Printing at Liverpool: 2 Porcelain


Fig. 1  A Liverpool teapot c1758-60 made at Wm Reid's porcelain factory and printed with the Courted Shepherdess signed Sadler Liverpl.

As well as printing on delftware the Sadler workshop also carried out some printing on porcelain.  Many of the subjects were heroes of the Seven Years War.  In addition to using Liverpool porcelain blanks [1], Sadler also printed on Worcester [2] and Longton Hall porcelain [3].  It is  quite possible that some producers of Liverpool porcelain may have sent wares to the Sadler workshop to have them printed to their instructions.  The finding of Sadler-signed printed porcelain on the site of William Reid porcelain factory in Liverpool shows that these pieces must have been printed to Reid's orders and then returned to him.  It seems equally clear that the wares of the Worcester and Longton Hall porcelain factories that were printed in Liverpool must have been purchased by Sadler as blanks for printing on his own account. 



Fig. 2  A Worcester mug printed with a portrait of King George III signed I. Sadler and Liverpool c1761 

Fig. 3  A Longton Hall porcelain mug printed with a portrait of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick signed Sadler and Liverp

A particularly intriguing situation is illustrated by three pieces of porcelain by different makers -- one was made in Worcester and two were made in Liverpool, one at the Gilbody factory and the other at the factory of Richard Chaffers. Each piece is decorated with the same print of the King of Prussia in court dress.  Each print is signed Evans Sct.  Evans was an engraver employed by Sadler. In addition, two of the pieces bear the words Gilbody Maker within the print. This demonstrates the complex and potentially confusing relationships that can exist between the maker of a ceramic object and the printer who decorates it. Here, the explanation would seem to be that the porcelain maker Samuel Gilbody commissioned Sadler to decorate some of his mugs with prints that contained his name as maker.  After Gilbody went bankrupt in 1758, Sadler used the copper plate to decorate the Worcester mug and the Chaffers jug.  He removed the Gilbody Maker designation from the jug but overlooked it on the Worcester mug, thus creating a misleading description.

In the later 1760s Philip Christian began to decorate some of his porcelain with underglaze blue prints.  James Pennington also carried out a little underglaze blue printing and it was a major output at the factories of his brothers, John and Seth. 

As regards overglaze printing, there are examples extant that would seem to indicate that it was carried out at some of the Liverpool porcelain factories on their own wares -- specifically the factories of Philip Christian, James Pennington and John Pennington.  Henry Baker, a Liverpool ceramic printer, was a partner in William Reid and Co.  Although no surviving pieces would seem to be attributable to Baker printing on Reid porcelain, there are some shards bearing overglaze black prints, which were recovered on the factory site, that possibly relate to this.