Pilkington's Gallery

Pilkington's Gallery

Permanent gallery

Come and see the Pilkington's collection in all its glory.

Pilkington's Peace VaseIn the early 20th century, a local firm, Pilkington's, based at Clifton Junction near Swinton, Salford was one of the most important international suppliers of high quality decorative tiles and art pottery.

Their products were stylish, desirable and expensive, perfect for furnishing fashionable middle-class homes.

Pilkington's success was due to superior design combined with technical expertise and good publicity.

Pilkington's Tile and Pottery Company Ltd was formed by four Pilkington brothers who were colliery owners. They employed as manager the dynamic William Burton, previously the chemist at Josiah Wedgwood and Sons.

Burton's deputy manager was his youngest brother, Joseph, who had responsibility for developing new glazes.

The company began tile making with local clay in 1893, in a spacious purpose-built and ultra-modern factory.

In 1904, when pottery production in the Art Nouveau style began, Pilkington's started to rival known ceramic names like Minton, Bernard Moore, Doulton and Maw & Co.

Pilkington's TileSalford Museum's Pilkington collection is the largest in the UK. It contains examples of almost every artist and most types of ware produced by the factory between 1900-1958 and the 1970s. When the company unfortunately closed in June 2010 Salford Museum was able to acquire the Pilkington archive containing pattern books, notebooks and company documents.

This important resource not only compliments the ceramic collection but also assists by placing it in its social history context.

With thanks to Manchester Art Gallery and Angela and Barry Corbett of the Pilkington's Lancastrian Pottery Society.

"Much more than I expected. A credit to Salford. Makes me want to pick them all up. Didn’t know Pilkington’s made lustre ware. Just read a book on Netsuke. Someone should do the same around your pieces."