Saturday, December 04, 2010

Confessions of a British Pottery Addict

So what is it with me and British pottery? I can't seem to get enough of it! But I'm picky you see, I'm one of those purists...I refuse to buy a piece under the guise of "it was designed in Britain" (it's something that my girlfriends don't seem to understand).
Take Spode's Christmas Tree and Royal Albert's Old Country Roses patterns for example; all now being made in Indonesia and China but the companies are charging the same prices as if they were made in Britain. These patterns are those companies top sellers and they're being made where? The fact is that it's not the same- well it's not the same to me anyway. Even when shopping for my beloved Portmeirion Botanic Garden pieces I have to turn the item over and look where it was made. I have made the mistake of thinking that all of it was still made here in the UK- which is not true. I have 3 pieces that were made in China (no joke) they are the pierced cake plate, the set of 4 measuring cups and the multi purpose jar. I had bought these before I had realized that not all Portmeirion pieces are made here in Britain. Alas, as it is, this is something that seems to only matter to me. But with so many things that have been made in China these days that are recalled because of lead content makes me wonder how some of the world's finest pottery companies are turning to the "Made in China" label on their pottery pieces.

What can I say, I'm a purist. I want my British Pottery and Bone China to be made in Britain and I make no apologies for it. I've gone to the extreme to get my "Made in England" pieces, spending many hours sifting through dusty antique stores, browsing crowded charity shops and every now and then I go to eBay UK. I'm happy with what I've bought and the great memories of my "treasure hunting" experiences will be with me for a lifetime!


James Antique said...

Sandie - You are not the only buyer of Portmeirion disappointed that many pieces are no longer made in the UK. Most of the newer shapes are made in China while the basic plate shapes and older shapes still in production, at least, are still made in the UK. The UK pieces are always marked as such on the bottom backstamp. Some Chinese pieces only have a peel off sticker or Country Of Origin is marked on the box only. So, it still can be hard to figure out where a piece is made once the sticker is washed off. If the ID mark on the bottom does not say UK or Britain or England, it is likely made in China.

I have a website specializing in Portmeirion at

Since we mostly deal in retired Portmeirion, virtually all our stock was made in the UK. If not, we will list the country at the very top of the listing.

The website below shows Country Of Origin for its Portmeirion stock. Very useful info...

Sandie said...

Thanks James- I've used your website many times as a reference point for the back stamps of Portmeirion Pottery. Being that I'm still living here in the UK, I'm finding the thrill of the hunt still invigorates me. My goal is- that by the time I/we get stateside again I won't need to buy any more pieces to add to my pottery collection because by then it will be complete. :D