Bell’s (Glasgow) Pottery

Bells, Jug, Jenny Lind
Bells, Jug, Jenny Lind

The Bell's Book

Henry Kelly wrote a book entirely on the Bells pottery, and he made it freely available: 

Click Here to View the Bell’s Book Written by Henry E Kelly with Photographs by Douglas A Leishman

Overview

Established in late 1840 or 1841, at the corner of Stafford St and Pulteney St, Glasgow, by brothers John and Matthew Perston Bell. The initial partnership trading as J.& M. P. Bell, Earthenware manufacturers. Quite quickly afterwards this became J.& M. P. Bell & Co. The reason for the change was the acquisition of a third partner, Robert Clough (sometimes spelt Cleugh). Matthew died in 1870 and his brother John, in 1880.

John Murdoch, a manager of the firm, continued trading as J & M P Bell Company Limited from 7 February 1881.  The limited company was very successful.  It was a time of great innovation and probably the most prolific period in the Pottery’s history. Designs were changed, production soared and the export trade certainly was well established both with the Far East and other areas nearer home.

The last piece was probably made around 1912 before the site was taken over by Joseph Turner, a previous Secretary of the company, who took over part of the works for the resale of imported Staffordshire & Czech wares. 

It is not until 1923 that a Gazette notice appears for the dissolution of the company, however Post Office records appear until 1941, potentially in the hands of John Weir, a previous clerk of the company. 

Main Products

By far the most prolific of Scottish Pottery manufacturers; all kinds of pottery were made throughout its existence. 

Sanitary wares, jugs, pitchers, dinner and tea services for the UK and American markets. 

Export wares have been found in South America, the Far East, Australia, Canada, among others.

Articles in SPHR

Typical Backstamps & Marks

J&MP Bells, Bell (impressed), J&MPBell Co (with or without Ltd), Bells

Pattern Names

  • Abergeldie
  • Aboyne   
  • Achilles   
  • Aden   
  • Agra   
  • Alhambra
  • Alice   
  • Amazon   
  • Amboina   
  • Amoy   
  • Anemone  
  • Antoinette  
  • Apsley Plants   
  • Arcadia   
  • Ardoch  
  • Asiatic Pheasants 
  • Athens   
  • Auburn  
  • Aurora  
  • Australia  
  • Autumn  
  • Avon   
  • Avondale  
  • Ayam Jantam   
  • Ballater   
  • Balmoral   
  • Banda  
  • Bangkok   
  • Batavia   
  • Bavaria   
  • Bird’s Nest  
  • Blue Bell  
  • Blythswood   
  • Bohemia   
  • Borneo 
  • Bracelet  
  • Braemar   
  • Bramble   
  • Brazil   
  • British and Foreign Birds   
  • Broseley  
  • Buah Buah 
  • Buah and Nanas  
  • Bullfinch  
  • Burmah   
  • Burmania   
  • Burns 1   
  • Burns II   
  • Burns III   
  • Burong Merak  
  • Burong Supan   
  • Burung Kupu   
  • Butterfly  
  • Cadzow   
  • California   
  • Cameo  
  • Canova   
  • Canton   
  • Castile   
  • Celebes
  • Chanon   
  • Chantilley   
  • Chinese Basin  
  • Chinese Sports  
  • Chinese Vase   
  • Chinese Villa   
  • Ching
  • Chusan   
  • Clematis   
  • Clifton         
  • Clydesdale
  • Coburg   
  • Constantinople 
  • Convolvulus   
  • Copenhagen  
  • Corea   
  • Corinth   
  • Crathie   
  • Crocus   
  • Crystal Palace   
  • Daffodils   
  • Dagmar  
  • Damascus  
  • Darnley  
  • Deer Stalking   
  • Deeside   
  • Delhi   
  • Denmark   
  • Derby   
  • De Sonderjydske Piger  
  • Diamond Border   
  • Dragon   
  • Drumlanrig   
  • Dunblane   
  • Durian and Nanus   
  • Egyptian Vases   
  • Empress   
  • English Lakes  
  • Erchie   
  • Eviction   
  • Falconry   
  • Fantasia   
  • Ferns  
  • Fibre  
  • Floral  
  • Florence  
  • Floresque   
  • Fokien  
  • Foreign Birds  
  • Fungus  
  • Garibaldi   
  • The Gem   
  • German Stag Hunt   
  • Giraffe   
  • Glasgow   
  • Glasgow Exhibition 1901   
  • Glenartney   
  • Glencairn  
  • Glenshee   
  • Goatherds   
  • Going to Market  
  • Golden Flower   
  • Gondola   
  • Gothic Border   
  • Gouda   
  • Grapes   
  • Grecian (Sponge printing only)  
  • Grecian Border  
  • Griffen   
  • Griffin   
  • Haarlem   
  • Harvest  
  • Harvest Scene  
  • Hawking   
  • Hawking in Olden Times  
  • Hawthorn Blossom  
  • Herculaneum
  • History of Joseph
  • Holly Wreath   
  • Humming Bird  
  • Ikan China   
  • Indian Cress 
  • Indian Sprig   
  • Indian Tree   
  • Invercauld   
  • Ionia   
  • Italian Lakes   
  • Italy   
  • Ivy Wreath   
  • Japan   
  • Japanese   
  • Jeddo   
  • Jenny Lind   
  • Johore   
  • Kalantan   
  • Kapal Basar  
  • Keelin Hong  
  • Keelung   
  • Kelvin Grove   
  • Kembang Bintang 
  • Kensington  
  • Kew Gardens  
  • Kilmeny   
  • Kwantung  
  • Lahore  
  • Lake of Como   
  • Laurel   
  • Leville  
  • Lillian
  • Lily   
  • Lily and Rose   
  • Linnet
  • Loch-na-gar   
  • Loo Choo   
  • “Lorne”   
  • Lorraine   
  • Louise   
  • Makassar   
  • Malacca   
  • Malaga   
  • Malayesque   
  • Maltese   
  • Marble   
  • Marguerite   
  • Marine 
  • Maulmain  
  • Mayflower   
  • May Morn   
  • Mikado   
  • Moluccas
  • Months of the Year  
  • Morning and Even
  • Mossgiel  
  • Moss Rose   
  • Mushroom   
  • Nanas and Durian   
  • Neuilly   
  • Ning-po   
  • Oban   
  • Ochil   
  • Old Dutch   
  • Olivia 
  • Ophelia   
  • Oriental   
  • Orleans  
  • Pahang   
  • Palembang  
  • Palestine   
  • Paraguay  
  • Parisian Sprig 
  • Passiflora
  • Passion Flower   
  • Peacock and Lilies  
  • Pearl Border   
  • Pegu
  • Pekin   
  • Persian   
  • Pompeii   
  • Primrose  
  • Punch’s Friend   
  • Rabbit   
  • Reindeer   
  • Rooster   
  • Rosalind   
  • Rosebery   
  • Royal Conservatory   
  • Royal Palace   
  • Rural   
  • Sandhurst   
  • Sappho   
  • Sarawak   
  • Sardinia   
  • Scott   
  • Sexagon   
  • Seymour   
  • Shanghia   
  • Siam   
  • Singapore   
  • Spanish Goats   
  • Sporting Subjects   
  • Stork   
  • Strathearn   
  • Strathspey   
  • Stray Leaves   
  • Sumatra   
  • Summer  
  • Swallow  
  • Swiss Cantons
  • Swiss Scenary   
  • Swiss Subjects   
  • Swiss Water Mill   
  • Sybil   
  • Tamerlane  
  • Tarlalu Bagus   
  • Tokio   
  • Trail   
  • Trentham   
  • Triumphal Car   
  • Trojan   
  • Tullibardine   
  • Vases   
  • Venetian  
  • Victoria Regia   
  • Victoria Scroll   
  • Vine Border   
  • Vintage   
  • Warwick  
  • Warwick Vase   
  • Water Lily
  • Watermelon  
  • Watteau   
  • Wellington   
  • Wild Rose   
  • Willow   
  • Woosung   
  • Yachting   
  • Yarrow

Public Collections

Other information

A very brief overview has been given for the Bells’ pottery, due to the fact that Henry E Kelly produced an entire book on the subject, and made it freely available. Douglas A Leishman was the photographer.

The most prolific of any Scottish pottery, J&MP Bells wares are found throughout the world and are comparable in quality to any Staffordshire pottery. 

1 thought on “Bell’s (Glasgow) Pottery”

  1. Sometimes potteries would mix the waste pieces back into the pottery and this can cause some of the issues you mention.
    Generally, if the piece is marked then it was made for sale, though some seconds were also marked.

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