Historical information

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, J. & G. Meakin were important, large-scale producers of good quality, ironstone tableware (‘White Granite’ ware) that met a ready market in the United States, South America, Australia, and other traditional British markets. By the 1890s the company was one of the world’s largest earthenware manufacturers. Although export teaware and tableware was the factory’s staple commodity, Meakin also manufactured toilet ware, kitchenware and a wide range of fancy earthenware.

The company was amongst the first British pottery firms to experiment with modernist designs associated with the art deco period. The Moderne' range was introduced in 1929 consisting of an angular shape decorated design with geometric patterns and often highlighted with silver or gold. This range remained in production through the 1930s. Post 1945 the company introduced the streamlined Studio shape (1953) and Horizon shape (1955) both heavily influenced by the Russell Wright ‘American Modern’ tableware. In 1964 a new Studio shape was released with tall streamlined coffee pots used as the background for many contemporary patterns now associated with the 1950s and 1960s. Designs by Jessie Tate and Eve Midwinter, some originally found on Midwinter shapes, also appear on 1970s Studio ware.
The Studio range was one of Meakin’s most successful and continued in production until the late-1970s. The enormous range of floral, geometric, and abstract designs make Studio Ware collectible in its own right.
In the 1970s and 1980s as part of the Wedgwood Group Meakin produced contemporary products under the 'Bull in a China Shop' and 'Creative Tableware' names. 'Sol' (c.1912-1963), 'Studio' (1953 on) and 'Royal Staffordshire' (post-1968) were important J. & G. Meakin Ltd trade names. Meakin marks are numerous, but all include the J. & G. Meakin name.


The significance of this item and pottery generally is that often earthenware is portrayed as being a landmark in the evolution of humanity. This is because these items are the few things from the past that have survived in a tangible form. Pottery is an important functional part of society and it has a critical role to play as it helps archaeologists to date other artefacts of the same time period. Also, the decorations on pottery have told much about the beliefs, lifestyles and lives of the people who bought them and used them. In other words it gives us today a snapshot of society from the past and how people used these items in their daily lives, their likes as well as societal and design trends.

Physical description

Chamber pot ceramic white with handle at side and decoration around top.

Inscriptions & markings