Historical information

Ironstone china pieces were common domestic items during the 19th to mid 20th century in many Australian households. This kind of china is not porcelain but porous earthenware, made of clay mixed with feldspar. Patented in 1813 by Charles James Mason in Staffordshire, England, it was an immediate success and became widely produced by a range of Staffordshire potters.

J & G Meakin Pottery dates back to 1845 when James Meakin started a pottery business at Lane End in Staffordshire.nIn 1848 he moved the business to Hanley in Staffordshire, before retiring in 1852 and handing the business over to his two sons James and George, who carried on with the pottery, trading as J & G Meakin. The "SOL" and sun face trademarks were registered in 1912. The firm was taken over by the Wedgwood Group in 1970. In 2000, production under the Meakin name ceased.

W. H. Grindley was founded at the Newfield Pottery in 1880 by William Harry Grindley (principal partner). Mr Turner and Mr Alfred Meakin were also involved. Early advertisements stated that they produced Earthenware and Ironstone China - particularly for the Canadian, United States, South American and Australian markets. The mark on this jug was used from c1891 until 1925. W. H. Grindley China was manufactured until 1991, making it one of the last Stoke on Trent potteries.


These items are representative of a common domestic item used by households in the Wodonga district and throughout Australia, many manufactured specifically for the Australian market.

Physical description

A white ironstone jug and bowl. The jug features a leaf design embossed on the surface. The bowl has a small circle pattern around the rim. They are not as set as the jug bears the mark W. H. Grindley and the bowl was made by J & G Meakin.

Inscriptions & markings

Underneath Bowl: above and below image of the sun: "IRONSTONE CHINA/ REGD. SOL 391413/ J & G MEAKIN/ENGLAND
Underneath jug: above and below the royal insignia: ROYAL IRONSTONE CHINA / W.H. GRINDLEY & CO. / ENGLAND"