Another of my Denby favourites is “Troubador” (sic). Designed in the early 1970s.
It is beautifully simple and delicate pattern of superbly hand painted magnolias with leaves in soft greens and pale browns with the faintest touch of dusty pink, on a simple stone coloured stoneware.
I really like the forms of the 1960s – early 1970’s Denby – especially forms such as the bowls and plates in this series.
Timeless but contemporary at the same time – and gaining popularity to a new generation currently.
The pattern, form design and quality production of this dinnerware is sadly almost non existent these days – apart from hand made studio pottery – which this most closely resembles.
Denby Cottage Blue was introduced in 1926 and continued to be popular into the 1980’s – a very long running design by any standards.
Cottage Blue is typified by its blue mottled glaze which is partly transparent (I would call it Imperial Blue – it isn’t a bright cobalt blue). Contrasting with the blue is the lovely buttercup yellow interior on most of the forms.
It was introduced on the traditional shapes Denby was using at the time – and it looks like more shapes were added as time went by.
I’ve seen it attributed to Donald Gilbert – but I don’t think that can be correct as he didn’t join the firm until 1931.
Here are some of the charming pieces from Cottage Blue. I particularly like the angled forms of some of the ramekins and serving dishes.
Denby Cottage Blue Teapot
Denby Cottage Blue Group
Denby Cottage Blue Ramekins
Poole “Atlantis” was the name give to a series of hand pieces from the Craft section of Poole Pottery, under the direction of Guy Sydenham starting in 1969 and going into the 1970s.
There is very large variety of forms and decoration because they were handmade….and they are now relatively hard to get hold of, and often expensive.
3 clay bodies were used – either a red clay, stone coloured body or black clay body. Some pieces were carved, some were glazed, some were both carved and glazed.
The first image below is of a piece I recently came across, made and signed by Guy Sydenham.
Poole Atlantis Vase
Poole Atlantis Vase –
Poole Atlantis Vase – Base Shot, Guy Sydenham Cypher
Quite often I come across some very smart decorative patterns on Staffordshire pottery marked “Biltons”, with designs from the 1950s to 1970s.
There doesn’t seem to be much written about this maker, except for the timeline below which comes from ThePotteries.Org . They produced mainly inexpensive dinnerware for the domestic mass-market…and their peak seemed to be in the 1960s when they introduced mass production decoration techniques such as rubber stamped pattern making, and multi colour machine printing.
As happened frequently with many of the Staffordshire potteries, Biltons changed ownership often before being unable to continue into the 21st Century due to both changing markets and financial pressures.
Denby Pottery Teak Salt + Peppers
Something I have only discovered a year or so ago thanks to Maija from Copenhagen. Maija found some fantastic looking Denby Salt & Pepper shakers with teak bodies. I have seen Denby items before combined with teak trays or stands but haven’t seen this before – where the teak is used as part of the form or design.
The first use of teak used to compliment Denby Pottery I have seen to date is from Gill Pemberton’s “Arabesque” series, – which matches the time period teak started to become very popular (the early 1960s through to the mid 1970s)
A quick Google search for Denby+Teak resulted in dozens of images of Denby S&P’s with teak bases, mostly from the Potter’s Wheel series – with some fantastic colour variations.
The first 2 images below are from Maija – and it is a bit hard to know if these are from a particular Denby series, or if they were produced as stand alone pieces to go with a variety of designs. I think they are closest in colour and glaze to Arabesque – but their shapes bear no relationship to the strong angular shapes of the Arabesque pieces.
I have often read these designs were a collaborative Dansk – Jens Quistgaard design which is incorrect, but finally I have been able to identify their designer.
The Danish link was correct, but the wrong assumption of Quistgaard has been made by many people. Gill Pemberton tells me these were designed by freelance Danish designer Kurt Franzen c1974, who also created for Denby the very smart “Gourmet” (second version, not the Kenneth Clark version) dinnerware series. It appears to have been renamed the “Gourmet Vanilla” pattern soon after release.
Denby Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers. Photo Maija, Denmark.
Denby Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers. Photo Maija, Denmark.
Susie Cooper, Wedgwood
Susie Cooper (1902-1995) was a powerhouse ceramic designer, and arguably the most important British ceramic designer of the 20th Century.
From 1966 to 1980 she worked for the Wedgwood group, starting there in her mid sixties at a time when most might think of retirement. This era proved to be the most productive and exciting period of her career. Her life long aim with ceramic design was to bring high quality, affordable and contemporary design to the younger consumer – and she certainly achieved this in her time at Wedgwood with dozens of outstanding designs.
In 1968 she had around 30 designs in production – including some which she had bought with her to Wedgwood (Glen Mist and Black Fruits).
She also bought to Wedgwood her “Can” shape developed in 1958, which was the frame for many designs at Wedgwood.
This “Can” shape is used on some of my favourite designs Susie created in the late 1960s for Wedgwood, including a series of “Psychedelic”, “Space Age” or “Op Art” designs inspired by the space age, Carnaby Street, Kings Road London, and the “Swinging Sixties” with all its bright bold colour and pattern. She captured the essence of the sixties London style in these striking designs which were released from around 1967.
They included Heraldry, Carnaby Daisy, Harlequinade, Nebula, Diablo and Pennant. All of these designs were available in Harlequin sets (mixed colour-ways). All of them are quite hard to get hold of these days – and well worth purchasing if you come across them.
Susie Cooper Wedgwood Nebula – Photo Ray Garrod
Susie Cooper Wedgwood Nebula backstamp
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.
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.