In Depth: Preface

The text below forms part of the preface of Minton: The First Two Hundred Years of Design and Production by Joan Jones [ISBN-10: 1 85310 283 0]. Our thanks to Stuart Lyons CBE for his kind permission to reproduce his work here as the introductory piece to our “In Depth” series.

Minton is one of the world’s great china houses. With two hundred years of uninterrupted manufacture, its survival is in itself remarkable. But far more remarkable is the extraordinarily vibrant and varied tradition which Minton represents.

Though Minton always aspired to excellence in design and execution, there never was a single Minton look. Instead, with vision, enthusiasm and an amazing self-belief, the Minton family and their successors in management invested enormous personal efforts and their company’s cash surpluses in a ceaseless search for the novel, the eye-catching and the superb in art, design and technology.

The result is a uniquely rich and exuberant collection of ceramic ware, derived not only from the great English names of Dresser, Pugin and Jean Muir, but from the styles of Classical Greece, the Near East, France and Italy, and from the genius of Solon, the creator of pâte-sur-pâte, and other in-house designers.

At its finest, the quality of Minton’s output is breathtaking and sets a challenge to which we still respond today: fine shape, design and potting, confident sculptural effects, intricate styling magnificent blues, greens and turquoises, beautiful decorative treatment, and gold work that is matchless.

Stuart Lyons
Chairman, Minton Ltd
November 1992