Sir John Bennett China Tableware Set - Antique China Query
Sir John Bennett China Tableware Pottery Mark - Antique China Query
Sir John Bennett China Tableware Set - Antique China Query:- Hi there, I'm not sure if you can help, but I have had no luck finding anything on Sir John Bennett china. Watches yes.. I inherited my grandmothers dinner set, there are about 100 pieces in total including serving dishes and 3 sizes of plates and bowls. The pattern I think is The Mayfair made in England with the signature 'Sir John Bennett Ltd Cheapside E.C.' It has a crown and circle above the signature.
I'd love to learn a little more about it as it really is a lovely set. The pattern has gold silver and maroon around the edges.
Hope you can help
MeredithReply from Peter (admin) below - just scroll down
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Reply by Peter (admin)
To:- Sir John Bennett China Tableware Pottery Mark - Antique China Query
Thanks for your nice submission.
Sir John Bennett Ltd was an 'Arts and Crafts' maker of the Victorian and Edwardian era. The company made clocks, watches, silver tableware and china dinnerware.
Due to the fact that he was mainly known for watch making and jewellery I have no record of his firm in my china reference books. However, I did find an interesting advert taken from The Illustrated London News of 1893 (see above photo I uploaded).
I also followed the system outlined in my China Replacement
section and found 4 large dinner plates selling on ebay for about $7 TO $10 USD each. If you have over 100 items that adds up to a pretty penny, somewhere between $1000 to $2000 USD at the very least.
You should get an accurate valuation from a professional for insurance purposes. Visit my 'Bring In The Experts'
page to get in touch with an antique china specialist.
This venture into china tableware seems to have been a bit outside the box for this watchmaker (and therefore the items are quite rare). If anyone knows more details about this please post on the comments section below.
Thanks again for an interesting query.***UPDATE***
A big thanks to contributor Val O'Regan who has kindly done some online research on Sir John Bennett.
Val found some of their fine china for sale online where the seller explains that Sir John Bennett was an upmarket London retailer who commissioned top firms such as Royal Doulton to make dinnerware sets for their own label lines.
This explains why Sir John Bennett is not mentioned in any of the fine china makers encyclopedias.
Thanks to Val for clearing this up.
If you have any of this interesting tableware, go to my China Valuation Page to learn how to search ebay and the China replacement sites to get an idea of the value of your wares
=================================***FURTHER UPDATE BY VAL***
Peter, it turns out that the information on the website I referred you to is not necessarily accurate. There is a fair bit of guesswork involved. I contacted the owner, Gordon Hepworth, and this was his reply:
"I'll have to edit my page, as I don't know London very well.
"I've found that Cheapside, where the Sir John Bennett shop was, is not in "London's West End". That old shop has been taken, holus-bolus, to the USA, and you can see more about that here. http://www.thehenryford.org/exhibits/pic/2006/06_may.asp
"I said they were probably made by Royal Doulton because I've seen
two or three Sir John Bennett sets that are the same in every respect to Royal Doulton patterns, except for the back stamps. Similarly, I've seen Sir John Bennett china in the same patterns as known Wedgwood designs. It appears that Sir John Bennett sourced stock from the better known makers of the day.
I hope that helps."
Well, I already had a great deal of information about the man Sir John Bennett (1814 – 1897) and his shop, which sold clocks, watches and chronometers, and later, apparently, cutlery and silver plate. But the business was sold, about the 1880s or early 1890s, to “Benson’s”, whoever they are.
Another website states: “Prior to 1930, the jewellery and clock shop was a popular presence … in the City of London.” The building was to be demolished, but it was bought by Henry Ford and taken to America in 1931, where it is now part of his “theme park”, Greenfield Village, a group of historic buildings. So there were new owners of the Sir John Bennett business – maybe several different owners over fifty or more years.
There is still no explanation for Sir John Bennett china appearing in the late 1930s, or how and where it was sold.
I have contacted Royal Doulton, whose archivist was unfortunately made redundant in January. They have given me a name and an e-mail address and I will make further inquiries. I like a bit of detective work.
==========================================Reply by Peter (admin)
Great detective work!
You are going 'above & beyond' in the same vein as other visitors like star contributor Melissa.
What an interesting link to the site about where the Sir John Bennett shop was relocated to. See more about the Sir John Bennett Store relocation to the USA here
(You need to scroll down past the huge header to see the content)
Interesting also that the shop is described as a 'Jewelery store' on the above Henry Ford site.
I can only presume that maybe, although the business was sold in the late 19th Century, it continued under new ownership and was forced to re-locate due to City of London redevelopments.
I happen to know London quite well and the area 'Cheapside' is just to the east of the West End in the 'City' of London, home to the financial district where all the bankers and money people hang out.
Going eastwards it looks like this:-
West End (shops) --- Covent Garden (Opera & Ballet) --- City (financial) --- East End (low income families).
On the subject of who Sir John Bennett sourced the china from - I can see they would have been an important customer of all the majors who would have been falling over themselves to supply a prestige store in the City of London with 'own brand' dinnerware.
Having been a buyer for Liberty of London (West End) before I left to go sculpting for a living, I know how this works! The salesmen would have been wining & dining the buyer to spend money with them rather than their competitors.
We still need some gaps filling in by anyone who knows more - particularly about Sir John Bennett himself and what happened after the business was sold!
Thanks Val. You're a star. Keep posting.
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