Royal Grafton

A brief history of Royal Grafton pottery

Royal Grafton Fine Bone China was founded in 1876 in Staffordshire, England by Alfred Bailey Jones, who began his career as a pottery decorator and reseller.

In 1900 the Grafton Works was built on Malborough Road in Longton, Stoke-On-Trent. Alfred was joined by his two sons, forming the company A.B. Jones and Sons Ltd.

They used the trade name “Grafton”, which became Royal Grafton after being given a royal warrant by Queen Mary. Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition to individuals or companies who have supplied goods or services for at least five years. Warrants have always been regarded as demonstrating excellence and quality and are highly prized.

In 1940 Alfred Jones senior died and the business continued under the management of Alfred Jones junior until his death in 1956, after which his son, Alfred Leslie Jones, took over.

In 1966 the business was sold to Crown House Glass Ltd, who continued to trade under the A. B. Jones & Sons name. Crown House Tableware also owned Dema glass, Denby, Edinburgh Crystal and Thomas Webb Crystal.

In 1971 the business was sold to Crown Lynn Potteries of New Zealand and was renamed Crown Lynn Ceramics (UK) Ltd.

By 1972 Royal Grafton fine bone china had ceased trading.

In 1985 a management buy out took place and the name was changed back to Royal Grafton China Ltd.

In 1992, John Tams acquired Royal Grafton China Ltd, using the names Royal Grafton and Grafton Living.

In 2000 John Tams Group PLC  went into receivership and following another management buyout continued as Tam Group Ltd., using the names ‘Tams’ ‘Royal Grafton’ and ‘Grafton Living’. These trade names went on to become part of the Tams China group (est 1874) which also went on to fail resulting in the sale of the modern industrial unit in Longton Staffordshire, in January 2007.

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Royal Grafton "Raffia" Trio

An Art Deco, bone china trio of teacup, saucer and plate by Royal Grafton. Second-hand.