of Forester & his works
Majolica Works - In 1877, Thomas Forester commenced business at a
small manufactory in High Street; and as his business rapidly
increased, he took additional premises in Church Street. These he
shortly afterwards took down, and built upon their site a new
manufactory – the Phoenix Works – which he completed in
The new premises gave
him greater scope for his enterprise and, extending his connection,
they were soon found to be too small for his requirements. He
therefore purchased the adjoining china manufactory and completed
his enterprise by joining the two works together, thus making one
factory with six large ovens and every other possible convenience
and appliance. The works enlarged with the business, and the
business with the works, till Mr. Forester's manufactory ranked
among the most important pottery establishments of the locality.
Certainly no other instance is on record in which, in six years
only, so much was done single-handed by any manufacturer.
In the beginning
of 1883, Thomas Forester took his sons into partnership and the
business was carried on under the style of Forester & Sons.
Upwards of four hundred hands were employed.
The goods produced
were of a varied character in both useful and ornamental classes,
and included vases of unique design and of various sizes. Flowering
'a la Barbotin' was carried on to a large extent. Mr. Forester also
introduced various articles of cabinet ware in vases, jardinières,
etc. made with Barbotin flowerwork on tortoiseshell and marble
grounds, some cornucopias upwards of thirty- six inches high giving
evidence of considerable skill. One of the productions of merit is
the life- size St. Bernard's dog on a large pedestal, three feet six
inches in height, which was modelled by Gallimore from a prize
The quality of'
Messrs. Forester's majolica was remarkably firm and good in body,
the colouring well managed and the glaze very satisfactory, as was
the modelling of the floral decorations. Messrs. Thomas Forester
& Sons (Ltd.) continued to 1959. The basic marks incorporate the
Phoenix and the initials T.F. & S. Ltd."
Jewitt's Ceramic Art
of Great Britain 1800-1900