Object Description

An early and boldly decorated Mason’s Patent Ironstone indented shape dinner service circa 1813 -1820 in date.

The vibrant Japan pattern depicting flowers and oriental temples. Printed in underglaze blue and then hand painted with iron red, cobalt and ochre.

It is signed with the printed ‘Mason’s Patent Ironstone China” stamp underneath.


2x meat plates,
2x lidded tureens,
2x gravy jugs
1x sauce tureen on stand,
2 serving plates,
1 small serving plate,
12x soup plates,
16x dinner plates,
9x luncheon plates,
16x side plates
5x fruit bowls.

In excellent condition commensurate for it’s age and use, with historic repairs to one of the lidded tureen handles and the sauce tureen handles, and showing little signs of wear.

Charles James Mason born in 1791 into family with strong pottery traditions was the most important member of the family.

He was destined to become one of the outstanding figures in the Staffordshire pottery industry. Today, when people speak of “Ironstone” it is invariably Mason’s to which they refer and to CJ’s work in particular.

From a very early age he assisted his father in the factory experimenting with new clays. He enjoyed the life and soon became a master-potter himself. Charles at only the age of 21 leap into the limelight when he registered the patent for Patent Ironstone China.

In 1815 Charles married Sarah Spode, who was the granddaughter of the first Josiah Spode the founder of the famous potting family. She was a very shrewd business woman and she encouraged her husband in all his new ventures. They had two children Florence Elizabeth Mason and Charles Spode Mason.

Ironstone – was patented by the British potter Charles James Mason in 1813. His father, Miles Mason married the daughter of Richard Farrar, who had a business selling imported Oriental porcelain in London. Subsequently Mason continued this business, but after the East India Company ceased the bulk importation of Oriental porcelain in 1791 he began to manufacture his own wares. His first manufacturing venture was a partnership with Thomas Wolfe and John Lucock in Liverpool, and he later formed a partnership with George Wolfe to manufacture pottery in Staffordshire.
Other sources also attribute the invention of ironstone to William Turner of Longton, and Josiah Spode who is known to have been producing ironstone ware by 1805, “which he exported in immense quantities to France and other countries. The popularity of Spode’s ironstone surpassed the traditional faience pottery in France.

A variety of ironstone types was being produced by the mid-19th century. “Derbyshire ironstone” became a particularly popular variety in the 19th century, as well as “yellow ironstone”. Patterns with raised edges became popular in the mid-19th century, including “cane-coloured” Derbyshire ironstone.

Our reference: 06832

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Object Condition

In excellent condition commensurate for it’s age and use, with historic repairs to one of the lidded tureen handles and the sauce tureen handles, and showing little signs of wear.

Object Classification

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