Wood & Son (s, Ltd)

Location and period of operation:

Wood & Son (s, Ltd)





Earthenware manufacturer at Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England

  • Established in 1865 by Absalom Wood and his son Thomas Francis Wood - Thomas was the fifth generation in line to Moses Wood who was brother to Aaron and Ralph.

  • Thomas, a prominent citizen in the potteries and later to become the Mayor of Burslem, built Wood and Sons into one of the largest companies in the area.

  • In 1921 Harry F. Wood succeeded his father, Thomas F. Wood, as the chairman and under his leadership the company became a prolific and successful pottery manufacturer.

  • The business became a public company in 1954 under the name Wood & Sons (Holdings) Ltd - although Wood and Sons Ltd continued as the main operating company. Just over half of the shares were owned by the family and a large proportion of the remaining shares were held by employees, so few shares were available for the general public.

  • In the 1950's & 60's the company was employing 1,000 people.

  • During the 1970's the company had to fight two unsuccessful takeover bids from local companies, the first in 1975 by a small family company called Barrets and in 1979 by Staffordshire Pottery. The unfortunate effect of fighting these unsuccessful takeover bids was to weaken the company and by 1981 the companies financial position had deteriorated to such an extent that it was found impossible to continue, the bank took control of the business and by 1982 it was necessary to call in the receivers.

  • The business was purchased by Edmund Yorke, who had been the company secretary in the old Woods company for many years, he was joined by his nephew Norman Edmund Yorke who had been the accountant at Wood and Sons. They continued the production of tableware in the Stanley Works, Newport Lane, Burslem with the name of Wood and Sons retained but no longer under the control of the Woods family.

  •  In 2005 the business finally closed.


  • At the Trent and New Wharf Potteries, Burslem.

  • Later at the Stanley Pottery (which was purchased by Wood's in 1931 - it was made up of two factories - the Stanley Pottery and the Crown Pottery).

Associated companies:



Previously:  New Wharf Pottery  also incorporating H J Wood



on the Wood family of potters



platter in the popular Asiatic Pheasants pattern

- more on the Asiatic Pheasants pattern


 Asiatic Pheasants
W. & S.

probably produced by Wood & Sons

photos courtesy: Charlie Dinami



Wood's Ivoreen China: 

In order to compete against the more expensive but elegant and delicate looking porcelain china, Wood, in common with other manufacturers, improved the manufacture of their earthenware - producing a thinner body. 

'Ivoreen China' was introduced in the 1930s but appears to have been discontinued as a trade name during the 1940s. By the early 1950s the only similar name was "Wood's Ivory" Ware.   

Following the success of the hand-painted patterns designed by Clarice Cliff, Wood & Sons introduced a 'handcraft' range - these patterns were often found on Ivoreen China. 

Note: at some time the spelling of the name 'Ivoreen' was changed to 'Ivorine'. 



hand painted coffee pot 

Woods Ivoreen China


Woods Ivoreen China
ware in the Yvonne pattern in blue and green - with different handle finishes


Tea set in the "Maureen" with differing identification marks

Pottery manufacturers were not always consistent with identification marks, even with the same pattern. 

This tea set is a good example of the inconsistency in marking:

  • One side plate has a printed mark with a complete set of manufacturer, pattern and body type description.

  • Another plate has no printed marks - it simply has an impressed number 833 (perhaps a workman's number or a shape identification).

  • Of the cups one has a makers name but no further description and one simple has a cast-in 'ENGLAND'.

  • The milk jug has a printed mark with the makers name and 'Ivorine China' but no pattern name.


side plate in the Maureen pattern - with yellow flowers 

Wood & Sons
Ivorine China
Burslem   England


one of the side plates has no printed marks, just an impressed '833' 


Wood & Sons
Wood & Sons
Ivorine China

the hand painted marks will be decorator marks 


(moulded mark)

photos courtesy:  Phil & Sue Coles


trio in the hand painted Maureen pattern - with blue flowers 

teapot in 'Alpine White' glaze, printed pattern with hand applied gilt

- more on Ironstone -  

Wood & Sons
Burslem England
Potters for 200 years
Alpine White
English Ironstone

Ellgreave England
[cast in]

the printed 11-69 is the month-year of manufacturer 
in this case November 1969


photos courtesy: Lynette Elles 



Note on dates:

In common with many pottery companies , Wood & Sons would put dates on their ware which refers to preceding companies or earlier generations of the family.

Marks on Wood & Sons ware from 1950 onward sometimes bear the description "POTTERS FOR 200 YEARS" - 

Wood & Sons actually started potting in 1865 - the reference is to a distance member of the family - Ralph Wood, the eldest of three sons (Ralph, Moses, Enoch). Ralph was  born in 1715 and achieved renown round about 1750 with his famous and now rare Staffordshire figures, and especially his Toby Jugs.

Some ware bears a mark on which appears "RALPH 1750" "MOSES 1751" "ENOCH 1784" (sometimes just RALPH & ENOCH) - in spite of this, the ware bearing these dates does NOT date from the 1700's - these refer to three of the brothers of the Wood family.



click below for more information:-


Names used on ware for identification:



[mark c.1894-1907]


[mark 1907-1910]


[mark 1910-]

[Stafford knot with crown above]
Rd 56346


Wood and Sons Toby Jugs
of the 20th Century

Comments, questions, contributions? email: Steve Birks