections blank or unselected.
These groupings are fairly self-explanatory, although there are sometimes differences in terminology. A jug in England is the same as a pitcher in the US. A small plate about 6 diameter is a bread and butter plate in the US, but called a tea plate in England, where a bread and butter plate is a large serving plate.
If you are not sure, try some different ones to see if they bring up what you want.
The links at the bottom of the Home page offer opportunities to make quite general searches by various different criteria.
Our site covers china made in England, Wales and Scotland. It does not include US potteries or continental Europe: France, Germany or Dutch Delft etc. Occasionally, there are Chinese or Japanese pieces.
The golden rule
If in doubt dont! If you are not sure about a name, then leave that box blank. Not sure about the pattern type, then select any type. Remember you only have to make one selection for the search to work. The more you leave blank and unselected the more china you will find.
Still no luck?
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