One of the most charming of the Carlton Ware Best Ware patterns is Rabbits at Dusk. It was designed by Rene Pemberton and introduced around 1939, Easter 1939, perhaps!
The pattern was available in several different ground colours. Confusingly, that with a pink stippled ground has the same pattern number as that with an orange lustre ground 4247. So how is this explained?
The orange lustre version 4247 was stippled in pink before the orange lustre was applied. When 4247 is found just with a stippled pink background and no lustre, this tells us that for some reason that the orange lustre had not been applied, so the decoration is unfinished. Unlike many other unfinished patterns, the pink version looks complete and stands well without the orange lustre.
As is usual with incomplete decorations, the omission of the orange lustre could be because of a flaw, or I can suggest that it might have been because of World War Two and consequent labour shortages, though this is speculation. Whatever the reason, the pink ground is most attractive.
The yellow ground variant 4256 is not stippled but the green ground version 4257 is, not in pink but in blue, before the green ground was applied. In addition to these, another, 4259, is listed in factory pattern records, though I have not seen an example. It has a stippled pink and blue ground with a Mother of Pearl Lustre finish.
Some ten years ago an example of the pattern surfaced on eBay with a worn ruby lustre ground, partly printed in gold. This is not listed in factory pattern records, so I can only suggest that this is a sample and the version did not go into production. Alternatively, a less likely explanation could be the disruption of the 1939-45 war, which meant that this version was not recorded. Only time will tell - if other examples turn up then it must have gone into production, though probably in small numbers.
© Harvey Pettit 2015