Denby Ode (glaze and pattern) was created by Glynn Colledge, issued by Denby in 1961 and in production until about the late 1970’s.
I love the colour of the satin-matt mustard glaze – referred to by Denby as Antique Gold. The colour also matches the stoneware body really well, and contrasts with the bright white interior of many of the forms. The plates from “Ode” are stunning pieces of design with their beautiful Greek key sgraffito design in white.
Gill Pemberton tells me that the forms for this series were actually designed by Kenneth Clark who also designed the Gourmet range – a shape that was later used for Studio, as well as Ode and Echo (a blue version of Ode).
We don’t hear much of Kenneth Clark (1922 -2012) these days, but click on the link on his name above to read about his importance to British Design in the 20th century.
He took a domestic product that had become boring in its ubiquity and transformed it with technical knowledge and design flair into a vehicle of delight and usefulness. His designs honoured the traditions of studio pottery while incorporating the technical innovations of commercial potteries
Denby Ode Teapots
Denby Ode Teapot (inside view)
Denby Ode Sauce Salt/Pepper
Denby Ode Sauce Boat/Saucer
Midwinter Red Domino
“Red Domino” was designed by Jessie Tait for Midwinter c 1956.
It was one of the most popular of the “Stylecraft” shapes by Midwinter (1953 + ).
The design made a feature of the rim on the Stylecraft shapes. It was so popular it was produced in a number of variants and colours over a number of years.
A hand painted design – It is one of those classics that just screams 1950s to me. Its interesting as well that anything with polka dots seems to be really popular – combine that with red – and you have a highly desirable combination.
It was so popular that 20 Paintresses were employed on this pattern alone.
Other colours released in the Domino design were Blue Domino 1956, and a Green (made in less quantities). There is also a Black Domino which is very rare and hard to find.
Red Domino continued to be used as a variation on the “Fashion Shape” and was also adapted for the “Fine Shape”.
Via LeGrenierLondon on Etsy
Midwinter Sienna was designed by Jessie Tait (1928-2010) for Midwinter in 1962 on the “Fine” shape/series.
The forms for the “Fine” series were designed by David Queensbury and Roy Midwinter. The forms of the series were a departure from the flowing organic shapes of the 1950s and featured straight sided, cylindrical, stackable forms. The clay body chosen for the series was also a stronger and whiter clay from previous productions.
Jessie Tait designed a huge number of patterns for this shape – and Sienna became one of the most popular, continuing in production until 1978.
Sienna is a transfer print in fine stripes of subtle khaki green and orange, overlaid with black lines.
Having a look at the images below it is easy to see why this design was so popular in its time, and continues to be popular on the secondary market to this day.
Midwinter Sienna Cup & Saucer
Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot
Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot – Lid Detail
Midwinter Sienna Teapot
Midwinter Sienna Sauce Jug
Colin Melbourne (1928-2009) ranks highly along with the best of British Ceramic Designers of the 20th Century. It seems surprising that his work is not more widely known and appreciated outside the U.K, but many of his designs seemed to be ahead of their time.
The vase below I came across late last year is from Melbourne’s “Petra” – a series of several different camouflage style patterns for Royal Norfolk, Staffordshire, c late 1950s.
Colin Melbourne “Petra” Series Vase
Colin also produced a now very collectable series of animals for Beswick, another for Midwinter and one for Bossons. Colin also worked with David Queensberry on a series called “Drumlanrig Melbourne” with striking abstract patterns. You can see examples of most of these series on the UK website RetroSelect .
I think though, one of Melbourne’s most striking series was “Memphis”, for Crown Devon c1960. Read more
Bing & Grondahl “Tivoli”
This very smart design from Bing & Grondahl is called “Tivoli”, and was designed by Martin Hunt c1970s.
Martin Hunt, Co-Designer of the award winning Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic and a huge number of other Hornsea designs – also designed several dinnerware series for Bing and Grondahl and Rosenthal. The Bing & Grondahl designs include Tivoli, Korinth and Cumulus (decoration by Carl Harry-Stalhane) .
The same forms Martin Hunt designed for Tivoli were also used on the series Delphi, Olympia, Sahara, Troja, Corinth, Marrakech and Casablanca. All of these designs are now quite hard to get hold of.
If you want to see more Martin Hunt designs go to the V&A collections online here for Martin. They have a very large collection of his designs from the 1970s until current day, including some of the B&G designs mentioned above.
Royal Doulton “Iris” V1346
Sometimes there are designs which you come across which are simply blindingly beautiful, and this happened when I saw this design as a set for the first time.
I don’t collect or buy a lot of Royal Doulton, but I do really like some of their series from the first half of the 20th Century, in particular from the Art Deco Era.
This is the era in which Doulton created some outstanding designs which were popular for decades to follow.
The pattern is “Iris” V1346, which was manufactured between 1937 and 1940 – officially not in the Art Deco Era – but such an archetypal art deco design with its design of an Iris. The angles and forms are also an identifier of the Art Deco era.
The shapes I think are actually very similar to Royal Copenhagen of the same period – like Fensmark and Quaking Grass.
The hand painting on this set is exquisite, as is the use of colour and line. Each piece is like a work of art and it’s fascinating to see how it all fits together – e.g. when the cup is on the plate how the shapes and design relate to each other so well.
Royal Doulton “Rosslyn” D5399
After 80+ years Royal Doulton Rosslyn is still a very popular design in Australia. It is probably because it was so popular in its period – (designed in 1933 but produced for years) as a wedding gift – that many people grew up with either their mother or grandmother having at least a few pieces of the set, if not the whole thing. In this era dinner sets were huge, and usually consisted of over 100 pieces.
What I like about the Rosslyn pattern is its Art Deco look with the stylised floral motif combined which is combined with black line work on a cream coloured glaze. The floral design isn’t over fussy, and has an almost Japanese quality about it.
The black line work also reminds me of the Architecture of that period too and of the Californian Bungalow style (1920-1939) with its black timber work staining in each room (“Japaning” as it was called).
There was also a version of this which instead of the black outline, had an orange outline – but to me that version does not work. The orange line looks lost on the design, which loses its impact because of it.
Below are some images of pieces in this design which have passed through my hands. Read more
Midwinter Designs by Charles Cobelle
When I first found the Midwinter Pottery items in the first image below at an auction, I was reminded of the work of French artist Leger…….I was on the right track at least (French)
The design turns out to be by painter Charles Cobelle (born Carl Edelman (1902-1994). His early career was in France then continued in the U.S. from the 1920’s.
I found a record of the design in the Midwinter Pottery book by Steven Jenkins. The design is called Desert Scene, and is a transfer print from a painting by Cobelle – It is known as a pattern on a range of dinner ware in the “Fashion Shape” (c 1955-1960)
Midwinter Dinnerware, Charles Cobelle Desert Scene
Here is a fascinating summary of the life and work of Cobelle from Wikipedia: Read more