Charles James Mason took out the patent
in 1813 for "Ironstone Patent China" in order to provide
a cheap alternative to Chinese porcelain. Mason specialised in vases,
jugs and dinner services and the production of Ironstone reached
the height of technical and artistic excellence.
The acquisition of
Mason's by Francis Morley in 1850 culminated in a partnership with
G L Ashworth in 1861, along with the Mason moulds and patterns.
The company was renamed Mason's Ironstone China Ltd in 1968 and
the pottery subsequently joined the Wedgwood
Group in 1973. This fact is very clearly illustrated with
the piggy banks on this page which are all from the same mould.
The pigs above
are all stamped Mason's Ironstone, whilst the piggy bank to the
left is stamped Wedgwood as indicated in the accompanying photograph.
piggy banks have the distinction of being one of the very few to
have metal stoppers. Unlike the Goebel stoppers which have small
keys, these use a concentic fit and just require inserting and turning
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