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Midwinter Nurseryware – Jessie Tait

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 – Photo Ray Garrod

Midwinter Nurseryware 1950s Jessie Tait

Midwinter Nurseryware 1950s Jessie Tait – Side Plate – Photo Ray Garrod

Midwinter Nurseryware 1950s Jessie Tait

Midwinter Nurseryware 1950s Jessie Tait – Saucer – Photo Ray Garrod

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Jette Hellerøe & Einar Hellerøe, Denmark

Jette Hellerøe + Einar Hellerøe, Denmark

Jette Hellerøe: (b. 1940) Became a ceramist after studying at the Copenhagen school of fine arts in 1960. Her Father was Einar Hellerøe, and Jette worked at her father’s factory before, during and after completing her degree. At her Father’s pottery she also produced work under her own name.

Einar’s studio was called Haslev Keramik, founded in 1940, and was located in Haslev – a town in the southern part of Sjælland/Zealand.

Jette worked at Haslev Keramik until 1972, and then moved to Lønstrup (northern Jutland in Denmark) with her husband Flemming Schouboe where they set up their own pottery and shop. Flemming helped with the production, especially handling the firing processes and the glaze, but did not create work under his own name.   This studio operated up  until 2001.

Jette is also known for the work she produced for BR Keramik and Axella Keramik. BR stands for Brothers Rasmussen – a wholesaler of ceramics, who had a number of ceramicists produce work for them, and release it under the BR brand.

I have recently been able to solve a long running mystery about mid-century Danish Ceramics thanks to Jette’s granddaughter Sofie.

It is often been thought that Jette might have designed the now iconic “Amazonas” dinnerware for BR Keramik…but puzzlingly it was often signed EH – and has often been mis-attributed to Danish Potter, Eigil Hinrichsen – which I have always had doubts about.

I can confirm that Amazonas was in fact designed and made by Jette’s father Einar Hellerøe, around 1958, hence the EH cypher. The EH cypher Einar used is quite different to that of Eigil Hinrichsen (as well as the style of work) – but the mis-attribution seems to have spread widely. Further on I have some images of other works with Einar’s cypher for BR Keramik.

Amazonas Design, BR Keramik, Design Einar Hellerøe

Amazonas Design, BR Keramik, Designer and Maker Einar Hellerøe. Photo Ray Garrod

One of Jette’s best known series of dinnerware designs in her own pottery is the “Parana” series:

Jette Hellerøe Denmark

Jette Hellerøe Denmark – from her “Parana” series. Photo Ray Garrod

Jette Helleroe Parana Series

Jette Helleroe Parana Series – Photo via CopenhagenBlack on Etsy

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark , photo via DanishMood Etsy

Jette Hellerøe Denmark

Jette Hellerøe Denmark, Own Studio, Photo Ray Garrod

Among Jette’s most valued pieces now however are the lamps and lamp bases she produced for Axella.

Jette Helleroe Lamp Shade

Jette Helleroe Lamp Shade for Axella Denmark – Photo by DanishVintageDesigns Etsy.

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark

Jette Hellerøe for Axella Denmark. Photo via VintageDanishDesigns Etsy

 

After the page break more about Einar Hellerøe

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Alfred Meakin Seaside Series

The very mid-century looking “seaside” themed design featured in this post is “Clovelly” by Alfred Meakin Potteries, U.K. c1950.

Seaside themes were very popular in the 1950s and early 1960’s – some that immediately come to mind are the Midwinter Pottery designs “Cannes” and “Riviera” by Hugh Casson.

It isn’t as well known however that Alfred Meakin Potteries produced a number of series with seaside themes. They were all very popular and have now become very collectable, as much because of their smart designs as increasing rarity. The designer of the series doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere but I would love to know.

Amongst the seaside themes produced by Meakin were Fisherman’s Cove, Polperro, Regatta, Brixham, Clovelly, St. Ives, and Nice. Stylistically they are very similar with use of similar motifs in similar colours. Some of the wares are back-stamped with a colourful stamp and the name of the design, other times just the Alfred Meakin stamp….making it difficult to tell which seaside pattern you have. There is also a pattern called “Sea Breezes” – but this a little stylistically different from the above patterns, although from the same time.

I was only able to identify the design below as “Clovelly” by finding the identical pattern with images of the clovelly backstamp on it, for sale (sold) online here . You will often find discrepancies with identification of this series because they are so difficult to tell apart.

Some of the individual motifs are repeated in the seaside themed patterns…….also, to add to the confusion, designs in a setting appear to have been sometimes combined e.g. further down is an image of what appears to be the Brixham and Clovelly designs combined in one dinner set. This could have occurred at the original point of sale, or further down the track as a replacement piece.

Unless pieces have the backstamp with a pattern name it can be sometimes very difficult to tell the “Seaside” patterns apart.

As well as the white bone china, the designs were also put on a very pale Venetian blue body.

Alfred Meakin Clovelly

Alfred Meakin Clovelly – Photo Ray Garrod

Alfred Meakin Clovelly

Alfred Meakin Clovelly – Photo Ray Garrod 

 

Alfred Meakin Clovelly

Alfred Meakin Clovelly – Photo Ray Garrod 

 

Alfred Meakin Clovelly

Alfred Meakin Clovelly – Photo Ray Garrod

 

Alfred Meakin Clovelly

Alfred Meakin Clovelly – Photo Ray Garrod 

 

Alfred Meakin Brixham

Alfred Meakin Brixham – Photo via ebay.

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