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Two books on Carlton Ware were published in 2012. See our Publications page for details.
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Below are selected articles published on this site in July 2013. We hope you will find some of interest.

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

28 July 2013
Carlton Jewels....
A staggering £34 million worth of jewels were stolen today from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes.
The prestigeouis hotel was built in 1911, the year Fred Wiltshaw's partnership with the Robinsons ended.


Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes on the French Riviera, where the jewel theft took place.
The monumental domes are said to resemble the breasts of Caroline Otero, famous courtesan of the day!
Carlton Ware Jewels....
Sometimes the raised enameling found on Carlton Ware is referred to as "jeweled" and the pictures below show why. Their domed nature suggest cabochons. Carlton Ware excelled in this type of detailed and extravagant decoration. As you can see, the wings of SKETCHING BIRD are especially elaborate and are decorated in many colours.

Examples of raised enameling - New Stork 4339 and SKETCHING BIRD 3907.
Examples of raised enameling
Examples of raised enameling - Lacecap Hydrangea 3967, Mandarin Tree 3719 and FLOWER & FALLING LEAF 3949.
Scroll down for other articles.


25 July 2013
A Tail of two Cocks!
The once empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square is now used for temporary sculptures and art installations. Today, London Mayor, Boris Johnson, unveiled the latest art work to occupy the space.


Left, the latest sculpture for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square - right, a Carlton Ware blue cockerel from the 1920s.

Called "Cock" it clearly alludes to Boris, the Conservative Mayor, who at the unveiling said

“Feast your eyes on this beautiful new Fourth Plinth sculpture. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the big blue… BIRD!”

Had the German sculptor Katharina Fritsch been inspired by Carlton Ware's version, which was produced in the 1920s, some 90 years earlier? As our montage shows, it is extraordinary that the blue used on both cocks is almost identical. Whether now, or in the 1920s the blue cocks look decidedly bizarre. Carlton Ware - First with the Best!
© Harvey Pettit 2013.

The Imperial State Crown used at Coronations
and on which the Carlton Ware Crown backstamp may have been based.
24 July 2013
It's a Little Boy Blue blood.
Congratulations to Catherine and William on their new arrival.

After the birth of the Royal baby, we couldn't resist featuring some of Carlton Ware's baby plates.

Since the new heir to the throne is to be called George, an appropriate nursery rhyme for a baby's plate might be

Georgie Porgie, Puddin' and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away.

Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - At the Seaside.
At the Seaside Carlton Ware Baby's Plate.




The first plate we show features a charming seaside scene complete with donkeys and bathing machines, which suggest a manufacturing date of the turn of the 19th century. 

The huts on wheels were devised to protect the modesty of bathers. Male and female huts were initially segregated, though eventually mixed bathing became acceptable.
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair.
Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair.... Carlton Ware Baby's Plate.


As one might expect, decorations often portrayed scenes from nursery rhymes that were popular at the time of manufacture, some of which now seem obscure. The one on the left is still familiar to us and reads


Simple Simon
Met a pieman going to the fair
Says Simple Simon to the pieman
let me taste your ware.


You may remember the second verse, which goes

Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
Show me first your penny;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Indeed I have not any.



Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - See-Saw
See-Saw Carlton Ware Baby's Plate.



The plate on the right is titled "See Saw", though in the picture these words on the bottom edge are obscured from view by the deep rim.

Presumably, this alludes to the rhyme


Seesaw Margery Daw
Johnny shall have a new master
He shall earn but a penny a day
Because he can't work any faster.


The payment of a penny a day to Johnny is a good indication of how much inflation there has been since the rhyme was written, as well as the normality of child labour.


Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - PUFF-PUFF-PUFF
PUFF-PUFF-PUFF Carlton Ware Baby's plate.



Trains were also popular subjects for children, as well as the parents, or relatives, who bought the plates.

PUFF-PUFF-PUFF, on the left, shows a stream train, which to my untrained eye it looks like an LNER K4 Class locomotive pulling carriages in its "blood & custard" livery. Such trains ran through Stoke-on-Trent, where Carlton Ware was made.

So it seems that children were indoctrinated to love these Leviathans from an early age! Or were they being indoctrinated to love Carlton Ware?  I can think of some who fell for both!

Carlton Ware baby plates were either oval or circular in shape. It appears that the circular ones were more popular and a selection is shown below.

Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - CHRYSANTHEMUM
CHRYSANTHEMUM 403
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate.


It comes as a surprise to find that blushware decorations were also used on baby plates, as we see on the left.  This uses the CHRYSANTHEMUM pattern, which was registered in 1893 though I suspect that this was made at a later date, which begs the question when did Carlton Ware introduce baby plates?

My guess, and we can only guess since few records of them survive, is that it wasn't until Cuthbert Wiltshaw had children of his own. His first child, Betty was born in 1917, so perhaps when Cuthbert took over the works on the death of his father in 1918 he may have been motivated to introduce them shortly after. Founder Frederick Wiltshaw had his first child in 1890, the year W&R was formed, so it is less likely the plates stem from this date if the same logic was to follow.  All of this is of course pure speculation.




Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - Rub-a-dud-dub
Rub-a-dud-dub
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate.
All of the plates shown so far are polychrome. The outline of the pattern is first printed, usually in black or brown and the enamel colours subsequently added over the glaze. Notice that large areas of the background are freehand painted, especially on At The Seaside, See-Saw and Simple Simon.  Inevitably, in use the on-glaze enamel colours wore away, so finding the polychrome plates in good condition is difficult.

Less expensive monochrome versions were also produced and an example, printed in blue, is shown on the right. On these, the freehand painted backgrounds are omitted, which kept the cost of production down. This example employs another rhyme which goes


Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they were?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker....

Below are a selection of polychome plates. Take a trip down memory lane and see if any of the rymes or these take you back to your early years.

Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - Hey diddle diddle
Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon....
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - There was an old woman Tossed up in a basket
There was an old woman,
Tossed up in a basket
Seventeen times as high as the moon....
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - Old Mother Hubbard
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone....
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - Bread & Milk
Oh, whether in a mug
Or a little china jug,
There’s nothing in the world so nice as milk....
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - Jack Sprat could eat no fat
Jack Sprat could eat no fat.
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean
Carlton Ware Baby's Plate - Jack and Jill went up the hill
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
There were many more than those shown here, so presumably the plates must have been a commercial success. My favourite Carlton Ware baby plates were from a series called NURSERY DUCKS introduced in the 1920s, by which time Cuthbert Wiltshaw had four children.  These portrayed ducks in various sporting activities, but that is another story. ❑
© Harvey Pettit 2013.
Scroll down for other articles.


21 July 2013
Didi Devil!
Detail from Carlton Wares DEVIL pattern.
Detail from DEVIL 3765..
Didi Devil- Tour de France mascot.
Didi Devil Tour de France mascot
Didi Devil, mascot for the Tour de France, has brought luck to British cyclist Chris Froome in the 100th Tour de France. Froome is virtually guaranteed to become the second Britain, after teammate Sir Bradley Wiggins last year to win the worlds' biggest bike race.

However, Carlton Ware can do better than Didi with Miss Elmer's version of the evil man, as we show on the left.

The Telegraph reports

On the Champs Elysées, Froome will be presented with a sequined-encrusted version of the yellow jersey for the 100th edition, which will glitter under the flashlights of the Tour’s first night-time finish.

No wonder Didi is looking alarmed, lycra is bad enough without the sequins. (Just being devilsh!) ❑
Scroll down for other articles.


7 July 2013
Murray wins Wimbledon
& what a racquet was made!

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon 2013
Congratulations.... 
 

Carlton Ware Tennis Racquet c1913
from the Heraldic China range.
Carlton Ware Strawberry Set.
Carlton Ware strawberry set from the 1920s.

Strawberries & Cream anyone?


Wimbledon also heralds the strawberry season here in the UK and what better way is there to serve them with sugar and cream than the Carlton Ware strawberry set on the right?

This was introduced in the 1920s and has a Mother-of-Pearl ground. Notice the yet-to-ripen strawberries on the cream jug and sugar bowl, the sort of detail than typifies our favourite pottery.

This may have been the last Strawberry set that Carlton Ware produced but many more were made during the much earlier blushware period and comprised a cream jug and sugar bowl in an electroplated stand. All are relatively difficult to find these days. ❑
© Harvey Pettit 2013.
END
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