A manufacturer of bone china tableware, giftware and china accessories at Wirksworth
Rd, Duffield, Derbyshire, and at the Jason Works, Stoke-on-Trent.
Abbeydale was founded in January 1961 by Mrs. Edith Robinson, her sister Mrs. Sheila
Lambert and Mr. Robert Head. Edith Robinson’s husband, Philip I. Robinson and Mr.
F. H. Lochrane joined the Abbeydale Board in 1963 (Robinson was the former Chairman
and Managing Director of Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Co. Ltd - a company once owned
by the Robinson family - stepping down as Managing Director of Royal Crown Derby
in 1960 and leaving the company in 1961).
Production began in July 1962 under the direction of works manager William Corfield,
there were eight patterns initially and these were applied to bought-in white ware
by the staff of about 26. In April 1962 the company leased a portion of the Jason
Works, Stoke-on-Trent and began to manufacture its own shapes. The biscuit ware was
then transported to Duffield for decoration and glazing and dispatch. By mid-1964
the company was supplying the up-market London retailer Thomas Goode & Co., and were
exporting to Europe, North America and Australasia.
Despite the Abbeydale directors’ enviable ceramic industry background and technical
expertise, financial problems beset the new venture and in August 1964 the local
Derbyshire business of Pearson & Co. (Chesterfield) Ltd took a controlling interest,
Abbeydale becoming a member of the Pearson Group.
In January 1971, Abbeydale’s founders and innovative force, the Robinson family,
sold their remaining interest and it became wholly owned by Pearson & Co. (Chesterfield)
Ltd. After further financial problems the Duffield factory was closed in May 1974
and production under the Abbeydale name ceased. Pearson & Co (Chesterfield) Ltd was
itself placed in receivership in 1982, however, Abbeydale patterns and even the Abbeydale
name have been used by various later owners up to at least 2002.
Abbeydale produced highly decorated dinnerware, tea and coffee ware, fancy china
and giftware, the bone china blanks being manufactured at the Jason Works and the
intricate decoration completed at the Duffield factory. Stylistically, the Abbeydale
patterns were similar to the Royal Crown Derby factory’s Imari ware and a distinguishing
feature was the use of the chrysanthemum flower in many of the patterns. The Abbeydale
wares are of high quality and were distributed through Thomas Goode & Co., Tiffany’s
and similar sophisticated retail outlets. Limited editions for the collectors’ market
were an important part of the business. The mark includes the name 'ABBEYDALE'.