A Remarkable 170th Anniversary Year for Burleigh

2021 has been a landmark year for Burleigh as we have celebrated our 170th anniversary. Entering into this celebratory year, we set out with the objective of telling our stories, telling our stories far and wide. The stories of our history, our craftsmanship, and of our home in Middleport Pottery; but to demonstrate our path that is carved for us as a luxury icon of British design & manufacture, specialised in Tissue Transfer Decoration.

Each of these stories are part of Burleigh’s DNA, and it is these stories that we work to incorporate into each new product that we develop, and that we instil in products from our archives. 

This year, through the launch of our celebratory 170th Anniversary Mug we told one of our stories from the days of our founders; the story of ‘Blue Flow ware’.

Adorned in Burleigh’s Blue Regal Peacock pattern, this celebratory mug has a twist. We have always embraced the individual nature of our ware, and applauded the unique way our colours develop under their coat of transparent glaze. The technique we have used to decorate these pieces is intended to reflect ‘flow blue’ pieces that were popular in the 19th century when Burgess & Leigh was founded. This style allows for, and encourages the pattern beneath the glaze to ‘flow’ beneath the tinted glaze, whilst remaining crisp and defined under the clear glaze. This contrast of organic movement in the pattern under the tinted glaze combined with the crisp detail Burleigh is known for, means that these pieces are highly unusual in contemporary ceramics and the rarity of these being limited to our 170th year should make them a prized piece in any collection

Through the launch of the Limited Edition Copper Pen, we told the story of our craftsmanship- the detail and beauty of our printing rollers which is normally hidden from view.

Copper engraving has been at the heart of every Burleigh design for the last 170 years and it is this intricate and historic craft skill which inspired the 170th Anniversary Engraved Copper Pen.

Hewn from a single solid piece of pure copper, each pen has been exquisitely engraved with Burleigh's Regal Peacock design and is presented in a box of solid English oak. Just ten pens have been commissioned; the 170th Anniversary Engraved Copper Pen is a a perfect celebration of a British institution and a tool for writing the next chapter. Burleigh is now the only business in the world to continue to use engraved copper rollers to decorate ceramics. It is a traditional method that is hidden from view and even some of Burleigh's most ardent fans will never have seen an exposed copper roller. That's because every roller is coated in a thin layer of chrome to protect the delicate, soft copper surface. This pen celebrates the copper material and the engravings that have made Burleigh desirable around the world.

Through the launch of the Kiln Ring Decoration we told the story of our factory by allowing everyone to make a piece of our manufacturing process their own.

Kiln rings are traditionally placed onto each kiln before a firing as they shrink at a uniform rate when exposed to extreme heat. They are measured afterwards to ensure that the temperature is consistent. Although essential, these are waste products once fired.

Perfectly paired with off-cut tissue that would otherwise be discarded, we are excited to allow you to take a piece of our factory home; giving elements of our process a new lease of life and being mindful of our carbon footprint. Shop our collection of Kiln Rings and take a piece of our history home with you, available in shades of Blue, Burgundy and Green, and each gift-boxed to make the perfect gift this festive season and beyond


In our archives sit sketches attributed to Charles Wilkes who was responsible for new shape design at Burgess and Leigh. He started in the design studio in 1889 and worked with us until he retired in 1943. He was a highly skilled modeller and prolific shape designer. As far as we are aware, the shape selected for inspiration was never made. We have used these elements of our history for inspiration to celebrate our 170th anniversary and developed a keepsake ornament. Celebrate in regal style this Christmas with these Modeller's decorations in tones of BlueBurgundy and Green.


For Autumn/Winter 2021, Burleigh, the British pottery famed for its tissue transfer decorated earthenware, has partnered with Craven Dunnill Jackfield, a tile manufacturer for the world’s leading hospitality venues and cultural sites, to launch a collection of tiles, entering Burleigh’s 171st year in new categories and carving our path for an even more exciting and prolific future.

The partnership marks our first collection of tiles, of which the classic Calico will be reimagined in 5 vibrant colourways for both pressed and cast produced tiles, demonstrating the versatility of our most-revered pattern; which dates back as far as February 1968. As with our original engraved Calico design, the three dimensional nature of the tiles allow for a seamless transfer of the pattern into this new medium and utilises varying densities of one ceramic pigment to produce rich tonal impact, which subtly reacts to changing lighting conditions bringing the ceramic surface to life.

You can read more about our innovation, resilience and charm of the 170 years of Burleigh here, immerse yourself into our history full of heritage and authenticity. 


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