A J WIlkinsons

As a result of the acquisition of several potteries in the Burslem area of Stoke-on-Trent in the 1880's by Arthur J. Wilkinson, which were then taken over by A. J. Wilkinson's brother-in-law Arthur Shorter in 1894, a large and flourishing concern was created with the name "A. J. Wilkinson Limited, The Royal Staffordshire Pottery" which produced export pottery, mainly for the American market.

Unfortunately, a 50% tariff on all ceramics entering the United States was instituted by the McKinley regime (1897-1901); it brought about a general slump in the Staffordshire export trade. However the young Colley Shorter, son of Arthur Shorter, enterprisingly managed, during the period of up to the First World War, to expand the Home Trade as well as to find new overseas markets in South America and in Canada. He thus offset the loss of the traditional United States Market.

Business had expanded so much, that in 1920 the firm of A.J.Wilkinson was able to take over yet another neighbouring pottery which came to be known as the Newport Pottery. Into this scene came a young pottery artist named Clarice Cliff.



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