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Retro china, glassware & kitchenalia to buy
Alfred Meakin and J&G Meakin...what's all that about then?
In 1845 James Meakin was a manufacturer of pottery. He had three sons James, George and Alfred.
James & George set up the firm J & G Meakin, which began in 1851, the two brothers were quick to tap into the export market and business grew rapidly. George worked from America in a sales role, whilst James remained in England and managed the pottery works and the shipping. J & G Meakin manufactured earthenware tableware in Stoke-on-Trent. Before 1945 they made inexpensive export wares, particularly for the American market. The firm has been most widely recognised for the "Sol" ware tea, coffee & dinner sets produced between 1912 and 1963 for home and hotel use, here are two lovely examples of Sol ware from the yay retro! shop:
After the 2nd world war there was an expansion in the UK market for domestic tableware resulting in the production of a wide range of traditional and fashionable shapes and patterns. Over 100 patterns on 17 different shaped pieces have been recorded for the period 1945-1975! These include the Studio range which yay retro! often have for sale dated from 1964 to the late 1970s. Examples are Filigree and Capri as seen below:
Alfred Meakin Ltd was set up in 1875 and was based in Tunstall, England. Alfred Meakin manufactured ironstone china and white granite ware, which were exported to the USA and sold in catalogues there. Tiles were also manufactured by Alfred Meakin from the 1890 to 20s featuring art nouveau floral designs.
In 1932 Art Deco designs were being manufactured, and their products were used on public transport such as the world famous Flying Scotsman train. In 1957 many new tableware shapes and patterns were introduced, some are similar to better known designs, such as 1950s/60s Midwinter’s Riviera & Cannes or Ridgway Potteries Homemaker and are typical of what many firms of the time were producing, see the Midnight Star pattern on the left below.
Sadly, Alfred Meakin died in 1904 and the company was taken over by his son Alfred James who died only a few years later. After this Alfred's uncle Robert Johnson bought the company for his son and it stayed in the Johnson family's hands until 1976 when it became Myott-Meakin before finally becoming part of the Churchill Group.