Joseph Clementson  


Location and period of operation:

J Clementson




and ironstone manufacturer at the Phoenix Works and (from 1856) also at the Bell Works, Hanley (Shelton), Stoke-on-Trent, England.

  • Joseph Clementson was originally in partnership with Jonah Read as at the Phoenix Works. 

  • The partnership with Read ended in 1839 and Clementson continued on his own, enlarging the works in 1845 and also buying the nearby Bell Works in 1856.

  • The company exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition

  • By 1861 the company employed 149 men, 63 women, 146 boys and 76 girls. 

  • Joseph Clementson retired in 1867 and passed the business to his four sons and his son in law who continued the business as Clementson Bros


Previously: Read & Clementson 

Subsequently:  Clementson Brothers  



CLEMENTSON, Joseph (1794-1871), pottery manufacturer, Hanley. 

Joseph Clementson was born on 15 July 1794 at Carrigill, Cumberland. He came to the Potteries in 1811 and worked first as a collier, In 1820 he apprenticed himself to J. and W. Ridgway, and by 1832 was able to set up his own business at the Phoenix Works, Shelton, in partnership with Jonah Read. 

The partnership ended in 1839. JC continued on his own, enlarging the works in 1845 and also buying the Bell Works in 1856. Early on in his partnership with Reed JC had travelled to Canada, and this laid the foundation for a successful commercial career. He retired from business in 1867 in favour of his four sons and his son-in-law, Edward Baxter, minister at Bethesda chapel, Hanley, who had married his youngest daughter Lucy. 

JC served as chief bailiff of Hanley 1849-51, being unsuccessful in his promotion of the adoption by Hanley of the Public Health Act. He was an early advocate of amalgamation of the Potteries towns. 

He married Martha Phillips in 1816 and had eight children. He was a member of Bethesda New Connexion church. He died at Prospect House, Shelton, in 1871. His name is continued in Clementson's Mill car park, off Clough Street, Hanley. 
Francis Clementson, in 1834 a contractor of Joiners' Square, Hanley, and an elder brother of JC, is buried in Bethesda churchyard.

Sources: IGI Staffs; Jewitt; Staffs. Advertiser 26 August1871; Townley. People of the Potteries. 



Mr. JOSEPH CLEMENTSON, High-Street, Shelton (Earthenware)
No. 95. Charles Perry,   aged 13
I have worked for Mr. Clementson two years, and run moulds for William Trowton all the time. I sometimes wedge clay.

Can't read or write, never been to Sunday-school much; went to day-school for a little while when I was younger, and left to go to work. 

William Trowton pays me 4s. a week; we work regular six days in the week; master has always got work for us to do. I come sometimes at half past five, sometimes at six, and begin to light the fire. William Trowton gives me now and then 3d. more than my wages if I am a good boy; he sometimes scolds if I am a bad boy, he never yet flogged me.

I've got no father, got a mother, her's a painter by trade, but she's getting old. I've got one sister, and four brothers, all working as potters; we all live at home, and keep mother amongst us. I go home to dinner. and get sometimes bacon and potatoes.

I have very good health, and like my trade, sometimes it is too heavy.


Scriven's 1840 report on Child Labour
includes reports on this Potworks &
testimony from the workers



Typical ware:

"This firm made printed wares for the home market but also exported to Canada and the U.S.A." "Many printed wares were made in colours other than blue. Some of the wares were of very good quality, well potted and clearly printed." The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery" Coysh & Henrywood.

White ironstone and granite ware was also made, particularly for export to North America. 

Many of the popular patterns/designs produced by Joseph Clementson were continued by the subsequent Clementson Brothers.




plate by Joseph Clementson in the Claremont pattern
this plate carries the registration mark for 30th June 1856


lidded tureen and stand in the Lucerne pattern 


Trio of cup, saucer & plate in the Tillenberg pattern


bowls in the Parisian Groups pattern - printed and hand coloured

this pattern was continued by Clementson Brothers

Parisian Groups
J. Clementson




plate and platter from the Eastern Sketches series


Eastern Sketches
Stone Ware

this plate also bears an impressed mark

Stone Ware

SHELTON is the area of the town of Hanley  where the factory was located 

Eastern Sketches
Stone Ware


In 1857 the townships of Hanley and Shelton, forming a portion of the parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, were incorporated to constitute the municipal borough of Hanley.
So marks with the SHELTON name were prior to 1857 and those with HANLEY are after. 


Prairie Shape ironstone

White ironstone platter -  Prairie Shape, incorporating wheat and poppy motifs

- more on ironstone -


the registration diamond shows that the design was registered on the 
15 November 1861


ironstone jug in the Prairie Shape with the 
popular tea-leaf pattern

The Wheat or Ceres pattern (after the Roman goddess of agriculture) is an example of a long-lived pattern which made in vast quantities by numerous manufacturers. The pattern, a raised design combining heads of grain and grass-like leaves, is found exclusively on white ironstone earthenware body. 

The first raised grain pattern registered with the British Patents Office was a design for a jug registered in 1848 by Minton and Co. Between 1848 and 1883 twenty grain-inspired raised designs were registered by differing manufacturers.

It is known that 38 North Staffordshire ironstone manufacturers collectively produced around fourteen different patterns with wheat designs

Joseph Clementson, who produced patterns with raised wheat motifs introduced the Prairie Shape pattern in 1861. For some unknown reason the Prairie Shape pattern was registered twice, first on 15 November 1861 and then on 12 July 1862. So ware can be found with either registration diamond. 

Clementson produced both plain white ware and also ware with the tea-leaf pattern in the Prairie Shape. 


J Clementson
Stone Ware

printed mark for Joseph Clementson with the registration diamond for the Prairie Shape  

registration diamond for the 
Prairie Shape - in this case the registration date is the 12th July 1862

Clementson Brothers
Royal Patent Stone Ware

printed mark for Clementson Brothers
who continued to manufacture ironstone 
in the Prairie shape 


various marks used on ware in the  Prairie Shape



Marks & initials used on ware for identification:



J. Clementson

 J Clementson 

'Claremont' is the pattern name

the registration diamond give the date 30th June 1856 for the registration of the pattern

J Clementson

 'Sydenham' is the name of the body shape 


J Clementson


Granite Ware

'Lucerne' is the pattern name


Manufactured for
Davenport Bros
203 Greenwich St
N Y  

Manufactured for
Davenport Bros
203 Greenwich St
N Y  
The Davenport Brothers, of New York, USA, were importers of Joseph Clementson ware and began selling his wares around 1842 (Kowalsky 1999:150). 

Clementson had other importers including Evans and Hill in Concord, New Hampshire (Snyder 1997:45). 



Morfinex Ware

Little is documented about Morfenix Ware.

It was certainly produced by Joseph Clementson and incorporates the Phoenix mark which was used on other ware in conjunction with the Clementson name.   

In 1857 the townships of Hanley and Shelton were incorporated to constitute the municipal borough of Hanley.  Morfinex Ware has the town name HANLEY and so was produced post 1857.  

There appears to have been two key patterns: Jewel and Zenith. 

Hand painted art ware was also produced with the Morfinex name.



Dinner set in the Jewel Pattern

Morfenix Ware



Tureen in the Zenith Pattern 

In the collection of Wightwick Manor - a National Trust property

Morfenix Ware



Hand painted art ware vases 

photos courtesy: Sandra Jorgensen

Morfenix  Hanley 

Inlaid & Hand Work
Made in England




click picture for more 
on the Bell Works 

click picture for more 
on the Phoenix Works 

Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks