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Collecting Art Deco Ceramics Shapes and Patterns from the 1920s and 1930s

Francis Joseph Publications Howard and Pat Watson

Acknowledgements The following are warmly thanked for their assistance Sally & Colin Bartram Shanl & Andrew Fawcett Ann & Rod Fawkes, Dennis Harwood Irene & Gordon Hopwood Fenella Knight Nigel Middleton Paul Oliver Pam & Russ Pinnegar Tim Smith Annie & Ian Tickler Heather Wilson & Steve Williams

A J Partners (Jorg S. Boing) Alastalr Hendy Sue & John Hill

The Minton Museum, Royal Doulton Ltd. Royal Doulton Limited Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd. Stoke-on-Trent City Museum Collection The Antique Collectors Club Christie's South Kensington Phillips, London Sotheby's, Sussex Photographs from 'Moorcroft Pottery' by Paul Atterbury are by courtesy of Richard Dennis Special thanks to Simon Photography, Warwick

FrancisJoseph ebook: Š 2014

PREFACE The starting point for this book lay in the upsurge of interest in Art Deco ceramics over the past ten years. During those years I have been a dealer myself, specialising in the pottery of the period between the two World Wars, and I suspect that one reason for this interest is that there are many parallels between that period and our own. The Eighties, like the Twenties and Thirties, was a time of superficial prosperity for many and extreme deprivation for some. A similar feverish gaiety has been engendered by the media, while in the background there has been the grim reality of the dole queue. Equally, it has been a time when uncertainty has marked the attitude of the majority of people towards questions of ethics and human relationships, a sense that the code of c o n d u c t officially endorsed is an anachronism in a selfish, self-seeking world. This underlying bleakness makes colour and warmth even more attractive. Unexpected shapes and clever combinations of line and pattern satisfy a need for interest and amusement. Nostalgia plays its part, too, for almost everybody can remember something left over from the days between the wars, still remaining in the homes of elderly relatives and seen during childhood, making it a reminder of that distant past, when they were perhaps happier and more secure than they are now. In her own day Clarice Cliff remarked. Women want continual change... they will have colour and plenty of it. Women - and men too have the same needs now as they did then, and this explains the popularity of the period today. Confusion sometimes still exists between Art Deco and Art Nouveau, which preceded it, though the two styles are quite different in spirit, inevitably so in view of the totally contrasting social scenes they reflect. While it is impossible to be arbitrary about

dates in design history, for practical purposes Art Nouveau is generally regarded as being before the First World War and Art Deco as relating to the period between the two wars, though since with hindsight it is possible to see some indications of its approach much earlier, the two eras do overlap to a certain extent. Named after a Parisian gallery which opened in 1895, Art Nouveau was essentially a flowing, sinuous style based on organic forms. It was typified by the posters of the artist Alphonse Mucha, widely reproduced in the sixties, the time of 'Flower Power'. Mucha depicted ethereal maidens with flowing hair and elaborate drapery posed against richly-coloured panels of flowers and foliage. Similar maidens, in delicate tints of peach and green with gilt decoration, lean languidly against the pottery of the period or bend over bowls edged with water lilies and reeds. The timeless Edwardian elegance was swept away by the outbreak of war. After the Armistice, the Machine Age, tense as a coiled spring, was upon us. The contrast between the artifacts of the two periods speaks volumes. Art Nouveau lounges gracefully, Art Deco whizzes away. Many excellent books have already been written about the Art Deco period, but in the main they have dealt chiefly with the rare and expensive items which when they come on the market change hands at very high prices. Many of these end up in museums or in distinguished private collections put together regardless of cost. Though they are out of reach of the average collector, valuable background information can be obtained by reading about them and studying them in photographs, for more than at any other time this was an age when the contemporary design values permeated all aspects of everyday life at all social levels.

This means their influence was felt right different avenues open to collectors of Art across the price-range and, as a result, Deco ceramics. Notes on decorative items quite inexpensive in their own day and techniques and methods of production are still comparatively reasonable in price also included, along with ways of identifying today can encapsulate all the style and and dating the work of various designers. sophistication of Art Deco design. To a lesser Knowledge adds enormously to the extent, even objects produced at that time pleasures of collecting, and I am grateful to which can by no stretch of the imagination all those dealers, customers and friends, far be classed as Art Deco do have, for some too many to mention by name, who over collectors, a very strong appeal - the SylvaC the past ten years have shared their bunny is a good example. knowledge with me and put up with my Such nostalgic nicknacks are seldom endless questions. written about and information on them is hard to find. The same is true of the smaller factories in the Potteries, and what follows is intended to suggest some of the many Pat Watson.

Contents Introduction


Origins of the Art Deco Style


The 1925 Exhibition


The Pottery Industry between the Wars


Notes for Collectors


Starting a Collection of Art Deco Ceramics


The Rise of Collecting since the War


Recent Trends


A Note on Decorating Techniques


Pottery Index


Art Deco Ceramics


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry


Section II

Flowers and Fruit


Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes


Section IV

Birds and Animals


Section V

Facemasks and Figurines


Section VI

Nursery World


Section VII

Collecting Themes



INTRODUCTION The origins of 'Art Deco' There w e r e , of course, many different aspects of Art D e c o design. Florid or austere, subtle or flamboyant, they represented various interpretations of the design concepts of the day. Development in the course of time led inevitably to further changes, as manufacturers manipulated and encouraged consumer demands. The steady growth of compulsory elementary education was the foundation stone for mass c o m m u n i c a t i o n - popular newspapers, magazines, radio, the cinema - and increased leisure for the enjoyment of all these meant that a global impact could be m a d e on all sectors of society. When designers drew their inspiration from a particular source, the public could recognise the reference because of what they h a d read, heard on the radio or seen in the cinema. This m a d e the a c c e p t a n c e of new ideas much easier a n d prepared the g r o u n d for a c h a n g e of a p p r o a c h throughout the commercial world. Mass-media advertising was now available to manufacturers and some pottery owners were swift to grasp the value of developing a marketing image. Such publicity material is often an invaluable source of information. From the early years of the new century there h a d been signs of coming changes, mainly on the Continent and usually in the formation of groups of artists and craftsmen with shared ideals. The Weiner Werkstatte was set up in Austria as early as 1903, while in Germany the Deutscher Werkbund was founded in 1907, to be followed in 1919 by the Bauhaus. Simplicity and functionalism were the keynotes, with ceramics coming under scrutiny along with architecture, metalware a n d furniture. Balancing this austere approach was the effect of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, which arrived in Paris in 1909 with an explosion of colour and sound. In the art world, the group of painters

known as Fauves - The 'Wild Beasts' - used vivid combinations of pure colour, while the Cubists a n d t h e Futurists e m p h a s i s e d geometry and streamlining. The shape Art D e c o was t o t a k e r e s u l t e d f r o m t h e combined effect of all these very different influences. The past, too, had impact. In 1992 the t o m b of Tutankhamen was o p e n e d a n d t h e symbols of Ancient Egypt were c o p i e d on to pottery, jewellery and furniture. Oriental a n d Eastern European decorative styles were popular, while the vogue for jazz music a n d black entertainers r e i n f o r c e d t h e growing interest in African tribal art, which had been set off by exhibitions about the newly e x p l o r e d c o n t i n e n t . C e r a m i c designers also turned to Aztec art, the skyscrapers of New York a n d the luxury of the new Cunard liners for their inspiration. With such a diversity of source material, it is not surprising that variety is the keynote to Art Deco. All levels of quality, too, c a n be found. There are the classic pieces, not necessarily expensive then or now, but embodying taste a n d refinements even when the materials themselves are not costly. There is what might be termed Home Artistic Deco. Its elements are a mixture of the quaint a n d the stylish, prevalent in the would-be Bohemian flats a n d cottages of t h e sub-Bloomsbury set. There is kitsch, always in a class by itself, a n d Woolworth's Deco, c h e a p , cheerful a n d often shoddy, but nevertheless fun. Finally there is what might be termed "Overstuffed D e c o ' , in the m u t e d oatmeals, beiges a n d Ovaltine colours chosen by those with money but little confidence, perhaps too timid to buy anything really startling. Pottery at all these levels c a n be f o u n d , some exuberantly shouting aloud their Art Deco origin, some merely whispering their presence.

THE 1925 EXHIBITION Probably coined in the thirties, but not in general use until after the second world war, the name Art Deco came from the title of an exhibition held in the heart of Paris in 1925; the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Postponed from various earlier dates because of the international situation, its main purpose was to win back for France her former position as leader of style in Europe. Its declared aim was to put on show, in a vast concourse of pavilions between the Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower, the finest examples of modern design, totally freed from reference to earlier periods. An Admissions Committee was set up to ensure that this aim was kept firmly in mind, though inevitably quarrels broke out between almost all concerned over the interpretation of the terms of their brief. Perhaps the best summation of the spirit of the exhibition was the cover of the catalogue. This showed a dancer clad in stylised draperies, carrying aloft a basket of flowers and leaves, a leaping deer by her side. The effect of streamlined movement, the formalisation of the natural elements, the linear quality of the background and the t y p e f a c e chosen for its modern simplicity, all reflect an over-riding compulsion to break with the past. Rather as, in our own day, the Olympic Games take over vast areas of land and require the building of huge sporting complexes, reflecting glory on the host nation and an enormous commercial investment and return, so these earlier international exhibitions involved prestige and pecuniary advantage for the organisers. With typical Gallic extravagance, huge and overwhelming pavilions were constructed, reached through monumental gateways and surrounded by gardens designed by leading landscape architects, many with

elaborate sculpture by prominent artists. Everything was on a lavish scale, lit brilliantly at night by coloured floodlighting. Almost six million visitors were offered every kind of entertainment, from fairground attractions to fashion shows, from fireworks to theatrical extravaganzas involving all the celebrities of the Parisian stage. Catering ranged from picnic areas to floating restaurants on the Seine, while those who still had the energy after walking for hours along the endless avenues could dance the night away. "Un dancing elegant, ou les couples evoluent sur une piste lumineause", commented a contemporary magazine. Though ostensibly an international event, with pavilions given over to exhibits from all around the world - except from Germany and America, who made excuses - it was, naturally enough, French designers and manufacturers who dominated the field. Besides the glittering displays from the capital, there was a village of French provincial exhibits as well as a section devoted to the French colonies. Perhaps realising that foreign exhibitors would inevitably play a subsidiary role, the British pottery industry (apart from prestige companies like Royal Doulton and Wedgwood), were generally reluctant to go to the effort and expense of taking space in the British Pavilion, simply for the sake of "showing the flag'. They saw more sense in concentrating on the annual London trade shows like the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition and the British Industries Fair. Besides this, they also exhibited at larger events like the Wembley British Empire Exhibition of 1924, where they could promote their wares to trade buyers from the British Isles and the British empire, and where the majority of visitors, at least, spoke their own language, and were already keen to "buy British'.

THE POTTERY INDUSTRY BETWEEN THE WARS Centred on Staffordshire, the British pottery system, in 1762 there were 500 separate industry has a long history, Fragments of potteries employing seven thousand pottery have been unearthed dating back workers. Shortly after this, steam power was to Neolithic man (2500B.C. to 1900 B.C.). In introduced, bringing further changes. the middle of the first century A.D. an Workers were now skilled in one particular up-draught kiln was being used in Trent process, being employed as throwers, Vale, and two five-mouthed saucer turners, handlers, hollow-ware pressers, -shaped kilns dating from about 1300 have flat-ware pressers, mouldmakers, printers, been discovered at Sneyd Green. By that jiggers and ovenmen. The work of the time 'Potter' had come into use in the area different sections need co-ordination by an as a surname, and by the seventeenth overall design, and this was at first supplied century steens, piggins, kegs and pitchers by the factory owner. As time went by and were being made by local potters for their the demands of organising the whole neighbours. The arrival of John Phillip Elers, enterprise became too great, responsibility a Dutchman, in 1693, provided the impetus for design was delegated. This crucial step for a new stage in the industry's was to provide an outlet for the talents of development. Elers set up a factory at many outstanding pottery artists, and lead Bradwell Hall, only to fall victim to an early eventually to the collecting of their work. instance of industrial espionage. His Meanwhile, in the main, the factories carefully guarded trade secrets were remained family firms, the members of one discovered by two local men who gained or two families retaining ownership over access to his works by feigning to be feeble several generations. This did not change minded. Soon afterwards, Elers moved to until the massive post-war take-overs of the Ireland but his organisation and methods 1960s and 1970s. were copied by his rivals. The day of the Within the industry, competition was based country potter supplying his neighbours with on the constant introduction of new shapes domestic ceramics was over. The factory and patterns. From the early success of system had begun. Elers' with his teapots, through to Over the next century there was rapid Wedgwood's Queen's Ware, Jasper and growth, centering on the six North Basalt, thence to Shelley's Entarsio and Staffordshire towns of Tunstall, Burslem, Gray's hand-painted items, it can be seen Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton. The that novelty and variety were the yardstick reason for the concentration of potteries in in the perenial fight for customers. that particular area lay in the easy The main trade journal, the Pottery Gazavailability in the region of long flame coal, ette and Glass Trades Review, begun in clay and water, these being, along with 1877, continually stressed the need to skilled local labour, the basic ingredients of interest and intrigue the buying public by the pottery industry. Even when, with introducing fresh lines and new pottery expansion, coal and clay began to be ranges. Some designs, like the Willow Patimported, the need for skilled workers tern and Enoch Wood's Country Scenes, ensured the industry stayed in the area. Led never went entirely out of favour and are still by enterprising men like Josiah Wedgwood produced today, but apart from the steady and Josiah Spode, methods of production sellers, a continual flow of creative ideas were streamlined to increase output to was required from each factory's Art satisfy expanding markets. 'According to a Director. Social customs always affected public petition asking for a new road the sales pattern, and in the Twenties and

Thirties it was usual for young girls of marriageable age to build up a collection of linen, cutlery and tableware - her 'bottom drawer' as it was called - put away for when she had a home of her own, an informal version of a dowry. Dinner services and tea sets were saved for and bought, so that by the time of the marriage everything needed for the new household was prepared. This meant that, at least in fairly affluent times, there was a ready sale for the products of the pottery industry from routine tableware to fancies, ornamental items like vases, plaques and figurines. In quantity, tableware naturally

outweighed the purely decorative pieces, but breakages through regular daily use reduced the amount remaining for today's collectors. The fact that so much pottery of the period is still available gives an indication of the vast amount originally made. Probably, too, quite a proportion of the more expensive ranges was kept for special occasions - for best - and was consequently stored away in kitchen cupboards or china cabinets, used on high days and holidays Perhaps part of the fascination of collecting ceramics is the contrast between fragility and survival.

Notes for Collectors Starting a Collection of Art Deco Ceramics Most collections start with a single item, chosen from perhaps dozens in a specialist shop or at an antiques fair. Occasionally though, several pieces are inherited, and form a nucleus to which more items are a d d e d . Often these early examples are d i s c a r d e d a s tastes c h a n g e a n d k n o w l e d g e increases, suggesting other directions for the collection to take. Then the first pieces c a n be sold off to raise funds for new purchases, a n d as long as pottery in g o o d condition has been bought from the start, there should be no difficulty in re-selling, usually at a profit. Where a large number of items are surplus to requirements, a collector will often move across into dealing, at least on an occasional basis, by taking a stall from time to time at an a n t i q u e s fair. This has t h e a d d e d advantage of qualifying the new dealer for early admission to the brisk trade dealing at the start of a fair, before the public are allowed in, as well as giving an insight into life on the other side of the counter. Art D e c o c e r a m i c s p r e s e n t s u c h a m u l t i p l i c i t y o f c h o i c e s t h a t personal preferences must, in the e n d , be the decisive factor. This apart, perhaps the first decision will be whether to collect the work of one individual pottery designer or to range right across t h e b o a r d , perhaps choosing items to illustrate a particular theme (along the lines suggested in this book). Another limiting factor may be your c o l o u r s c h e m e , a n d f o r t u n a t e l y it is generally possible to choose pieces within a limited range of colours without sacrificing interest a n d variety. Space is another important consideration and where shelf-space is at a premium, wall hung items like plates, chargers, plaques, face-masks a n d wall-pockets are a g o o d choice. If the

collection is to be concentrated in one room rather than spread around the house, a china cabinet of the period may be a sensible investment, so that the pieces c a n be d i s p l a y e d , as they p r o b a b l y w e r e originally, behind glass for safety a n d to cut down on dusting. If there are a number of places available for display, then items c a n be chosen with a particular spot in mind, the scale of the piece a n d its colour being selected for maximum effect. It is worth remembering that often even quite small pieces - coffee cans, or a single c u p , saucer and plate (a 'trio') in e a c h of a number of patterns, can look very effective displayed together. Fortunately the price range a n d extent of Art Deco remains so wide that it is still possible to build up a very a t t r a c t i v e collection for a reasonable outlay, a n d a lot of t h e p l e a s u r e of c o l l e c t i n g lies in searching out bargains a n d discovering lucky finds in unexpected places. Right from the start of your collection, it is advisable to keep a record of purchases. Not only do you need an accurate list for insurance purposes - a n d here polaroid pictures are a useful addition - b u t for possible later re-sale you will n e e d to know the original cost of your items, though you will p r o b a b l y find t h e current p r i c e is considerably more by the time you c o m e to sell. Alongside the collection itself, it is worth making a collection of information about the period, building up a small library of books on Art Deco topics a n d watching for articles in newspapers a n d magazines, which c a n be stored in a folder of transparent sleeves for easy reference. Visits t o museums like Brighton a n d Stoke -on-Trent City Museum, Hanley, will provide more insights, a n d the reference library at


Hanley has an excellent system allowing for the period, as well as pattern-books and research into the bound copies of the scrapbooks available from some of the Pottery Gazette and Glass Trades Review of factories.

The Rise of Collecting since the War Since the war, starting with a handful of Eighties, by which time collecting and perceptive collectors, the Art Deco revival dealing in Art Deco had become a way of has gathered momentum to a point where life. The revival has lasted as long as the today all the major auction houses include period itself, and shows no signs of ever regular Twentieth Century and Decorative coming to an end. Arts sales in their annual programme. As a direct result, the antiques fairs scene Landmarks along the way have been the has been slowly but surely changed. 1966 exhibition, Les Annees Vingt Cinq - Art Whereas once it was a rare stroke of good Deco, Bauhaus, Stiljl, Esprit NouveauIn Paris, luck to find a single piece of Art Deco the publication in 1968 of Bevis Hillier's Art pottery in an entire fair, now whole fairs are Deco, a Design Handbook, and the Jazz devoted to the sale of Art Deco, Art Age exhibition at Brighton Museum which Nouveau and what are loosely classed as launched their permanent collection of Art 'Decorative Arts'. The Loughborough Deco inspired by Martin Battersby. The National Art Deco Fair is held four times Seventies opened with the 1971 World of Art yearly, with similar fairs at Kensington and Deco at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, an Greenwich every two months. From the exhibition of fifteen hundred objects original handful of shops specialising in the selected and catalogued by Bevis Hillier. In period there are now around thirty in 1972, shortly before her death that October, different parts of the country with over a Clarice Cliff's ceramics were on show at dozen in London as well as stalls in antiques Brighton Museum and four years later, in centres everywhere. There are, of course, London, another exhibition of her work still date-line fairs where twentieth century launched an illustrated biography about pieces are banned, but on the whole the her by Peter Wentworth-Sheilds and Kay previous snobbish and patronising attitude Johnson. Films like 'Some Like it Hot', towards Art Deco has now changed, thanks 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', 'The Great to a more general awareness that good Gatsby' and countless stage and television design is timeless and that it is only the best productions kept up the interest into the that survives the passing of the years.

Recent Trends Just as the 'Antiques Roadshow', 'Bygones' and 'Something to Treasure' reflect the increase of interest in antiaues in general, so Channel 4's Pottery Ladles series reflected the increasing interest in Art Deco ceramics. Not only was the work of Charlotte Rhead, Susie Cooper and Clarice Cliff discussed in some depth, but many of the original

paintresses were seen talking about their days in the decorating workshops and even recreating some of the original patterns. Exhibitions followed, at major museums across the country, as well as the publication of books not only about Art Deco in general but also about a number of individual potteries. Articles in collectors'


magazines, too, have helped to stimulate interest. The effect of all this media attention is two-way - not only does it make more people keen to collect but it alerts those with pottery in their homes that they can sell it for a good price, so bringing fresh supplies on to the market. Fashions in collecting come and go, of course, but in the main certain guidelines

remain constant. It is the strong shapes and brilliant colours that are the essence of Art Deco, and good condition, particularly for pottery, is paramount. Whatever the theme you choose though, a collection built up with this in mind will give endless enjoyment, and will enlighten the minds of all who see it of the brightest moments of the Twentieth Century.

Rules for Collectors 1) Buy from a reputable dealer. 2) If in doubt, don't buy it. 3) Avoid damage or restoration. If at all possible. 4) At specialist fairs, like the Kensington Decorative Arts Fair, the Greenwich World of Art Deco Fair and the Loughborough National Art Deco Fair, many specialist dealers can be seen together and their stock and prices compared.

5) At large general fairs, like the Alexandra Palace Antiques Fair and the two-monthly Birmingham Wednesday Rag Market, a proportion of the stalls will be selling Art Deco, but here more caution is needed regarding both condition and authenticity. 6) When selling get advice and several prices. 7) Never throw anything away.

A NOTE ON DECORATING TECHNIQUES When it arrives on the decorator's bench, a pottery item might be either in biscuit form, after its initial firing but unglazed, or be whiteware, glazed, that is, but undecorated. Its state would depend on whether it was to have underglaze decoration, on the biscuit before the glaze was applied, or on-glaze painting, using low-fired enamel colours requiring a final firing at a low temperature. Underglaze painting has a depth and richness brought about by the fusion of the enamel paint and the subsequent glaze, while on-glaze decoration has a spontaneity and immediacy of impact which gives it a particularly lively appeal. Biscuitware, being more fragile and easily damaged, was usually decorated at the factory where it was made. Whiteware, on the other hand, travelled well and could be sold to firms who were, like Gray's Pottery for instance, decorating factories only, though much of it would also be retained for decoration at the factory of

origin as well. Gray's brought white-ware from, among others, Johnson Brothers Limited, S Fielding & Co., Wood and Sons and Grimwades, all of whom were well-known for their wide range of decorated ware too. This explains why the same shapes crop up time and again with different patterns and different backstamps. If the whiteware bought in happened to have the original manufacturer's backstamp already on it, the decorating factory would obliterate it, not always with complete success, with a larger transfer or lithograph of their own. An example of even closer co-operation was Susie Cooper's arrangement with Harry Wood, by means of which she not only rented premises at his Crown Works but also designed exactly the shapes she wanted. These were made up at his adjoining factory, so that she had only to buy in a very few items elsewhere. Within the decorating workshop, patterns were often broken down into their


component parts, items being passed from one worker to the next, each adding her contribution before handing it on. 'Between guidelines they drew simple diamonds which in turn were filled in with bright colours by the other girls. Then the article was passed on to be banded at the top and bottom by others.' (Clarice Cliff's notes, written for the catalogue of the Brighton Museum exhibition of her work in 1972.) Years later the girls were remembered for their own particular skills; at placing dots, at banding or at applying special surface finishes. The latter included; using a sponge to obtain a stipple effect, dabbing on thickened paint to achieve an orange peel surface, stencilling or aerographing. Patterns were generally spaced out on the pottery surface by a pounce. This is a thin sheet of paper which is pierced with tiny holes along the required lines. Through the holes soot or charcoal dust was rubbed or blown to leave a fine outline which guided a decorator's brush - or 'pencil' as it is often referred to. Indian ink was sometimes also used to reinforce the 'pounced' pattern, but all traces of the guidelines disappeared during firing.

It was Charlotte Rhead however, who was to develop the technique to its highest complexity, in her work for Woods, Burgess and Leigh and A G Richardson. It is still possible to find her Stitch and Patch patterns, specially devised to train apprentices in handling the tube-lining bag, regularly placed dots being used instead of a continuous line. Her other, more elaborate patterns are now expensive collector's items. Success in tube-lining depended on a combination of knowledge and experience; the surface of the item had to be exactly right, neither too wet nor too dry, or the thin thread of slip would crumble. Widely used for the flowing patterns of Art Nouveau tiles, it was too labour intensive for the cheaper end of the market between the wars, and today the technique is used only by the Moorcroft pottery.

Lustre finishes, similar to the traditional lustres of Victorian and earlier times, were added to some ranges by many factories. Achieved by applying metallic oxides over the glaze, the technique of firing in an oxygen-starved atmosphere left an iridescent surface on the pottery, varying in One particularly skilled technique, requiring colour according to the oxide used. The special dexterity on the part of the Newcastle-on-Tyne factory, Maling, as well decorator, was known as tube-lining. Similar as Grays and Crown Devon, produced fine to piping the lettering on the surface of an quality lustre effects, Gray's Gloria Lustre iced birthday-cake, it consisted of following range even having its own backstamp, a the lines of the pounce with a thin thread of rising sun. Gilding was another method of slip, or liquid clay, pressed through the adding sparkle, but this was usually applied nozzle of a glass tube from a rubber bag. by a brush in the form of paint containing a The raised pattern was then fired, after proportion of fine gold - best gold had which colour and often gilding were added twenty per cent - and had to be burnished and the whole piece was then glazed and after firing. According to Clarice Cliff, part fired again. Said to have been introduced of her early training consisted of 'very fine into the Potteries by Harry Barnard, who filigree gilding with a pen, tracing spiders' worked for Wedgwood at the end of the webs, butterflies etc. to hide small nineteenth century, tube-lining is a imperfections on expensive ware'. refinement of an earlier method of Several factories in the Twenties and Thirties included dripware among their ranges, and decorating known as slip- trailing. It was used at a number of factories, it is a moot point as to which was the first to including Cauldon Potteries, Sampson put it on display. Clarice Cliff produced her Hancock, Crown Devon, Wade Heath and, Delecia range in the early Thirties, while Shelley put their Harmony Artware on show outstandingly, Moorcroft.


at the British Industries Fair of 1933. The Empire Porcelain Co. used the technique of running several colours of paint together for their Saverley range, and Myott and Sons also made use of the method on some of their jugs. Perhaps it was inspired by the much more subtle effect created by the flown glazes of Victorian art pottery. To give interest and variety, bands of fruit or flowers were added to the Delecia range, while Shelley's girls developed considerable skill in creating an assortment of striking effects - achieved by varying the time at which they stopped their wheels to let the paint run, and by breathing on it to control the drying time. If dripware was in the main the result of chance, transfers and lithographs were at the other end of the scale, used to create uniformity as well as to speed up the decorating process. Pottery is often found with a combination of lithography and hand-painting - Clarice Cliff's Sunshine and Solomon's Seal are examples - though generally speaking she found that hand-painting alone was more popular with her customers. It was Susie Cooper who switched over almost entirely to lithographs, which she designed herself to be complementary to her shapes and to be used with simple banding in her familiar pastel colours. Though many firms used transfers, they bought them in ready for use from specialist firms. The ones used on Susie Cooper's ware were specially made from her own designs and exclusive to her. They were made with a much greater range of colours than had previously been the case and as a result, they appear softer and less mechanical than the usual run of

transferware. It was in the paintresses' own interest, as well as in the interest of their employers, to work as speedily as possible, as they were usually employed on piece-work, paid not an hourly or weekly rate but by the number of items they could turn out. This meant they could not afford to let up, especially as, besides providing their own 'pencils' a n d overalls, they had a proportion of their earnings stopped during their training to pay for their tuition - 3d out of every shilling until eighteen, 2p out of every shilling from eighteen until twenty-one. The paintresses were, however, regarded as the elite of the potbank, their work being lighter and cleaner than that of the girls at t h e ' c l a y - e n d ' who were concerned with pottery production. The paintresses were chosen as school girls by the decorating managers, who visited local schools to inspect the paintings and sketchbooks of promising youngsters. Despite long hours and low wages, there was a spirit of lively camaraderie in the decorating shops, and annual events like Crazy Day, (Stoke-on-Trent's carnival), and works outings to local beauty spots like Trentham Gardens and to the seaside became highlights of the year, eagerly looked toward to throughout the winter months. Occasionally girls were selected for in-store demonstrations and these trips, to large towns and even sometimes to London, gave the paintresses a welcome break from the decorating workshop, which was often a dark and airless place despite the fragility of the pottery they worked on and the beauty they created with their nimble fingers.


Pottery Index Boch Freres - Keramis The Belgian firm of Keramis, owned by Boch Freres in La Louviere, France, produced outstanding examples of pottery to which the principles of Art Deco design had been applied to both shape and pattern. Their artists included Charles Catteau and

Jan Windt, and as well as geometric patterns, stylised birds, animals and the human form were incorporated into their designs. These were often covered by a distinctive crackle glaze, and today fetch high prices at auction.

Shorter & Son Ltd. Arthur Shorter, founder of the firm of Shorter & Son, was the son of the stationmaster at Whitmore, then the main railway depot for the whole of Stoke-on-Trent, and he began his working life as a railway clerk. The family, however, had connections with the pottery industry through relatives, the Wilkinsons, and when Arthur Shorter quarrelled with his father he went as an apprentice to Mintons. After some time as a journeyman painter at Bodley's China Works, he free- lanced for a while as a pottery decorator, later setting up a pottery with his partner, James Boulton. In the early 1890s, he took over A. J. Wilkinsons while Boulton continued at the original factory. His son, Arthur Colley Shorter, helped him at Wilkinsons while his

other son, John Guy Shorter, took over at the Shorter factory on leaving school. In 1918 Arthur Shorter retired, leaving his two sons to run both the potteries. They employed a number of talented designers, including Clarice Cliff at Wilkinsons and Mabel Leigh at Shorter & Son. On Mabel Leigh's incised ware, her name and the factory name are incised on the base. Other backstamps include the range name on a rectangular device with 'Shorter & Son, Stoke-on-Trent' added top and bottom. Their salad ware and embossed floral ware carry a rubber stamp mark which reads, 'Shorter & Son, Stoke-on-Trent, England' in three lines of block letters. See 'The Shorter Connection' by G and I Hopwood.

S. Fielding & Co.'s Crown Devon Pottery Simon Fielding, founder of the Crown Devon dynasty, worked originally for the Duke of Sunderland and was a noted breeder of dogs and poultry. In 1873 he invested his savings in the Railway Pottery, his son Abraham being at first apprentice to and then partner in the Cresswell Colour Mill. In 1878, discovering that the Railway Pottery

was about to go bankrupt, Abraham bought it, rescuing Simon's investment and building it up to five times its size by the year of his father's death in 1906. Throughout the 20s and 30s new lines were constantly added, many of them fine quality examples of Art Deco design both in shape and pattern, as well as musical novelties first


family ownership. During the 1920s a small, quite elaborate crown was used with various wording, either 'Crown Devon Fieldings' above, or the pattern name plus 'Fieldings', with 'Stoke on Trent England' below. In the Thirties this became a simpler, stylised crown above 'Crown ...' above '... Devon', with 'Made in England 'Trade M a r k " underneath, or some similar variation.

issued in 1930, salad ware and figurines. Ross Fielding succeeded his father in 1932, followed by Simon Fielding's great grandson, R. R. Fielding, in 1947. In 1951 the factory was badly damaged by fire, but still m a n a g e d to carry on trading, the reconstruction being completed by 1957. The factory finally closed in 1982, having produced perhaps the widest range of pottery in Stoke-on-Trent during a century of

Edna Best Born in 1900 in Hove, Sussex, Edna Best, film star and actress, made her London stage debut in 'Charley's Aunt'. It was in "The Constant Nymph' that she made her name and she also appeared in 'The High Road' and 'Michael and Mary'. Married first to the actor, Seymour Beard, and later to the film star Herbert Marshall, Edna Best left England for Hollywood, appearing in films like 'South Riding' (with Ralph Richardson), 'The Faithful Heart' and 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'. At some point in her career, her signature was used on pottery designed exclusively for Lawleys, the retail china-shop chain, and it seems possible that this was made at the Pearl Pottery in Hanley, later known as the New Pearl Pottery. It seems unlikely that Edna Best herself was involved either with the design or the production, and that her name's use was simply a form of sponsorship similar to that of society beauties of the day, like Lady Diana Duff Cooper, for beauty products, or like sporting or television stars today appearing

in advertisements for coffee or beer. Whatever the explanation, the pottery is vividly coloured and strong in shape, the patterns being mainly geometric or of stylised fruit. Some of the teaware shapes are similar to those of Clarice Cliff, being angular and Cubist in style, and all 'Edna Best' pottery is very collectable. On many items, a facsimile signature matching her film star's autograph appears, with 'Art Pottery' in similar handwriting below, followed by the words, 'Exclusive to Lawleys', often with a pattern number and/or paintress' mark. Some pieces, however, have no mark at all, while yet others have the words, 'Pearl Pottery' alone, though the shape, quality and pattern all identify them as Edna Best pottery. Eventually the true source of the links may be discovered between Edna Best, her pottery, Lawley's and Pearl Pottery, but meanwhile it remains a fascinating mystery. Edna Best died in Geneva in 1974.

Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd. Josiah Wedgwood was born in 1730 and in 1759 set up the world famous pottery which was to be managed by six generations of his descendants, spanning almost two centuries. At the time of the bicentenary of

Josiah's birth, a decision was taken to enlarge the firm's scope and a number of leading designers earned commissions, among them Keith Murray, Eric Ravilious and Arnold Machin. John Skeaping, an


eminent sculptor who had already been working for the firm for some time, produced an outstanding series of stylised animals in the Thirties. In 1938 a Keith Murray foundation stone g r a c e d the new Wedgwood factory, at Barlaston Park, and expansion continued, interrupted only by the war years. By a number of judicious take-overs, starting with William Adams & Sons in 1966, followed by Royal Tuscan and Susie Cooper the same year, Coalport in 1967, Johnson Brothers in 1968, the Norfolk

firm King's Lynn Glass in 1969, J. &G. Meakin and Midwinter in the early 70s, and Crown Staffordshire, Mason's Ironstone and Precision Studios in 1973, the firm, a public company since 1969, now employs nearly nine thousand people in twenty factories. While traditional designs always predominated, the work of Keith Murray, Eric Ravilious, Skeaping's Queen's Ware animals and the Fairyland Lustre of Daisy Makeig-Jones are all of interest to collectors of Art Deco ceramics.

Keith Murray 1892-1981 Keith Day Pierce Murray came to England with his family from New Zealand in 1906. An architect, he and his partner, C. S. White, designed Wedgwood's new factory at Barlaston Park, the foundation stone for which was laid in 1938. Murray was already one of Wedgwood's most successful designers of pottery, having joined them in 1933 on a contract for three months of each

year. His vases were, in the main, hand-thrown and hand-turned and were ribbed or fluted, with lustrous glazes requiring no decoration (though some were in fact decorated with transfers of Eric Ravilious designs). Keith Murray was also a noted designer of glass and silver, all his work being characterised by functional simplicity and restraint.

A. J. Wilkinson's Royal Staffordshire Pottery In the 1880s Arthur J. Wilkinson took over the Churchyard Works, which was one of the oldest factories in the Potteries, and incorporated it with the Central Pottery and with part of Bodley's Works. In 1894, his brother-in-law, Arthur Shorter, took over, moving the firm to Middleport in 1898 but keeping the name of the Royal Staffordshire Pottery. Arthur Shorter's son, John Guy

Shorter, took charge of the family's other pottery. Shorter and Son, on leaving school in 1900, while his brother Arthur Colley Austin Shorter assisted their father, who eventually retired in 1918. In 1920 the Shorters bought Newport Pottery, which adjoined Wilkinsons, and it was there that they set up a studio for the talented Clarice Cliff in the late 1920s.

Clarice Cliff 1899- 1972 Clarice Cliff was born in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, one of the eight children of an iron-moulder. She left school at thirteen, learning hand-painting at Lingard and

Websters and lithography at Hollingshead and Kirkhams before joining Wilkinsons in 1916. After her apprenticeship she worked at first as a gilder, but fortunately her


employers realised that she had potential as a ceramic artist and sent her for a few months to the Royal College of Art in London. On her return in 1927 she and a small team of paintresses decorated a stock of old whiteware with bold geometric patterns. Marketed as 'Bizarre Ware by Clarice Cliff', this was highly successful and she went on to design vivid floral patterns and stylised landscapes throughout the Thirties. In 1940 she married Colley Shorter and the year following his death in 1963 she sold the factories to Midwinters. She lived long enough to see the major exhibition of her work at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery in 1972, since when it has become extremely collectable and featured on

television as well as the subject of several books and many articles. Backstamps on Clarice Cliff pottery tend to be haphazard in the extreme, but a helpful rule of thumb is, 'Bizarre' 1928-1936 approx., 'Fantasque' 1929 - 1934 approx., 'Clarice Cliff' alone, late Thirties or post-war according to pattern. Further details on backstamps, patterns and shapes are given in 'Clarice Cliff', by Peter Wentworth Sheilds & Kay Johnson, published by L'Odeon, 'Clarice Cliff, the Bizarre Affair,' by Leonard Griffin, Louis K. Meisel & Susan Pear Meisel, Thames & Hudson, 'Collecting Clarice Cliff' by Howard Watson, Kevin Francis Publishing, and 'The Colourful World of Clarice Cliff' by Howard and Pat Watson.

Gray's Pottery Gray's Pottery was established by Albert Edward Gray, 1871 -1959, with the financial backing of his friends, Alfred Royle and John Wilkinson, in 1907 in a warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent. A. E. Gray had considerable experience as a salesman in pottery and glass, and his aim was to produce well-designed inexpensive pottery. After about five years he moved to Mayer Street, Hanley, to more suitable premises, with John Guildford as his design and decorating manager from then until 1922. In that year the young Susie Cooper joined the firm, becoming their resident designer in 1924. The firm exhibited at the 1925 Paris exhibition, winning a silver medal. Gordon Forsyth, principal of the City of Stoke-on-Trent Schools of Art and a major influence on pottery design, also designed for Gray's, and A. E. Gray became one of the best-known and respected pottery owners of the period. His team of skilled paintresses were known as 'Gray's Angels'. The firm opened a London showroom in 1929 and moved to Whieldon Road, Stoke-on-Trent in 1933, in 1936 buying an interest in the Kirkland Pottery in order to try

out new shapes. After the war, in 1947, A. E. Gray retired and in 1959, the year of his death, the firm was taken over by Port Meirion Potteries, though the name Gray's Pottery was continued until 1962. One of the best and most thoroughly researched of all the Staffordshire potteries, Gray's was a model example of the application of high principles of both business and design to the production of pottery throughout the Art Deco period. The trade marks of Gray's are almost as decorative as the pottery itself. A black galleon was used between 1912 and 1928, with A. E. Gray & Co. Ltd. Hanley England below, and later 'Gray's Pottery' in place of 'A. E. Gray & Co.' A black and green liner against an orange sky and green sea was used 1923 - 1931, sometimes with Susie Cooper's name added. A black and yellow sunburst was used between 1923 and 1928 for Gloria Lustre ware, with appropriate wording, while a second galleon, with yellow sails, was used between 1921 and 1931. Perhaps the most familiar is the black clipper against a yellow sky, sailing on a green sea, which was used, with various variations in the wording,


between 1931 and 1961. This trade mark appears on the cover of 'Hand-Painted Gray's Pottery' by Paul Niblett, obtainable

from the City Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, which is an essential reference work for collectors.

Susie Cooper, O.B.E. 1902 Susie Cooper, the youngest child in a family of seven, was* born in Stansfield, near Burslem, and while helping with the family business studied in the evenings at the Burslem Art School. In order to qualify for a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, she took employment in 1922 at the firm of A. E, Gray & Co. Limited. After a short period as a production-line paintress, she became in 1924 the firm's resident designer, remaining until 1929, her name being incorporated into the firm's backstamp to identify her own designs. In October, 1929, backed by her family, she set up her own business and after initial setbacks settled at premises on the site of Harry Wood's Crown Works. Her workforce of five paintresses increased to forty within the first two years. The demand for her stylish shapes and patterns was so great that she decided to supplement hand-painting with lithography, a form of high quality transfer which she designed

herself, beginning in 1935 with 'Dresden Spray', an Art Deco floral pattern which became a best-seller. In 1940 she was given the award of Royal Designer for Industry, and continued her factory despite two disastrous fires in 1942 and 1957, adding bone china to her range and joining R. H. & S. L. Plant in 1961, finally merging with Wedgwood in 1966. Awarded the O.B.E. in 1979, she continued to design for Wedgwood until well into her eighties, remaining always a lively and outspoken commentator on the pottery scene. In 1987 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London held a comprehensive exhibition of the work of Susie Cooper, and the catalogue for this, 'Susie Cooper Productions', by Ann Eatwell, contains an index of marks and monograms which is invaluable in dating her work, as well as an in-depth, fully illustrated study of all the stages of Miss Cooper's career.

Myott, Son & Co. Established as a pottery in Crane Street early in the nineteenth century, the factory came into the hands of a member of the Myott family, believed to hail originally from Switzerland, and in 1897 was inherited by Ashley Myott, its chairman at the age of only nineteen, and his older brother, Sydney. Together they built up a worldwide trade and in 1925 they bought the adjoining Upper Hanley Pottery, amalgamating the two factories into the Alexander Pottery. During the 20s and 30s they produced some extreme Art Deco shapes painted in brilliant combinations of orange, green, black,

brown and yellow or blue, pink, mauve and green. These have b e c o m e very collectable in recent years, though unfortunately records and pattern books were lost in a disastrous fire in 1949. Some years later, Ashley and Sydney Myott and Ashley's son, Geoffrey, all retired together and the factory passed out of the family's hands, eventually being amalgamated with the Alfred Meakin Pottery as Myott-Meakin. Bought in 1982 by Mr. Stanley Jackson, this had a massive output and some of the most up-to-date equipment in the Potteries. A variety of 21 backstamps


below. Collectors soon learn to recognise the ware by shape and colour alone, though as with all ceramics, there are sometimes surprises. In 1991 the firm was taken over by the Churchill group.

were used by the factory up until 1930, but the one most usually appearing on Art Deco examples dates from around the mid-Thirties and is a gold crown above the words, 'Myott, Son & Co.' with 'England'

The Shelley Potteries Founded in 1872 by Joseph Ball Shelley and James Wileman, the firm was first known as Wileman and Co., the Shelley backstamp being introduced in about 1910. Frederick Rhead and Walter Slater were both art directors, and in the 1920s Walter's son Eric introduced Art Deco designs and shapes. The firm's name was changed to Shelley in 1925 and to Shelley Potteries Ltd. in 1929. The Queen Anne shape was registered in August, 1926, the Vogue shape in 1930 with Mode later that year, and the Eve and Regent shapes in 1932. Grade 1 patterns were given five-figure numbers, while 'seconds', usually lithographs, had four-figure numbers beginning with 2 and sometimes also had a figure 2 in a circle added. In the 1930s, a twenty-one piece Vogue teaset cost ÂŁ2-8sh-9d (ÂŁ2.44). Shelley were very keen on creating an up-market

media image and were considered very advanced for their day. In 1966 they were taken over by Allied English Potteries, which merged in 1971 with the Doulton Group. The Shelley mark from 1912 to 1925 consisted of the name in block letters on a shield with 'England' below, and from 1925 to 1945 it was the same format but with 'Shelley' in flowing script. Various other backstamps are given, along with a full history of the factory with colourful illustrations, in 'Shelley Potteries' by Chris Watkins, William Harvey and Robert Senft, published by Barrie & Jenkins. There is a flourishing Shelley Group with a regular newsletter, regional groups and frequent meetings. Another book produced recenty on the subject of Shelley is 'The Shelley Style' by Susan Hill, which is available from Jazz Publications, giving full details of Shelly tableware.

Moorcroft Pottery William Moorcroft, 1872 - 1945, married art pottery to commerce in his richly-coloured tube-lined designs. The son of Thomas Moorcroft, a distinguished designer and china painter, he studied at the Burslem School of Art and at the National Art Training School (later to become the Royal College of Art). Qualified as a teacher of art, in 1896 he nevertheless chose to accept the post as designer offered to him by James Macintyre of Burslem, where he was to win widespread acclaim for his work. In 1913 he built his own workshops and kiln at Cobridge, developing floral and landscape

designs on deep blue or green grounds as well as superb plain lustre glazes. While his designs remained on the whole naturalistic, in the later Twenties an Art Deco influence appears in the bands of geometric motifs and the subtle stylisation of flowers, trees and fruit. Honoured at the 1924 Wembley Exhibition, the 1925 Paris exhibition, at Antwerp in 1930 and at Milan in 1933, William Moorcroft was appointed Potter to H.M. Queen Mary in 1928 ana his pottery was sold worldwide. He struggled to keep his factory going through the years of the war, dying in 1945 just as his son, Walter,


returned from the forces to take over. Walter then retired in 1987, leaving William's younger son, John Moorcroft, at the helm. A flourishing collectors' club is run from the factory, where pottery is produced by the same method originally used by William Moorcroft nearly a century ago. Impressed marks, with or without painted signature or initials, are so varied they are impossible to

summarize, but they appear fully in 'Moorcroft Pottery, a Guide to the Pottery of William and Walter Moorcroft, 1897 1986' by Paul Atterbury, with additional material by Beatrice Moorcroft, published by Richard Dennis and Hugh Edwards, a superbly illustrated volume essential for the Moorcroft collector, telling as it does the full story of Moorcroft pottery.

George Clews & Co. Ltd George Clews and Co. Ltd., who were based at the Brownhills Pottery, Tunstall, between 1906 and 1961, were the makers of Chameleon Ware, and their Thirties trademark includes a picture of the lizard-like little creature set in an inverted triangle with 'Chameleon Ware' above and 'Clews & Co. Ltd. Tunstall Made in England' below. Perhaps they chose the chameleon because of its ability to change its colours, thus indicating the variety of the pottery they produced. Along with Mintons, Wedgwood, Copeland and others they

leased the cube teapot shape from the Cube Teapot Company of Leicester who held the patent, realising it was ideal for hotel ware when space was at a premium. It is their more interesting shapes and unusual patterns which appeal to collectors today, however, and their distinctive combinations of colours; blues, beiges, browns, fawns and golds for instance, which are particularly collectable and make them instantly recognisable to the collector in any display of miscellaneous Art Deco pottery.

Wiltshaw and Robinson's Carlton Ware Originally begun in 1890 as a partnership between J. F. Wiltshaw and J. Robinson, the Carlton Ware pottery remained in the hands of the Wiltshaw family until being taken over by Arthur Wood and Sons in 1967, the name being continued until early in 1989 when the firm closed down. Variety was the keynote of its products, which ranged from very high quality gilded ware, including Rouge Royale, Bleue Royale and Verte Royale, to floral ware, salad ware and advertising items. One of the first naturalistic patterns was Oak Tree, issued in 1934, followed by Buttercup (1935 - 45), Waterlily

and Apple Blossom (1936 -1940), Wild Rose (1939), Foxglove (1940) and Primula and Poppy (1943). Patterns were numbered 1098 = 1934, 1395 = 1936, 1411 = October 1936, 1520 =1937, 1734 = May 1939, 1870 = 1940,2000 = 1945,2046 = late 1945 and 2794 = 1967. The backstamp carried the initials of Wiltshaw and Robinson until 1927, followed by 'Carlton Ware' in the larger size of script from about 1930 to 1934, and, to prevent copying by the Japanese, a small version of 'Carlton Ware' in script with the words, 'Registered Australian Design' between 1935 and 1945.


Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery chemist at the works between 1896 and 1911. Lustre painting, modelling in relief, carving and incised ware were all techniques used at the Royal Lancastrian Pottery, and designers included Gordon Forsyth, W. S. Mycock, Richard Joyce, Charles E. Cundall a n d Gwladys M. Rodgers. Their designs were of birds, animals, galleons, flowers and leaves, as well as strong geometric patterns, those of Richard Joyce in particular showing the influence of Central American Indian art. In 1928 a new range under the name of Lapis Ware was introduced which featured a soft, silky, semi-matt surface either left plain or decorated with Art Deco motifs. This, along with the self-mottling Cunian glazes was to be very popular in the ten years prior to the closing of the pottery section in 1938, after which it was not re-opened until 1948. Royal Lancastrian pottery was sold at Liberty's in London and Tiffany's in New york as well as in other leading stores worldwide. Several Pilkington artists won medals at the 1925 Paris exhibition, and many examples of their work are today in national collections.

Like the Poole Pottery, Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery produced both pottery and tiles, and like Moorcroft and Poole its output allied art pottery to commercial production. Founded in 1891 at Clifton, five miles to the north of Manchester, it was, with Poole, one of the few potteries outside Staffordshire to win for itself an international reputation. Granted the Royal Warrant in 1913, Pilkington's adopted the Tudor rose, emblem of the Duchy of Lancaster, as its trademark, together with 'PL' as a monogram in the centre and the words 'Royal' above and 'Lancastrian' below. In addition the many distinguished artists who designed for Pilkington's also had their own marks, as did the potters. These, with many illustrations and a comprehensive description of the firm, its artists and its methods of production are given in 'Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery & Tiles' by A. J. Cross, published by Richard Dennis, while 'Royal Lancastrian Pottery 1900 -1938, its Achievement & its Makers' is another excellent commentary on the factory by Abraham Lomax, who was

Grimwades Ltd. Established as Grimwade Bros, in 1886, at the Winton Pottery, Hanley, and the Elgin Potteries, Stoke, the firm b e c a m e Grimwades Limited in 1900. From about 1913 the Rubian Art Pottery Ltd. at Fenton was added and later the Atlas China Company Limited. Grimwades produced colourful, decorative tableware and 'fancies' throughout the Twenties and Thirties, as well as hotel ware. Some of their most attractive designs featured moulded flowers forming handles on cups, jugs, tea pots and coffee-pots. The flowers were often roses, lilies or violas against contrasting plain grounds of pink, yellow or light green,


all with a high glaze. These were in direct contrast to vividly-coloured hand- painted ranges like 'Delhi Ware' which included strong Art Deco motifs. "Chintz" printed patterns were also used. A circular trademark was used on their 'Royal Winton' floral ranges, the words, 'Royal Winton' round the edge with 'Grimwades England' in the centre, a similar mark being used for 'Rubian Art Pottery'. Various other marks included 'Grimwades Royal Winton Ivory England', sometimes with the pattern name hand-painted in addition. After 1950 the circular mark was phased out and the same words were used horizontally.

Charlotte Rhead 1885 -1947 Charlotte Rhead, with Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper one of the three outstanding women designers of the Art Deco period, was trained by her father, Frederick Rhead, in the art of tube- lining, in which the pattern is outlined by a thin trail of slip (liquid clay) before firing, after which colour is applied and the item fired again, giving the piece a depth and richness impossible to achieve in any other way. After a few years spent at various factories, she began to work for her father'sfirm, F. H. Barker, Rhead and Co. Ltd. and forT. & R. Boote, the tile manufacturers, before in 1913 joining her father who by now had moved to be art director of Wood and Sons, where Charlotte's patterns were marketed as 'Lottie Rhead Ware'. In 1926 she joined Burgess and Leigh, where her

earlier Art Nouveau patterns gave way to stylised fruit, flowers and landscapes in the Art Deco mode. In 1932 she joined A. G. Richardson, where she designed not only luxury items like vases and plaques but tableware, incised ware and nursery pottery. She moved to H. J. Wood Ltd., a subsidiary of Wood and Sons, in 1942, where she designed almost another hundred patterns before her death in 1947. Because of the number of firms for which she worked, back- stamps on Charlotte Rhead pottery are many and varied, some including her name tube-lined on or incorporated in a rubber stamp. The best summary of these can be found in 'Charlotte Rhead: Potter and Designer' by Bernard Bumpus, published by Kevin Francis.

Radford Handcraft Pottery Edward Thomas Brown Radford, 1883 to 1968, founder of the Radford Handcraft Pottery in Amicable Street, Burslem, in about 1933, was the son of Edward Thomas Radford, noted potter at Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery. Eddie, as he was always known, also worked for Pilkington's and like his father, he was very skilled as a thrower. Later he was a sales representative for the firm, moving in the twenties to Wood and Sons, where he worked at their subsidiary, H. J. Wood, as designer and sales manager with his own department. After setting up his own factory, he naturally wished to have sole use of his own name, but legally Woods were entitled to continue to use it and did so until around 1980, some time after Radford's death in 1968. This makes the dating of Radford pottery quite complicated. His early work was mostly matt glazed and hand-thrown, with floral decoration painted free-hand and applied

under the glaze with water-based paint. This was a method which left no margin for error and required considerable skill on the part of the paintress. Marks on this pre-war work were either 'E. Radford, Burslem' impressed or stamped, or later, just 'E. Radford' or 'E. Radford, England', stamped. Those made during his time at Woods usually had the Woods' mark added. Eddie and his wife, Jennie, both devout people, moved away from the Potteries after the war to take charge of a children's holiday home, and his pottery, having been a tyre depot during the war, finally closed down. Post-war pieces by Woods were moulded, not hand-thrown, and have 'Hand-painted' added. The delicacy of the floral patterns may well have led to the belief that they were painted from life at the bench, bouquets of wild flowers being brought in by Eddie in summer, and in winter seed packets being used as models.


Hollinshead & Kirkham Ltd. Established in about 1870 at Burslem, the Pottery. Hollinshead & Kirkham produced firm took over Wedgwood & Co.'s Unicorn attractive tableware, some in strong Art Pottery in Tunstall around 1876. Their Deco shapes, as well as decorative bowls, trademark from around 1900 incorporated jugs and dishes in rich deep colours a rampant unicorn with the firm's name or decorated with naturalistic flowers like initials below. In 1915 the young Clarice Cliff, pansies, tulips and violas, and fruit, against after a couple of years at Lingard & vivid backgrounds in a patchwork of pink, Webster's, joined the firm to be taught dark blue, brown and fawn. These are now lithography, leaving after only a year popular with collectors. The firm closed in because a better opportunity had come up 1956 and the factory was sold to Johnson for her at A. J. Wilkinson's Royal Staffordshire Bros. (Hanley) Ltd.

S. Hancock & Sons producing Cherry Ripe and Cremona Ware and Edith Gater, who produced Art Deco designs in the Thirties. As well as floral and fruited patterns in deep rich colours, the firm also produced brightly-coloured cottage plates and dishes, butterfly ware and tableware, all of which is now very collectable. Various marks were used, often featuring an elaborate crown with 'S. Hancock & Sons' on a ribbon below, with 'Stoke-on-Trent England' below that and the range name above or below plus the designer's name below. Later an artist's palette was also used, with the words, 'Ivory Ware Hancock's England' on it and 'Handpainted' below.

The firm of S. Hancock and Sons was founded in 1857 by Sampson Hancock at Gordon Works in Wolfe Street, Stoke-on-Trent. By the time of his death in 1900 it employed one hundred and fifty workers. His four sons, Sampson, Jabez, Harry and Arthur, continued the company, moving to the Corona Pottery, Hanley, in 1923, where it remained until it closed down in 1937. One of the first factories to produce freehand painted art pottery, its success was due to the work of a series of talented designers, including George Cartlidge (Morris Ware), F. X. Abraham (Rubens, Woodland a n d Titian Ware), Molly Hancock, (youngest daughter of Jabez),

Thomas Lawrence, (Longton) Ltd. produced pottery under the name of Falcon Ware. As Richard Hull was heavily committed already in the running of the firm of Shaw & Copestake, which he had inherited from his father, Richard Hull senior, he asked his friend Eric Dennis to assist with Thomas Lawrence, which then became a limited company. As a result of the

Begun at Trent Bridge in 1885 by Thomas Lawrence, a potter, the factory, which by then had moved to the Falcon Works, Longton, was taken over in the early Thirties by his nephew, John Grundy. After only six years he also died and his widow asked a relative by marriage, Richard Hull, to take over the running of the factory, which


connection with Shaw & Copestake's SylvaC pottery, for a time some items from the SylvaC range carried the Falcon Ware backstamp, while some carried both trademarks. After this the two firms were run separately for a time, finally merging completely after the Falcon Ware premises were sold to Beswick in 1957, the business being wound up in 1964 while SylvaC

continued until 1982. J. H. Weatherby, of Hanley, produced a range of pottery called Falcon Ware, but this always had the Weatherby trademark, while the products of the Thomas Lawrence factory had only the words 'Falcon Ware' in script alone, or combined with the picture of a falcon or an artist's palette, while Weatherby's included a Union Jack.

Cauldon Potteries Ltd. Cauldon Potteries Ltd. were formerly Cauldon Ltd., and when in 1924 the firm was granted the royal warrant their trade-name became Royal Cauldon. They produced a wide range of wares including in the 1920s and 1930s several tube-lined ranges, their 'Poppy' design by Edith Gater being particularly successful and used on a

variety of shapes. Their trademark at this time was a crown with 'Royal Cauldon, England, Est. 1774' below in script, with 'Made in England' printed above. They ceased trading in the early 1960s when taken over by the Bristol firm of Pountney & Co. Ltd. A shape number was usually iscribed on the base.

Carter, Stabler, Adams - the Poole Pottery Probably the most famous British pottery work in the educational field in South Africa. outside Staffordshire, the firm of Carter, Stabler and Adams, trading as Poole The firm exhibited and won two gold Pottery Ltd. since 1963, was founded by medals at the 1925 Paris exhibition and Jesse Carter in 1873 at Poole in Dorset. His produced strongly Art Deco designs three sons, Ernest, Charles and Owen throughout the 20s and 30s. During the war continued the business, securing the they carried on with a skeleton staff, then services of the noted designer, James building up their post-war trade until being Radley Young, in the early 1900s. As head of taken over in 1971 as a unit within the the design department he developed tin Thomas Tilling Group. Poole Pottery marks glazes in the Delft style, the glaze and were, in general, used over long periods of decoration being fired in one on to the time which makes dating difficult, and biscuit body, giving a characteristic matt paintresses' and decorators' marks need to silken surface. In 1913 Harold Stabler and his be used in conjunction with the wife, Phoebe, joined the firm, which was backstamps in order to form a more producing designs by Roger Fry, Duncan accurate impression. All these marks are Grant and Vanessa Bell for Fry's Omega given in 'The Poole Potteries' by Jennifer Workshops, as well as supplying pottery to Hawkes, published by Barrie and Jenkins, a Liberty's, Heal's and the American market. comprehensive and well-illustrated history In 1921 John Adams was invited to join the of the pottery, covering the tiles as well as firm having returned with his wife Truda from the decorative ceramics.


Royal Doulton & Co. Limited In 1815, the year of Waterloo, John Doulton invested his life savings of ÂŁ100 in a pottery by the River Thames at Lambeth. With stoneware drain-pipes as a basic product, John's son, Henry, set up an art pottery studio, employing leading ceramic artists of the day. In 1877 he bought a factory in Nile Street, Burslem, which flourished and was granted the Royal Warrant by Edward the Seventh. In 1913 the Royal Doulton figurine

series was begun, using numbers prefixed by HN. These were the initials of Harry Nixon, chief colourist of that time. Throughout the inter-war years the series was expanded, miniatures being introduced in the Thirties. Around 2500 different figures have been made since the series' inception, and of these a number have a particularly Art Deco flavour, making them very sought after by collectors.

Minton In 1793, Thomas Minton, with his partners William Pownal and Joseph Poulson, bought some land in Stoke and built a pottery. This his son, Herbert, gradually built up into a leading British firm, attracting to the factory prominent artists from all over Europe and developing a variety of new pottery techniques, including acid gold decoration, the pate sur pate relief decoration method, encaustic tiles and parian statuary. Minton's Secessionist Ware

Art Nouveau designs were outstanding, and later the firm won an award at the 1925 Paris exhibition, but throughout the Twenties their patterns remained fairly traditional until their new art director, Reginald Haggar, took over in 1930 and began to introduce a modern note for their tableware. In 1968 Mintons were purchased by Doulton & Co. Limited, by which time they had phased out earthenware for bone china. Collectors should visit the Minton Museum in Stoke.

Wood and Sons Limited The three eighteenth century potters, Ralph, Aaron and Moses Wood were famous for their Staffordshire figures and Toby jugs, and were succeeded by their sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, of whom Enoch, Aaron's son, was the most famous. In 1865, Thomas Francis Wood formed Wood and Sons and by 1900 a susidiary firm, H.J. Wood, had been added. Harry Wood, who joined the firm in 1889, was to be influential throughout the first half of the twentieth century, through his encouragement of ceramic artists like Charlotte Rhead and Susie Cooper.

Charlotte's father, Frederick Rhead, became the firm's art director in 1912 and Charlotte joined him there the following year, remaining until 1926. In 1920 Woods bought the Crown Works to allow for expansion on the art wares side and added the Ellgreave Pottery in 1921, for the production of Lottie Rhead Ware. In 1930 Harry Wooa offered premises to Susie Cooper, which gave her facilities for the design of her own whiteware shapes. After the war he also took on Charlotte Rhead to design and supervise the production of a new tube-lined range at H. J. Wood Ltd.


Later, having built up a thriving export trade, marks in the 1930s include 'Wood 8c Sons, he handed the Woods empire over to H. Burslem England' below a crown, and Francis Wood and Paul Wood, the factory 'Woods Ivory Ware' above a crown with finally being sold in the 1980s, its famous 'England' below. Names impressed on the name, however, being retained. Trade base are shape names, not patterns.

J. H. Weatherby & Sons Ltd. In the 1920s J. H. Weatherby & Sons Ltd. took for their trade- name 'Falcon Ware', from the name of their factory, Falcon Pottery, in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, which they had established in 1891. The firm's watchword was 'Durability', which appears on trademarks throughout their history, the one most often seen in the Thirties being a small Union Jack with 'Durability' blazoned across it and 'J. H. W. & Sons Ltd., Hanley, England, Royal Falcon Ware' below. They also began

using the name 'Weatherby Ware' at this time, shown on a scroll. There was another trade mark of a crown with an arc of rays above it and the words, 'Falcon Ware' with the usual pottery details below. Their tableware was sturdy but embellished with attractive details like floral knobs and handles. They also produced novelty items similar to those of other potteries of the day, like flower jugs with bird handles, often in highly naturalistic detail.

Burgess & Leigh Founded in 1851 as Hulme and Booth, the firm became Burgess and Leigh in 1877, the other partners having retired. Growing too large for its earlier premises, a new seven-oven factory was built at Middleport in 1889, remaining in the hands of the two original families until 1912, when on the death of R. S. Burgess it passed entirely to the Leigh family who are still the owners. Though famous for their underglaze prints, the firm also produced hand-painted, tube-lined and lithographic ranges, both in tableware and 'fancies'. Their yellow 'flower jugs' of the 1930s were very popular in their own day and are eagerly collected now. These include, from 1931, the squirrel, modelled by the young apprentice, Ernest Bailey, and then the parrot, dragon, kingfisher, flamingo, 'Harvest' - a rabbit in a corn-stook - the Highwayman and the Pied Piper, the handle of each being formed by the main subject, with appropriate decoration on the body of the jug. Charles

Wilkes was the designer of many of these, and in 1938 the Butterfly, the Budgerigar, the Village Blacksmith and the Stocks were added, with later a Coronation, Tallyho - a hunting scene - and Sally in Our Alley. A series of sports people was also made, including a golfer, a cricketer and a tennis player, but these are now very rare and expensive. The jugs came in a variety of sizes and often several colourways and by 1950 a quarter of a million of them had been made, some with matching plaques. Dickens and Shakespearian Toby jugs were also made, as well as bird jugs in a smaller size and tableware with flower handles and a dotted edge painted in black, many having strongly Art Deco motifs. Interesting to the collector, too, are the 'lozenge' vases, usually bright yellow and with stylised fish, swans or galleons. The usual mark on pre-war items is a beehive with leaves around it and 'Burleigh Ware Made In England' variously disposed. On items


words, 'Burleigh Ware' with 'Burgess & Leigh Ltd.' above and 'Burslem England' below.

made from 1940 onwards, the beehive is much smaller, with no foliage and the

John Beswick Ltd. The Beswick family moved to Stoke-on-Trent from Bolton in Lancashire in 1830, and ten years later Robert Beswick and his partner, John Leese, built a pot-bank, partly as an outlet for the coal from the mines they owned. In the 1890s James Wright Beswick and his son began potting in Longton and built up a business which by 1930 had four hundred workers. After the war their premises were increased by a series of take-overs until they were finally sold as a thriving business in 1964 to Royal Doulton Tableware Ltd. Noted for equestrian figures in particular, they also made facemasks, figurines, wall-plaques, vases, cottage-ware and salad-ware, as well as the flying ducks and other birds which are now taken as typical of the Thirties, though they did not come into production until 1938. The full set of ducks is actually five

(Nos. 596/0 to 596/4) and four seagulls were also made (658/1 to 658/4) with sets of three in pheasants, bluetits, kingfishers, hummingbirds, pink-legged partridge, green woodpeckers and a variation of seagulls. Many statuettes of popular literary characters were also made, including Rupert Bear and his friends, Snow-White and the seven dwarfs, Alice in Wonderland figures and Beatrix Potter animals. 'Beswick Ware' in script with 'Made in England' in block letters below is the usual pre- war mark, with various arrangements of the words 'Beswick England' in block letters post-war. These are given in 'The Beswick Collectors Handbook' by Harvey May, published by Kevin Francis Publishing Limited, a comprehensive survey of the factory's history and production, price guide also being available.

Arthur Wood and Son (Longport) Ltd. First established in 1884 as a pottery making teapots, Arthur Wood and Son (Longport) Ltd. began as a partnership, Capper and Wood, but Arthur Wood became the sole proprietor in 1900. By the 1920s the firm had added hand-painting to transferware, and a number of designs typical of the period can be found, including large floral patterns incorporating gilded spiders' webs and wall-pockets decorated with silver lustre and vivid flowers. Strong shapes are also typical of this firm, especially the 'Garden

Wall' series of jugs and urns which have a sun-burst motif incised above a cottage garden with an impressed, pattern of brickwork. Most of the pottery by Arthur Wood & Son dating from this period has a globe backstamp, with 'Arthur Wood' on a ribbon across the centre and 'England' on a ribbon below. The later globe stamp has 'Made in England' printed below, not on a ribbon. The pottery still operates from its original works in Longport, one of the few remaining in the hands of the family.


Wade, Heath & Co. Ltd. Founded in 1810 by Henry Hallen, making pottery fittings for shuttles and textile machinery, the firm moved in the middle of the nineteenth century to Wellington Street, Burslem. Bought by George Wade (later Sir George Wade) in the early years of this century, the factory traded under various names until in the Twenties being split into two parts, Wade, Heath and Co. Ltd. and A. J. Wade Ltd. In the mid-Thirties Wade, Heath and Co. launched their nursery ware, now very collectable, featuring Walt Disney characters. Around the same time they introduced the 'Flaxman Ware' range,

some of which shows a strong Art Deco influence. Jessie Van Allen, a talented artist, produced figurines for Wade Heath's sister factory and these, t o o , are very collectable. The Wade trademark was a standing lion with 'Wade' above and 'England' below in the 1920s and 'Wadeheath' replacing 'Wade' in the 1930s. Walt Disney items had a special circular trademark, while Flaxman Ware had its own stamp. 'Flaxman Ware, Handmade Pottery' in script with 'Wadeheath, England' below in block letters.

A. G. Richardson & Co. Ltd. - Crown Ducal Established in 1915, A. G. Richardson & Co. Ltd. were based at the Gordon Pottery in Tunstall and throughout the 1920s produced a series of forward-looking designs of which the most successful was their 1925 design called 'Red Tree'. Now familiar as 'Orange Tree', this pattern of black tree silhouettes bearing bright orange fruit is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau designs of Aubrey Beardsley in its stark yet attractive stylisation, and many collectors are building up sets of tea or dinner ware, while television producers often use it as an instant shorthand to set a Twenties scene. In 1931 Charlotte Rhead joined the company, remaining for about eleven years and setting the seal of Crown Ducal's prosperity

with the design of some of her best patterns. As well as luxury items - plaques, vases and lamp - bases, she also designed tableware and nursery pottery for Richardsons. In 1933 the firm bought the Britannia Pottery in Cobridge to cope with their increasing trade. This they sold to Enoch Wedgwood in 1974, moving to Nottingley in Yorkshire, The trademark most usually seen on Art Deco items is a crown, with 'Crown Ducal Ware, England' below, which was used from about 1925, though an earlier mark is sometimes seen, depicting a crown above an oval belt with the word 'Ducal' on a ribbon across the centre and the words 'A.G.R. & Co. Ltd. England' below.

Friedrich Goldscheider The Austrian firm of Friedrich Goldscheider, established in the middle of the last century, set up a Paris branch in 1892 and at the 1925 Paris exhibition had a pavilion of its own to

display its figurines and facemasks. It employed some of the leading artists of the day, some of their designs being made in both metal and clay. In recent years copies


have been made in resin and plastic but generally speaking these, while decorative in their own right, are not of high enough quality to allow for any deception to take p l a c e . Goldscheider figurines and

face-masks fetch very high prices at auction, the figurines being particularly delicate in style and colouring and the face-masks being dramatically stylised and strikingly decorative.

Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Co. Limited Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company Limited. Traditional china of the highest quality has always made up the major part of the firm's output, but figurines were also made, always limited in quantity and so very rare and collectable. After various take-overs the factory is now part of Royal Doulton Ltd., producing a blend of traditional and modern ceramics.

In 1769 Longton born china decorator William Duesbury acquired the famous Chelsea Works and moved the best craftsmen from there to Derby, where four years later the standard of the pottery was so high that George III gave permission for the Crown to be used in the backstamp. Queen Victoria allowed the use of the 'Royal' prefix and the firm was renamed the

J. H. Cope & Co. Ltd. James Cope's Wellington Works were established in 1887 and survived for exactly sixty years, going out of business just after the Second World War. The firm produced colourful everyday china with floral, landscape or geometric patterns, following the fashions of the day, and their trademark in the Thirties incorporated a portrait of the

Duke of Wellington or a crown. A number of facemasks can be found with their other mark, an impressed 'C & Co.' and it seems likely that these may have been a sideline of the firm, produced to keep in with the current trend for decorative wall-hung ornaments. The face masks are very sought after by collectors.

Royal Dux Originally the Austrian firm of Royal Vienna, producing Art Nouveau ornamental ware decorated with nymphs and mermaids. Royal Dux were based in Czechoslovakia and the range included many attractive figurines including Spanish dancers, snake-charmers, showgirls and stylised animals, all in fine quality pottery and porcelain, some highly glazed in royal blue,

white and gilt and some matt glazed in honey beige and gilt, as well as naturalistic colourways. Their trademark, a pink triangle of clay with the words 'Royal Dux' impressed along the sides, was accompanied by a double circle in blue line with ' M a d e in Czechoslovakia' between the circles. These figurines fetch high prices at auction


Noritake With its headquarters in Nagoya in Japan, the Noritake Company, part of the Morimura Company, nevertheless employed a team of international designers based in New York and headed by an Englishman, Cyril Leigh. Their production team, however, was in Japan and the designs when made up were exported back to the U.S.A.

As a result of the merging of Eastern and Western elements, they produced wares in the 20s and 30s with an oriental flavour on European themes, such as pierrettes, golfers, skaters, skiers and dancers, along with floral, animal, abstract and landscape themes all vividly coloured and with a certain quaintness added to the Art Deco element which was also present.

James Sadler & Sons The firm of James Sadler and Sons, Burslem, has since its inception in the late nineteenth century been concerned mainly with the production of teapots, being particularly successful with novelty teapots. The 1930s racing car, available in a number of attractive colours, such as cream, green, pink, blue and yellow, had a lustre trim and the number-plate OKT42, later also appearing in plain colours only. A matching sugar-basin in the form of a caravan, was also available, but these are now very rare indeed. Various other novelty teapots - the Dainty Lady, Bunny, Doggie and Father

Christmas among others, were all popular in their turn and teapot collectors today like to acquire the full range, made before the factory closed in the late 1950s. Until around 1937, the mark for this factory was' England J.S.S.B.' in two lines of block letters impressed. After this date, the mark became 'Sadler Burslem England' in three lines, impressed or printed. After 1947 the name 'Sadler' appeared on a ribbon below a crown, with 'Made in England' below the ribbon, the whole mark being printed. This mark is often found on plain racing car teapots.

Mabel Lucie Attwell Mabel Lucie Attwell, 1879 to 1964, was a leading illustrator from the age of fifteen and throughout her whole life her work was popular and successful. Her chubby toddlers and mischievous elves charmed children and adults alike and appeared on postcards, in books and annuals and as rag dolls, rubber toys and cut-outs. In 1926 she was approached by the Shelley pottery to produce designs for nursery ware, often with an accompanying verse, and these proved so popular that a teaset modelled

as a mushroom house with an elf milk-jug followed. Later on, ducks chickens and rabbits appeared on the tea-table. By 1934 nearly thirty items were available in the range and in 1937 her series of statuettes was begun. These were available in two sizes, (20 cm. and 15 cm.) and the range was enlarged after the war. Again, they are very popular with collectors of her work. Mabel Lucie Attwell signed her work with her name, written in block letters in three lines, one name under the other. For a


lavishly illustrated appreciation of her work, see 'Mabel Lucie Attwell' by Chris Beetles, published by Pavilion Books at 12.95, and for details of her work for the Shelley Potteries

see 'Shelley Potteries' by Chris Watkins, William Harvey and Robert Senft, published by Barrie & Jenkins. A J Partners of Grays Antiques Market specialise in her work.

SylvaC Pottery dozens of other creatures, being produced before the firm's demise in 1982. For a period Thomas Lawrence's Falcon Ware, owned by a relative, was run as part of the SylvaC organisation, and some identical pieces were produced by both firms, some even bearing both trademarks. Most SylvaC products carry the name impressed along with an impressed number, though a rubber stamped mark and a paper label were also used. There is now a flourishing Collectors' Circle, and further information is constantly being brought forward about this highly individual pottery. 'An Introduction to SylvaC by Mick and Derry Collins is published by the Circle, which is based at 174, Portsmouth Road, Horndean, Hampshire. Two other books, 'The SylvaC story' and 'The SylvaC companion' by Susan Jean Verbeck are available from Pottery publications. High prices are now being asked for SylvaC animals.

Apart from a few bowls, jugs, candlesticks and posy-holders, the products of the SylvaC pottery show little evidence of an Art Deco influence, yet the matt-glazed fat-faced 'bunnies', perky pups and playful kittens could hardly have been made at any time other than the Thirties, and 'kitsch' though they may be, they do have a certain charm because of this. Founded in 1894 by William Shaw and William Copestake, the factory flourished at first by producing elaborately d e c o r a t e d ornamental ware, William Copestake's place being taken by Richard Hull around 1900. The firm diversified into tableware in the Twenties, and it was not until the mid-Thirties that Richard Hull junior coined the name SylvaC, using the founders' initials. He had earlier developed the matt glazes characteristic of the firm's more collectable lines, initiating the range of animals, over two hundred dogs plus


Section I

Vases from the Belgian firm of Boch Freres.

Vases from the Belgian firm of Boch Freres.


Jazz Age Geometry

Section I Jazz Age Geometry

Vases from Shorter & Son and Fielding's Crown Devon.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

From Pilkington's Royal Lancastrian Pottery - simple shapes in strong, vibrant colours.


Section I Jazz Age Geometry

'Edna Best' pottery, named after an actress and produced exclusively for Lawleys.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Mabel Leigh's 'Period Pottery' for Shorter & Son, echoing primitive art forms.

"Edna Best' teaware, bands of orange and yellow on a creamy glaze.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Keith Murray's designs for Wedgwood, mostly hand-thrown and hand- turned.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Depending on perfect balance of shape and colour, they a p p r o a c h sculpture.

Keith Murray also designed tableware for Wedgwood.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

A Clarice Cliff Lotus jug in 'Cubes', for A. J. Wilkinson's Royal Staffordshire Pottery.


Section I Jazz Age Geometry

An early geometric design by Clarice Cliff on teaware in a conventional shape.

The Stamford and Odilon ranges by Clarice Cliff.


Section I Jazz Age Geometry

Geometric designs by Susie Cooper for Gray's Pottery.

As an independent pottery producer, she continued with hand painted geometric designs like 'Moonlight'.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Chameleon Ware, produced by George Clews & Co. Ltd., showing an Egyptian influence. The firm, which ceased production in 1961, were manufacturers mainly of tableware, including the 'Cube' teapot, being a m o n g the various potteries which leased the shape from the patent owners, the Cube Teapot Company. Clews' range of 'fancies', though, was entirely original, extremely distinctive both in shape and pattern and, while using a restricted colour range, nevertheless vivid a n d eyecatching. The all-over patterns covered a wide range of items reflecting the influence of Eastern pottery in a similar way to Mabel Leigh's Period Pottery for Shorter & Son, though Chameleon Ware with its flame motifs a n d undulating banding has a sophistication all of its own.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Pottery by Myott & Son - extreme shapes in vivid colours, all now very collectable.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Myott's tableware also featured Art Deco motifs.

^yQ^j Eric Slater's sophisticated angular designs for the Shelley Potteries.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Designs by William Moorcroft, featuring Art Deco borders, from the late Twenties.

Moorcroft's peacock feather motif, simplified in the Thirties to suit current taste.


Section I

William Moorcroft's 'Dawn' landscape on a 37cm vase.


Jazz Age Geometry

Section I Jazz Age Geometry

Wiltshaw & Robinson's Carlton Ware, featuring Egyptian motifs.


Section I

Jazz Age Geometry

Crown Devon's "Orient' pattern, perhaps the most brilliant geometric Art Deco design of all.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

A large floral wall-plaque from Gray's Pottery.

Floral items from Gray's Pottery.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

From Gray's 'Gloria Lustre' range.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

A dish by Grimwade's Royal Winton.

Fielding's Crown Devon produced hand-painted ware often very similar to Gray's.


Section II

A Crown Devon vase and dish.


Flowers and Fruit

Section II Flowers and Fruit

Clarice Cliff's 'Sliced Fruit' stick-stand, 69.5cm.


Section II

'Berries', by Clarice Cliff, here on a large Conical jug.


Flowers and Fruit

Section II Flowers and Fruit

A tube-lined wall-plaque by Charlotte Rhead, here in an unusual colour combination which may not have been put into general production. It was occasionally possible to have special items made to match the customer's own colour scheme, and since Charlotte Rhead's tube-lined designs were at the luxury end of the market, being time-consuming and labour-intensive to produce, colourways to order were probably part of the service on offer, in much the same way as Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper would add monograms to their designs for special customers. The sumptuous patterns of fruit and flowers that Charlotte Rhead created for Wood & Sons, Burgess & Leigh, A G Richardson and H J Wood are among the most collectable of her designs, but she was also responsible for on-glaze, under-glaze, hand-painted, incised and lustre ware patterns as well as for lithographic prints, some to be used on tableware, including kitchen and nursery ranges.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Two vases by Charlotte Rhead, the naturalistic 'Primula' and Pattern 4318.

Vases and tableware in a fruit pattern in the 'Edna Best' range, produced for Lawleys.


Section II

Flowers and Fruit

Vases from the Radford Handcraft Pottery.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Floral Patterns by Hollinshead and Kirkham

A Hancock's Ivory Ware jug, right, a Falconwarejug and a tube- lined 'Poppy' jug by Edith Gater for Royal Cauldon.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Hancock's Ivory Ware, items from the 'Titian Ware' range designed by F.X. Abrahams and a floral plaque advertising their Corona Ware.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

A Cremorne bowl by Molly Hancock

Vases in fruit and floral patterns from Moorcroft's flambe range.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Items from Moorcroft's mid Thirties range.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Poole pottery, by Carter, Stabler, Adams, combining flowers with Art Deco motifs.

Poole vases designed by Truda Carter and painted by Ruth Pavely.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Carlton Ware's moulded floral patterns.

'Foxglove' and 'Apple Blossom' by Carlton Ware.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Carlton Ware's popular 'Buttercup' pattern and a 'Waterlily' teapot.

Two teapots - Royal Doulton's 'Gaylee' pattern and Woods' yellow moulded flower teapot, with an unmarked floral coffee-pot.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

A jug incised with tulips, by Susie Cooper.

An incised beaker, a n d a hand-painted tray with the early 1930 triangular backstamp, 'Susie Cooper Productions'.


Section II

'Dresden Spray'. 1935, her first Art Deco floral lithograph.


Flowers and Fruit

Section II Flowers and Fruit

Royal Doulton's 'Daffodil' and 'Eden'

Minton's 'Cuckoo' pattern in Cube teaware.


Section II Flowers and Fruit

Shelley's Queen Anne shape in the 'Blue Iris' pattern.

J H Weatherby's teapot and matching jug, with its own tray.


Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes

Clarice Cliff's 'May Avenue', showing a distinctly Cubist influence.


Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes



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Section III Landscapes and Seascapes

William Moorcroft's landscape, framed by a curving tree.


Section III

A large matt-glazed wall-plaque by Crown Devon.

A fairy-tale castle by Fielding's Crown Devon.


Landscapes and Seascapes

Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes

Fantasy landscapes from Fielding's Crown Devon.

Two detailed landscapes from Grimwade's Royal Winton, hand- painted and signed by their designer, F Phillips.


Section III

A vase and bowl in 'Tiger Tree' by Carlton Ware.

Items from Carlton Ware's 'Fantasia' range.


Landscapes and Seascapes

Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes

A realistically-moulded galleon plaque from Burgess & Leigh.

E Radford's 'Egyptian' and 'Scraffitto' ware featured incised ships.


Section III

Crown Devon - galleons in full sail.


Landscapes and Seascapes

Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes

Hancock's plates, a cottage and a view of Venice, with another cottage, almost identical, from Hollinshead & Kirkham.

Beswick's cottage teaware, modelled in 1934 and in production till 1971.


Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes

A beaker from Grimwade's 'Delhi' range.

Arthur Wood's 'Garden Wall', a Radford landscape and a Wadeheath jug.


Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes

Shelley teaware - a garden scene.



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Royal Doulton's 'Merryweather' was introduced in 1927 and continued until 1940,




Section III

Landscapes and Seascapes

Crown Ducal's 'Red Tree', now known as 'Orange Tree', introduced in 1925. A print and enamel pattern, it was the first of the tree silhouette designs which set a vogue for dainty teaware and was imitated with variations by a number of other potteries. Breakfast, dinner, tea, coffee and kitchen ware was produced in vast quantities, some traditionally shaped while others were more interesting, being square or octagonal, sometimes with fancy corners. Collectors should be careful to avoid damaged items or those where the oranges have been faded to brown by harsh washing- up liquids, since the pattern is still fairly readily available in good condition. Many attractive cruets, jampots, toastracks and cheese-dishes can be found, and the pattern has, very occasionally, been found on glassware and even, so far in a single instance, on lustreware.


Section IV Birds and Animals

A Burleigh plaque of a deer and her fawn. Burleigh Ware was m a d e by Burgess a n d Leigh, one of the few Staffordshire potteries which remain today in the hands of the founding family, the fourth generation of the Leigh family being currently in control. Swift response to social c h a n g e has meant that the factory's output has been extremely versatile, offering a wide range of collecting options to Art Deco enthusiasts. As well as the work of skilled ceramic artists like Charlotte Rhead, lively novelties like the colourful flower-jugs were m a d e for customers in the middle price bracket, and hand-painted tableware in strong shapes a n d patterns was produced alongside the traditional transfer-printed ranges which have been m a d e by the pottery throughout its history and are still being made today.


Section IV Birds and Animals

Poole pottery, featuring the leaping deer motif, characteristic of the factory's output in the 1920's and 1930's, when designers included Phoebe Stabler, Truda Carter and Erna Manners. Truda Carter's design, the Spotted Deer, exhibited in 1923, was, like her Flying Bird, extremely popular and typical of her stylised yet at the same time naturalistic treatment of animals and birds. Ruth Pavely, who after the Second World War became head of the painting department, decorated many of these pieces, and her mark on the base makes an item particularly collectable. Besides pottery, the firm produced ceramic tiles, garden statuary, mosaics and even building materials such as their Ceramic Marble.


Section IV Birds and Animals

A polar bear by E Radford, perhaps intended as a pen-tray.

A highly stylised boar by Clarice Cliff.


Section IV

Three of John Skeaping's animals in Queen's Ware for Wedgwood.


Birds and Animals

Section IV Birds and Animals

A vase by Susie Cooper, incised with a pattern of squirrels.


Section IV Birds and Animals

A vase by William Moorcroft, 47.5 cm., with a design of fish.


Section IV Birds and Animals

Some of Burgess & Leigh's wide range of flower-jugs featuring bird or animal handles.


Section IV

The rarest Burleigh jugs, with sporting figures as handles.

More unusual Burleigh jugs


Birds and Animals

Section IV Birds and Animals

Teaware from Burgess & Leigh, with flying birds.

A woodpecker jug from J H Weatherby and a bird-house jug from Wadeheath.


Section IV Birds and Animals

A lustre wall-plate of a cockerel, from Gray's Pottery. Lustre decoration was always a speciality of Gray's, and their Gloria Lustre range was sufficiently important to warrant a distinguishing backstamp which was in use between 1923 and 1928. Some of the items in this range, many designed by Gordon Forsyth and executed by Susie Cooper, were shown at the 1925 Paris exhibition. The use of lustre to enrich glaze and give it either an iridescent or 'metallic' surface has been attempted throughout pottery history and this century leading ceramic designers have experimented with it. The metallic compound - gold, silver, platinum etc. is applied as a thin glaze from which the liquid element burns away during firing. The whole process demands a high level of skill a n d execution since perfect firing conditions are essential to success.


Section IV

Birds and Animals

Charlotte Rhead's 'Manchu', 1936.


Section IV Birds and Animals

A lustre wall plate from Gray's Pottery, showing a unicorn.


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

A group of dancers, from the German firm, Goldscheider.


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

Crown Derby's figurine of an actress, made here into a lamp.


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

A Goldscheider pierrot


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

Royal Doulton's 'Lily Maid', 61cm., in stoneware, for a fountain.


Section V

Facemasks and Figurines

Royal Doulton's Dreamland'.

'Marietta' by Royal Doulton.


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

Angela' by Royal Doulton.

'Sunshine Girl' by Royal Doulton

Left, Royal Doulton's 'Swimmer' and 'The Bather', right.


Section V

Facemasks and Figurines

Two Czechoslovakian facemasks with, right, one from James Cope & Co.

An inkwell, a vase a n d a cigarette holder, all from the Continent, reflecting contemporary fashion.


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

'Chahar', by Clarice Cliff.

From Beswick, an oval wall-plaque made in 1936 and continued until 1940.

A face-mask from Goldscheider, (left) and one marked 'Made in Czechoslovakia'


Section V

Facemasks and Figurines

A Royal Dux figurine from Czechoslovakia.


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

A rare lamp, probably by the Japanese firm of Noritake. The figure lifts off to reveal a ceramic box perhaps used for the small cigarettes of the day.


Section V Facemasks and Figurines

'Age of Jazz' figures, by Clarice Cliff, for use as a centre-piece while listening to a dance-band on the wireless.


Section VI Nursery World

Babyware based by Clarice Cliff on drawings by 8 year old Joan Shorter.

Another Clarice Cliff nursery range, Gnome Ware.


Section VI Nursery World

Clarice Cliff's 'Teepee' teapot, designed for export to Canada.

James Sadler's classic racing car teapot, and a dachshund teapot from Germany.


Section VI Nursery World

A Gray's Pottery mug

Also from Gray's, a mug decorated with stylised horses.


Section VI

Nursery World

'Dick Whittington' by Arthur Wood and the 'Pied Piper' from Burleigh.

Mabel Lucie Attwell was one of the most popular children's illustrators of the day, and Shelley Potteries invited her to design for them.


Section VI

Figurines designed by Mabel Lucie Attwell for Shelley.


Nursery World

SylvacC Pottery, by Shaw & Copestake.


Section VII Collecting Themes

A collection on the theme of pierrots, with expensive pieces by Limoges a n d Goebel, plus inexpensive ashtrays and powderbowls.


Section VII Collecting Themes

A collection of coffee-cans, all by Clarice Cliff.


Collecting Art Deco Ceramics  

Guide to British factories at the forefront of the ceramics industry in the 1920s and 30s

Collecting Art Deco Ceramics  

Guide to British factories at the forefront of the ceramics industry in the 1920s and 30s