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Aynsley China – John Aynsley and Sons

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1775 John Aynsley and Sons founded by John Aynsley at a small workshop in Lane End, Longton, Staffordshire. Initially, Aynsley was known as a decorative enameller rather than a manufacturer.

By 1810 Aynsley and Company were manufacturing their own china on Flint Street in Longton. Specializing in lusterware.

1829 John Aynsley died and by this time he was credited with popularizing lusterware porcelain “through the whole of the district”. John Aynsley’s son James continued the family business with limited success

1841 James Aynsley died and his second eldest child (Also named John Aynsley) entered the pottery trade.

1861 John Aynsley II, built the historic Portland Works on Sutherland Road, Longton, Staffordshire.

1886 To 1890  John Aynsley II was also a local politician and became Mayor of Longton.

1931 The company realeased The Tulip shape pattern, a populat pattern that was even ordered by Queen Mary.

1970 The company’s continued profitability made it a desirable acquisition and, accordingly, Spode put in a bid, this was then topped by Denbyware. Discussions then followed with Waterford Glass and a £1 million bid was agreed. John Aynsley and Sons was taken over by Waterford and renamed Aynsley China Ltd.

1987 Waterford sold the company in order to focus the group’s fine china sales on the worldwide Wedgwood brand.

1997, Aynsley China was acquired by The Belleek Pottery Group in Ireland.

2014 The company closed its Stoke-on-Trent factory in September 

2015 the factory shop is still open but its future is uncertain as the site is being advertised as for sale.

Aynsley’s market has historically been within the United Kingdom. The company is a favoured supplier of the British royal family. Both Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales, chose Aynsley china as wedding presents from the British china industry.

In the 1970s the brand was a favourite choice among Britain’s Romany and travelling communities, who displayed china in their caravans as a status symbol.

Notable Aynsley China Artists

1938 to 1969 – Doris Jones
Doris Jones’ work is commonly found on early fruit and berry designs, later becoming Aynsley’s “Orchard Gold” pattern. Pieces painted or enhanced by Doris Jones are signed “D. Jones”.

1935 to 1975 – Nancy Brunt
Nancy Brunt is commonly associated with fruit and berry designs too and her work is signed “N. BRUNT”.

1937 to 1974 – Joseph A. Bailey
Joseph A. Bailey was more well-known for painting flower patterns in a definitive style and flourish. The large pink rose, sometimes referred to as a cabbage rose, is particularly characteristic of Bailey’s work.


Aynsley stamps / marks are usually litho printed or impressed. Some early pieces might not be marked.

System of numbering introduced between 1924 and the 1950s, a printed number between 1 and 32 (in same colour as main stamp) could be added to the year 1924 to calculate the year of manufacture.

Quality control stamp place on all new pieces (lower numbers = earlier productions). Original boxes and these stamps are highly sought after.



Registration numbers nationally introduced to potteries from 1884 to 1965.



Aynsley Backstamp Circa 1780


c.1864 to 1873

c.1875 to 1885






c.1905 to 1910




c.1940 to 1960


c.2000 onwards

Sources of information:
Antique Marks

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