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Who Was Enoch Wood? Plus Upcoming Enoch Wood Pottery at Auction in our November Fine Art Sale

Debbie Porter

Enoch Wood was renowned for creating beautiful pottery pieces, such as this large lustreware figure. Find out more about the Burslem potter and check out some of the pieces we’ll have available at auction as part of our Fine Art sale next month. Photo credit:

If you’re familiar with the history of the The Potteries, then you’re bound to have heard the name Enoch Wood. Wood, who came to be known as the ‘Father of the Potteries’, was an English potter, businessman, and leader of one of the most prominent families in Staffordshire pottery.

An Enoch Wood 19th-century bust of Tsar Alexander

Lot 577 is an Enoch Wood 19th-century bust of Tsar Alexander on a plinth, inscribed with “Alexander, Moscow Burnt Europe Preserved, 1812”, with a sales estimate of £100-£200.

The son of Aaron Wood, an accomplished modeler, Enoch studied drawing and anatomy in Liverpool before returning to Burslem to start his pottery career. He worked briefly for Josiah Wedgwood’s Brickhouse Street Works, before apprenticing for Humphrey Palmer of Hanley Green, becoming a skilled modeler in the process.

By 1783, Enoch was established in Burslem as an independent potter, and had set up business with his cousin, Ralph Wood. In 1790, he struck a partnership with James Caldwell and his firm, based at the Fountain Works, became known as Wood & Caldwell. By 1818, Enoch had bought his partner out and taken over the business, renaming it Enoch Wood and Sons. The business was a leading earthenware manufacturer, making large quantities of blue printed earthenware that was often exported to North America, as well as manufacturing porcelain.

An Enoch Wood early 19th-century bisque bust of The Rev John Wesley M.A on a plinth

Lot 576 in our upcoming November Fine Art sale is this Enoch Wood early 19th-century bisque bust of The Rev John Wesley M.A on a plinth, inscribed with “Enoch Wood, Sculp. Burslem”.

Enoch died in 1840 and was buried in the Wood family vault in the churchyard of St John’s Church, Burslem. Following his death, the business was ran by two of his three sons, Enoch and Edward, however the firm unfortunately closed in December 1845.

An Enoch Wood large Jasperware oval plaque, titled

Lot 573 is an important Enoch Wood large Jasperware oval plaque, titled “The Descent from the Cross” and dated 1777, mounted later in a gilt frame. This wonderful piece comes with a guide price of £200-£400.

At Potteries Auctions, we’re very privileged to have several pieces of Enoch Wood pottery passing through our Silverdale Saleroom as part of our November Fine Art sale next month. It’s a very interesting collection of 18th/19th-century pieces that were found in the aforementioned family vault, including a portrait bust of John Wesley, the founder of Wesleyan Methodism, that Wood created during one of Wesley’s visits to Burslem. Watch this space as more information, including our Fine Art catalogue, will be available soon!

An Enoch Wood black basalt bust of George Washington

Lot 574 is an Enoch Wood black basalt bust of George Washington, dated 1818, with an extra basalt base that’s set to sell for £100-£200.

Selling Your Pottery at Auction

If you have pottery pieces for auction, get in touch and we can help you with a valuation. Talk to our team of experts who will be able to give you an accurate auction estimate of your pottery. You can join us at one of our valuation days every Tuesday, email us for an appointment on or call us on +44 (0)1782 638100 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

If you can’t come in and see us in person but would like to submit items for auction or valuation, send us an email to with details and a photograph (eg make, model, model number, measurements, condition) and one of our experts will provide information and auction estimates. Alternatively, give us a call on 01782 638100 to arrange an appointment.