Ceramic Trade Marks - A
Initials Used as Trade Marks - A


North Staffordshire Pottery Marks


William Adams


Index page for Wm Adams
The history of Adams
1956 feature article on Adams

split into three sections because of the number of marks
| pre 1890 | c.1890-c.1910 | c.1910 onwards |

William Adams & Sons (& Co) marks page 1    
pre c.1879

next:  marks between c.1879-c.1910


William Adams & Son(s) (Potters) Ltd
earlier names: W.Adams, W.Adams & Co, W Adams & Son

Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. Manufacturer of earthenwares, basalt, jasper, ironstone wares under various styles from 1769 - 

Early wares made before 1780 would not seem to be marked.

"If W Adams Company started in 1769 then why do some of the marks say 'estd. 1657'"? 
Answer: "An important landmark in the history of the Adams family was when, in 1657, Robert Adams and his son John of Hadderridge and Brick House, established the Brickhouse Potteries. At the time these were the only works of any size yet built in Burslem - the company decided to take this date to put on its ware - the company of W Adams was of the same family as Robert and John" 

mark description & date

I have no idea about this mark - W. Adams does not appear to have ever worked at Etruria and there does not appear to have been a different W. Adams.

Is it possible that "Etruria" was a pattern name??




Early wares made before 1780 would not seem to be marked.

Impressed 'Adams' or 'Adams & Co' marks occur on various wares from 1785.


impressed mark - writing in circle with an eagle in the centre.  c.1804-40


impressed mark - 
Ironestone China
W Adams
Vintage Shape


printed mark - 
French Porcelain

printed mark - with a representation of an eagle as the Great Seal of the United States

see Wikipedia article  





impressed mark - writing in a banded circle with a crown in the centre.  c.1810-25


printed mark: W. Adams & Sons
'and Sons' from c.1819

this mark reported to be: 1835-55


pattern name is in centre of shield.



W A & S

Various marks of different designs incorporating name:-
'W Adams & Sons' 

or initials:- 
'W A & S' 




Belt mark with eagle above incorporating name:-
'W Adams & Sons' 




Belt mark with crown above.
 "Indian Tree" is the pattern name

a mark very similar to this with 'W A & Co' was used c.1879 onwards
'WA & Ss' 

[probably the 'Ss' was for 'Sons'] 



early printed mark with the pattern name: SHANSHAI

pre 1891

probably c.1819-64


Impressed mark: W Adams

Printed mark: Palestine is the pattern name




next:  marks between  c.1879-c.1910


The Adams family had potteries in Staffordshire as early as 1650. At that date two brothers, William and Thomas had separate ventures in Burslem. Such family activity has continued to the present. William Adams and Company, with large potteries in Tunstall is managed by members who are the 11th and 12th generations in direct descent from the original 17th century Adams of Burslem.

Attributing examples of china marked Adams to a particular man can be complicated and confusing because so many of them bore the same given name: William. This is particularly true with collectible Adams china. In the latter part of the 18th-century and continuing into the 19th, there were three William Adams. All were cousins and operated their own large potteries independent of the others. Further, with one exception, they were succeeded by sons of the same given name who, in the main, continued making the same kinds of wares. They were:

William Adams (I) 1745-1805, of Greengate, Tunstall
William Adams (II) 1748-1831, of Brickhouse, Burslem and later Cobridge Hall, Cobridge
William Adams (III) 1772-1829, of Stoke-on-Trent

Important also was:

William Adams (IV) 1798-1865, of Greenfield, Tunstall, son and successor to William Adams III


Back to Pottery - Ceramic Trade Marks

 [Main Index Page ]

Questions / comments / contributions to: Steve Birks