Sampson Smith


Location and period of operation:

Sampson Smith (Ltd)





Earthenware and china manufacturer in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England.
  • Incorporated as a limited company in 1918

  • Sampson Smith Ltd was acquired by Barker Bros. in 1939 and from 1941 was concentrated with them under the Wartime Concentration Scheme at the Barker Street Works. The Hewitt brothers owned Barker Bros. - Gerald Hewitt directed Sampson Smith's & Arnold Hewitt, Barker Bros.

  • The business became a member of the Clough Group of companies when Alfred Clough Ltd acquired Barker Bros in 1959. 

  • Clough closed the Sampson Smith business in 1963 to allow for expansion of earthenware production at the adjoining Barker Bros. factory. 


"The Sutherland Works - These works were established in Barker Street in about 1860 by Sampson Smith, at whose death they passed into the hands of John Adderley, who continued the production of china tea and other services, silver and gold lustre, and china figures and ornaments, using the old style of Sampson Smith. 

Sampson Smith established his first works in the High Street in c. 1846. 

He must be regarded as one of the largest producers of Staffordshire earthenware figures and dogs. An advertisement of 1883 reads: ‘Figures, all kinds and sizes. Dogs, white and gold, black and gold, red and white, and black and white. Jet and gold tea pots and kettles, silver lustre tea pots, etc. etc.’ 

This nineteenth-century Smith ware is very rarely marked. The firm continued into the twentieth century and became a limited company in 1918. 

In about 1934, they moved to the Wetley Works.

Rare examples of Sampson Smith’s figures bear a relief-moulded name mark. Two such marked examples are shown [here]. How ever, most figures were not marked. A page from a twentieth-century Sampson Smith catalogue is shown [here]."

Jewitt's 'Ceramic Art of Great Britain 1800-1900" (edited by Geoffrey Godden)





Sampson Smith
China, Figure and Jet Manufacturer
Longton, Staffordshire

 The Pottery Gazette,  May 1st 1880


Sampson Smith
Longton, Staffordshire
China, Tea & Breakfast Sets of every description


 The Pottery Gazette 1st January 1913


Mr. Sampson Smith, china manufacturer, Longton, is represented in London by R. Green & Sons, 31, St. Bride-street, E.C., who show samples of all his principal productions in tea and breakfast sets. Mr. Sampson Smith specialises in underglaze colours, matt blue, dark blue, &c., as he has done for upwards of sixty years, but in the last decade he has greatly improved the quality of his ware. 

He has for many years had a high reputation for earthenware figures and reproductions from the antique. There is still a demand for these decorated in colours and gold, but they are not now required so much for the home market as they once were, but they are still good export lines, and Mr. Smith gives special attention to shipping orders for them. 

He is, however, making a much better class of tea and breakfast ware, and Green & Sons are showing samples of his latest productions. The body is nice and light and the decorations are in good taste.

The pottery Gazette - March 1913







coffee set - transferware with hand painting and gilt bands 

the trade name 'Old Royal China' was introduced around 1930 

Sampson Smith Ltd
Old Royal China
Made in England
Est 1846


photos courtesy: Valerie Gilson 



Marks & initials used on ware for identification:




the trade name 'Old Royal China' was introduced around 1930
and remained in use until 1963 when the business closed 


click below for more information:- 


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks