Theophilus Smith (Tunstall)

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Theophilus Smith (Tunstall)

Post by rattle624 on February 27th 2018, 10:43 pm

Is this Taylor Smith? Thank you


Last edited by NaomiM on April 15th 2018, 3:52 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Pos ID)
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Re: Theophilus Smith (Tunstall)

Post by rattle624 on February 27th 2018, 10:44 pm





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Re: Theophilus Smith (Tunstall)

Post by denbydump on February 27th 2018, 11:15 pm

This is an old one!

Theophulus Smith, Tunstall, Staffordshire 1790-97.
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Re: Theophilus Smith (Tunstall)

Post by rattle624 on February 27th 2018, 11:49 pm

Thank you!!! Wow, it does look old
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Re: Theophilus Smith (Tunstall)

Post by rattle624 on April 12th 2018, 4:59 pm

Thank you denbydump for providing me with the name of the maker.  Armed with this information I contacted City of Stoke-on-Trent ,The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and the curator there gave me some interesting information on this piece which I'm pasting below:

Thank you for sending the photographs of your piece. From the images it appears to be identical to a piece in our collection (and on display in our gallery. When we acquired our piece some years ago it was believed to be the only surviving marked piece of Theophilus Smith blue-printed pottery (a few figures are also known).

The pattern is not the standard Willow pattern but a chinoiserie design which includes elements which were to become part of the Willow pattern. Many such designs were produced in the late 18th century before the standard Willow pattern became the dominant blue-printed earthenware design

Smith’s story is a sad one. In 1788 he bought an estate in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent and built around 40 cottages, shops and an inn. By 1793 he had added  a pottery and house for his family. The whole area was called Smithfield and the house, Smithfield Hall. Smith had a business agreement with a Liverpool merchant, Peter Wainwright. Unfortunately Mr Wainwright called rather too often when Mr Smith was away from home but when Mrs Smith was at home.



In 1801 Smith met Wainwright unexpectedly when the latter arrived at Tunstall. On their walk to Smithfield Smith attempted to shoot Wainwright three times and then then to stab him. Having failed to kill his victim, Smith then fled and was subsequently arrested in London. While awaiting trial at Stafford Gaol in 1802 he was allowed visitors. The children and governess visited first and then his wife. Smith drew two (!) pistols and shot his wife, wounding her slightly. He then turned the second pistol on himself and died instantly.



The factory and estate were sold and the new owner changed the name to Greenfield in order to erase the name and scandal associated with Smith.



With best wishes



Yours sincerely





Miranda Goodby| Senior Curator of Ceramics



Public Health and Adult Social Care Directorate

City of Stoke-on-Trent

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Bethesda Street, City Centre, ST1 3DW

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