Dudson — Ridgway
Water Bottles

There was clearly co-operation between the two factories and it is difficult to establish exactly how far that went. Both factories appear to have manufactured bottles of this shape. Dudson probably supplied the Bedford Works with moulds, glazes and ideas. Ridgway supplied the manufacturing capacity that Dudson did not have. Presumably there was a sharing of profits.

Up to this point I have considered it fairly simple to distinguish the wares produced by Dudson and those by the Bedford Works. Basically, everything with a fractional pattern number was Ridgway, and everything else was Dudson. I was, however, confronted with a problem after reading Jewitt's The Ceramic Art of Great Britain (1878). Volume 2 describes the products of both the Bedford Works and Dudson's Hope Street Works. Jewitt states that both factories produced moulded ware and mosaic ware, but only the Bedford Works produced jasper ware and jet ware, and he praises both wares with effusive language. Whilst the comment on jet or ebony ware was to be expected, that on jasper ware was not. All jasper wares were, up to now, thought to have been produced at Hope Street. Until this apparent contradiction is resolved, I shall be listing the wares by type and number series rather than factory.

There are two styles of water bottle. The first has a single ridge at the base of the neck and a domed stopper. The second style has a double ridge part way up the neck and a tiered stopper. Both appear to have originally come with stands, but these have rarely survived.

 

Dudson ~ Hope Street Works

James Dudson

Ridgway ~ Bedford Works

E. J. Ridgway (& Sons)
Ridgway, Sparks & Ridgway
Ridgways

 

Patent Mosaic Series

Pattern 2

Pattern 186

Incised Number Series

Pattern 455

Pattern 1052

Fractional Number Series

Pattern 4/4922

Pattern 4/6183

Pattern E/6

 

Patent Mosaic Series

 

Pattern 2

The second style water bottle (minus stopper) is 250mm tall. Red or terracotta ware.

Pattern 2 water bottle side

Pattern 2 water bottle side detail

Pattern 2 water bottle top

Pattern 2 water bottle marks

It looks as if the marking tool for the shape name "POMPEII" has broken, leaving only "POMPE". The name is attested on other bottles.

Photos © Anonymous 2021

 

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Pattern 186

The second style water bottle (minus stopper) is 152mm tall. Red or terracotta ware.

Pattern 186 water bottle side

Pattern 186 water bottle side detail

Pattern 186 water bottle base

Pattern 186 water bottle marks

Photos © Paul Fawcett 2021

 

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Incised Number Series

 

Pattern 455

The second style water bottle is 295mm tall. Brown coloured stoneware with white and blue sprigs.

Pattern 455 water bottle and stand

Pattern 455 water bottle base

Pattern 455 water bottle pattern number

Pattern 455 water bottle marks

Finding the cross-in-circle moulder's tally mark on a Dudson made water bottle is quite extraordinary as this mark was in use at the Church Works and later the Bedford Works from the earliest days of William Ridgway. I am not sure if it provides grounds to speculate whether part of the agreement between Dudson and Ridgway involved the manufacture of jasper ware at the Bedford Works.

The water bottle stand is 180mm in diameter. Brown coloured earthenware with white and blue sprigs. Smear glazed top, full glaze below.

Pattern 455 Water bottle stand front

Pattern 455 Water bottle stand side

Pattern 455 Water bottle stand back

Pattern 455 Water bottle stand marks

Photos © Clare and Alan Walker 2020

 

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Pattern 1052

The second style water bottle is 285mm tall. Brown coloured stoneware with white sprigs.

Pattern 1052 water bottle side 1

Pattern 1052 water bottle side 2

Pattern 1052 water bottle base

Pattern 1052 water bottle pattern number

Photos © Clare and Alan Walker 2020

 

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Fractional Number Series

 

Pattern 4/4922

The first style water bottle is 279mm tall and 140mm in diameter. Ebony or jet ware.

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle side 1

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle side 1 detail

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle side 2

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle lid top

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle lid base

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle base top

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle base

Pattern 4/4922 water bottle pattern number

Photos © eBay crazyoldstuff 2021

 

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Pattern 4/6183

The second style water bottle is 305mm tall. Red or terracotta ware.

Pattern 4/6183 water bottle side 1

Pattern 4/6183 water bottle side 2

Pattern 4/6183 water bottle base

Pattern 4/6183 water bottle marks

The impressed date mark reads "3 / 80" for March 1880.

Photos © Clare and Alan Walker 2020

 

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Pattern E/6

The first style water bottle (minus stopper) is 248mm tall. Ebony or jet ware.

Pattern E/6 water bottle side 1

Pattern E/6 water bottle side 2

Pattern E/6 water bottle pattern number

Photos © Tony Curnock 2020

 

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Notes.

1. G.A.Godden, Ridgway Porcelains (1985), p.219.

 

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