Thomas Turner (potter)

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Thomas Turner by Lemuel Francis Abbott. Thomas Turner by Lemuel Francis Abbott.jpg
Thomas Turner by Lemuel Francis Abbott.

Thomas Turner (1749 – February 1809) was an English potter.

Contents

Biography

Turner was born in 1749, was the eldest son of Richard Turner (1724?–1791), vicar of Elmley Castle, Worcestershire, by his wife Sarah. Richard Turner (1753–1788) was his younger brother. It has been supposed that Thomas was brought up as a silversmith. He was, however, only formally apprenticed to his father, to qualify him for the freedom of the city of Worcester. It is probable that he was early connected with the Worcester china works. He was an excellent chemist, was a thorough master of the various processes connected with porcelain manufacture, was a skillful draughtsman, designer, and engraver, and was also a clever musician. He was a magistrate for Shropshire and Staffordshire, and a freeman of Worcester, Much Wenlock, and Bridgnorth. [1]

Richard Turner was an English divine and author.

Elmley Castle village in the United Kingdom

Elmley Castle is a village and civil parish in Worcestershire, in England, United Kingdom. It is located on the north side of Bredon Hill 3 miles south east of Pershore in the local government district of Wychavon.

Worcestershire County of England

Worcestershire is a county in the West Midlands of England.

In 1772 Turner succeeded Ambrose Gallimore (brother-in-law of Josiah Spode [2] ) as lessee of the porcelain manufactory at Caughley in Shropshire. [3] Gallimore had obtained the lease to the works, styled ‘The Salopian China Warehouse,’ in 1754, and under his management they had rapidly gained in repute. "In the early years of the Caughley manufactory, the ware was not many degrees removed from earthenware; but it gradually assumed a finer and more transparent character. Like the early Worcester examples, the patterns were principally confined to blue flowers, etc., on a white ground; and in this style and colour the Caughley works excelled, in many respects, their competitors." [4]

Josiah Spode English potter (1733-1797)

Josiah Spode was an English potter and the founder of the English Spode pottery works which became famous for the high quality of its wares. He is often credited with the establishment of blue underglaze transfer printing in Staffordshire in 1781–84, and with the definition and introduction in c. 1789–91 of the improved formula for bone china which thereafter remained the standard for all English wares of this kind.

Shropshire County of England

Shropshire is a county in England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county.

On succeeding Gallimore, Turner set about enlarging the manufactory. He completed his improvements in 1775, and in 1780 visited France, in order to investigate the methods employed in the porcelain manufactories at Paris. He brought back several skilled workmen, who greatly aided him in his subsequent innovations. On his return he developed an early or predecessor form of the ‘willow pattern [5] (an imitation in transferware of a pattern popular in hand-painted chinese imported wares), and about the same time produced the ‘Brosely blue dragon pattern.’

Willow pattern distinctive and elaborate chinoiserie pattern, primarily used on pottery

The Willow pattern is a distinctive and elaborate chinoiserie pattern used on ceramic kitchen/housewares. It became popular at the end of the 18th century in England when, in its standard form, it was developed by English ceramic artists combining and adapting motifs inspired by fashionable hand-painted blue-and-white wares imported from China. Its creation occurred at a time when mass-production of decorative tableware, at Stoke-on-Trent and elsewhere, was already making use of engraved and printed glaze transfers, rather than hand-painting, for the application of ornament to standardized vessels.

In 1783 Turner married Dorothy Gallimore, daughter of William and niece of Ambrose Gallimore. [6] However she died and he made a second marriage. In 1798 or 1799 he retired from the business, which passed into the hands of John Rose, a former apprentice, who carried it on together with his own works at Coalport under the title Rose & Co. The works were finally abandoned in 1814 or 1815, chiefly owing to difficulties of transport and to the failure of the coal supply.

Coalport village in United Kingdom

Coalport is a village in Shropshire, England. It is located on the River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge, a mile downstream of Ironbridge. It lies predominantly on the north bank of the river; on the other side is Jackfield.

Turner died in February 1809, and was buried in the family vault at Barrow.

Family

Turner was twice married: first, in 1783, Dorothy Gallimore. She died in 1793 without surviving issue; and he was married, secondly, in 1796, to Mary, daughter of Thomas Milner and widow of Henry Alsop. She died at Bridgnorth on 20 November 1816, leaving a son and daughter.

Bridgnorth town in Shropshire

Bridgnorth is a town in Shropshire, England. The River Severn splits it into a High Town and Low Town, the upper town on the right bank and the lower on the left bank of the River Severn. The population at the 2011 Census was 12,079.

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Spode English brand of pottery and homewares

Spode is an English brand of pottery and homewares produced by the company of the same name, which is based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Spode was founded by Josiah Spode (1733–1797) in 1770, and was responsible for perfecting two extremely important techniques that were crucial to the worldwide success of the English pottery industry in the century to follow.

Bone china

Bone china is a type of porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin. It has been defined as "ware with a translucent body" containing a minimum of 30% of phosphate derived from animal bone and calculated calcium phosphate. Bone china is the strongest of the porcelain or china ceramics, having very high mechanical and physical strength and chip resistance, and is known for its high levels of whiteness and translucency. Its high strength allows it to be produced in thinner cross-sections than other types of porcelain. Like stoneware it is vitrified, but is translucent due to differing mineral properties.

Royal Worcester company

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Chinaman (porcelain)

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French porcelain

French porcelain has a history spanning a period from the 17th century to the present. The French were heavily involved in the early European efforts to discover the secrets of making the hard-paste porcelain known from Chinese and Japanese export porcelain. They succeeded in developing soft-paste porcelain, but Meissen porcelain was the first to make true hard-paste, around 1710, and the French took over 50 years to catch up with Meissen and the other German factories.

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Ironstone china vitreous pottery

Ironstone china, ironstone ware or most commonly just ironstone, is a type of vitreous pottery first made in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century. It is often classed as earthenware although in appearance and properties it is similar to fine stoneware. It was developed in the 19th century by potters in Staffordshire, England as a cheaper, mass-produced alternative for porcelain.

Coalport porcelain

Coalport, Shropshire, England was a centre of porcelain and pottery production between about 1795 and 1926, with the Coalport porcelain brand continuing to be used up to the present. The opening in 1792 of the Coalport Canal, which joins the River Severn at Coalport, had increased the attractiveness of the site, and from 1800 until a merger in 1814 there were two factories operating, one on each side of the canal, making rather similar wares which are now often difficult to tell apart.

China painting art of painting on ceramics

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Turner (potters)

The Turner family of potters was active in Staffordshire, England 1756-1829. Their manufactures have been compared favourably with, and sometimes confused with, those of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. Josiah Wedgwood was both a friend and a commercial rival of John Turner the elder, the first notable potter in the family.

References

  1. L. Jewitt, The Ceramic Art of Great Britain from Pre-historic Times down to the Present Day, 2 Vols (Virtue & Co., London 1878), I, 'Caughley', pp. 264-273. The Old D.N.B. article was strongly indebted to this source, which should be read with caution.
  2. R. Copeland, Spode (Osprey Publishing, 1998), p. 4.
  3. Shearman, J.; Shearman, N. "Turner, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2787.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. Jewitt, The Ceramic Art of Great Britain from Pre-historic Times down to the Present Day, I, at pp. 266-67.
  5. This was not, however, the later standard willow pattern with bridge and fence in the foreground - which the Caughley factory never produced, see G.A. Godden, 'The Willow Pattern', The Antique Collector June 1972, pp. 148-50.
  6. Shearman, J.; Shearman, N. "Turner, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2787.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.). Thomas Turner married Dorothy Gallimore at Barrow, Shropshire on 3 October 1783: she died in 1794.
Attribution

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Carlyle, Edward Irving (1899). "Turner, Thomas (1749-1809)". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . 57. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

Sidney Lee 19th/20th-century English biographer and critic

Sir Sidney Lee was an English biographer, writer and critic.

<i>Dictionary of National Biography</i> Multi-volume reference work

The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives.