A. G. Harley Jones


Location and period of operation:

A. G. Harley Jones





Manufacturer of earthenware and china at the Royal Vienna Art Pottery (c.1920 renamed to Wilton Pottery) in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, England

  • Arthur George Harley Jones was the son of William Hiram-Jones (1844–1906) and his will of 1896 describes him as an earthenware manufacturer of Stoke-on-Trent. 

  • William H Jones had from at least 1874 worked at a factory in Hanley "now [1923] in the occupation of Weatherby's High Street, Hanley, owned by a Mr. Samuel Lear, and it was at these works Mr. Jones senior, learned his potting" 


  • A G Harley Jones had a brother - Thomas William Lear Jones - who was also a pottery manufacturer.

  • "In 1901, Mr Harley Jones set up a business for himself in Biltons Old Works in Fenton producing pottery 'of the ornamental kind’. In 1903, after the enterprising potter’s purchase of land in Duke Street, Fenton, he began to build a new two oven manufactory. By 1905 all had been transferred to the new works, which he called the Royal Vienna Art Pottery." - The Pottery and Glass Record of July 1923

  • A G Harley Jones set up business in 1905 at the recently built Royal Vienna Art Pottery, Duke Street, Fenton. He was described as a 'manufacturer of artistic fancy goods, Royal Vienna art pottery, and Samian pottery'.

  • Family history records that his brother 'Thomas William lost all his money during the coal miners strike of 1912 because he would not stock up on coal. Arthur kept going because he stocked up with coal before the strike. Arthur begged Thomas to get coal in but he did not believe a strike would happen. When it did, Thomas lost all his pottery in unfired form in his pot-bank. This was his downfall and he fell on hard times thereafter.' (source: Ian Dufour - Grandson of Thomas William).

  • At some period (certainly in 1912) A. G. Harley Jones was a partner in E. Hughes & Co

  • In the early 1920s the pottery works were renamed to 'Wilton Pottery' 

  • Also in the early 1920s the designer Horace Wain joined Harley Jones from Wiltshaw & Robinson where he had been employed to create new patterns and shapes replace the Victorian styles 

  • An article on A. G. Harley Jones appeared in the July 1923 Pottery and Glass Record. (NOTE: The article is slightly confused at the beginning , mixing up his father and (paternal) grandfather.  His father was William and his grandfather, who married a Harley, was Thomas.)   

  • In 1934 the business found itself in financial difficulty, it was declared bankrupt and wound up. A report in the Evening Sentinel Newspaper of May 25th 1939 gives details of his discharge from bankruptcy. 


NOTE: In the 1951 Pottery Gazette year book A. G. Harley Jones was listed as a Director & Works Manager at Biltons (1912) Ltd




Ornamentation or Decoration of Pottery Ware

A. G. Harley Jones, of Samian Pottery, Fenton, Stoke-upon- Trent, declares this invention to be described in the following statement:-

The method of ornamentating or decorating pottery ware consisting in providing a pattern of Greek, Roman, or Egyptian art upon the moulded article by means of incised moulds, the said ware being then fired in the usual manner for bisque, glost, and enamelled, and a lithograph or lithographs applied on portions of the pattern provided for the same, after which the ware is kiln-fired in the ordinary manner. In the method of ornamenting or decorating pottery ware as described, colouring the patterns or borders either by pencilling or aerographing in the clay or bisque states, or by pencilling, groundlaying, or aerographing in the glost state.

The method of ornamenting or decorating pottery ware consisting in tracing or pencilling a pattern of Greek, Roman, or Egyptian art upon the moulded article in the underglaze glost, bisque, or enamel stage, a lithograph or lithographs being applied in the enamel stage, and the patterns or borders being coloured, after which the ware is kiln-fired in the ordinary manner. Pottery ware ornamented or decorated substantially in the manner described.

details of a 'Complete Specification' - probably a patent application

The Pottery Gazette - 1st November 1906  



Samian Pottery, Fenton
A G Harley Jones
Manufacturers of Art Ware and Fancy Goods

copy of a memo (appears to be regarding a dispute of some kind) 
dated 25th March 1905 to Challinor & Shaw

courtesy:  Ian Dufour



Jones, A G. Harley, manufacturer of artistic fancy goods, 
Royal Vienna Pottery, and samian pottery


Jones, Arthur G. H., earthenware manufacturer
Royal Vienna Pottery

from..... 1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 
'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'


A G Harley Jones
Manufacturer of Artistic Fancy Goods
Royal Vienna Art Pottery, Fenton, Staffs., England

1907 advert 



"Harley Ware" : A. G. Harley Jones, Fenton 

Mr. A. G. Harley Jones, china and earthenware manufacturer, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, is represented in London by Mr. F. Findlay, who shows samples of his productions at Gamage-buildings, Holborn-circus, E.C. 

Mr. Harley Jones specialises in artistic fancy goods, Royal Vienna art pottery, Samian, and other high-class wares. He manufactures many acceptable lines in useful pottery for domestic purposes, but he has recently made great advances in the artistic and ornamental branches of pottery, and it is more particularly of these that I propose to speak at present. 

The examples are well arranged in Mr. Findlay’s fine showrooms, and are fully representative of the manufacturers’ latest and best productions. Amongst many other pleasing decorations there is a nice variety of "Harley’s Japans," "Scale Blue," exotic birds, and old Lowestoft patterns. These are all dainty ornamentations, skillfully executed on well-modelled forms. 

Mr. Harley Jones is an enterprising potter, and it is in no half-hearted way that he is developing the production of high-class goods. "Harley Ware", the distinctive name he has adopted for them, is becoming popular, and his trade mark — the monogram H. J. in an erratic border of lines in the Japanese style — is very characteristic of the ware. 

He is making a great feature of reproductions of the famous Kang-Hsi powdered blue, and he has been very successful in perfecting them. There is opportunity for the display of great ability in this form of decoration, although it is a reproduction, and Mr. Harley Jones has evidently at his service artists who possess that ability. The powdered blue of the Kang-Hsi period was blown on to the ware through gauze, and was used as a groundwork for the designs, applied in various ways) — principally enamels of a bright character, adapted to the subjects illustrated. 

The chief themes made use of were peony, prunus, pagodas, and the four seasons. The samples we have just seen reproduce these decorations with great fidelity. We give illustrations of three pieces — a tall vase, a round jar, and a tall covered vase, reproductions of a photograph taken by our photographer of samples from Mr. Findlay’s rooms. The black and white reproduction shows the form only, whereas the charm of the originals is in the exquisite colouring, and especially in the effective groundwork of blue. There are also fine gold lines, and in many cases the introduction of gold scroll work enhances the appearance of the ware. In addition to pieces of the types illustrated, teapots, rose bowls, candlesticks, ash trays, trinket boxes, match holders, pot pourri and other articles are produced in Harley ware.


Article from The Pottery Gazette, 1st January 1913




Harley Ware
reproductions of the renowned
Kang-Hsi Powdered Blue

 Pottery Gazette - February 1913 


London Gazette
17 April 1934

Winding up order for
Jones, Arthur George Harley



Royal Vienna Art Pottery




example of A. G. Harley Jones 'Willow' pattern  
example of A. G. Harley Jones 'Willow' pattern



Harley Jones vase with the 1907+ mark 
Harley Jones vase



bowl in the reproduction Kang Hsi style 



two vases in the BEECH ware style 




vase in the samian ware style 


photos courtesy: Marlene Croukamp



Harley Jones garniture set
Note: not the original clock mechanism 


the garniture set has the early Harley Jones mark and the 
later (1923+) Wilton Ware mark


photos courtesy: Dennis Drew


Marks & initials used on ware for identification:




H J 


the pattern name is sometimes included





Fentonia Ware






Stoke on Trent
Wilton Ware

Stoke on Trent
Wilton Ware

Stoke on Trent
Wilton Lily

[Registered number 735940 dates to 1928]


there are a number of variations of this circle mark


Royal Vienna Art Pottery


1924 OS map showing the location of the Wilton Pottery (previously the Royal Vienna Art Pottery)

note the number of other pottery and brick works in the close vicinity



Google maps - 2018 

In red is the former Wilton Pottery and in blue is the nearby former Doric Pottery 

detail on the pediment of the Royal Vienna Art Pottery  
confirming the build date as 1905

Google Street view - August 2011


Google Street View - 2018 

the original frontage of the Wilton Pottery (previously the Royal Vienna Art Pottery)


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks