In Shropshire during the late 18th Century, with the advent of the industrial revolution and the construction of the eastern branch of the Shropshire canal, the time and location was ideal for the founding of a porcelain manufactory. Porcelain was already being made at Caughley only a few miles down river from Coalport. The site of Coalport on the Northern bank of the Severn was at the heart of industrial East Shropshire that was notable for its deposits of alluvial clay for use in the manufacture of porcelain and coal to fire the Kilns. In 1793 John Rose and Edward Blackway established a china works at Jackfield, moving to Coalport in 1795.
In the late 18th and early 19th Century Coalport produced a wide range of Blue and White hand painted and transfer printed wares, a vast quantity of beautiful decorated tablewares and many other pieces of decorative porcelain.
Due to the effects of industrialisation a larger proportion of the population were in a position to purchase porcelain.
Coalport were innovative in their design and style in useful and domestic items as well as decorative pieces including, inkstands, scent bottles and letter racks painted and gilded exquisitely.
In the second quarter of the 19th Century Coalport produced a range of highly decorative flower encrusted wares known as ‘Coalbrookdale’ these pieces included vases, pot pourri, candlesticks and various delightful objects.
The great exhibition of 1851 inspired industry and artists to create wonderful objects for the many visitors to marvel at. Coalport was amongst the many porcelain manufactures to rise to the occasion. Some of the most elaborate works were created during this period. Highly talented artists and modellers produced vases and centrepieces unrivalled today. Flowers, birds, animals and pastoral scenes were painted on plates, dishes, vases and plaques by accomplished artists.
Parianware was also produced at Coalport in the third quarter of the 19th Century although not as prolifically as at Minton or Worcester.
Coaport in the late 19th and early 20th century, was prolific in its output of extremely beautiful and innovative designs, many in the dark blue, cream and gold which is so distinctively Coalport.
As well as the more domestic wares Coalport produced a range of vases and decorative pieces, miniature tea sets, elaborate “Jewelled Ware” and commemorative pieces like the “Grace” plate made in 1895 to commemorate WC Grace’s century of centuries.
In 1925 ‘Coalport’ was sold to Couldon Potteries and the factory closed in 1926. The Coalport name has changed hands several times and is now owned by Wedgwood.
Reference material from An Extensive History of Coalport “Coalport 1795-1926 by Michael Messenger”.