Shelley (known as Wileman until the early 20th century) began producing beautiful china items in the 1820s. Based in Staffordshire, the pottery crafted thin yet strong china items. Smaller pieces, like cups and saucers, were made of bone china.

Shelley used thousands of different patterns, noted by number and sometimes by name. They also named each of their cup designs—for example, Bute, Dainty, and Ovide.

Shelley china has been marked with multiple different backstamps over the years, including (but not limited to) a "W" wearing a crown placed over a "C" with an ampersand in the middle (Wileman & Co.); the same image (only more detailed) with "The Foley China" above and "England" below; plain, simple text; and "Shelley" inside a shield, either in capital block letters or in an elaborate script.

The pottery continued production until 1966, when it was sold to Allied English Potteries.

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