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Posts from the ‘United Kingdom’ Category

Royal Doulton, Atlantis 1973

Royal Doulton, Atlantis 1973

Royal Doulton released some great dinnerware patterns in the 1970s, and this is one of them.

It is  “Atlantis”, which had quite a short production period from 1973-1978.  To date I haven’t been able to identify its designer – who appears to have designed some of the other designs at Doulton during this period.

It is sometimes referred to by its pattern number “TC 1098”.

“TC” stands for translucent china – and is the first part of the stamp found on dinnerware from 1960 on. It is a translucent white porcelain manufactured without the use of bone ash, and could be manufactured at a much lower cost than that of bone china.

The decorative pattern on Atlantis, with its flourishes and curves reminds me a bit of French Art Nouveau designs by Alphonse Mucha and the like.

The design was complimented with the teapot/coffee pot and other lidded vessels like the casserole dish having a very dark navy blue lid.

I like the shape of the bowls as well with their square line design which is complimented by the addition of a nicely shaped foot detail.

Royal Doulton Atlantis

Royal Doulton Atlantis

Royal Doulton Atlantis Read more

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Hornsea “Springtime”

Hornsea Springtime

This striking and now very collectable design is by John Clappison 1964-1965 for Hornsea.

It’s fresh, vibrant, cheerful design I think captures the optimism of the era, and is so much of its time. It has become hard to get hold of these days, and hence relatively expensive if you do come across it.

It was a tableware range decorated with either dark green or orange flowers with pale blue leaves, impressed into a white ground.

The range consisted of canisters, cruets, preserve pots, butter dishes, jugs and coffee mugs as well as other items of tableware.

Some of the items had plastic lids, like the canister in the first image, and others were all ceramic. The lids were either aqua blue or yellow.

.Hornsea Springtime

Hornsea Springtime

Hornsea Springtime

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Hornsea Muramic

Hornsea Muramic

I was reminded of this fantastic retro design recently when I found some interesting variations of the design on Etsy.

The full name of the design is Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic, “Muramic” .

It was made at the Hornsea Lancaster site 1977-1980, where the the award wining “Contrast” design amongst others was also made.

There are a number of different designs within the “Muramic” series, but the most commonly seen items are variations of the round shallow dish.

Other products included some fantastic wall plaques like the one pictured below, and even jewellery (very hard to find now)

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic "Muramic" Design

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic “Muramic” Design variation.

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic "Muramic" Design

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic "Muramic" Design Variation

Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic “Muramic” Design Variation via VintageGirlUK on Etsy

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Poole “Delphis” and “Aegean”

Poole “Delphis” and “Aegean”

Some of the most striking and bold abstract patterns on ceramics in the 1960s and 1970s came from Poole Pottery in the U.K. Two important series from Poole during this era were the Delphis and Agean series.

There is a lot of information about these now iconic and very collectable series online and in books – and below are some pointers to the most reliable resources to read and learn more.

As a good starting point, the Poole Museum has a great informational website with a comprehensive history of Poole Pottery,  with a collection of wonderful images of some of the best Poole designs. From the website:

The name Delphis has become associated with the standard range of shapes and designs produced by the new Craft Section at Poole Pottery which was opened in May 1966. The range was a natural progression from the earlier ‘Delphis Collection’ of studio pottery in standardised shapes which launched in October 1963. New glazes were introduced following a visit by Guy Sydenham and Tony Morris to the Vallauris factory in France in 1966. These were more reliable (and probably safer) than those previously available. Production employed a team of paintresses under the initial guidance of Tony Morris. The bold designs and colourful glazes were instantly in tune with 1960’s fashion and such was the popularity of the range that the factory struggled to keep pace with demand.

The leading figures who developed the Delphis series were designer Robert Jefferson, potter Guy Sydenham, and very talented painter Tony Morris.

The Delphis series consisted of about 75 shapes. The shapes were standardised – but the colour, decoration, glazing of each piece was unique – enabling a large pottery to produce work with a hand crafted look, but on a commercial scale. The designs were marketed as “irreproducible”. The Delphis series became Poole’s best selling series, and continued until its withdrawal in 1980.

What stands out about the Delphis series as a whole is the use of very bold, bright colours and abstract, hand painted patterns. There is frequent use of bright red, orange, and yellow – with the use of black to delineate the patterns and make the designs “pop”.

There is an excellent site by collector Rob in the U.K.   – Robs Poole Pottery Collection – where Rob has so much good quality information like the dates of the shapes, and great photos of some of a number of Delphis designs. Also very importantly, Rob has collected many of the Poole Pottery decorators marks or cyphers HERE, which is often the hardest thing to find when researching pottery.

The piece below is shape 88 and signed by Christine Tate, who was a section supervisor for the Delphis range from 1966-1970. Most pieces of Delphis are signed the the artist/painter, but you will find some from the series that are not signed, but just have the Poole backstamp, and usually the shape number.

Delphis Spear Dish - Shape 88

Delphis Spear Dish – Shape 88

“To encourage this experimentation and creativity during the early years, each decorator would be given a few hours a week to produce their own work, be it models, tile panels, any artistic output they wanted.  However, Delphis became such a commercial success that demand began to encroach on these creative freedoms with over time been introduced and later with the painters terms of work  changed in 1972 from an hourly rate to piece work”  

An excerpt from “Rob’s Poole Pottery” – link in post mentioned above.

Below, some of the fantastic Poole Delphis pieces I have or have had in my possession: Read more

Denby Ode

Denby Ode

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 Teapots

Denby Ode Teapot (inside view)

Denby Ode Teapot (inside view)

Denby Ode Sauce Salt/Pepper

Denby Ode Sauce Salt/Pepper

Denby Ode Sauce Boat/Saucer

Denby Ode Sauce Boat/Saucer

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Midwinter Red Domino

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”.

 

Midwinter Red Domino

 

Midwinter Red Domino

Midwinter Red Domino

Midwinter Red Domino

Via LeGrenierLondon on Etsy

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Midwinter Sienna

Midwinter Sienna

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 Cup & Saucer

Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot

Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot

Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot

Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot – Lid Detail

Midwinter Sienna Teapot

Midwinter Sienna Teapot

Midwinter Sienna Sauce Jug

Midwinter Sienna Sauce Jug

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Colin Melbourne

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 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