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Two books on Carlton Ware were published in 2012. See our Publications page for details.
Previous Articles 17

Below are selected articles published on this site during 2014. 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 December 2014
God's Providence House forty years on.
Heather from Canberra in Australia writes
I wonder if you can tell me about a piece of Carlton China my old Auntie gave me before I left for Australia forty years ago? It has the Carlton stamp on the bottom and is a tiny little black and white house, which reads "Gods Providence is Mine Inheritance" and has the Chester coat of arms on the top. My granddaughter keeps asking me about it.
Carlton China model of Chester's God's Providence House and a contemporary postcard of the building.
Left & Centre - Carlton China model of Chester's God's Providence House c.1909.
Right - Postcard of Chester's God's Providence House c1910.

The building on which the model is based is in Watergate Street, Chester in the county of Cheshire, hence the crest. Bearing in mind the elaborate facade on the 1652 building, the model is remarkably faithful.

The china model was registered as a design by Wiltshaw & Robinson in 1909 so was probably first made in that year; it is likely to have been made for a particular retailer in the city. Perhaps the shop on the ground floor sold china, though in the contemporary postcards shown here it is either a confectioner or a chandler.

The most distinctive medieval feature of the city is The Rows. These are double-level walkways with a continuous line of balconies and with shops at street and first-floor levels. The Rows are unique and were certainly in existence in the 14th century.

The name of the house is reputed to come from its being the only house to have escaped the outbreak of plague in 1647–48. However this house was not built until after the plague and it is more likely that it refers to the owners of the previous building on the site being spared the disease.

Above the row level is a fascia board inscribed "GOD'S PROVIDENCE IS MINE INHERITANCE" and as painted on the model.

Hopefully, your granddaughter's curiosity has been satisfied and that one day she can visit the beautiful and historic city.   ❑

Postcard of The Cross & The Rows, Chester and a postcard of Chester's God's Providence House.
Left - Postcard of The Cross & The Rows, Chester c1900.
Right - Postcard of Chester's God's Providence House c1910.
Scroll down for more articles.

10 September 2014

A selection of Fruit & Floral Embossed wares.
They are all talking about it!
Fruit & Floral Embossed
Not only were Carlton Ware's Fruit and Floral Embossed ranges extraordinarily popular but also they were expertly modelled and beautifully decorated.

As an appreciation of this the Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent arranged a talk on these attractive ranges of Carlton Ware.

Around 100 pieces were displayed, many passed around the audience, and each person had a piece of their own to examine and identify.   ❑

Scroll down for other articles.

24 July 2014
Pretty Polly!
It's the silly season here in the UK and so I couldn't resist showing the picture below.

Alluding to the famous "Dead parrot" sketch, a giant dead parrot was unveiled on London's South Bank to mark the broadcast of the final live Monty Python show.

50-foot dead parrot on London's South Bank of London.

There is of course a Carlton Ware link. Let the pictures explain.

Carlton Ware PARROT 3016 vases shape 217.
Two views of PARROT 3016 on vase shape 217. The ground colour was called LACQUER GREEN.
Carlton Ware PARROT humidor and baluster vase.
Left - an unusual cigar humidor with PARROT 3071.  Right - baluster vase with PARROT 3037.
Carlton Ware PARROT borders
Borders from PARROT. The upper two are printed in black, the lowest one printed in gold.

Pretty Border
As with most Best Ware patterns, PARROT had its own border. PARROT BORDER was used on its own on coffee ware and sandwich plates.

In total, 27 variants of PARROT were listed in pattern records. The first, 3016, I estimate was introduced in 1925. The strong and bright colours used on many of these variants were adventurous for the time; their vibrancy is not lost on us today. ❑

Harvey Pettit © 2014
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18 May 2014
Special effects - Godzilla & Glacielle

I couldn't resist doing this article on hearing of the new Godzilla film released this week. The creature in the film, partly based on a lizard - a rather large one, brought to mind Carlton Ware's Glacielle lizard. Special effects are common to both.

I think you will agree that the Carlton Ware reptile has a nicer nature, but then it wasn't mutated by nuclear radiation.

Left - Carlton Ware GLACIELLE Lizard on a rock.
Right - Godzilla from 2014.

The first Godzilla, a Japanese film, was made in 1954. Below, alongside the Glacielle Lizard on a rock, is an actor in a Godzilla costume and another of the cast taking a break on the set.

Left - Carlton Ware GLACIELLE Lizard on a rock.
Right - Godzilla and another actor from the 1954 film.

Fired Earth

Carlton Ware also made two Glacielle Lizard vases; one is shown below. Godzilla would have been useful firing it.

Left - Carlton Ware GLACIELLE Lizard vase.
Right - Godzilla has a hot flush.

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24 February 2014
Mega Mango Missing!

Giant Mango.

Carlton Ware PEAR sugar shaker.

A TEN-TONNE giant mango has been stolen in Queensland, Australia. It was first thought that the 3 story high fruit was undergoing maintenance, but no.

Man-go Hunt

Wanted posters have been distributed throughout the area. Police are searching for a suspicious looking crane.

It reminded us of the somewhat smaller Carlton Ware Pear sugar shaker. This you would be able to lift without heavy machinery. ❑
Scroll down for other articles.

21 February 2014
LUSTRINE with Pewter Overlay

Carlton Ware rectangular floating flower bowl in purple LUSTRINE
Carlton Ware rectangular floating flower bowl in purple LUSTRINE
with added pewter overlays depicting cherries.

Early in the 1920s Carlton Ware introduced its LUSTRINE range, which was available in twelve attractive colours. These plain lustre decorations were used on a wide range of shapes.

Examples of LUSTRINE have been found with a pewter overlay as on the rectangular floating flower bowl on the right.

Chasing metal A 
					glass vase with repoussé overlay
Left - Chasing metal.  Right - A glass vase with repoussé overlay.

The overlays were made using a technique called repoussé, where a sheet of malleable metal such pewter, copper or silver was labourously hammered into the desired relief. More decoration was added by chasing with metal punches.

The pliable metal enabled the resulting form to be applied over the curved surface of a pot. Hot pitch or animal glue may have been used to attach the adornment. The same method was also used on glass, as shown on the left.

Sometimes cabochons of glass or semi precious stones were incorporated into the pewter overlays adding to the attractiveness and cost. The cabochons are likely to have been bought in from a jewelers' supplier. Two examples are shown below.

 Carlton Ware LUSTRINE 
					powder bowl with pewter overlay incorporating cabochons of 
					agate ; detail from rectangular bowl with pewter overlay and 
					blue cabochons
Left - Carlton Ware LUSTRINE powder bowl with pewter overlay incorporating cabochons of agate.
Right - detail from rectangular bowl with pewter overlay and blue cabochons.

It seems unlikely that this elaborate work was carried out at Carlton Ware's Copeland Street works. Consequently, I suggest that it was done in workshops or studios elsewhere. But where might this be? Could it be Glasgow?

The Arts & Crafts movement.

The pewter overlays are in the Arts & Crafts tradition and style. The suggestion that the pewter additions were made in Glasgow is speculative, but we do know that Carlton Ware supplied blanks to Elizabeth Mary Watt for subsequent decoration at her studio there. It is possible that Carlton Ware also supplied blanks to students at the Glasgow School of Art, which under the direction of Fra Newbury, 1885-1917, encouraged the decorative arts, including ceramic decoration, needlework and metalwork. This led to the setting up of independent studios and workshops especially in the Scottish city between the two world wars.

We could also suggest that these Arts & Crafts inspired additions could have been made at many other UK locations.

Below is a selection of Carlton Ware bowls with pewter overlays.

A selection of Carlton Ware bowls with pewter overlays.
Repoussé detail on pink LUSTRINE.
Repoussé pewter detail on pink LUSTRINE.

So far, except for one jug, and one vase from a later date, all pewter overlay on Carlton Ware has been found on bowls. Apart from LUSTRINE decorations, bowls with other lustre grounds have also been found with the metal embellishments.

The two orange lustre decorations above used the earlier lustre, most often found on Carlton Ware's ARMAND LUSTRE range; the blue bowl, bottom right, used a matt glaze, which was introduced by the pottery c1928.

The plain Carlton Ware lustre grounds work very well with the pewter and the composition probably looked even better when the metalwork was bright and reflective, not having the duller patina that it has acquired over what must be in excess of 90 years.

If you have an example of Carlton Ware with pewter overlay then do send me a picture, or if you wish to comment then to send me an email.

© Harvey Pettit 2014 ❑

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