It was Felix Edward Pratt (1813-94) who spotted the commercial
possibilities of using new printing technology to decorate the lids
of containers for popular products such as bear's grease,
gentleman's relish, potted shrimps and cosmetics, with
After 1840 his firm, F. & R. Pratt of Fenton in
Staffordshire, became the leading (but not the only) manufacturer
of multicoloured transfer printed pot lids and a huge range of
Long admired for their technical excellence, for their sheer
variety and as a social and historical record of their era, pot
lids have a venerable collecting history and rank among the most
desirable everyday items from the Victorian period.
by Roland Arkell
From the ATG Archive
18 September 2009
Specialist auctioneer Andrew Hilton describes the Bear's Grease Manufacturer as 'the Holy Grail of pot lids'.
01 March 2005
Pot Lids and Stevengraphs were two areas of the market put to the test last month.
03 July 2004
Actor, sitcom star, game-show host, children’s entertainer – Leslie Crowther has been a regular face on British television since the 1960s.
ATG Site Search
16 August 2005
At first glance there’s nothing very exciting at all about this Prattware pot lid.
29 June 2004
The primary artistic influence behind the Prattware phenomenon that captivated Victorian society for 40 years was the freelance artist and engraver Jesse Austin (1806-1879).
06 June 2005
ENGLISH POTTERY SALESTHE products of the Staffordshire potteries from blue-printed tablewares to cottage chimney ornaments and Toby jugs to ironstone services, were the subject of a 356-lot sale at Bonhams’ Knightsbridge (20/12% buyer’s premium) back on May 11.
26 May 2004
THE meteoric growth in demand for the rarer Beswick farm animals in good condition saw more money change hands for a 20th century Beswick Belted Galloway Bull than for an 18th century Whieldon bull and calf, at Brightwells' (15% buyer's premium) 524-lot April 28 specialist ceramic outing.
07 July 2004
PROVING the highlight of the commemoratives offered by Special Auction Services (15% buyer’s premium) in the wake of the Leslie Crowther collection of pot lids and Prattware on June 7 was this George III King and Constitution earthenware beaker.
10 September 2002
THE sale on August 16 was the first time Bonhams, Honiton (17.5% buyer’s premium) had held a specialist collectors’ sale without cigarette and postcards after the decision was made to sell these at New Bond Street. With the sale now focused firmly on Goss and crested china, pot lids, Prattware and commemorative ceramics, lots of new buyers flooded in making the sale a big success.