ANTIQUES & COLLECTING: Timeless Classic Pottery to Collect and Enjoy; Stephen Whittaker Explains the History and Appeal of Carlton Ware

Article excerpt

Byline: Stephen Whittaker

Carlton Ware decorative pottery comes in many varied and different styles but each range has its own particular charm.

When mentioning Carlton Ware, most people tend to think of the quirky green leaf and flower designs or possibly the more sophisticated Oriental inspired royal collections from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Carlton Ware however dates as far back as 1890 when James F Wiltshaw joined forces with the two Robinson brothers to establish a pottery business.

Carlton Ware became extremely popular, due to the strict quality control procedures at the factory which resulted in the manufacture of highly desirable products.

Some of the earlier ranges included Victorian Blush ware, crested ware and matt black ware with floral decoration. In 1911 the Robinsons withdrew from the business, passing sole responsibility to the Wiltshaws.

After WWl, James's son Cuthbert took over the running of the business following his father's death in 1918. The introduction of Oriental designs in the period between the two world wars proved very successful for the company, with 'lustre' finishes and creative designs such as Paradise Bird and Tree which to this day still remain highly collectable. The Copeland Street works in Stoke-on-Trent was highly productive in the 1920s and 30s and the range was expanded to include more modestly priced tableware and Carlton Ware was the first manufacturer to offer 'oven to table' products in 1929.

Some of the most sought after Carlton Ware today is the classy, Oriental style 'Royale' range. With its lustre finish, the Royale colours were defined as Bleu, Rouge, Vert and Noire which resulted in new hand-painted decorations being added to include Spider's Web, New Mikado, and New Stork. …