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Glamorgan Antiques Newsletter

Special Edition Newsletter # 4 - ROCKINGHAM PORCELAIN

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Welcome all to this 4th Special Edition newsletter from Glamorgan antiques.We hope that it will appeal to all, whether newcomers or more experienced Collectors.Anyway, the learning process in Antiques never ends,we all get to be more experienced but we never stop learning.

The Great Rockingham Porcelain factory/Yorkshire

Click HERE for larger picture The Rockingham porcelain factory must surely be one of the most elusive and romantic of all the English potteries that abounded in Victorias days and before in Georgian days. The premises were at Swinton, Nr.Rotherham,Yorkshire.A factory for the production of common earthenwares had been started there in 1745, and it was situated on land belonging to the Marquis of Rockingham.It was known as the Rockingham works.This business was in the hands of a family named Brameld from 1806 , and about 1820 they started the manufacture of bone china,obtaining workmen from Derby and the Staffordshire Potteries. In the commercial panic of 1825 - 6, they became embarassed financially, but by the help of Earl Fitzwilliam, their landlord, they were enabled to tide over their difficulties and continued the manufacture of porcelain down to 1842,when,having involved both themselves and Earl Fitzwilliam in heavy pecuniary loss, they gave up the business and sold off the stock,moulds and implements.
It has been stated that this porcelain works was conducted almost regardless of costs, and that the most skilful modellers and painters that could be procured were employed.The first of these statements could be true for the existing pieces of Rockingham porcelain mark the very perfection of English bone-porcelain in body and glaze. But, though the workmanship, whether in potting,painting or gilding leaves was always of the highest order, the finances did not run to all this extra elaborate work.The pieces were very ornate in shape, wonderful in design, and so different from the more run of the mill potteries that stayed in the safe zone of design limits.
There is a dessert service made for William 1V in 1830, this is so lavishly designed and decorated that it's manufacture is said to have involved the firm in heavy losses.The 144 plates cost £5000 GB pounds Sterling.All the usual productions of a porcelain factory, such as vases,figures,jars,dinner,dessert and tea services,busts,flower baskets were made here.The crest of the Fitzwilliam family, that is the Griffin, was not used until well after 1826, and this means that a lot of Rockingham early items are unmarked.

If you would like to see a piece of Rockingham for yourself,, we have recently purchased a teapot, showing this most wonderful quality of English porcelain at it's best.This is displayed here for you also.Please note the elaborate spout, the Rococco swirls and ornate handle.All this tells us that the item is indeed Rockingham, one of Glamorgan antiques favourite English Potteries.

Copyright ©Glamorgan antiques. September 2002.

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