The Wade name has been associated with fine pottery since the 1800s. It all started in 1810 with George Wade & Sons, Ltd. Later in the century John Wade started his company, Wade & Co., making teapots and "go-withs".
More Family Potteries:
Three of John's nephews also owned and operated potteries under various names and producing assorted products.
And from that collection of potteries, all owned by family members, the Wade companies became one, Wade Potteries, Ltd. in the 1950s under the direction of Sir George Wade.
Sir George Wade:
Sir George not only united the various Wade potteries, he was also responsible for Wade Whimsies, created as a way of keeping the pottery plants busy when the need for industrial ceramics slowed down as the company rebuilt after WWII.
1953 saw the first series of Wade Whimsies, a miniature set of porcelain figures. The company produced sets for most of the 1950s for retail sales, stopping in 1959, but continued producing them as premiums (see Red Rose below). In 1971 Wade again produced the figures for general sales, continuing until 1984.
Wade Whimsies by John Hall
Name and Ownership Changes:
In 1989 Wade Potteries was acquired by Beauford PLC and the name was changed to Wade Ceramics, Ltd.
1999 saw a further change and Wade Ceramics is now a subsidiary of Wade Allied Holdings, Ltd.
Todays products range from promotional items for companies such as Tetley, Ringtons, York Minster, Marmite and Red Rose. The company also produces collectible pieces for the Wade International Collectors Club, as well as porcelain flagons (decanters) for companies such as Chivas and Ballantines.
Non collectible items include electrical insulators, formers, kitchenware and even caps for Rolls-Royce.
Red Rose Premiums:
Wade Whimsies used as premiums in Red Rose Teas are the most familiar item to collectors in North America. Canada's Red Rose Tea company started distributing the pieces in boxes of tea in 1967.
The U.S. Red Rose Company didn't follow suit until the 1980s, but have continued since that time with different series over the years.
Red Rose Premiums
Links to various Wade items on the Collectibles web site.