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Podmore Walker & Co

Tunstall, Staffordshire 1834 -1859

Podmore Walker & Co started trading in Tunstall in 1834 and are recorded as having two factories, Newfield and Tunstall by Ward in 1843. They took part of the Pinnox works in Amicable Street sharing with Edward Challinor and added the Swan Bank works in 1853, previously vacated by Ralph Hall & Co four years earlier. Marine Archeology suggests some trading relationship between Podmore Walker and the Ralph Hall company particularly in the North American trade. The Podmore Walker partnership was expanded to include Enoch Wedgwood before the aquisition of the Swan Bank works and over the next 6 years went through a transitional period sometime trading as P.W.& Co, as P.W.& W. and as WEDGWOOD before a complete restyling in 1860 as Wedgwood & Co with Enoch Wedgwood becoming the senior partner.
Production by the new company was expanded at the Unicorn and Pinnox works after Edward Challinor left and shortly afterwards further rationalisation came with the sale of the Swan Banks Works to Beech Hancock & Co in 1862
The company worked with earthenwares refining their product to a body that they marketed as Pearl Stone Ware which, more durable than earthware would have been fired at a higher temperature. They also in some patterns added colour to the glaze to sharpen the pattern.
The company produced a distinctive romantic style of designs lighter in colour than most of the earlier transferware not only in blue but other colours including the use of two tints, which demonstrates how active they were in the North America Trade, since the domestic market only really supported Blue Transferwares. They opened up markets for their products in both the US and Canada, their British American series specifically for the Canadian market and registered the pattern named "California" on April 2nd 1849. The style of two of their patterns "Corean" and "Temple" were later echoed in the Art nouveaux Flow Blue patterns although at the time they were probably intended to look like ironstone. Their policy of originating new patterns meant that their expansion was not affected as some of their competitors were by the Copyright Act of 1842.
One distinct departure in style was their most famous pattern "Asiatic Pheasants" which was so different in design and cartouche that there is some doubt as to whether they were the originators. They did use other patterns, not designed for themselves namely "Willow" and "Wild Rose (Nuneham Courtney)". How they came by the "Asiatic Pheasants" pattern remains a mystery but whilst they did not share any of their in house designs, they certainly shared the "Asiatic Pheasants" pattern before they restyled as Wedgwood & Co possibly as early as the late 1840's with Ralph Hall & Co. A very similar pattern and Cartouche were used by John & Robert Godwin, of Cobridge who, coincidentally, existed for a similar period 1834 - 1866.

Listed Patterns

  • Asiatic Pheasants
  • British American Series
  • Corean
  • California
  • Eagle
  • Florentine
  • Ivanhoe
  • Minerva
  • Manilla
  • Pearl
  • Spartan
  • Temple
  • Venus
  • Washington Vase
  • Wild Rose (Nuneham Courtney)
  • Willow
Patterns listed in red are illustrated below

Illustrations of Patterns and Marks

Impressed Mark 1

Podmore Walker & Co. usually employed printed marks but here is an unusual example of their impressed mark found on a "Washington Vase" Platter.

Impressed Mark 2

This mark was found on a "Spartan" pattern plate

Asiatic Pheasants

English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Asiatic Pheasants Cartouche
English Transferware, Podmore Wlker & Co, British American

British American

View of "Kingston, Lake Ontario"

California

English  Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co, Corean

Corean

English Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Corean Cartouche
English Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Eagle

Eagle

English Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Eagle Cartouche
English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe

English Blue Transferware, Podmore Walker & Co, Minerva

Minerva

English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Pearl

Pearl

English Purple Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Spartan

Spartan

Temple

English Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Venus

Venus

English Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Venus Cartouche
English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,

Venus

English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Venus Cartouche
English Blue Transferware, Podmore Walker & Co,Washington Vase

Washington Vase

English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Washington VaseCartouche
English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Willow

Willow

English Blue Transferware,Podmore Walker & Co,Willow Cartouche