The partners were initially Herbert James Aynsley, John Gerrard Aynsley and William Illingworth. Herbert was the eldest son of John, who founded the well-known firm of John Aynsley & Sons. He had gained much experience in the manufacture of good quality china, having been in business with his father for many years. John Aynsley retired in July 1900.
In 1907 Herbert Aynsley's youngest daughter married Hugh Irving, who was a sales representative for the Rubian Art Pottery Ltd in Longton. Irving subsequently joined his father-in-law as a partner in the Star China Company when Illingworth retired in 1910.
Such was the popularity of Paragon China that in 1919 the company decided to change its name and in 1920 became The Paragon China Company. Hugh Irving, who had been in active control of the business for many years, became sole proprietor in September 1927, when the partnership was dissolved and Herbert Aynsley retired. In 1930, the Company became known as Paragon China Limited.
Irving was a very astute businessman making the best of every opportunity afforded him. He introduced modern methods of publicity such as window display competitions for retailers and he organised events attended by celebrities of the day. These attracted much publicity in the national press, further encouraging shops to stock Paragon products.
Hugh Irving and his sons, Leslie and Guy, who had joined the business in 1928 and 1933, respectively, continued their association with the firm until it was taken over by Thomas C. Wild & Sons Ltd, manufacturers of Royal Albert bone china, in 1960. In July 1964, Wild and its subsidiary companies, including Paragon, merged with the Lawley Group Ltd which later that year changed its name to Allied English Potteries Ltd.
Paragon became part of Royal Doulton in 1972 and continued to produce china under that name until 1991. By 1989 the name and patterns had been absorbed into Royal Albert and by 1992 the Paragon name was discontinued. Some later Paragon patterns from this period continued in production under Royal Albert and were still available until the Royal Albert name was discontinued by Doulton.
For more information see The Paragon International Collectors Club Website