Artifacts from the 1866 Shipwreck “Baltic”

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William Adams IV was the son and first partner of William Adams III. In 1819 when he became partner, the name of the firm was changed to William Adam and Son, and subsequently to William Adams & Sons when three other sons joined the firm.

William Adams IV was a prolific producer of American scenic and historic China. On his father's death bed he became managing director of the family business.

Around 1834 he built the Greenfield pottery in Tunstall, England, the first important pottery manufacturer there, to which the firm's offices, styled Adams & Sons, were moved. Active in the American trade, he visited the United States in 1821 and 1825. Then, or later, he secured prints of American scenes done after paintings by Thomas Cole, W.G. Wall and others.

In 1966 the Adam's firm was amalgamated with the Wedgewood group.

Some of the items recovered from the "Baltic" shipwreck, and identified as work produced by Adam's includes:

1. The Imperial French Porcelain Porridge Bowls
2. The Porcelain Soup Bowls - 1858 Greenfield Potteries
3. The Corn Jugs - 1858
4. The Blue Worm Bowls and Blue Mochaware Bowls
5. The Banded Creamware Cider Mugs
6. The "Spongeware" Seaweed Design Cider Mugs (Mochaware)

"The Columbia Series"
A romantic scene printed in light blue on ironstone dinner wares, this pattern was first put into production around 1845, being produced at the Adams Stoke Upon Trent works, England. When the Stoke works closed in 1864, production was transferred to the Adams Greenfield factory in Tunstall, England. The firms records were destroyed in a fire in 1875. The "Columbia" appeared in light blue, dark blue and pink. The scroll mark was in use from the mid 1850's to shortly some time after the 1880's.

It is also believed that the Adams factory in Greenfield produced Spongeware. Much of it was done by means of cut sponges, and was first made in Staffordshire by William Adams at his Greenfield pottery in 1845-50. In order to introduce it he procured persons from Scotland who understood the process. However, it is of interest to note that some of the Spongware also bore the markings of "B & Co." which was attributed to TR Boot & Co Burslem.

Adams is also said to have originated Mochaware in the late eighteen century in his factory at Colbridge (named after Mocha stone said to have been originally from Mocha in Arabia. The dark markings simulating miniature trees and shrubs are caused by the infiltration of iron or manganese oxide solutions into the cracks of the stone and was used by Adams on cream colored earthenware)