The Shelley brand rests on the foundations of Wileman & Company started in 1870 by James Wileman and Joseph Shelley, where the latter eventually took charge of the fine china production. The china was marketed under the name of Foley.
Joseph Shelley and his son Percy worked constantly to improve china quality and to develop new shapes and designs. The popular Dainty and Oleader shapes were created under their leadership. After a legal battle with Foley China about the use of the name of Foley in its hallmark, the company name was changed to Shelley in 1925.
Because of its strong export-focused production, Shelley was allowed to continue producing china through the World War II. By the 1960's the cost of production and loss of market share made the situation for Shelley so difficult that it was sold to Allied Potteries (Royal Albert) in 1966.
The exqisite shapes and quality designs means that Shelley China has remained very collectable.