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Below are selected articles published on this site in February to July 2012. We hope you will find some of interest.

Cast Aside the Shadows - jacket
Saturday 7 July 2012
Book Review
Cast Aside the Shadows
Violet Elmer & the Carlton Works, Copeland Street, Stoke-on-Trent
by Barry & Elaine Girling.

The much welcomed Cast Aside the Shadows focuses on Carlton Ware's Best Ware and Handcraft ranges made between 1928 and 1938. Carlton China from the same period is also featured. A brief history of the pottery is included, as well as a section on decorating techniques and social and economic influences.

Aside from this, the strengths of this well-researched book lie in the biographical details of Carlton Ware’s designers from Horace Wain, who began at Copeland Street shortly before World War One, through to Christopher Boulton, who was at the pottery in the 1950s. The authors’ passion is for the work of Violet Elmer and a good proportion of the book is devoted to her family history, friendships, marriage and above all her designs for the pottery, many of which are shown in the colour illustrations. But there is much more than this and for any serious Carlton Ware collector of Best Ware from the 1920s and 30s this book is a must-have.

Violet Elmer, Olive Kew and friends.
There can be no doubt that Cast Aside the Shadows has been a labour of love and this shines through in the text. It might be a little difficult getting to grips with the details of Violet’s early family history in the first chapter but we must be grateful that Barry and Elaine have made this available to us. Rest assured, the following chapters - there are twenty in total - quickly draw you into a bygone world, helped by many charming period photographs such as the one shown here with the vivacious Violet Elmer, centre stage, and demure Olive Kew on the right.

Cast Aside the Shadows is published in hardback, is 16 x 24cm and has 174 well illustrated pages. ❑
                                                     Harvey Pettit July 2012.

The book costs £47, which reflects its small print run and is obtainable in the UK plus p & p of £6, from Leiston Press, Unit 1, Masterlord Industrial Park, Leiston, Suffolk IP16 4JD. Cheques payable to B & E Girling, please mark envelope "CATS BOOK".

Overseas transactions, £47 plus £14 postage, payment by Paypal. For details contact Barry and Elaine directly by . (7-10 days delivery).
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Damaged Heraldic China & pewter ashtray.
Friday 22 June 2012
It's a cracker!

We couldn't resist pointing out a recent eBay listing.  Sellers on the online auction house are often highly imaginative with their sales pitch.

The Carlton Heraldic China ashtray on the right has two very obvious cracks, missing enamel and bent pewter. It was described as:-

"gorgeous carltonware ashtray, the ashtray has cracks to the porcelain but I think it just adds to the items appeal...."

Nothing quite like optimism! ❑
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Carlton Ware Gsoldier napkin ring.

Sunday 3 June 2012
Barging in on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
Hotfoot and soaking wet straight from the Thames, Harvey reports.

Royal Row Barge
The Gloriana which led the 1000-boat flotilla at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant in London.
She is the first Royal row barge to be built for 100 years.
We couldn't resist a take on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant here in London to feature BARGE one of Carlton Ware's elaborate Chinoiserie patterns.

Carlton Ware BARGE plaque
BARGE was designed by Enoch Boulton and is thought to be one of his earliest designs for Carlton Ware being introduced about 1922, not long after Horace Wain, his predecessor, is thought to have left the pottery.

Carlton Ware TUT slender ginger jar.
The BARGE pattern has a geometry not present in Wain's hand and uses large blocks of raised enamel, but still continues the Carlton Ware tradition of fine gold printing as portrayed in the foliage of the trees and the border created specially for this pattern.

Boats featured in other Chinoiserie patterns, namely China Seas, CHINALAND, MIKADO, Nankin, NEW MIKADO, Oriental Panels and WILLOW.

The boat in BARGE is luxurious, that in Carlton Ware's
TUT pattern is even more elaborate, as can be seen on the tall slender ginger jar shown on the right, also thought to be by Enoch Boulton.

The Powder Blue grounds, devised by Horace Wain, continued in use until the Woods took over Carlton Ware in 1968. This ground was the perfect foil for the sumptuous gold print & enamel decorations and along with the ruby lustre grounds was to become synonymous with the pottery.

We had all hoped for blue skys today for the Queen and the many tens of thousands that lined the riversides but it was not to be. In true British spirit, the rain was ignored and the celebrations continued unabashed but no wonder we adopted the umbrella! It is hard to describe the atmosphere during these events and you have to be there to experience the wonderful bonhomie of the crowd.  It was well worth the walk down to the river. ❑

© Harvey Pettit 2012.
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Saturday 14 April 2012
Centenary of the sinking of Titanic

It won't have gone unnoticed that one hundred years ago today, on her maiden voyage, the RMS Titanic began to sink on the way to New York after hitting an iceberg. The terrible event was commemorated by Carlton Ware on some of its Heraldic China.

Below is a Carlton Ware Model of a Roman Salopian Ewer with a decorated print of the "unsinkable" passenger liner and details of the tragedy. Other Heraldic china shapes from the Ancient Artefacts category were used to mark the event mostly in the form of jugs, bowls or vases.

Model of a Roman Salopian Ewer recording the loss of the Titanic

Ocean going Liners were the primary mode of intercontinental travel for over a century until supplanted by air travel in the 1960s.

The Lusitania arriving in New York in 1907
The Lusitania arriving in New York in 1907. Notice the large number of people and horse drawn vehicles waiting for disembarkation.
This picture gives a good idea of how large the liners were.

Carlton Ware produced souvenirs of other ocean going liners. Two examples are shown below. Almost certainly there will be others. They were probably sold in the towns of UK ports at which the liners docked.

Carlton Heraldic China souvenirs of RMS Tunisian & RMS Saxonia
Carlton Heraldic China souvenirs of The Allen Line's RMS Tunisian and Cunard's RMS Saxonia both built in Glasgow in 1900.
Carlton Ware introduces it's Heraldic China about 1903 so these souvenirs will be after this date and probably before WW1.
Notice the small amounts of white raised enamel used to represent the crests of waves.
The Carpathia
RMS Tunisian ran between Liverpool and Canada and RMS Saxonia between Liverpool and Boston. RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship or Steamer used for vessels that carried mail under contract to the British Royal Mail.  This was seen as a mark of quality and a competitive advantage because the mail had to be on time.

Like the Titanic these ships all carried emigrants from Europe to North America. Mail and other cargo was also an important source of income for the owners of these large ships and this is how Carlton Ware was sent to its overseas customers.

We wonder if Carlton Ware made a souvenir of the Carpathia, another transatlantic steamship, which rescued the survivors of the Titanic. ❑

© HP 2012
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Saturday 25 February 2012
No flies on us!

Carlton Ware PRINCE ashtray decorated with Jock Scott fishing fly.
Carlton Ware PRINCE ashtray decorated
with a fishing fly. c 1925.
Jock Scott mark
Crown backstamp with
This unusual Carlton Ware ashtray from the 1920s was recently offered on eBay with a delicately painted fishing fly at its centre.  Aside from a Crown backstamp it also has the name Jock Scott. So who or what is Jock Scott. Have we discovered an unknown designer?

Unsurprisingly, the seller assumed that this was the name of the designer. Since Carlton Ware is rarely signed I began to investigate and googled this name in the hope that I might reveal some information.  I was very surprised to find the search returned a large number of explicit images, in error I had goggled Jock Strap!

Once back on track, I discovered that a Jock Scott is a type of fishing fly, which indeed the ashtray has as its decoration.

Carlton Ware PRINCE ashtray decorated with Jock Scott fishing fly detail
Detail showing the Jock Scott fly
Could this be one of a series?.
Jock Scott cigarette advertising.
Jock Scott cigarettes.
WD & HO Wills.
Jock Scott may have been one of a series of printed patterns featuring fishing flies, each given its appropriate name. I also found a similar ashtray, with a retailers mark for the tobacconists Charles Rattray of Perth in Scotland.  Perhaps, these ashtrays were sold through this type of retail outlet. Jock Scott was also a brand of cigarettes; a link with this seems less likely, though the ashtray and cigarettes are contemporary.
©HP 2012

Technical tip from our webmaster

Whilst we are on the topic of fishing, another type immediately springs to mind and this is phishing, when fraudsters try to obtain information about your bank account or credit card usually by compromising a friend's email account.

If your email address is compromised, to regain control of it make sure that you provide your ISP, or if you use webmail (Hotmail, Googlemail or Yahoo Mail) with an alternative email address and possibly an answer to a secret question of your choice and perhaps a phone number. Using these details you can recover your email account and change your stolen password thus stopping your account being used by spammers and phishers. 

If you don't do this you will loose your email address, so add these details NOW! ❑

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Sunday 12 February 2012
Valentine Cup

Carlton Ware Lustre Pottery Valentine cup
Carlton Ware Lustre Pottery Valentine cup
by Roger Michell & Danka Napiorkowska 1977.
Shape number 3304.
Valentine montage
If the Carlton Ware swallow doesn't bring you a Valentine this year then smile at a Walking Ware mug, which was introduced in 1977. 

In her definitive book Walking Ware a Collectors Guide, Julia Michell tells us that in this year Lustre Pottery initiated a new series of special items for Carlton Ware, which were to include the Royal Commemorative Ware and 'The Year of the Child' charity cup... a variety of designs from the sentimental to the ironic. These were made in much smaller numbers than other Walking Ware, so are harder to find today.

The Valentine cup was given shape number 3304. There was no space to impress this because of its small footprint though it has the Carlton Ware Lustre Pottery backstamp.

The 'vintage' cards below might also amuse! Clearly the carrot and the pea salt & pepper are happy together! ❑

Vintage Valentine cards and Carlton Ware Vegetable salt & pepper
Sunday 5 February 2012
Staffordshire Beer banned....

Storm in a D cup!

Carlton Ware Heraldic China model<br />
					of a man sitting next to a beer barrel.
Carlton Ware Heraldic China model
of a man sitting next to a beer barrel.
Top Totty beer
Banned - Described by the
brewer as "A stunning blonde
beer full bodied with a
voluptuous hop aroma.”
We couldn't resist telling you this story about a Staffordshire beer called Top Totty being banned from a Parliamentary bar here in the UK this week.

The beer's pump plate features a scantily dressed Playboy bunny, causing offense to the shadow equalities minister Kate Green. The name of the beer also caused concern. Top Totty is said to be posh slang for an attractive woman or (more recently) man.

The name is also a play on words since a tot is an alcoholic drink and a toddy a hot alcoholic drink (more offense!) A bitter backlash has ensued!

Sales of the ale have soared, no doubt to the delight of Slater's, the small family Staffordshire brewery that makes the award winning brew.
Carlton Ware Heraldic China model of a hand holding  a glass of beer
Carlton Ware Heraldic China model of a hand holding
a glass of beer
Carlton Ware Heraldic China model of a bottle
Carlton Heraldic China
bottle and one of Top Totty.

Beer is not unfamiliar to Carlton Ware as we can see above with the Heraldic China figure of a man sitting next to a beer barrel.

Other alcohol related items were made at Copeland Street such as the hand holding a glass of beer on the left and the bottle on the right shown with a bottle of Top Toddy.

A bottle of champagne was also represented as well as a beer barrel on its rests.

Carlton Ware Heraldic China model of adrunk toff leaning against a lampost
Carlton Ware Heraldic China ashtray
with an inebriated toff leaning against
a lamp-post exposing himself.
Male bunny
CWW is balanced!

One particularly amusing model portrays a drunken toff leaning on a lamp-post with his upturned top hat beside him. Perhaps he has been drinking Toff Toddy!  Close inspection reveals that his flies are undone!  The base is an ashtray; presumably his upturned top hat is intended for matches.

The drunk has a long association with the lamp-post and this portrayal is found in the music hall, theatre, cartoons and films.

In order to be balanced, Sara and Carole have requested that we show a picture of a provocative man also revealing flesh, so here it is.❑

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

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