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STUNNING & VERY RARE William Smith & Co ' WEDGeWOOD ' Fruit Basket Multi Blue Faux Bois Light Blue Polychrome Transferware Plate


Brand William Smith & Co

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William Smith of Stockton on Tees, Yorkshire England 1825-55

VERY RARE and one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL plates ever! 

Fruit Basket Plate marked WEDGeWOOD ( note the misspelling)!

Circa 1839

This is an absolutely gorgeous and beautifully detailed multi colored transferware plate with an incredibly detailed basket of fruit at the face and an ornate, blue floral and faux bois border.  I was so excited to find a set of these.

William Smith, a builder, founded the Stafford pottery situated between Thornaby road and the river in 1825 with a clay pit in close proximity for the manufacture of brown ware. However shortly afterwards he decided to branch out into making the more saleable white ware by importing the specialist clay from the West country. Then he went headhunting in Stoke on Trent and  engaged, and ultimately took into partnership  Mr John Whalley,  a potter of considerable skill to carry out the work. Smith called his works "Stafford Pottery" (after Staffordshire- the county where Stoke-on-Trent is situated).   By late 1826 William Smith & Company were selling more white ware than brown ware and  as a consequence the brown ware pottery on the same site was let to other interested parties.  Smith stamped and / or impressed his wares with the names Wedgewood (Wedgwood has no E), Vedgwood, etc. to imitate if not fool buyers into thinking they were buying real Wedgwood.  It was not that Smith's wares were a lesser quality or of less beauty but because Wedgwood was a famous potter and name in the 1800's as well.  Wedgwood took out an injunction against Smith forcing them to abandon all use of any Wedgwood spellings beginning in 1848, correct or not. 

via The Potteries, the following is an extract from the 1865 book "The life of Josiah Wedgwood" by L. Jewitt:-

Injunction against Messrs. Smith and Co.

"And now, while speaking of marks, a few words may opportunely be introduced on a matter which is somewhat puzzling to collectors, and about which they will doubtless be glad to receive enlightenment. It is this: in many collections pieces of one kind or other will be found bearing the mark WEDGWOOD & Co., and others with the mark of WEDGEWOOD, sometimes impressed, and sometimes in colour. 

The latter, it will be observed, has a central E, which the real name of Wedgwood does not possess. These I have heard variously appropriated by collectors to Wedgwood and Bentley, to Wedgwood and Byerley, and to a dozen other supposed periods and people. 

I am enabled to state that these pieces, many of them highly creditable and excellent productions, were not made by the Etruria Wedgwoods at all, but that the latter (the "Wedgewood," and sometimes the "Wedg-wood ") were the manufacture of Messrs. William Smith, and others, of Stockton, against whom Messrs. Wedgwood applied for and obtained an injunction restraining them from using the name of "Wedgwood, or " Wedgewood." 

The following official notification will well explain this matter, and prove of considerable interest to collectors: – 

"Vice-Chancellor of England's Court, 
"Lincoln's Inn, 8th August, 1848. 

"Wedgwood and others against Smith and others. 

"Mr. BETHELL on behalf of the Plaintiffs, Francis Wedgwood and Robert Brown (who carry on the business of Potters, at Etruria, in the Staffordshire Potteries, under the Firm of 'Josiah Wedgwood 
and Sons'), moved for an Injunction against the defendants, William Smith, John Walley, George Skinner, and Henry Cowap (who also carry on the business of Potters, at Stockton, in the County of 
Durham, under the Firm of 'William Smith and Company'), to restrain them and every of them, their Agents, Workmen, or Servants, from stamping, or engraving, or marking, or in any way putting or placing on the ware manufactured by them, the Defendants, the name ' Wedgwood ' or ' Wedgewood,' and, from in any manner imitating or counterfeiting such name on the Ware manufactured by the Defendants since the month of December, 1846, or hereafter to be manufactured by the Defendants, with the name 'Wedgwood' or 'Wedgewood' stamped, engraved, or otherwise marked or placed thereon. 

Mr. Bethell stated that the trade mark 'Wedgwood.' had been used by the family of the Wedgwoods for centuries; he would not, however, go further into the matter at present, because Mr. Parker appeared for the Defendants; and it might become necessary – with whom, and himself, it had been arranged by consent on Mr. Parker's application on behalf of the Defendants, for time to answer the Plaintiffs' Affidavits – that the Motion should stand over until the Second Seal in Michaelmas Term next; and that in the meantime the Defendants should be restrained as above stated.; except that for the words, 'since the month of December, 1846,' the words, 'since the month of July, 1847,' should be substituted. 

Mr. J. Parker said he appeared for the Defendants, and consented without prejudice; and on his application for time to answer the Plaintiffs' Affidavits, the Court made an order accordingly. 

"On the 9th day of November, being the Second Seal in Michaelmas term, 1848, Mr. E. Younge, as counsel for the above-named Plaintiffs, moved for, and obtained, a perpetual Injunction against the Defendants in the terms of Mr. Bethell's Motion, substituting for the words, ' since the month of December, 1846,' the words, 'since the month of July, 1847," the Defendants consenting to pay to the Plaintiffs their costs. 

"Solicitor for the Plaintiffs, 
Furnival's Inn, Middlesex." 


Condition: No chips or cracks. Some clay pops and rough spots / glaze flakes around the rim

Measures: appx 10.5"

Marked on back: both stamped and impressed

Backstamp: Fruit Basket W S & Co  

Impressed: 39 W. S. & Co's Wedgewood 

*Grape Pickers, Brown Plate and Cow Figurine shown in last photo are listed separately