New Shelley Group logo Home link

Explore this site icon Become a Member icon Contact Us icon

Identifying Shelley & Wileman Pieces

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 the new recipient wishes 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 NOTE* below
YES                         NO
Go to:                 Registered
  Is it a cup, teapot or vase?
Is the number
listed there ?
  YES   NO
YES   NO *   Go to: Go to:  Chinaware
  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
- Watch John Barter (our Archivist) explain the identification process - (video planned for 2018)
- Refer to our Shape Letters page.
- Backstamps may help you more closely identify the period of manufacture.
- Search our site using 'freefind

search engine by freefind