The painter, Thomas Allen, was a local artist. As an apprentice at Minton’s he studied at the Stoke-on-Trent School of Design from 1849. In 1852 he became one of the first students to be awarded a National Art Training Scholarship to the School of Design in London.
He was a painter of figure subjects at Minton’s until 1875, he also designed and painted tiles though none of his designs are signed. He left in 1875 to join Wedgwood as chief designer and then Art Director in 1880 until 1900.