Preserving Provenance: How Stoke-on-Trent Ceramics Brand Burleigh is Redefining Luxury

In the heart of Staffordshire lies a ceramics brand preserving centuries-old British craftsmanship while gaining global recognition. Burleigh, founded in 1851, produces fine earthenware in Middleport Pottery, the company’s home since 1889. Through its “All Made Here” campaign, Burleigh is redefining luxury by championing authenticity and provenance.

“Consumers have become much more interested in where and how products are made, and they’re also more astute at spotting when a brand isn’t authentic,” said Jim Norman, Burleigh’s Managing Director. “As a result, authenticity and provenance are the new defining factors of luxury because these are qualities that can’t be faked or bought.”

Burleigh stresses its storied heritage and localized production. “How many luxury brands are truly willing to be transparent about the provenance of their products?” asked Norman. “Since it was founded in 1851, Burgess & Leigh has been making fine earthenware, known as Burleigh, in a town called Burslem, in Stoke-on-Trent. Since 1889 we’ve been making Burleigh in Middleport Pottery, in that very same town. Every single piece. For over 130 years.”

The company is the last to use “underglaze tissue transfer printing,” a 250-year-old technique requiring extensive craftsmanship. Only 12 tissue transfer printers remain in the world, all Burleigh artisans in Stoke-on-Trent.

Burleigh’s lineage and traditional practices have attracted collaborations with Ralph Lauren, Soho House, and other international brands. “Mr. Lauren’s admiration of Burleigh’s unique heritage, provenance and craft skills was one of the catalysts for the range we developed together,” said Norman of the successful Ralph Lauren partnership launched in 2018.

The company also has longstanding ties to the British Royal Family. Queen Mary became a fan in 1913 after purchasing Burleigh’s Blue Regal Peacock range from Harrods. “King Charles has visited Middleport Pottery five times since 2010,” Norman stated. “With each visit he has built an ever stronger relationship with us and our craftsmen and women.”

By boldly proclaiming its localized origins and craft, Burleigh is raising the bar for transparency in luxury goods. “Brit-washing and craft-washing are unwelcome developments in the homeware industry and Burleigh has played a part in countering these with its ‘All Made Here’ campaign,” said Norman.

After over 150 years in operation, Burleigh’s commitment to heritage and quality remains unchanged. “The ‘All Made Here’ guarantee redefines luxury by championing the conscious consumer’s desire to know the origins and journey its products have been on,” Norman said. “This is Burleigh’s continued promise to unwaveringly uphold British craft skills, cementing its commitment to provenance, authenticity, and quality.”

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