Wells by Homer Laughlin
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maintained by Mark Gonzalez. Copyright © 2009-.
Homer Laughlin introduced the Wells shape in 1930. Hollowware was given applied finials and handles with little scroll decorations and the flatware consisted of plain round rim shapes. These flat piece differed from HLC's other lines such as Empress and Kwaker in that Wells' rim was much more concave and thinner. There is at least one creamer marked Made In Japan that is almost identical to the Wells version. Whether Frederick Rhead created the Wells hollowware based on this import or it if was the other way around isn't certain.

Wells stared out in an ivory body with decals and various sold colors. In early 1931, Rhead made notes in his journals about the Vellum glaze that was under development. In fact, numerous trails of Vellum were made in the then new Century shape as well as Wells. On April 27, 1931 he wrote: "... development in direction of Wells Vellum rather than Century Vellum." However, the vellum glaze would go on to be used more on Century than Wells.

Production of the Wells shape reached a height during the early 1930s. It continued to be made into the mid-1940s, but on a much smaller scale. Originally the assortment was extensive with a demitasse set, cream soups and liners, and muffin covers, but by the end of its run, Wells had been reduced to a much simpler line with only standard flatware and serving pieces.

Wells trade advertisements from 1930

Several Wells items were picked up by other lines. The teapot was used with some Nautilus patterns and the egg cup was used with Swing Eggshell. Lids with restyled finials were made for the teapot and casseroles so they could fit with the Willow shapes and were used with the Fantasy patterns. The teapot was also used with the underglaze Blue Willow line.

Decaled Wells will be marked in one of several ways; a Vellum backstamp, a general HLC marking, or a Wells Peacock mark. Three different peacock marks exist - a multicolored decal, a gold stamp, and a platinum stamp. This is also a case with the Georgian (Craftsman) backstamps and it has been learned that the multicolored mark was used for more expensive patterns and the gold stamp for cheaper ones. The peacock mark can also be found on Century and, to a lesser degree, Jade. Some argue that the peacock mark was used on anything with the Vellum glaze, but this isn't always the case as ivory (a white glaze not to be confused with vellum or Fiesta's old ivory) pieces of Wells can be found with the Wells backstamp. Instead of being a Vellum mark, it seems more likely the marking was used for more "top shelf" treatments - regardless the glaze and shape. The special marking was no longer in used by the mid-1930s.

See also section on Wells Art Glazes.

Sketches for propsed Wells markings.
Courtesy the Homer Laughlin China Company.

W-9823, "Pastel Tulip" batter jug, syrup jug, and covered sugar.
Inset picture shows a special marking made for Pearl China.

"Black Tulip" demitasse sugar and creamer.
Wells Ivory (left) and Wells Vellum (right)

Wells teapot in rose with its backstamp.
For more on the Wells Art Glazes, see this page.

Wells Vellum with stripes and a green art glaze egg cup

Wells casserole with pattern W-9823, Pastel Tulip

Wells batter jug in rose and decaled syrup

Wells markings on the batter jug and syrup

Wells teapot (same as pattern C-61 on Century)

Wells syrup with "Flight of the Swallows" (W-4523) and a Wells creamer

Wells gravy with border decal (same as K-6175)

Wells egg cup and Tudor Rose creamer

"Flight of the Swallows" gravy and liner

"Tulip" cream soup and liner

"Gold Stripe" pickle/gravy liner

"Gold Stripe" gravy

"Gold Stripe" sugar and creamer

"Tulip" sugar and creamer

Wells sugar bowl handle variations - closed, single open, double open

Top view of the Wells sugar bowl handles

W-8523 - Clematis a.k.a. "Red Beauty" on the Wells shape.
Photo courtesy Richard G. Racheter.

Wells platter in the art glaze Leaf Green and a "Tulip" sauceboat

Unusual black decal marking

"Flight of the Swallows" square plate, cup and saucer in yellow, batter jug in rust, and syrup.
Photo courtesy Richard G. Racheter.

Since Nautilus lacked a teapot, this Wells piece was picked up. The treatment is N-200.
Photo courtesy Richard G. Racheter.

Pattern W-4623 on the Wells shape

Nine-inch and Square plates

Gravy faststand

Cups and Saucers

Sugar and Creamer

Wells dinner service with red band and gold decoration.
Photo courtesy Richard G. Racheter.

"Pastel Tulip" W-9823 plate

Handled Cake Plate

"Pastel Tulip" W-9823 square plate

Pattern W-102

Decaled square plate with light yellow glaze

Cup and Saucer


36s Bowl

Wells demitasse creamer, sugar, coffee pot, covered muffin, syrup, egg cups, and place settings with treatment number W-4943.

Wells casserole with gold stamp decoration, made for Montgomery Wards in the early 1930s.
This example has a Vellum backstamp from 1931 along with the treatment number MW-67.

This last gallery of images features a selection of Wells shop samples from the collection of The FiestaŽ Tableware Company.

Assortment of Items:
  • Cream soup
  • Cream soup liner
  • Bullion
  • Bullion saucer
  • Fruit cup
  • Oatmeal
  • Rim soup
  • 36s Bowl
  • 30s Bowl
  • 10" Baker
  • 9" Baker
  • 8" Baker
  • Demitasse coffeepot
  • Covered casserole
  • Creamer
  • Demitasse creamer
  • Covered sugar
  • Demitasse sugar (open)
  • Sauceboat
  • Sauceboat liner/pickle
  • Gravy faststand
  • Double egg cup
  • Nappy
  • 15" Platter
  • 13" Platter
  • 11" Platter
  • 10" Plate
  • 9" Plate
  • 8" Plate
  • 7" Plate
  • 6" Plate
  • Square plate
  • Teapot
  • Cake plate
  • Batter jug
  • Syrup jug
  • Muffin cover
  • Teacup
  • Saucer
  • Demitasse cup
  • Demitasse saucer
  • Handled tumbler

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