Aynsley is one of the best-known names in the Staffordshire Potteries, with a history reaching back to the late eighteenth century. Started in 1775 by John Aynsley in Longton England , (died in 1829) who soon developed a reputation as a master potter and a well-known decorator of creamwares and other pottery. Aynsley used local Staffordshire clay and elaborate designs created from his own engravings to gain popularity in Stoke-on-Trent. Through his efforts Aynsley China prospered. He later turned the business over to his son, James Aynsley. It was James' son, John Aynsley II who carried the company to heights the original John Aynsley could only have dreamed of.
John II changed the company's focus from pottery to fine bone china. He altered the manufacturing process by using 50% "calcined bone ash" in his porcelain compound, forming 'bone china'. Aynsley's bone china was very strong, translucent, and exceptionally white. Using this process resulted in the "Portland Works", a new factory, opening a short time later in Stroke-on-Trent in 1861.
As more of Aynsley's designs became popular, Aynsley China began to build a significant reputation. Important (and influencial) people started to take notice, with Queen Victoria in particular noticing the work of the fledgling company. She commissioned Aynsley China to produce a set of ornate tableware for her personal use. Having a commission from Her Majesty, The Queen allowed Aynsley China to use the royal family seal in its logo, affirming the company's reputation, and a place in dinnerware history. (More recent commissions from royalty include gold embossed sets for Queen Elizabeth II and her son, the Prince of Wales). John II brought great success to Aynsley China and prosperity to himself. He was elected the Mayor of Longton in 1886, and immediately set to acquiring new land and funds for parks and a much-needed community hospital. He was a very kind and honest man who gave his all to his business and community.
For a guide to dating Aynsley China follow this link
While many of today's china making processes have become mechanized, Aynsley is still known for craftsmanship and techniques for the production of china, collectibles, and giftware that are similar to those in place when the company was started. Over 850 are employed at the "Portland Works" production facility today. Aynsley China has been one of the most influential companies in the British tableware industry.
Aynsley still is a very popular tourist attraction in their factory visitor center. For more information folow this link,