Pottery Mark Query - Bee with extended wings on aesthetic decorated plate

by Lynne
(Lincolnshire UK)

This is the backstamp - Bee with extended wings

This is the backstamp - Bee with extended wings

This is the backstamp - Bee with extended wings
This is the backstamp - Bee with extended wings
This is the backstamp - Bee with extended wings

I picked my plate up at a local antiques shop, it was in a basket along with other stuff being sold off cheap. It caught my eye immediately.

When I got it home the first thing I did was examine the backstamp, now as you can see, it is only a partial mark. I actually found your site, while googling BEE mark, as someone had a similar query, but his was different (William Lowe Longton).

I know from the style that it is mid Victorian aesthetic period so 1860 - 1880 and the 'B' tells me it was from a Burslem pottery. Unfortunately the makers initials are also only partial but I'm fairly sure it is B & ?. So I tried the potteries.org and trawled through lists for Burslem.

The Hill potteries are said to have used a Bee with extended wings, so I went through those potteries, the only thing close was Burgess & Leigh who were at the Hill potteries from 1867 - 1899 I believe but they used a beehive mark not the BEE.

Now I'm stumped.

I would really like to know more about it.
The plate is 22cm in diameter with sort of fluted rim,so I think it must be a cake plate. It has typical aesthetic decoration, trees, birds etc with two inset pictures, one of which says 'Birthplace of Burns'

I am just intrigued to know which pottery made it.
Oh, I should say this is made of earthenware, wasn't sure whether you would entertain it, as most queries seem to be for porcelain/china.

Fingers crossed :-)



Reply by Peter (admin)

Hi Lynne

What a great find. We try do cover all types of vintage and antique china, pottery and porcelain here. It's all one big melting pot. Some of our best successes have been with American studio pottery with, in some instances, the actual artist or the family of the artist writing in to identify the mark (see http://www.figurines-sculpture.com/pottery-mark-query-tree-or-flower-in-box-over-usa.html for example).

Now, onto your query.

You are about to be UNSTUMPED!

This lovely looking mark is that of a Burslem company called FORD & RILEY.

The letters on the mark are the initials and say

F & R

They used this actual bee mark from their establishment in 1882 for 11 years until 1893, so you were right about the time period.

They started out as Whittingham, Ford & Co in 1868

In 1873 they became Whittingham, Ford & Riley, changing to F&R in 1882

In 1938 they became Crownford, and they are mentioned in several different posts on this site. Use the search box to find the posts.

The company continued as late a 1964 and were eventually absorbed into the Churchill company I think. So many makers went under or were bought out during the beginning of this modern age of ours (the Age of Aquarius), or should I say, the final ending of the Victorian age.

Now, in the 21st century, we are becoming increasingly fascinated by the 'old era' which ended in the 1960's. This explains my daughter's love of 'vintage' and this website's fascination with identifying old china.

When I think about it, my late mother was born in the UK in 1920 to people who were thoroughly Victorian in upbringing and attitude. She brought these values with her to the 1960's and I can remember her absolute shock and disgust the first time she saw a lady wearing a trouser suit (c. 1965). My old mum absolutely adored her fine bone china set and her Irish crystal cut glass.

Subsequent generations since then have chucked out the china, but now a new fascination is beginning to return, from the basis of nostalgia and fascination for a bygone era.

This is why you love your aesthetic plate by Ford & Riley (F & R) so much.

Thanks for posting. Hope your curiosity is assuaged.

Peter (admin)

Comments for Pottery Mark Query - Bee with extended wings on aesthetic decorated plate

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Ah Haaaaaaaa
by: Lynne

Wow.. thank you so much. I was so sure it was a Hill Potteries piece that I didn't search a little further lol, is doesn't do to get blinkered. Although Thomas Ford did have the earthenware works in 1867 prior to Burgess & Leigh. I think this is why I got so confused.

Bee mark
by: Peter

I have a plate with scenes of Norwich on also with backstamp of a bee but the initials jb and says Dartmouth within a scroll I thought it might be James beech can you help

Bee mark
by: Anonymous

That ' s great information.
I do have a ceramic lamp, with a bee mark and a litlle triangle with 095 or 025 inside , love to know more about it
Any way to show you pictures?

The Ford & Riley 'BEE' trademark and patterns
by: Karen from Ontario

First, let me say a great big thank you for having answered to the dilemma of the F & R 'BEE' trademark stamp. In this, I have discovered another problem - the patterns. Recently, I have acquired a spectacular chamber pitcher and chamber pot lid (only) by F & R (Ford & Riley, Burslem) in an 1883 pattern entitled - ITS SPRING; a lovely pattern of blue and pink daisy chains with bluebirds with a very wide 3" or so green rim around the top pouring part of the jug and lovely gold trimming. I picked these up at an estate auction of the Massey Ferguson family. At any rate, I have spent hours, days, weeks, searching for F & R patterns of 1872 - 1898 when the company became Ford and Riley, Burslem, with no luck at all for any pattern information. While I thank you for your lead in the matter of patterns on your pages, I have no luck there either. IF and I do say IF, anyone out there has any tips on how I can identify or find this pattern and tips into values just for fun, I would be thrilled and grateful beyond expression. I LOVE your site btw and am so happy I found you here. Thanks a bunch, Karen from Ontario, Canada

Good Luck With Your Pattern Hunting
by: Peter (admin)

Hi Karen

Many thanks for a great post. If anyone has any insights please post here.

And Karen, please be sure to post your progress right here.

Best regards

Peter (admin)

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