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William Gordon Ceramic Lamp Base

William Gordon Ceramic Lamp Base

William Gordon was born in St Petersburg in 1905. His mother was Russian and his father Scottish. The family returned to Scotland in 1913 due to his father’s ill health.

However, when his father passed away and William’s maternal grandparents left Russia in 1917 - to escape the aftermath of the Revolution - the family moved to London.

As a young man living in Kensington, William spent much of his time at the Victoria and Albert Museum and became passionate about both decorative metal work and ceramics.

William was determined to learn hands-on, traditional techniques so he worked with blacksmiths to discover metal working and in the 1930s travelled north to Chesterfield to find out more about salt-glaze ceramics.

Maker Mark

The owners of Briddon Pottery in Brampton (the Plowright family) agreed that William could learn from the potters and carry out experiments with white salt glaze. This led him to establish his own small factory in the town.

After the War, William returned to Chesterfield and the Walton Pottery Co. Ltd (William Gordon’s Pottery) obtained premises on Station Road, Old Whittington.
The age old craft of salt-glaze took on a new hue as William introduced blues, greens, yellows, cherry reds and blacks. Contemporary figures, lamp bases, bowls, cups, vases and cutlery handles all bore the companies distinctive trade mark – the old chemical symbol for salt.

This is an example of one of William Gordon’s lamp bases.

Last updated on 30 March 2023