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Two books on Carlton Ware were published in 2012. See our Publications page for details.
Previous Articles 10

Below are selected articles published on this site in May to August 2011. We hope you will find some of interest.

Articles here have been moved from the Recent Articles & Announcements page and are in reverse chronological order.

26 August 2011
Our Treasures Toy Tea Sets
As we all know, Wiltshaw & Robinson the makers of Carlton Ware produced an enormous range of wares, especially during the 1920s and 30s. Amongst this were toy tea sets.

Boxed Our Treasures Toy Tea Set - CAT SERIES by Wiltshaw & Robinson 

In 1934, two such sets were introduced, one in the form of cats, the other modelled as rabbits.

For practical, as well as presentational reasons, these diminutive tea sets were sold boxed.

Unsurprisingly, few of the boxes that contained them have survived, so it was a treat to see a complete boxed set of what W&R called their CAT SERIES set for sale on eBay last month.
Box for CAT SERIES Our Treasures Toy Tea Set by Wiltshaw & Robinson 

The box reveals that these sets were marketed under the name of Our Treasures Toy Tea Sets. Three cups and saucers were included in this particular set but unboxed sets from the companion RABBIT SERIES have been found with six.

Prior to this discovery we may well have assumed that an unboxed set with three cups and saucers was incomplete, but not necessarily. The graphic on the box is as charming as its contents and is in the Art Deco style befitting of the time of its introduction.
Boxed Our Treasures Toy Tea Set - RABBIT SERIES by Wiltshaw & Robinson 
This CAT SERIES set is green; its companion RABBIT SERIES toy tea ware has been found in yellow, but perhaps both were produced in yellow and green and possibly other colours.
CAT SERIES Treasures Toy Tea Set by Wiltshaw & Robinson Our Treasures Toy Tea Set backstamp Wiltshaw & Robinson 
Carlton Ware made other toy tea sets but this is another story. It appears that on all of the pottery's children's tea ware only the teapot is backstamped, presumably to keep production costs down.

On the CAT SERIES set featured here, the large backstamp is feint. This unusual mark, shown left, gives the name of the manufacturer as Wiltshaw & Robinson and, as on the box, it says Our Treasures Toy Tea Sets but also adds British Made with a Registered Number too indistinct to read but I can tell you that it is 796919, which was registered in October 1934.

The set sold for £139.99 plus £8.49 for p&p. If you have either of these delightful sets in other colours do let us know and especially if you have a boxed set for six.

The arrival of the set on eBay coincided with another here at Carlton Towers!

Bookish Kittens Tower of kittens

An abandoned cat moved in and shortly afterwards delivered us six kittens under a bed! Sara, our club secretary and cat expert, believes the are part Abyssinian. Notice the letter M between their eyes; this 'backstamp' is a characteristic of the breed. You can see that already they have taken to books. Let's hope we can find them as good a home as the tea set, though at the moment we want to keep them all!  ❑

© Harvey Pettit 2011.
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14 August 2011
Carlton Ware World visit to Torquay
We do like to be beside the seaside....
Tea in Torquay 
After being told by my CW mad husband Tony that he had booked us on the CWW trip to Torquay I was aghast and my reply was ‘I don’t think I can go, Torquay is too far for a weekend (we live in the northwest).

How wrong could I be? We both had a great time! We managed to make some purchases, eat lots yummy food, not to mention drink plenty of naughty wine, enjoy the company of good friends and meet a couple of new ones.Wow all that in a weekend. Who could ask for more?

If you would like to read more of Angela's review of the weekend and what all got up to click here.  ❑
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 28 July 2011

Guest Speaker Will Farmer 
Annual Staffordshire
Get-together 25 Sept 2011


As always, we work hard to make sure that our events are enjoyable and relaxing and especially at our annual get-together in the Potteries.

After the success of our guest speaker Eric Knowles, we followed up with another BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Will Farmer, whose passion is twentieth century ceramics.

As always, this our premier  event was a great success.  ❑

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All the Round mark. 
3 July 2011
Ebay and - All the (World) Round
With its pros and cons we all have a love hate relationship with eBay. Aside from this, it is also a useful research tool because it can help solve some of the mysteries of the past.

Hibiscus blushware cruet by Carlton Ware. 






Terry Wise, our archivist, called to say that he had spotted an Hibiscus blushware cruet in a silver plated frame. Its Carlton Ware backstamp was the All the Round mark whose significance has always been an enigma to me. I guess that, with a globe at its centre, the backstamp is probably meant to read All the World Round or All Round the World. Until now, this suggested that Wiltshaw & Robinson, the makers of Carlton Ware, may have used the mark on ware that it exported during the early years, but no!

Marks for electroplater John Round & Son, Sheffield 



The vendor provided good pictures, not only of backstamps, but also the marks of the maker of the metal frame. Lo and behold, alongside the makers initials of JR & Sons, the All the Round mark was also stamped into the electroplated metal stand.

Advertisement for John Round & Sons, Sheffield. 
The seller informed us that the maker was John Round & Sons of Sheffield, who used All the Round as a trade mark from the 1880s. The maker was highly regarded and particularly well known for producing high quality cutlery.

Usually metal fitments used with ceramics were bought in by a pottery, which would then sell it complete with appropriate ware. In this instance it appears to be the other way round - no pun intended - with CW supplying John Round, who would then market the ensemble. Alternatively, there could have been a greater association than usual between between W&R and JR & Sons.

I think we can safely say that the All the Round backstamp is not a Carlton Ware mark but the trade mark of John Round & Sons, even though the Carlton Ware name appears beneath in an arc.
Retailers and other companies names often appeared with a Carlton Ware backstamp, though in most cases this is more obvious than here. Many thanks to Terry for spotting the cruet and to the seller for providing such detailed and accurate information - we wish this was the case with all eBayers! (The cruet sold for £127 including P&P.) © Harvey Pettit 2011. ❑

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Saturday 4 June 2011
Carlton Ware World Racing Supplement!
Carlton House - its the favourite
After its sale in 1989, when Carlton Ware's Copeland Street works was turned into workshops and student accommodation, it was renamed Carlton House. Today, its namesake, a gift to The Queen from Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai, was favourite to win "The Derby".

Carlton House, Copeland Street, Stoke Carlton House racehorse
Inevitably, Carlton Ware reflected the popularity of the sport of kings by including a model of a racehorse and jockey in its Heraldic China range.

Carlton Ware Heraldic China Racehorse & Jockey Carlton Ware Heraldic China Racehorses & Jockeys
Retailers would sometimes paint the name of a horse to the base. Since this was done in oil paint, often the lettering has partly rubbed off and so difficult to read. The lettering could be crudely done, depending on the skill of the retailer or assistant.

Carlton Ware racehorse & jockey bases with painted names
The Queen's racing silks 
The jockey's racing silks were decorated in a wide range of colours. How accurate Carlton Ware was with these I don't know. Since the colours were registered by an owner or trainer it might be possible to identify them, even though they are from eighty years, or more, ago. On the right are the Queen's silks. The jacket has a purple body with scarlet sleeves and gold braiding.

Carlton House came in third at the Epsom Derby - I should have advised you to back it each way, so that you could buy another piece of Carlton Ware with the winnings! Hindsight is a wonderful thing. ❑ 
© Harvey Pettit 2011
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Tuesday 12:13 PM 31 May 2011
The Titanic & Carlton Ware

Sinking, not Launching! With apologies to Stevie Smith.
Carlton Ware Titanic china vase front Carlton Ware Titanic china vase back
Exactly 100 years ago today the Titanic's hull was launched from Belfast's Harland & Wolff's shipyard. But it was, of course, her sinking 11 months later for which she is remembered.

This was commemorated by Carlton Ware on some of its Heraldic China shapes; three examples are shown here but there will be more. They have become highly sought after. ❑
The Titanic Carlton Ware Titanic china vase 2 Carlton Ware Titanic china vase 3
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Carlton Ahoy - Ahem!
William Alsager Adderly backstamp William Alsager Adderly hexagonal aesthetic vase 
Following the nautical theme, Chris sent us the picture of what he thought might be an unusual Carlton Ware backstamp featuring a square rigged sailing boat and asked if it was from CW's stable.

He found it on the hexagonal pot on the right. Its decoration is in the Aesthetic style, as indicated by the "bamboo" band and the asymmetric design, which was popular in the 1880s.
We can tell Chris that this pot was made by William Alsager Adderly, a Longton based pottery (1876-1905) to which the WAA initials on the mark refer. Carlton is most likely a pattern name and has no connection with W&R. Carlton was also used as a pattern or shape name by other potteries, and can so easily lead to being wrongly associated with our favourite pottery. ❑  
© HP 2011.
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Friday 20 May 2011
Crinoline Lady Napkin rings
Coloured Ware graphic

Julie Ann from Australia wrote to ask if we could supply any information on Carlton Ware Crinoline Lady napkin rings. We can tell Julie Ann that three different types are known to us, all introduced in the 1930s. They were part of what the pottery promoted as COLOURED WARE, a wide range of amusing novelties.

The Scarlet Pimpernel film poster 1934.  
Carlton Ware is one of the most significant potteries of its time because it consistently reflected popular taste and styles of a period; the Crinoline Lady napkins rings are good examples. During the 1930s and 40s there was a proliferation of historical films such as The Scarlet Pimpernel of 1934, Madame Du Barry of 1934 and Nell Gwyn of 1935. It is not unreasonable to suggest that the napkin rings were inspired by the popularity of these period costume dramas.

The first and earliest napkin ring portrays a demure figure in a bonnet and holding a posy. We guess that this was introduced in the early 1930s, in which case it will be by Violet Elmer. Four different decorations are shown below but there are bound to be more. This model was also made as a bell.

Carlton Ware Crinoline Lady with Posy napkin rings.

Still from The Scarlet Pimpernel
The second napkin ring, shown below, has a more elaborate crinoline with four tiers of ruffles and the bonnet has a wider brim. This one, by Violet Elmer, was introduced about 1935 and allocated shape number 1138.

This model was first available as a bell in 1934, with shape number 1012. To date, seven different colour combinations are known and it is possible that there may be more.

Carlton Ware Crinoline Lady napkin rings.

Madame Du Barry advertising.  
The third crinoline lady napkin ring was called DU BARRY and was introduced c.1938 and given the shape number 1770. The picture on the right shows a poster from the popular 1934 film of the same name.

This model was devised by Rene Pemberton; at this time she had just taken over from Miss Elmer, who had left Carlton Ware to marry. Two decorations are shown below but there may be others.
A DU BARRY cruet was also introduced a little earlier.

Carlton Ware DU BARRY napkin rings.
In her early work for Carlton Ware some of Miss Elmer's teaware designs featured the garment. Two of these, Afternoon Stroll 4878 and Orchard Walk 4609, are shown below on the elegant CHINESE shape cup, which was used by Birks Rawlins before Cuthbert Wiltshaw bought their Vine Street works in 1928.

Carlton China Afternoon Stroll 4878 trio on CHINESE shape. Carlton China Orchard Walk 4609 trio on CHINESE shape.

Carlton Ware VICTORIAN LADY JACOBEAN FIGURES 3958 vase
Miss Elmer's VICTORIAN LADY and JACOBEAN FIGURES use a similar theme on the highly decorated and expensive Best Ware.

Whatever your pocket, Carlton Ware embraced the Zeitgeist of the time, making it accessible to all, and with its COLOURED WARE added an amusing touch. If you would like to see other COLOURED WARE napkin rings, including more crinoline ladies, then visit Nicholnack Art in Pottery

© Harvey Pettit 2011.

We would like to thank Derek & Jane Towns, who run www.carltonchina.co.uk, for the images of the bone china teaware.
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Thursday 12 May 2011
Monogrammed Marvels
Scottish links?

Carlton Ware Monogrammed Ware front.
Carlton Ware Monogrammed Ware marks.
Charlie from California sent us the pictures of a Carlton Ware monogrammed vase, shown left and below. The monogram is Q. Mc.G, followed by 1939, which is likely to be the date. The naturalistic hand painting is skilfully executed.

We have featured similar items in the past calling them monogrammed mysteries because little is known about them, except that they were made but not decorated by Carlton Ware. Charlie is curious about the artists who painted them and asks if we can throw any more light on them.


Over time, a pattern has emerged that might be a clue to their pedigree. I have noticed that many names and monograms appear to be of Scottish origin. The clearest example is the Scottish artist Elizabeth Mary Watt, who uses EMW on some of the blanks that she bought from Carlton Ware and other potteries. 

Carlton Ware Monogrammed Ware back.
The observation leads me to suggest that for some of these out-decorated wares there may be a connection with one or more Scottish Art School, which could have bought in blanks for their students to decorate, the Glasgow School of Art being a possibility. Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, Edinburgh School of Art and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee are others. This suggested link with an Art School would explain why the styles and quality of decoration are so varied.  To see more Monogrammed Mysteries click here. We have just added another fourteen.

Hopefully, the information that has been gleaned about these wares may lead to one of the artists contacting us and thereby reveal more clues about these pots. If you have information for us .
© Harvey Pettit 2011

Observations provided by The Cochrane & Pettit Archive of Carlton Ware.



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