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William Brownfield

In 1836, William Brownfield established the Cobridge Works in partnership with Noah Robinson and John Wood. By 1850, Brownfield assumed sole control over the rapidly expanding business. Brownfield died suddenly in 1873, leaving the firm to three young sons: William Etches, Edward Arthur, and Douglas Howard Brownfield.

Brownfield & Sons remained prosperous and began majolica production around 1871, exhibiting pieces at the London Exhibition that year. With the installation of Louis Jahn as art director in 1872, Brownfield began to receive considerable critical acclaim. Both Albert Carrier de Belleuse and Hughues Protât modeled for Brownfield. Jahn remained until 1895 when he assumed the position of art director at Minton following the retirement of Leon Arnoux.

Brownfield advertised majolica through 1885 and produced an array of wares including game pie dishes, garden items and figural pieces including the Isle of Man teapots which featured a three-legged seaman seated upon a coiled rope. Majolica pieces were often unmarked, but impressed marks BROWNFIELD and W.B. & SONS are known. A sculpted double-globe mark was also used after 1876.

The firm was reorganized as the Brownfield’s Guild Pottery Society in 1892. The business failed by 1900 and the site was subsequently demolished.

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