Wood’s Ware has proved very popular over the last few months at My Vintage Wren so I thought it was high time I shared a bit more information about these great English vintage homewares.
Wood and Sons Ltd, as it became in 1910, was first established in 1865 by Absalom Wood and his son TF Wood. It became a large and successful earthenware manufacturer and was based in The Potteries in Staffordshire in England until it closed in 1995. The company produced a wide range of teaware, tableware, earthenware and hotelware. Trade names to look out for are Wood’s Ware, Bursely Ware, Woods Ivory Ware and Ivorine China.
But back to the sisters. First manufactured in the 1940s and up to 1952 Beryl Ware is a pale green earthenware and was once the stalwart of churches, schools and village halls as well as being popular in homes. Further colour-ways were added including the yellow Jasmine and pale blue Iris. But how did they come about? During the war years the Government strictly controlled items produced in the UK. Their utility scheme was designed to cope with shortages of raw materials and ongoing rationing and applied to a wide range of manufactured goods from furniture to tableware. Homewares needed to be functional, affordable and use as few resources as possible. However this did not stop items being well designed and this is seen with Beryl, Iris and Jasmine with their clean lines broken up by ribbed bands which give them such a distinctive feel. Little flourishes, such as on the handles, and their simple but elegant shapes all help give Beryl and her sisters a hint of Art Deco glamour.
There was a wide range of goods produced including cups, saucers, plates (in various sizes), bowls, lidded dishes, jugs, sugar bowls, teapots, coffee pots, and much more.
But why buy it today? Well firstly with its pastel colour range it is easy to mix and match across the different colourways and create a unique collection to fit your needs. Secondly it is hard-waring and sturdy meaning it is great to use every day and not just save for best. And finally it fits in well with modern as well as vintage schemes with its simple but elegant shape. It has the added advantage of looking good when mixed with other well known utility tablewares such as those produced by Johnson Bros.
So if you are looking for vintage tableware which is pretty yet practical, and which you can use every day then look no further. Not only is it very reasonably priced but from my own experience it is can be added to the dishwasher – definitely a bonus if you use it regularly. But be warned, once you start collecting you’ll become addicted to adding to your range and finding the rarer shapes!
We’d love to hear about your Wood’s Ware collections. Please share your stories and pictures in the comments on this blog or through our social media channels (facebook, Instagram, twitter) tagging @myvintagewren and using the hashtag #myvintagewren
Please contact me if you would like to find out more about what I currently have in stock, or take a look at the website or Etsy shop.