History, Marks & Dating
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Wiltshaw & Robinson produced a huge range of crested ware to rival that of Goss, Arcadian and many other manufacturers in the early years of the 20 th century. Aside from the Crested China, W&R also produced a limited range of china tea wares which carried some of their more popular patterns, such as Temple and Mikado. These early wares carried a variant of their ‘Crown Mark' as shown in the picture.

L.A. Birks & Co. was founded in 1894 and in 1900 the business changed its name to Birks Rawlins & Co. In 1928 Wiltshaw & Robinson purchased Birks Rawlins & Co. when the latter found themselves in financial difficulty. They registered a brand new company, Birks Rawlins & Co. Ltd, with the intention of continuing to manufacture china at The Vine Pottery. Birks Rawlins had produced a huge range of fine bone china using the trade name ‘Savoy China’, and Wiltshaw & Robinson made good use of their patterns and shapes, adding many of their own patterns until production finally ceased in 1933 with the final closure of Birks Rawlins as a going concern.

It is possible that, at least in the early part of the takeover, both Savoy and Carlton China were produced simultaneously as we have found several examples of complete or part sets, or indeed cup, saucer, plate combinations which carry both marks. It may also be that someone buying a replacement for a broken article in a Savoy set, had to replace it with one marked ‘ Carlton China '.

In 1928  shortly after the takeover a new trademark ‘The Original Birks China’ was registered for Birks Rawlins & Co. Ltd with the intent of trading on the old and respected name of Birks Rawlins.  Unfortunately this had little success and the number of patterns or shape produced is not known, with the quality not up to that of previous production.

For more information please refer to Peter Goodfellow’s excellent book ‘The Vine Pottery, Birks Rawlins & Co.’ available now.