Beswick pottery operated in the U.K. from 1892 until 1969 when it was sold to Doulton, and the factory was eventually closed in 2002. Beswick is mainly known for its high quality porcelain figurines and collectables such as the Beatrix Potter characters, Disney characters, Horses and other animals.
They produced also produced some fabulous vases in the Art Deco era c1920s and 1930s, in addition to the striking modernist pieces they produced in the 1950s and 1960s including some outstanding designs by Colin Melbourne.
Recently I came across the very impressive Art Deco era vase pictured below by Beswick. It’s quite a tall piece at around 23cm and with quite lovely colours typical of their output at the time. The sweeping angular handle, streamlined form and spout with its defined ridges are typical Art Deco elements, but also have a lot in common with the “Futurist” style of the early 20th Century.
Beswick Art Deco Era Vase
This charming floral design in denim blue is from Rorstrand Sweden, and called “Karin”. It’s not a design Ive come across before, and I haven’t been able to find out any details about the design or its designer – but it appears to be from the 1960s.
From images I’ve found online, this repeat pattern seems to have only been made as a cup design – which was quite common practice for Rorstrand during this era.
There is a decorative plate with the same name by Jacqueline Lynd who was an important design at Rorstrand in the 1974 -1990 – but it is as yet unclear if there is any link…the denim blue colour and style has some similarities though.
This charming and now very nostalgic looking design is Midwinter “Nurseryware” c1955. Its designer, the incomparable Jessie Tait.
The design is now incredibly rare, and pieces from the series pop up very rarely, but I was fortunate to find a few pieces from the series recently in an auction lot of pottery oddments.
While the shapes here probably do not represent the complete range of this transfer printed design on the “Fashion Shape” – you can get a good feel for the theme of the design. It is not known what other pieces there are with variations of this pattern, but Steven Jenkins in his authoritative book on Midwinter Pottery also mentions tankards with hand painted pink elephants holding each others tails as part of the range.
The design is so much of its time – with motifs designed to appeal to boys such as trains, Indian headdress, cricket bat, aeroplanes, spinning tops etc. One would assume that a pattern was also produced with motifs appealing to girls, as much as this one would appeal to boys at the time.
If you have, or know of any other pieces in this series, I would love to see them.
Midwinter Nurseryware 1950s Jessie Tait – Photo Ray Garrod
Midwinter Nurseryware 1950s Jessie Tait – Side Plate – Photo Ray Garrod
Midwinter Nurseryware 1950s Jessie Tait – Saucer – Photo Ray Garrod