William Kent (Porcelains) Ltd






 

Location and period of operation:

William Kent (Porcelains) Ltd

Burslem

1944

1962

 

Earthenware and porcelain manufacturer, particularly of electrical fittings. At the Novelty Works,  Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England.
  • The business had been started by William Kent in 1894 producing 'Staffordshire Ware' figures, dogs, flat back ornaments.

  • During the Second World War manufacture of decorative ware suspended and the company concentrated on the manufacture of porcelain for electrical fittings - in 1944 the company changed its name to William Kent (Porcelains) Ltd.

  • In 1944 the directors were two of William Kent's sons - E.J. Kent, S.H. Kent; at least by 1955 his grandson John S. Kent had joined the business.

  • After the war the majority of the output continued to be porcelain fittings for the electrical industry, however "the Kent family retained a small portion of the present factory where in 'Old Staffordshire' style pottery is still made from moulds produced from the original master-moulds".

  • At the end of December 1962 William Kent (Porcelains) Ltd stopped the manufacture of earthenware figures - they continued for a period to produce industrial porcelain for the electrical market.

  • A company 'Bairstow Manor Pottery Ltd' acquired the original 19thC Kent Staffordshire Dogs moulds and produced from them. 

 

Formerly: William Kent

 


 


William Kent (Porcelains) Ltd
Electrical Porcelain and China for Brass and Iron Founders 
 

The letterhead from a letter sent to an employee who was injured while serving in the War.  At the top of the letter the words can just be made out that the factory was operating under the Essential Work Order (EWO).

 


 


'Artists All'
'Old Staffordshire Pottery - a family tradition' 

from a 1955 booklet produced by the Kent family
- click for details of the booklet -

 


 


Olde Staffordshire Pottery - KENT

a page from a 1955 booklet produced by the Kent family




Poodle, rough
reference number 25 

 


 


Cat on cushion
reference number 67

 


Staffordshire Ware
W K
England 

Staffordshire Ware
KENT
Made in England 

The cat on the left bears the mark with the initials 'WK' inside the Stafford knot (probably dates 1920s / 30s) the cat on the right has the 'KENT' mark - this is certainly post 1944.

"Kents 'Old Staffordshire' pottery is not 'reproduction' in the strictest sence of the word, because, except for a short period during wartime, the pottery has been produced continuously from the early days." 

 


 

Marks and initials used on ware for identification:

W B K

a moulded initial mark on modern
earthenware figures made from the
original 19th C master moulds

the "B" stands for Burslem



Staffordshire Ware
KENT
Made in England
 

printed mark 1944-62

 


 


1946 photo of the Sneyd Colliery and Brick Works and surrounding area

 Purple = Sneyd Brickworks
Green = Royal Doulton Works
Blue = Adelaide Works
Red = Novelty Works of William Kent

source: Britain from Above

  


 The Novelty Works centre & Adelaide Works to the right 

By this time the original three of the kilns at the Novelty Works have been demolished. 

 


 


William Kent (Porcelains) Ltd

 


December 1963
Glendale Street, off Waterloo Road, in Burslem

Photo: Bert Bentley
Staffordshire Past Track

 

"The camera is looking along Glendale Street, off Waterloo Road, in Burslem. At the time of the photograph, Glendale Street was called Stoneley Street. At the bottom is the site of William Kent (Porcelain) Ltd., manufacturers of earthenware figures and ornaments, especially dogs.

The company dated from 1880 (Kent & Parr Ltd.) and operated the Novelty Works which also had an entrance in neighbouring Auckland Street (formerly Wellington Street). The pottery has been demolished.

The terraced houses on both sides of Glendale Street date from the 1890s. On the left is a 1960s Bristol air compressor with the hosepipe leading to a pneumatic drill somewhere off to the left."

 


 


The same view - November 2017
Google Street View
 


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks