Mintons – British Ceramics Firm

Minton Ceramics Manufacturer
Minton Ceramics Manufacturer

Thomas Minton, a British Ceramics firm located in Stoke-on-Tent.


Thomas Minton bought a pottery in Stoke-on-Trent in 1793 and, in 1796, began production of inexpensive blue transfer-printed earthenware. His son Herbert Minton became director in 1836, expanded the range of wares, and hired artists. In the 1840s and 1850s, Henry Cole designed tableware shapes with printed decorations by A.W.N. Pugin; both were friends of Herbert. In 1849, LĂ©on Arnoux became artistic director and introduced majolica with bright glazes, naturalistic forms, and amusing shapes popular until the 1880s. From the early 1840s to the turn of the century, the firm produced vast amounts of decorative tiles, starting with encaustic examples for flooring. The firm produced printed tiles with artists, including J. Moyr Smith and Christopher Dresser. Its tiles were also used to decorate furniture.

In 1858, Herbert Minton’s nephew Colin Minton Campbell became director. Minton’s domestic wares were for a mass market. Minton established the Art Pottery Studio in South Kensington, London, in 1871, where earthenware decoration was taught; it practised china painting during the Aesthetic movement. The studio was directed by William S. Coleman, who began employment at Minton in 1869. The studio closed when its building burned down in 1875. From the early 1860s, Minton’s wares were influenced by Eastern and Middle-Eastern designs, motifs, and materials. In the 1870s, when large numbers of French artists came to Britain, Minton began the production of pate-de-pate pieces with classical decoration. 

At the turn of the century, its wares began to show Art Nouveau and German Sezession influences. In 1968, Minton became a member of the Royal Tableware Group. 

Its majolica was shown at the 1851 London ‘Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations.’


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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