But what about when the partnership ended? That remains a little fuzzy...and that's what kept me awake. I did a little more digging this morning and came up with an entry in The London Gazette of January 7 1840, announcing the dissolution of “the firm of Dixon, Austin, and Company,” effective December 31, 1839. The partners signing the notice are Robert Dixon, William Austin, and Alexander Phillips. So I think we can comfortably declare 1839 as the final year of operation.
In summary, revise your thinking. A "Dixon, Austin, & Co." mark no longer means 1820-1826. Instead, think December 1818 to December 1839. This leaves me much more comfortable, as I did think that some of the figures of the Seasons made by the partnership appeared to be circa 1830. The watch stand below bears a Dixon, Austin, & Co. mark...how can we have this important piece of news without a picture?
I caught this listing on the web this week, and I recognized it because the very nice explanation of the group has been lifted straight out of my book.
STAFFORDSHIRE POTTERY DR SYNTAX FIGURE GROUP CIRCA 1825 Sherratt type, the figures seated at a table, engaged in a game of cards 16cm high, 23cm wide Note:Doctor Syntax was one of the early nineteenth century`s most popular literary characters. He was the brainchild of Thomas Rowlandson, the eminent caricaturist and watercolorist. Traditionally, a book`s text inspires its illustrations, but in the case of Doctor Syntax, the text was written by William Combe in verse form to accompany Rowlandson`s artwork. Doctor Syntax appealed to the English love of the absurd, and Staffordshire`s figure potters capitalized on the comic theme by producing their own interpretations of the eccentric clergyman. Doctor Syntax does indeed play cards in the book published in 1821, but that illustration differs markedly from this figure group. It seems that the story alone inspired the creation of the group.