C. J. Mason and Co.


A Trade Card circa 1830, formerly in the Reginald Haggar Collection.
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When George Miles Mason retired from the partnership in 1826, his younger brother Charles James continued the firm under the name of C.J.Mason and Co.

The period of the 1820's and 1830's was one of considerable prosperity for the company and a range of markets were developed. Charles James appears initially to have championed the need for improvements in working conditions and wages, whilst pioneering technological change.

The introduction to the ceramic industry of George Wall's patented flatware machine caused such an outcry, that it was subsequently withdrawn. C.J. Mason's policy of selling by auction forced down the retails prices of his wares and the subsequent reduction in the wages of his workers made him extremely unpopular.

From 1813 to 1848 the very large production of their Patent Ironstone wares inevitably resulted in the market becoming saturated. The novelty and desirability of Mason's products had waned in the eyes of the consumer and the constant re-use of Oriental designs was considered outmoded by the general public.

Charles James Mason was declared bankrupt in February 1848. By the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851 he had re-established himself at the Daisy Bank Works, Lane End, Longton. His workforce of 75 people, of whom 35 were children, were producing heavily decorated earthenwares, such as 'Bandana' style pieces.

It seems probably that C.J. Mason failed for a second time, after little more than two years. His wares did not bear comparison with his competitors and their heavy decoration proved unpopular.

Charles James Mason died on 5th February 1856, having witnessed the decline and final failure of the pottery business to which he had devoted his entire life.

You can view the factory mark of  C.J. Mason and Co on the Mason's Marks page.