I've several times quoted Clarice Blakey in regard to the London impressed mark. She states in a Northern Ceramic Society newsletter (83) that...
The five reported users of the LONDON mark are:
Middlesbrough Pottery, 1834–52
Isaac and Thomas Bell, Albion Pottery, 1860–63
Carr & Sons, Low Lights Pottery N. Shields, 1844–c 1900
Malkin, Walker and Hulse, British Anchor Pottery, Longton, 1858–64
Fell & Co, St Peters Pottery, Newcastle on Tyne, 1817–1890
I'm hugely grateful to Gary Spence for getting in touch recently regarding a pair of children's plates, one of which has the impressed London anchor mark (see below).
The transfers and printed marks also appear on plaques. However, as yet, no plaque with these transfers has been recorded with the London impressed mark.
Ian Sharp, who has many years' experience cataloguing North Eastern pottery, has identified the mark as the Tyneside company J Burn & Co from the Stepney Bank Pottery, Ouseburn, 1852–1860. Interestingly, that isn't one of the potteries on the list of users of the London mark.
R C Bell (Tyneside Pottery, 1971) shows a Burn & Co printed mark, very similar to that used by Thomas Fell. It has two sea horses around a shield underneath which is written 'B.&Co.' He suggests that the mark was intended to deceive, as Burn tried to 'pass his wares off as those of the leading Tyneside firm of the day'. I don't have a photo of the Burn printed mark, but here is the Fell mark below.
So at any rate, we appear to have another Tyneside pottery to add to the list of users of the London mark. I agree with Gary's assessment that 'a London wholesaler came to an agreement with a number of small NE makers for them to stock his outlet and that the London stamp was to ensure that the packers / distributors got it to the right destination'.
For interest, below are a selection of London marks that appear North Eastern pottery. The last image is a scan from R C Bell's book, and appears on a plate with an 'Albion' printed mark with the signature 'I&T.BELL.'. R C Bell suggests that different numbers on this kind of mark signified different potteries.
Respectively below are the items the marks come from. You can see more images of the bowl (top right), and another with a similar mark, on the United Collections website.
Do you have an item with or any further information about the B.&Co. or London marks? If so, please get in touch.
I have put all the information collected so far on a new London impressed mark page.
Stephen Smith lives in London, and is always happy to hear from other collectors. If you have an interesting collection of plaques, and are based in the UK, he will photograph them for you. Free advice given regarding selling and dispersal of a collection, or to those wishing to start one. Just get in touch...
This website is indebted to collectors, dealers and enthusiasts who have shared their knowledge or photos. In particular: Ian Holmes, Stephen Duckworth, Dick Henrywood, Norman Lowe, Keith Lovell, Donald H Ryan, Harold Crowder, Jack and Joyce Cockerill, Myrna Schkolne, Elinor Penna, Ian Sharp, Shauna Gregg at the Sunderland Museum, Keith Bell, Martyn Edgell, and Liz Denton.