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
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.
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
Denby Potters Wheel
Denby “POTTERS WHEEL” was designed by David Yorath, 1973.
The forms for this dinnerware were actually designed by Gill Pemberton in her Bokhara series, and given a new life with David’s pattern & colours.
Potter’s Wheel was produced between 1974 and 1987. It has a simple otameal and iron oxide brown glaze and simple pattern of concentric circles.
There are varations in the intensity of the colours much like other Denby stoneware.
The centre area of the plates was glazed in either a rust, yellow, green or blue colour (but finding a plate other than in rust colour is very rare these days)
Denby Potter’s Wheel
Denby Potter’s Wheel Plate
Denby Potter’s Wheel Bowl
Denby Potter’s Wheel Plates
Denby Potter’s Wheel
Denby Potter’s Wheel Colours
There was also a range of giftware designed to match this set which I really like. Each piece is different because they were hand-painted. The range seems to consist of vases, jardinieres, and small bowls. I really like the texture and finish of these pieces and their design is timeless. David also made a number of one off pieces in similar colour-ways to these. Read more
Glynbourne Ware (not to be confused with Glyndebourne ware which is a different design) was designed by Glyn Colledge in 1960. It was marketed as a prestige product and sold until about the 1970’s when the exotic designs of Gill Pemberton and David Yorath were more favoured.
Glynbourne continues the long Denby tradition of traditional high quality stoneware, hand thrown and hand decorated.
Production Studio Pottery at its best. Each piece was handpainted in natural tones of browns and greens with a simplified decorative pattern of leaves….the glaze is just wonderful to the touch.
It has continued to be a very collectable range to the present day.
Denby Glynbourne Planter
Mayflower Design, Gill Pemberton, Denby
Denby Mayflower (stamped Langley Mill) was designed for the American market by Gill Pemberton at Langley Mill, Nottinghamshire in 1964 while she was pregnant with her first child.
Its “homespun” quality was immediately popular. The plates and bowls of Mayflower have an upright spray of 3 flowers in yellow, brown, orange and grey. To me the Mayflower design stands out immediately as one by Gill Pemberton.
It was the first of several other similar stylised floral patterns including Sherwood, Canterbury and Chatsworth for which Glynn Colledge designed the patterns on Gill Pemberton’s Mayflower forms.
Each had a typically Denby glaze with stylised and hand painted floral decoration on the plates and bowls. Other companies tried to emulate many of the Denby designs of this time, but none matched the design integrity and artistry of the Denby hand painted originals.
The forms for these series had dark brown ribbed coffee pots and the jugs had an unusual projecting side handle – a further evolution of the side handle Gill had used on some pieces in her Chevron series.
Mayflower Design – Gill Pemberton – Denby
Denby Mayflower Coffee Pot – Gill Pemberton
Mayflower Cup – Gill Pemberton, Denby
Mayflower Teapot – Gill Pemberton – Denby
Mayflower Backstamp – Langley Mill
The following interesting background comes from the Wikipedia page for Langley Mill Pottery – it is worth having a look at the whole history of the Langley site which has been well written and put together. Read more
Denby Burlington Design – Albert Colledge 1958
“Burlington” was design by Denby Icon, Albert Colledge in 1958-59 when Albert was 68 years of age and had worked at Denby for 55 years.
It was very contemporary design then, and I think it looks just as contemporary now. (Colledge is the correct spelling for Albert’s surname, often misspelt)
Originally the design was glazed in a satin matt black and decorated with white, vertical broken lines. Soon after there was the turquoise blue variation. There is also a multi coloured pastel decor as seen in the planters below, and also an all green decor. The forms are made of stoneware and very long lasting – as is all Denby pottery.
The forms in this series have such beautiful lines and proportions – and consisted of a variety of vessels including vases, bowls, planters, lidded jugs, coffee pots, coffee mugs and cruets.
Denby Burlington – Original Design – Photo by MidCenturyHomeStores on Etsy
This is an unusual form for a coffee pot, and I think it looks better without the lid – which sits quite loosely – and is more appropriate today as a water jug probably.. Read more