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The Wondrous World Of Carlton Ware

Carlton Ware Buttercup Toast Rack Salad Ware

The Wondrous World Of Carlton Ware

I think we have established by now that I have an intrinsic love of pottery and, in particular, Staffordshire pottery. There are just so many potteries to choose from, you really do have to narrow down your collecting options!

Today, I thought that I must give Carlton Ware a mention. A Stoke-on-Trent pottery company that operated for more than a 100 years.

Over the decades, Carlton have produced 1000s of designs and models. Many of the model numbers are well documented but there are also quite a few that are missing. The Australian registered design/ pattern reference, sometimes seen as a back mark, was used to prevent copying particularly in Australia and New Zealand!

Wiltshaw And Robinson

The company was established in 1890 by James Frederick Wiltshaw, William Herbert Robinson and James Alcock Robinson. They traded as Wiltshaw and Robinson. In 1894, they trademarked the name Carlton Ware and renamed their factory ‘Carlton Works’. The recognisable Carlton Ware ‘script back mark’ was not introduced until 1928.

 

Carlton ware Australian
Carlton Ware script backmark

Carlton are probably most famous for their tableware embellished with highly decorated leaves, flowers, fruit and birds. In fact, they produced an eclectic range of pottery ephemera. Some of which is now highly collectible and increasing significantly in value, for example their Persian, Chinese and Japanese inspired shapes and designs.

1920s Carlton Ware Persian pattern No. 2882: back stamped W&R, Stoke-on-Trent

 

Over the following years, the design and style of Carlton products varied with the arrival of different designers, heralding several eras of change at the factory. One such designer was the extremely innovative Harold Wain. He brought in the, now highly desirable, Tutankhamun inspired ceramics, following discovery of the tomb by the Egyptologist, Howard Carter, in 1922.

Carlton Ware
Tutankhamun Carlton Ware

 

The Art Deco Period

The company produced hand-painted domestic pottery in high art deco styles during the 1920s and 1930s. Many of the beautiful embossed patterns are now highly recognisable, including the ‘Salad ware’ range.

 

Carlton Ware Buttercup Toast Rack Salad Ware
Carlton Ware Buttercup Toast Rack Salad Ware

Carlton also produced many types of small collectible figurines including fairies, novelty and comic characters. High lustre was introduced in 1949.

This small Art Deco Carlton Ware Rock Garden two handled ribbed Jug/ Vase was made in the 1930s and and is typical of the period. It has a pale green background with embossed spring flowers in an array of vibrant colours. The pattern is 1244 “Rock Garden, ” but this is also known as Garden Wall.

Carlton Ware Rock Garden
Carlton Ware Rock Garden

 

During this period that Carlton also produced advertising ware, including the ceramic ‘Guinness’ toucans as promotional items for Guinness.

Carlton Ware
Carlton Guinness Toucan Advertising Ware

 

The Mid- 20th Century

After WW2, Carlton again changed style and moved towards more Scandinavian type designs in the 1950s and 60s.

In 1966, the company was taken over by Arthur Wood & Sons and the company moved into less expensive lines of production. Wood also introduced a wider range of back marks. Gone were the Hand painted ‘Best ware’ styles of the early 20th Century but the 1970s did bring the ‘Walking Ware’ era: those cups with feet!

Unfortunately, a mismanaged change of ownership led to the closure of the Stoke factory in 1989. There have been several attempts at revival; some with a modicum of success too!

I hope you enjoyed my short overview of Carlton Ware. There are many different styles and designs from this pottery to suit all tastes and pockets of would-be collectors. In addition, there are some really good resources available, providing a wealth of information, including the Carlton Ware World website. 

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A Short Overview Of SylvaC Pottery

SylvaC Pottery

A Short Overview Of SylvaC Pottery

For those of you whom are regular readers of my blog, you are probably now all aware of the fact that I love pottery! Over the years I have acquired many pieces from vases to ornaments, to whole tea and dinner services. I don’t just collect one manufacturer or style; it tends to be a mixture of things that appeal at the time of purchase. Some things were given as gifts by now, sadly, deceased relatives and these items have sentimental value; a contact with the past and a loving memory. Others appeal because of their colour or style.

One of the pottery manufacturers which I do admire is SylvaC Pottery, and I have collected several pieces over the years. One or two pieces I will never part with just because I love them so much! It’s not that they are all worth a small fortune; SylvaC is increasing in value but you can still pick up the more common models for below £20. It’s just that they are unusual but still immediately identifiable as SylvaC.

SylvaC Pottery:

The company, Shaw and Copestake (SylvaC) was founded in 1894 by William Copestake and William Shaw, in Longton, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire. Copestake left in 1895 and Richard Hull became Shaw’s partner, and was joined by Hull’s son (Richard Junior) in 1936.

The trade name SylvaC wasnt registered until 1937. Pieces prior to this date were not marked SylvaC. Some were marked ‘Silvo.’

In 1938, the partners bought Thomas Lawrence Falcon pottery.  The name ‘Falcon ware’ was used for pieces produced at both the Falcon and Sylvan (SylvaC) works until 1964. SylvaC continued to thrive as Shaw and Copestake until 1982 when it went into voluntary liquidation.

SylvaC are famous for their figurines of animals; in particular rabbits and dogs, but they also produced a wide range of novelty and character wares too.

Animals

Imps/ Gnomes/ Pixies

Most of us remember SylvaC in the orange and green matt glazes but they actually used quite a range of colours. Gloss glaze was introduced in 1970.

SylvaC Ware Model 5282 White Heraldic Brass Rubbing Tankard
SylvaC Ware Model 5282 White Heraldic Brass Rubbing Tankard

 

They were also well know for their  Dinnerware e.g. pots in the shape of vegetables with faces, and Toby/ Character Jugs, which were popular commemorative and advertising pieces.

SylvaC pottery
SylvaC model 4553 Beetroot Happy Face Pot

Backmark

During the 1920s/ 30s, SylvaC used a daisy wheel logo without the brand name ‘SylvaC’ and some of the very early pieces, pre 1920, were not marked at all!

Post 1937,  SylvaC  began using a more distinctive back mark, which usually included the model number and, post 1938, the SylvaC brand name, thus making SylvaC pieces considerably easier to identify and value. The company also used foil and paper stickers with the SylvaC logo but these had a habit of falling off!

The brand name SylvaC is still in existence today, and some of the vintage pottery has started to be reproduced with similar backmarks.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my short overview of SylvaC pottery. You may not know the name but I am sure you will have seen some of these wonderful pieces!

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A Meander Around Wade Pottery, Ceramics and Earthenware

1976 World of Survival Series Wade England Polar Bear

A Meander Around Wade Pottery, Ceramics and Earthenware

When you think of Wade pottery, many of us would probably think of Wade Whimsies (unless you are a Wade collector) but I think that is a real shame. In fact, Wade have produced industrial ceramics, and some wonderful porcelain and earthenware objets d’art over the years.

Wade Ceramics Limited, Staffordshire, UK, is a pottery established in 1810 and still manufacturing today at a brand new factory only opened in 2010. When first founded, the company actually comprised several companies, established by different members of the Wade extended family, eventually uniting to form Wade Potteries Limited in the 1950s.

Wade Whimsies

As I have already mentioned, Wade are best known, in the UK and USA, for creating and manufacturing Whimsies from 1954: small porcelain animal figurines, which were low priced and highly collectable.

1950s Wade Whimsies 1st Series Poodle
1950s Wade Whimsies 1st Series Poodle

 

I am one of many people whom, as child, set out to collect as many different whimsies as my pocket money and Saturday job would allow me to buy!  This hobby didn’t stretch to my adulthood- I was a student for 7 years and money didn’t reach that far!

Some of the older and rarer (pre-1970s) whimsies are increasing significantly in value and worth £20-40 each, if in good condition and boxed.

Wade Range of Ceramics

But… Wade also produced a wide range of eclectic and wonderfully detailed ornaments, tea services, and face masks, in all shapes and sizes, including:-

  • Cartoon and disney characters,
  • Birds and animals of all types
  • Famous people
  • Characters from the literary, film, opera, and music world
  • Nursery rhyme characters
  • Advertising wares (including Scotch Whisky decanters)

This Wade pin dish features quite a racy looking Queen of Hearts!

1960s Wade Pottery Queen of Hearts Pin Dish
1960s Wade Pottery Queen of Hearts Pin Dish

 

Jessie Van Hallen

One of the most famous designers at Wade, and contemporary to Clarice Cliff, was Jessie Van Hallen. There is a fascinating blog about her on the Wade Collectors Club website, written by David Chown. I especially love her 1938 version of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ figurines, which were produced with support from Disney, and sold for £1.00 a set and now worth considerably more!

 

Jessie Van Hallen’s Snow White Collection

 

Wade Collectibles

These small but detailed 1950s yachts sit nicely on my bathroom wall.  They were actually ‘Made in Ireland’ at the Wade (Ulster) Ltd factory established in the 1930s by Colonel Sir George Wade. This factory closed in the 1990s. We are missing the smallest yacht in the set of three but I’m still looking!

Irish Wade Yachts

 

This little basket was also made by Wade under their ‘Noveltio’ brand.

Vintage Wade Noveltio Straw Effect Pottery Basket
Vintage Wade Noveltio Straw Effect Pottery Basket

Wade were commissioned by ‘Survival Anglia Limited’ to produce some animal figurines based on their popular TV Series ‘The World of Survival’. Two series of figurines were produced between 1976 and 1982.

1976 World of Survival Series Wade England Polar Bear
1976 World of Survival Series Wade England Polar Bear

The polar bear is from the first series. All of the animal figurines are highly prized.

Back Marks

Don’t forget to check those back marks! Antique Marks has a very good pictorial representation of the key marks used at the various Wade UK and the Ulster factories. There have been many copies and reproductions of Wade but few can compare with the original, unless made from the same mould. Wade and a few other companies have reproduced limited editions of some of the vintage items, using the original moulds, but these are clearly marked.

If you are interested in collecting Wade, then the Wade Collector’s Club website is an excellent source of information. We also have on or two vintage pieces for sale on our website and in our Etsy shop.

 

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Who were Bretby Art Pottery and Tooth & Co?

Vintage Bretby Art Pottery Nursery Rhyme Bookends Models 3262 and 3263

Who were Bretby Art Pottery and Tooth & Co?

Bretby Art Pottery was started in 1882 by Henry Tooth and William Ault. The company was actually known as Tooth & Co. Ltd.

Tooth and Ault designed and built their own pottery in Woodville, Derbyshire. Manufacturing began on 25 October 1883.

They entered the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1884 and won a gold award. Not a bad result for a first attempt! The famous ‘Sunburst’ trade mark was registered in the same year.

Breathy Sunburst Mark
Bretby Sunburst Trade Mark

The partnership was dissolved on 1 January 1887 when William Ault set up his own pottery Ault & Co in Midland Road, Swadlincote.

Tooth & Co. produced both inexpensive pressed wares, and more expensive art pottery, in a variety of shapes and sizes from large jardiniere (1-2 meters) to trinkets. They also tried to emulate other types of surfaces e.g. metals such as pewter and copper, but using ceramic.  The range of objects manufactured was also huge, not just vases but famous figures, flora, fauna and bamboo-style decorative pieces.

There are a few examples in the images below. Their designs are quite distinctive and very tactile.

I especially love their 1930s ‘Kitchen Kupboard’  Bretby Ware. It is very similar to Cornish Ware made by T.G.Green, which I have collected over the years!

Bretby Kitchen Kupboard Advert

Bretby also produced a range called Clanta or Clanta Ware

Bretby remained part of the Tooth family until 1933. After WW2 they became known as Tooth and Company Limited, Bretby Art Pottery.

From the 1950s, Bretby moved into industrial pottery before finally closing in about 1996.

Backmarks for Bretby with the iconic sunburst.

Back Marks include the familiar rising sun over the name BRETBY (1884), and HT for Henry Tooth used from 1883-1900. Made in England is only found on 20th Century examples. The impressed mark usually includes the pattern/ Design number.

Year      Design number(s)
in use in that year

1891             917
1896            1065 – 1095
1897            1116
1898            1222
1907            1678
1908            1790
1911             1852
1924            2326 – 2701
1929            2985 – 3045

However, Bretby used the same moulds over several years, and reused them several times in years much later than their original registration. This makes Bretby very difficult to date!

The Clanta and Clanta Ware impressed marks were introduced in 1914.

The following images show the Bretby sunburst impression and design number.

The former Bretby Art Pottery building has been recently acquired by the Derbyshire based ‘The Heritage Trust’ . 

According to their website:-

We hope to find a sustainable new use that retains links to the pottery industry that once thrived in the area and using funding from The Architectural Heritage we are currently undertaking a project viability study.

Let’s hope they are successful in their endeavours and provide a fitting tribute to Bretby and Tooth & Co.

Please click on the following link for Bretby products available on our website.

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Clarice Cliff, A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, Newport Pottery, Shorter & Son Ltd

1930s Shorter & Son Staffordshire Pottery Set of Three Fish plates

Clarice Cliff, A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, Newport Pottery, Shorter & Son Ltd

A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, Newport Pottery, Shorter & Son Ltd were all factories owned by the Shorter family and they worked in close co-operation.

The ‘Shorter & Bolton’ business was founded as a partnership between Arthur Shorter and James Bolton in 1872, in Stoke, Staffordshire, UK.  In 1891, after the death of his brother in law, Shorter commenced managing A.J Wilkinson.

Arthur Shorter died in 1926 and Shorter & Son Ltd continued under the management of brothers Arthur ‘Colley’ Shorter and John Shorter, and Harry L. Steele. Colley Shorter died in 1964 and the business was acquired by S.Fielding & Co. Ltd (Crown Devon).

The arrival of Colley Shorter saw a change in direction in manufacturing for Shorter & Son, from domestic earthenware to wonderfully colourful novelty and ornamental products.

1930's Shorter & Son Pink Wild Rose Preserve Jar
1930’s Shorter & Son Pink Wild Rose Preserve Jar

Their main claim to fame were the renowned designers Mabel Leigh and the infamous Clarice Cliff, whom worked at the A.J. Wilkinson factory.

Mabel Leigh Pagoda Cottage

In 1927/8 Clarice Cliff designed the handpainted ‘Bizarre Ware’ pottery range. The name for the range was chosen by Colley Shorter whom married Clarice Cliff in 1940 after the death of his first wife.

Clarice Cliff ‘Red Picasso’ Bizarre Range

 

There has been much speculation as to whether or not this fish range of tableware was actually designed by Clarice Cliff.

1930s Shorter & Son Staffordshire Pottery Set of Three Fish plates
1930’s Shorter & Son Staffordshire Pottery Set of Three Fish plates

Shorter & Son Ltd trade names include ’Batavia Ware’ and ‘Sunray Pottery’.

The Shorter& son maker’s backmark comprised variations of a printed ‘Shorter & Son Ltd, Stoke-on-Trent, England.’  

1930's Shorter & Son Pink Wild Rose Preserve Jar
1930’s Shorter & Son Printed Back Mark

It is strange, to me at least, that many of us have heard the name Clarice Cliff but few of us have heard of Shorter & Son or their wonderful pottery. I hope this short blog goes some way towards remedying that!

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