East Liverpool, Ohio was said to resemble an English pottery town more than any other in America. After learning the potting trade in Staffordshire, George Morley emigrated to Ohio and eventually established the pottery Morley & Company in nearby Wellsville in 1879. Joined by his sons in 1884, Morley made more majolica than any other firm west of Pennsylvania. Morley retired from the pottery business in 1890 to become mayor of East Liverpool. The firm declared bankruptcy in 1891.
Best known of the Morley majolica products are a graduated series of “gurgling fish” pitchers. Also recognized are pitchers in the form of a perched owl and parrot. They are typically not as intricately modeled as those produced in the Staffordshire potteries.
Much of Morley majolica was unmarked. The known mark consists of the stamped words ‘MAJOLICA’ with ‘MORLEY & CO.’ above and ‘WELLSVILLE, O.’ below. Sometimes, the word majolica is misspelled with two L’s.
Antiques from Trilogy
Philppe Meunier & Juan-Alonso Defrocourt