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Posts from the ‘Gill Pemberton’ Category

Denby Arabesque – Some Rarer Items

My post from some years ago about Gill Pemberton and her Arabesque series for Denby c1962 continues to be one of the most read articles on this site. Link here

Recently I got hold of a whole lot of wonderful Denby Arabesque (or Denby Samarkand if you are in the USA). Amongst it were some pieces I haven’t seen in person before, and which seem to be very hard to find these days. 

First is the large mug – often referred to as a “Grandmug” because of its size which is around 14cm tall x 7.5cm diameter with a capacity of 350ml. By todays standards this is probably a normal sized mug – but by the standards of the 1960s when this was released, very large. 


Denby Arabesque Large Mug

Denby Arabesque Large Mug

Denby Arabesque Large Mug and Small Coffee Mug

Denby Arabesque Large Mug and Small Coffee Mug Side by Side

Denby Arabesque Large Mug

Denby Arabesque Large Mug

Then there is the large Hors D’Oeuvre rectangular dish – which was part of a set with 4-6 smaller rectangular dishes – and often originally sold with a teak tray. 

Denby Arabesque Hors D'Oeuvre Dish

Denby Arabesque Hors D’Oeuvre Dish – Large Size

The Celery Dish – is a much coveted item (sorry it is now SOLD), and because of its impressive angular boat shape form, it is a perfect centrepiece dish for a table or console table these days.  The same Celery Dish form is also a very popular item from the Chevron series, again designed by Gill Pemberton.

Denby Arabesque Celery Dish

Denby Arabesque Celery Dish


Denby Arabesque Celery Dish

Denby Arabesque Celery Dish

There is quite a wide selection of Arabesque items now for sale in my Etsy store HERE (or from the link in the right hand column). While not a rare item, one of my favourites is this large serving platter, because it shows off the pattern so well.

Denby Arabesque Platter

Denby Arabesque Platter

During the week also I discovered a Denby Arabesque piece posted on Instagram which I never knew existed – an Ice Bucket!. It seems to be very rare (and it was sold very quickly as far as I can see). Photo courtesy of The China Village UK 

Denby Arabesque Ice Bucket – Photo via The China Village UK

Denby Pottery Teak Salt + Peppers

Denby Pottery Teak Salt + Peppers – NOT by Jens Quistgaard

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 Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers

Denby Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers. Photo Maija, Denmark.

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Mayflower – Gill Pemberton, Denby

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

Mayflower Design – Gill Pemberton – Denby

Denby Mayflower Coffee Pot – Gill Pemberton

Mayflower Cup - Gill Pemberton, Denby

Mayflower Cup – Gill Pemberton, Denby

Mayflower Teapot - Gill Pemberton - Denby

Mayflower Teapot – Gill Pemberton – Denby

Mayflower Backstamp - Langley Mill

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