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Earthenware pots with a clear IRONBRIDGE / JACKFIELD / ENGLAND mark are often to be found on eBay. They come in a variety of shapes and glazes, and all have a fine red body. The base mark is large and impressed.

Sellers frequently attribute these pots to a variety of periods and styles, but invariably they are wrong and in some cases mislead bidders by keyword spamming ('in the style of Ault', 'Christopher Dresser type', and so on).

The fact is these vases were made in the 1980s by young people employed at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire, on a Manpower Services Commission (MSC) scheme. They were made at the Jackfield Tile Museum, which is housed in the former premises of Craven Dunnill & Co. Ltd.

The pots were slip-cast in period moulds using modern materials, and were sold through the Museum's retail outlets to visitors/tourists. How do I know this? I worked at the Museum when these pots were made. I have recently been in touch with a curator at the Museum who has confirmed when they were made, and by whom.

The photo below shows the impressed mark used on pieces made in the 1980s. IRONBRIDGE denotes the Ironbridge Gorge Museum; JACKFIELD denotes the place of manufacture:

The following photos show 1980s vases from the Museum range, all with base marks as above:

If you  are tempted by one of these pots, please bear in mind you will be bidding on a relatively recent creation. If the seller describes it as anything other than the above, please do not believe their claim!

Not to be confused with Craven Dunnill
Because the pots were made at the Jackfield Tile Museum, which is the former works of Craven Dunnill & Co. Ltd., some sellers mistakenly attribute the pots to Craven Dunnill (manufacturers of tiles and a small amount of art pottery from 1874 until 1951).

Here is a typical example of a Craven Dunnill & Co. Jackfield printed base mark on an art vase:



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