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Wade Ceramics

Headquartered in the town of Etruria in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Wade Ceramics originally debuted in the late 1860s. Nearly a century later, the conglomerated Wade Potteries Limited was born, ushering in an era of production for which the brand is arguably best known.

Beginning as an assembly of smaller factories all owned by members of the Wade family, Wade Ceramics started out as a producer of industrial ceramics. Experiencing success into the early 20th century, Colonel Sir George Wade took control of the company and began expanding the number of plants and offerings. Most significant was his development of the line that would become known as Whimsies, or Whimsical Wades, one of their most successful lines and the most in demand with collectors today.

Incorporating a variety of figurines, vases, and jugs in the shape of animal and human figures, these Whimsies debuted in the '30s and grew in scope over the subsequent decades, as did the acclaim for Wade's wares. Today, Wade Ceramics continues to be heralded as a hub of artistic excellence among contemporary collectors.

Quick Facts

  • Wade Ceramics hosted a wide range of talented ceramic designers over the years. Among them were prominent German sculptor Faust Emanuel Lang and Lesley McKinnon, granddaughter of British Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald
  • In the late '60s, Red Rose Tea company commissioned Wade Ceramics for a special line of various Whimsy figurines to be placed in specially marketed boxes of their tea in Canada
  • A recent and frequently seen Wade Ceramics creation is the Gurgling Cod jug, also known as the Gluggle Jug, featuring a fish with its mouth open and bent back on itself to create a connected "S" shape

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