Mintons Ltd Ceramics
Mintons Ltd Ceramics are an English porcelain manufacturer.
Brief History and Description
Mintons Ltd was set up by Thomas Minton in Stoke-on-Trent, England in 1793. Born in 1765, Shrewsbury, England, Thomas Minton inherited the passion for porcelain from his family. It was this passion, which led him to work as an engraver with several pottery makers before starting Minton Pottery.
The factory started production in 1796, initially engraving blue transfer designs on earthenware blanks, which became popular with London retailers. In 1798, Thomas Minton found suitable clay to produce fine porcelain in Cornwall, which resulted in the factory diversifying into porcelain making. In 1817, Thomas brought his sons, Herbert and Thomas Jr. as partners. However, Thomas Jr., soon left the company to become a priest. In addition to tableware, Minton started making vases, ornamental wares, and figurines in 1824. Thomas Minton died in 1836, but he had a worthy successor in Herbert. In 1858, the company had a workforce of 1500 and had ventured into industrial tile making. Herbert Minton retired in 1858 leaving the factory to Colin Minton Campbell who soon after became a Member of Parliament. His reputation on the national stage marked the start of Mintons becoming an international market leader in tableware.
After Colin Minton Campbell’s death in 1885, the company continued its successful journey but had to stop production during World War Two. 1949 saw the release of their best loved pattern, Haddon Hall.
Mintons Limited later teamed up with Royal Doulton Tableware, but still remain market leaders in luxurious table ware.
Guide for Collectors
While there is no specific group for collectors of Minton ware, there is a group that includes Minton wares and that is the Majolica International Society. The Society was founded in 1989 by Indiana auctioneer Michael Strawser and it includes many other manufacturers of Victorian Majolica as well. The Society was founded with just 45 members but since then the members have steadily increased to over 1,000 enthusiastic individual collectors, authors, dealers and historians from across the globe.
Another good reference guide for collectors of Minton Pottery is The Dictionary of Minton by Paul J. Atterbury and Maureen Batkin. While Maureen is a lecturer and writer who specializes in 19th and 20th century British ceramics, Paul is an authority on Victorian and 20th century antiques and ceramics. The book is the first complete history of the Minton wares, its artists and decorators. It is very useful for dealers and collectors as it comes with plenty of color photographs.
The Illustrated Guide to Minton Printed Pottery by Geoffrey Hugh Priestman is another good reference guide. It identifies close to 100 early Minton patterns based on over ten years research at the Minton archives and a substantial reference collection and has over 750 photographs
Notable Auction Sales
A pair of Minton olive brown vases, dated 1892, was auctioned off for a premium price of $266,500, at Christie’s, New York on 21st October, 2008.
A pair of Minton cobalt blue vases dated 1861, was auctioned off for a premium price of $229,000, at the 19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art And Ceramics Auction, held at Christie’s, New York on 9th April, 2008.
A pair of Minton dove grey vases, dated 1875, was auctioned off for a premium price of $98,500, at Christie’s, New York on 21st October, 2008.
A pair of Minton chocolate brown vases, dated 1892, was auctioned off for a premium price of $80,500, at Christie’s, New York on 21st October, 2008.
A life-size Minton Majolica model of a fawn modelled by Paul Comolera was auctioned off at the Fine English and Welsh Ceramics and Glass Auction for a premium price of £16,800 at Bonhams, New Bond Street on 13th December, 2006.
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