Pottery Mark Saying "Bristol - then Founded- then Crossed Swords Device - then 1652 - then England"

by Esther

Pottery Mark Saying

Pottery Mark Saying

Pottery Mark Saying "Bristol - then Founded- then Crossed Swords Device - then 1652 - then England":- Two earthenware or delft plates from my late mother in law. Would like to know if they have a value. They are pretty old.

Oval size 30cm x 25cm approx

smaller oval size 28 x 23 cm approx



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Pottery Mark Saying "Bristol - then Founded- then Crossed Swords Device - then 1652 - then England"

Hi Esther

Many thanks for submitting, and hope you are finding the site useful. The impressed or printed mark BRISTOL POTTERY using the founded date 1652, was used from c1945-57 (with the crossed swords) and from 1957-65 without.

This is the mark of Pountney & Co of Bristol - one of the oldest pottery centers in the UK. However, to use the categoric date for the founding of the firm as 1652 is somewhat creative, to say the least.

It seems likely from archaeological evidence that pottery was made on the site of the Temple pottery from 1652 in St. Anne’s, Brislington, but to link this date directly with the founding of the manufacturer of wares bearing this backstamp (Pountney) is stretching it a bit.

I believe it was the flounderings of a pottery in trouble in post war Britain. Likely not putting enough money into design and development (unlike companies like Shelley operating in the same period). Apologies to
them of that was not the case as they have produced some very fine wares over the course of their history - namely...
    "the highly artistic moulded items created by the modeller Edward Raby. Utilitarian wares were also of very high quality, in particular the blue and white transfer-printed services depicting Bristol and River Thames scenes. It can be said that during this period the Bristol Pottery was at its zenith in terms of overall quality and artistic merit." (quoted from the article here:- http://www.authorsonline.co.uk/book/662/Bristol_Pottery_1784_-_1972/sample/)

According to deeds unearthed by W.J.Pountney in the 1920's, a potbank called Temple Pottery was erected in 1683 (Source “Old Bristol Potteries”, by W.J.Pountney, first published 1920) - and became the biggest of the Bristol delftware potteries of the period.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century (1784 according to some records I have read - see http://www.authorsonline.co.uk/book/662/Bristol_Pottery_1784_-_1972/sample/) it became known as "Bristol Pottery".

The first record I can find of the Pountney name is 1813 (John Decimus Pountney). Subsequently, there were various partnerships until 1849 when Goddens Encyclopedia says the Poulney & CO (Ltd) was officially founded.

So we don't want to be pedantic, but in my view, 1683 seems to be a more acceptable date, rather than the more fanciful 1652.

Bristol Pottery (aka Pountney & Co Ltd) finally closed at the end of the 1960's.

Peter (admin)

p.s. The following page is a 'must see' if you are researching fine china - for value and identification:-

Researching the identity and value of antique and vintage fine china.

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Comments for Pottery Mark Saying "Bristol - then Founded- then Crossed Swords Device - then 1652 - then England"

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meat plate
by: lyn

I have just been given a meat plate with green edging and hand painted flowers around the edge on the back is bristol founded with 2 swords crossed over in 1652 england and underneath is the letter b it has a no on the top,of the lettering is14 10 the plate is cream is this classed as an antique

wash basin and pitcher, soap dish, and little pitcher or it could be drinking cup?
by: DeAnna McCloud

I'm not much for words I would like to send you some pictures of it. It's a wash basin bowl and pitcher and with soap dish and another little pitcher witch could be a cup? that all matches. It all kinda cream with red roses on them. On the bottom of each one are a little different markings. On the bottom of the little pitcher or aka cup is # a red 31 and has some orange squiggly marks and some kind of indentation.? Bristol pountney & co ltd England,estb 1683. On the bottom of the water pitcher is #22 Bristol pountney & co u. Made in England. I not sure it that's a cou. ? That's what it looks like. On the bottom of the wash Basin or bowl has Bristol pountney & co ltd? I'm not sure of the ltd can't tell. Then made in England and a little orange squiggly mark that kind of looks like a 22? There's no mark on the bottom of the soap dish but under the lid there's a little orange squiggly mark that kind of looks like a 32? Please let me know what you find and let me know how to send you pictures.

Antique commode with
by: Anonymous

I have picked up a commode chair and inside is the pot and lid with the mark Bristol and two cross swords and 1862 and the capital letter B is there any value to this??

Serving dish with cover
by: Sue

I white and deep blue Mallard pattern serving dish with cover what is the value?

Claimed dates of establishment for Pountney & Co.
by: John

Pountneys claim to an establishment of 1652 resulted from two potsherds found during a dig at the former Brislington Pottery in 1914, one of which was dated 1652 and the other 1653. Brislington at that time was a village East of Bristol. Pountneys were never at Brislington but always at Temple Backs ( a little North of Temple Meads Station ) where a pottery was established in 1683 as Peter says - but no Pountney was involved in any of the partnerships until 1813. Poultney and Co was formed in 1889 after moving to new premises in 1887 ..... It should be mentioned that no member of the Pountney family was involved with the company after c.1872. Pountney and Co were obsessed with dates and claimed establishment in 1750 in various marks used after 1900, 1683 in marks from c.1930 and 1652 from c.1954. As time progressed they claimed earlier and earlier establishment.

The Dating Game
by: Peter (admin)

Thanks John

Yes, there must have been some advantage, perceived or otherwise by slapping on a few fictitious dates here and there.

The bad boys of the 19th c!

Peter (admin)

by: sue grimson

i have a meat plate..bristal pountney 1683 canyngre can anyone help with info.i am in australia found it at rubbish tip

Pountney, Bristolt
by: John

As indicated above, as your plate carries a date of establishment of 1683, it was made between c.1930 and 1954.

Emerson pattern
by: MaryAnonymous

I have meat plates and vegetable dishes in the above pattern . They have the crossed swords and date 1750 .pountley bristol
Just wondered if they are of any value.

john pountneys bristol
by: Anonymous

I have a dinner service set with 1750 & 1780 with the cross swords & pountneys name on them are they of any value?

bristol plates
by: dianeAnonymous

I have some Bristol plates blue and white with cross swords mark wonder if they are worth anything

Gravey boat
by: Anonymous

Hi everyone I have a graveyard boat which saysbristol founded 1652
England and has wot looks like the number 11 in gold
Can any one help

Bristol 1683
by: susan

Found on the beach at Casuarina NSW. Australia. Piece of porcelain could be bottom of a cup as half missing, marked
st. 1683
in England
Is this very old?

by: Sue

I have a set of six dinner plates, dessert plates, tea plates, bowls, and serving dishes with a gravy dish which I inherited from my Grandmother and remember being used in the early 1960's when I was a very young child. The mark in the underneath is Bristol England 1652 England and then pictures of pink flowers and bluebells an design name which is Lilybell. I am using these plates daily but wondered if they are worth anything!

Emerson Pattern, Large plater. Has blue and white design. crossed swords with 1750. Bountney and Bristol England
by: Lyn

Just wondering what is the history of this plate, Please

lovely find!
by: Anonymous

i bought a tiny shallow cream jug with Bristol and crossed swords on
it from my local charity shop.

by: Anonymous

I have a set of Bristol founded 1658 england flowery plates no 8 on back are these old and worth anything I have 6 in mint condition

Braddicks Holiday Centre!
by: Sue

I recently bought a solid chunky white plate for 50p from a charity shop. Stamped on the edge was "Braddick's Holiday Centre Westward Ho!
On the back is the makers stamp Pountney's Reinforced vitrite Bristol England.

Can anyone help?
by: Lyn


I have a large white meat plate that has a small flower pattern in the center with a date on it as 1553 a red number 3 and an artist name written in gold paint with explanation marks. Unfortunately i am unable to read it.

1652 casserole dish
by: Anonymous

Wondering if it is worth anything. Is it dishwasher, oven, or microwave safe? I know nothing about it. Any help would be appreciated.

blue dinner set with gold edges
by: Anonymous

Blue dinner set with flowers and gold edging. No crossed swords.Some pieces have gold dashes on the bottom.

Dinner set NEW
by: Anonymous

We have a complete dinner set with the name Pountney & Co Bristol with crossed swords stamped on the base of each plate. This was given as a wedding present in 1942 the design on the plates is in brown with a touquoise rim and a brown circular design in the centre. is this worth anything?

Bowl with lid NEW
by: Anonymous

I also have a large bowl and lid with same markings is it worth anything

Bristol England 1652 NEW
by: Kathleen

I have a small cup& sauce, demitasse perfect cond.Has 1770 1781 then 2 crossed swords,then Bristol, founded in1652, 2 more crossed swords, then England

Old plates like Esthers
by: Janet

I have a set of 6 tea side plates the same pattern and markings as Esthers. Does anyone know the value of these please ? I understand they are pre 1957. Janet

Chamber pot
by: Wayne B

Hi,I have found a Chamber pot with the crossed swords, could someone tell me how old it is . Thanks

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