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Below are selected articles published on this site during April & June 2010. We hope you will find some of interest.

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

Friday 25 June 2010
Close Examination...
Close Examination, Fakes Mistakes & Discoveries Exhibition 
Next week, here in the UK, The National Gallery opens its exhibition called Close Examination:
Fakes Mistakes & Discoveries
, which explores the ways in which advances in scholarship and technology can reveal misconceptions of the past and how over the years even museum curators have been misled.
Sherlock Holmes
In our own way, Carlton Ware collectors can be duped into buying wrongly. Poorly researched articles can also lead to misconceptions; some we have read are simply made up! We don't have the resources of The National Gallery but our experts do what they can using their extensive knowledge gained over many years of investigative research.
Fake Snooker decoration
Original coffee set from the 1970s
The most convincing Carlton Ware fakes are those in which decorations are added to old original Carlton Ware at a later date.

We are fortunate at Carlton Ware World by having long- standing contact with those who worked at the pottery, although as time goes on Father Time takes them, or their memories, away from us.

Thankfully, they have freely shared their know-now and recollections with us, as those of you who have attended our Annual Get-togethers in Stoke-on-Trent will know. Their knowledge on what was made, or more importantly, as here, what was not made, is invaluable. As an example, we consider the cup and saucer above, decorated with a snooker player.

It was made at Copeland Street in the early 1970s as part of  a coffee set called ATLANTIS, which was, offered in plain colours - as illustrated above. The print of the snooker player on the cup in question has been added recently.
Tankard for Reflections
The lithographic print used is clearly of good quality, but somehow looks a little lost against the green ground.

A faker, surely would not go the expense of producing an elaborate print, so what is happening here?

The picture of the china tankard on the right explains all.
Our super-sleuthing has discovered that it was made by, or for, a company called Reflections, who appears to  be no longer trading. No doubt, some unused lithographs or prints of the snooker player have found their way into other hands and used on old Carlton Ware. Clearly the print was intended to be applied against a white ground so that the green baize of the snooker table would show.

Inevitably, the cup and saucer appeared on eBay. It sold to an unsuspecting buyer for £18.50 including p&p.

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Monday 21 June 2010
The World Cup runneth over!
Footballer astray - British Sports Series
The FA Cup previously called the English Cup
Several of our readers wrote to ask about the temporary image placed on our banner at the top of pages as a tribute to The World Cup.

It is an ashtray and part of Carlton Ware's British Sports Series, which belongs to the Heraldic China range.

Another CW football-related item was a model of the FA cup, previously called the English Cup. The example  on the right celebrates Cardiff City's victory over Arsenal in 1927.
In true footballing spirit, Cardiff were pelted with leeks as the team bus arrived at Wembley. Items of Carlton Ware with dates are helpful to us. This one establishes that Carlton Heraldic China is still being made in 1927.

The match of that year was the first cup final to be broadcast live on BBC radio. The phrase 'Back to Square One' was coined at the 1927 FA Cup final as the radio commentators used a grid published in the Radio Times to describe the match action - and square one was the area nearest to one of the goals.

We apologize to the many non-football fans for posting this article!  "Some people think that football is a matter of life and death.... It's far more important than that!" (Bill Shankly)

If we get enough requests, we will include a sound clip of the Vuvuzelas... and a pair of free earplugs!

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Thursday 17 June 2010
Far Sited!

Australian TV advert
Carlton Ware World is the best source of accurate information on our favourite pottery but it is not the only useful website.
Because Carlton Ware is such an important and significant twentieth century pottery there are of course other sites and we list the more relevant ones on our links page, although some are very out of date.
Australia Arms
One site that has come to prominence recently is, an Australian commercial site offering for sale rare Australian pottery and fine art ceramics: Royal Doulton, Royal Winton, Clarice Cliff & The Giants of Australian Pottery and of course Carlton Ware.

We can recommend that you take of a tour of this excellent Australian site, though we are unable to vouch for its accuracy, because it would take us too long! Navigating through larger websites to get to the information you want is often difficult and some may find this the case here. To help you do this, Ian and Jerome, in their Newsletter 49 will tell you how.
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Thursday 10 June 2010
Hangman mugs
Hangman Musical mug front.
A puritan about his business
We have been asked about the Carlton Ware Hangman musical mug shown on the left, and in particular to throw light on its symbolism.

The hanging figure is dressed as a puritan, who like other protestant sects during the sixteenth century adopted a simplified form of dress. The group aspired to purity, which has led to ridicule because of its extremely strict religion and morals. This ridicule is typified in the mug.

Hangman Musical mug back.
The rhyme on the back of the mug reads

There are several reasons for drinking
And one has just entered my head
If a man can't drink when he's living
How the h---! can he drink when he's dead?

Interestingly, Hell is not spelt in full, then being regarded as a swear word.

Presumably the devil handle represents temptation, and the gallows the consequences of sin, in this case drunkeness, which the puritans publically punished, although they were not opposed to drinking alcohol in moderation.

Hangman Musical mug marks.

The design for the mug was registered in 1936, as indicated by the Rd.No. 808852 printed on its base.
Notice the deep recess to contain the musical box, which in this case is removed for purposes of illustration.
Hangman Musical mug from side.
Bass beer bottle & logo.
The beer bottle on the side of the mug, surrounded by a wreath, has a Bass & Co label. This suggests, probably wrongly, that the mug may have been made for the Burton-on-Trent brewery. Bass light ale bottles were so well-known that they have also appeared in pictures by Manet and Picasso.

The red triangle, which appears on the bottle, was the first trademark to be registered in the UK (1875). Bass is now owned by global brewing giant AB InBev, the world's largest beer company. Bass is thought to be up for sale, so, if after reading this, you have developed a thirst, make an offer. A glass of AB Inbev does not sound too inviting!

We would like to thank eBay seller benson2animals for permission to use the pictures above.

Matching Hangman mug
A matching Hangman mug without the recess for a music box was also made. We show a plainly decorated example below with pictures of the bases to both models illustrating the two different recesses. Notice on this plainly decorated version the addition of the words Last Drop beneath the hanging man! Only the faces of the devil and puritan are decorated, in this instance over a silky matt white glaze.

Hangman mug front. Hangman mug backstamp. Hangman Musical mug base.
Fake Hangman mug
The Hangman mug has been faked, either being made from an original mould, or from a new mould made from from an original mug. Below are some pictures of one. Notice that the rhyme is printed more simply and the decoration inferior.

Fake Hangman mug front.  Fake Hangman mug back.  Fake Hangman mug backstamp.

Simpler Version
Simpler Hangman mug front. Simpler Hangman mug back.
A simplified and smaller version of the Hangman mug was introduced a few years later, with much less, decoration. This is shown on the left and was given the shape number 1972.

The devil has been replaced with a more conventional loop handle. The same rhyme is used on the obverse, although capital letters are not picked out in red raised enamel. The gallows, puritan, hat and grass are embossed as on the previous examples. This mug sometimes appears with a view of a well known Canadian place such as Niagara Falls, Ambassadors Bridge, or Casa Loma, Toronto. These replace the representation of the Bass bottle and wreath placed on the side of the mug.

And yet another on the same theme.
Plain version of Hangman mug front. Plain version of Hangman mug side. Plain version of Hangman mug back. 
A plain tankard was also decorated along similar lines. Here the embossed puritan is replaced with a print of a figure of a modern man. The wreath, bottle and rhyme were the same prints used on the previous examples.
Typical puritan hat.   
Clearly these mugs were popular and the simpler and thus cheaper versions were probably made in large numbers. It is extraordinary that after four hundred years the puritan in his clothes remains an enduring image.

© Harvey Pettit & Helen Martin 2010.
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Monday 3 May 2010
UK Election Special!

Vote for Sloper - and more of eveything...
Carlton Ware bust of Ally Sloper. 
Ally Sloper cartoon.
This comical bust, decorated as Ally Sloper, a cartoon character from Judy Magazine, a rival to Punch, was introduced by Carlton Ware in 1908 and was no doubt popular during the General Election campaign of 1910.

Ally Sloper was one of the earliest fictional comic strip characters. Red-nosed and blustery, an archetypal lazy schemer often found "sloping" through alleys to avoid his landlord and other creditors.

His top hat has the slogan Vote for Sloper and more of everything! He was part of the large range of Carlton Ware Heraldic Souvenir China, which was introduced about 1903, remaining popular into the 1920s. The range provides a fascinating record of the social history of the earlier part of the twentieth century. Incidentally, the Liberal Party won the 1910 election.

Votes for Women - She shall have Votes!
 Carlton Ware Suffragette hand bell front. Carlton Ware Suffragette hand bell back. 
Votes for Women cover.
Another political model, again with a sense of humour, is the hand bell on the right with two different faces.

We believe this model was introduced by Carlton Ware between 1913, when suffragette Emily Davis ran out in front of the king's horse and was killed, and 1918, when women over 30 were given the vote.

© Harvey Pettit 2010. Information provided by The Cochrane & Pettit Archive of Carlton Ware.

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Sunday 2 May 2010
Homes & Antiques Magazine
Wise Buys article

BBC Homes & Antiques article.
Carlton Ware World was approached by the BBC's Homes & Antiques Magazine for pictures of an original Carlton Ware Guinness Toucan lamp base and one of the many fake versions of it that abound. We duly obliged and they are published in the June edition of the magazine.

Unfortunately, the article, written by Judith Miller, tells readers that the originals were made in the 1930s, whereas they were introduced in the mid 1950s.

A Buyers Guide gives some useful advice on how to avoid ending up with a fake, detailing the differences between the real McCoy and its recently made imposters.
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Friday 30 April 2010

There are still "large numbers" of Britons stuck abroad due to volcanic ash but the true figure is very hard to quantify, the Foreign Office has said today.

Trouble hotspots included Hong Kong, Pakistan, Thailand and Orlando, Florida, but the situation was easing.

The wide news coverage of the ash cloud leads us to consider ash of a different kind and how its collection generated much business for potters.

Carlton Ware was no exception. Indeed, it was probably one of the biggest manufacturers of ash-trays for the brewing and distilling industry. Below, we show a small selection which we hope will be of interest to collectors of Advertising Ware.

Bell's ash-tray. Booths Dry Gin ash-tray. Flowers Shakespeare ash-tray. Flowers ash-tray. Gordon's Gin ash-tray. Gordon's Gin ash-tray. Guinness ash-tray. Haig ash-tray. Harp Keg Larger ash-tray. House of Lords Gin ash-tray. Ramsden's Ales ash-tray. Tanqueray ash-tray.
Thanks must go to The Cochrane & Pettit Archive of Carlton Ware for supplying the images above.

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Monday 26 April 2010
Ebay fails to act on complaints
Antiques Trades Gazette banner
Sunderland plaque
The Antiques Trades Gazette reported this week that one eBay seller has been taking heavily rubbed items of Sutherland Lustre and overpainting the worn areas with coloured enamel paint, thus disguising the flaws, and at the same time creating a "rare" item. Buyers of these wares are clearly unaware that the pottery has been "embellished" since the sellers feedback is 100%.

Complaints to eBay from respected pottery historians fell on deaf ears and no action was taken...

Buyers take action.
... and so a group of eBay buyers took things into their own hands by posting a listing at £0.01 entitled Fake Sunderland Lustre plaque information only so that it appears in search lists. This resulted in the seller, 1079edmund, from withdrawing two of his over-painted items, after a third failed to reach its opening bid and described as "condition outstanding"!

As far as we know, Carlton Ware has not suffered from such treatment, but it is wise to be aware that such things go on and that a high or even 100% eBay feedback rating is not always a guarantee of a trustworthy seller.
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Easter Monday 5 April 2010
Five Star rating for ease of use.
Collect It magazine cover April 2010    
Carlton Ware World's site is reviewed and recommended in this month's issue of Collect It magazine, which says

   There are plenty of pottery sites on the web, but finding a good one
   is always a bonus as this one provides the visitor with concise
   information.... Carlton Ware World has a bright and breezy
   appearance and covers the genre extremely well, with easy
   navigation. It provides some excellent articles for help and

The following ratings were awarded, giving us an impressive overall four out of five stars.

Appearance: ***
Navigation: ****
Detail: ****
Features: ****
Ease of use: *****

SHELF tray.
The April edition of Collect It focuses on living in the 1950s and looks at ceramics and glass from the period.

After the austerity years that followed World War Two with their many limitations on pottery production, Carlton Ware helped lead the field and adopted many freeform shapes, which were fashionable at the time.
These were a radical departure from the Floral and Fruit embossed wares of the SALAD WARE ranges, as well as the highly elaborate gold printed and enamelled decorations wares for which Carlton Ware was renowned. Fashions however dictated change and the Copeland Street pottery responded admirably and its survival was assured.

SHELF coffee pot. SHELF tray with LINEN decoration.
The SHELF range was innovative and adventurous; it was produced in plain colours as on the triangular tray above, but was also available with stylised decorations such as WOODLAND and LINEN.

Less well Known is Carlton Ware's CONTEMPORARY range whose fluid shapes typify the period. Below is a selection of this, as yet, unappreciated range, which typically employed two contrasting colours with a fine gold line separating them.

CONTEMPORARY WARE freeform vase. CONTEMPORARY WARE freeform bowls. 
Perhaps, the best known Salad Ware range from the 1950s is CONVOLULUS, but there were others such as MAGNOLIA and ORCHID. PINSTRIPE was also highly popular. Carlton Ware did not rest on its pre-war laurels.
As always, there is always more to say and admire about our favourite pottery....

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