After over a year of collecting and selling tea china, I’m getting better at recognising china makers such as Royal Vale, Colclough and Paragon but others still surprise me. I’ve still got a lot to learn and in a way it’s nice to be surprised by finding out that a particular piece is made by a maker that I wouldn’t have expected!
Tuscan china is one of the makes that always catches me out. There are so many different patterns and styles. I find it difficult to find a uniting factor apart from the high quality finish of the items. Tuscan china was made by R H and S L Plant at their Tuscan Works in Longton, Staffordshire. From what I can find out, the pottery trade had been in the Plant family as far back as 1775 and it’s reassuring that they took their business seriously – displayed on the factory building were the words, “Our Work … Our Pride.”
Tuscan took pride not only in producing high quality china but also in technical developments. One of their achievements in the 1950s was developing a china base that had a faint pink shade rather than the regular white, which they called ‘Peach Bloom’. The tea set and jug in the pictures above are examples of Peach Bloom and have a dreamy milky peach look to them. I think they look older than the 1950s and I wonder whether they were designed to look ‘vintage’ amongst their contemporaries…
Compare the Peach Bloom pieces with the lemon flower patterned “Albany” range below. I haven’t been able to find any tea sets in this pattern but I managed to find some gorgeous saucers, plates and a majestic cake serving plate. I made a few three-tiered cake stands from them (one of which is in the pictures). I also made some mini stands from the remaining saucers and side plates. I sold the last remaining saucer to a customer who is planning her vintage themed wedding this year. I’m hoping that I’ll get to see a few photos of the day as I think her selection of stands will look great in her venue.
Sadly, like so many of the Staffordshire potteries, Tuscan china is no longer made; the brand continued until the 1970s and then they were then taken over by Wedgwood.
I have some Tuscan china in my shop at the moment – a set of side plates in the pattern below, ‘Love in the Mist’, went to a happy customer in Spain but I still have the creamer and bowl in the picture.
Note: Information about Tuscan china gathered from the very helpful: http://www.thepotteries.org/