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Identifying Shelley & Wileman Pieces
(Updated 13/02/22)

A Step by Step Guide

Many of the enquiries received by the Shelley Group through the website relate to the indentification of Shelley and Wileman wares. Often these are pieces which have been inherited or acquired in sales or auctions and you wish to obtain more information. Wileman and Shelley between them produced hundreds of different designs and an even greater number of patterns. In this guide we show how the resources of this website may be used to facilitate identification. Don't forget the services of our Research Officer are freely available to members and non-members alike. Email:

Start Here:

Does it have a registered design number on the base? e.g. Rd.272101  *see Notes below
YES                     NO
Go to:                 Registered Numbers    
  Is it a cup, teapot milk jug or jelly mould?
Is the number listed there ?    
  YES   NO
YES     NO *   Go to: Cup Shapes   Is it a vase?
        OR   Teapot Shapes
    OR   Milk Jugs      
    OR   Jelly Moulds    
      YES   NO
      Go to: 1920s Vases       Go to: Chinaware 
      OR   Harmony Vase Shapes   OR   Earthenware
      OR   Elizabeth Waterhouse Vases          
      Is the item listed there?
    YES   NO
Do you now have all the information you require ?      
YES   NO      
    Please refer your enquiry to our Information Service with as much detail as you have together with photos (side and base)  
    Thank you for visiting our website. Have you ever thought about becoming a member of the Shelley Group?
Pieces often contain a pattern number in addition to or in place of a registered design number, or there may be no number at all.
  1. When the registered design number is on the ware it will be preceded by either Rd, Rd No or Reg No.
  2. All registered design numbers are printed.
  3. The majority of the pattern numbers prior to the 2nd WW were hand painted and could be in any colour. After the 2nd WW, printed numbers were used as well as hand painted numbers.

Additional Resources
- Refer to our Shape Letters page.
- Backstamps and the Index of Contents of Pattern Books may help you more closely identify the period of manufacture.
- Databases of patterns exist for Queen Anne, Regent and Vincent cup shapes
- Search our site using 'freefind

search engine by freefind