J & MP Bell

J. & M. P. Bell (& Co.) (Ltd.), Glasgow Pottery, Dobbies Loan,

Glasgow, Scotland (1842-1910/23)
     John and Matthew Preston Bell established Glasgow Pottery in 1841 and began producing fine porcelain around 1842. A partnership with Robert Clough from 1842 until 1844 caused the firm name of J. & M. P. Bell to add “& Co.” to its mark. “At the height of production over six hundred workers were engaged in producing pottery supplying both local and overseas markets.”
Second not to the English potters but to Holland’s Petrus Regout, whose firm exported enormous quantities of ware to the Dutch East Indies, the pottery supplied Southeast Asia for decades, with wares decorated in oriental motifs to appeal to that market.

Finally becoming unable to compete with the growing industries of England and Holland, the company ceased functioning in 1910. Complete liquidation, however, was not completed until 1923; hence the two dates. 

According to www.scottishceramics.ch, the works of the Bell’s Glasgow Pottery can be classified in five major categories:

1. Cities, Regions and States: ‘Batavia”; “Celebes”; “Borneo”; “Siam”
2. Animals: “Dragon”; “Ayam”; “Jantan”; “Burong Kupu”; “Ikan China”
3. Flowers and Fruits: “Buah-Buah”; “Dhurian-Nanas”
4. Geometrical Patterns: “Sexagon”; “Kembang Bintang”; “Castile”
5. Various: “Kapal Besar”; “Tarlalu Bagus”

Designs can be found in bold shades of red, brown, blue, green, yellow (quite rare) and combinations of these colors. Some patterns have been seen in five or more different colors, while others seem limited to one or two.

To the delight of collectors, each piece bears the pattern name and the British Registration Number, one of the forty or so that were recorded with the London Patent Office. Note: Caution should be used when automatically attributing a piece with an impressed “B” to Thomas Barlow; the Bell manufactory used an impressed “B” from 1842 until 1910.

(See www.bellsglasgowpottery.com for much more information on the Bell pottery and the family.)

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