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Poole “Fleurie” 1979-80

The “Fleurie” Series was made at Poole Pottery UK 1979-1980.

It was designed as a range of giftware pieces by Ros Sommerfelt who was one of the long standing decorators at Poole who took on a greater role from the 1970s. 

Fleurie depicts portraits of Women with flamboyant hairstyles in an Art Nouveau style which was very popular in the 1970s. The design is much in the style of Alphonse Mucha, but they are not his designs as is often attributed.

The forms the design was applied to are the same shapes as the ones from the “Beardsley Collection” which Ros Somerfelt also designed in 1979. Others patterns she designed around this time were “Bow Bells”, “Lady of Shalott”, “Arthur & Guinevere”, and “Kandy” amongst others.

The glaze is a smooth satiny “alpine white” and the design transfer applied. Some pieces like the bowl picture below have a lovely band or decoration also applied.

Poole Fleurie , Photo Ray Garrod

Poole Fleurie – Photo Ray Garrod

Poole Fleurie , Photo Ray Garrod

Poole Fleurie , Photo Ray Garrod

Poole Fleurie , Photo Ray Garrod

Poole “Flurie” – photo Ray Garrod

Poole Fleurie Dish , with original box, Photo via

Information sourced from “Poole Pottery”, Leslie Hayward & Paul Atterbury 1995.




Royal Doulton “Festival”, Lambeth Stoneware 1974

In 1974, Royal Doulton updated the concept of its original Lambethware stoneware from the turn of the century and created a casual tableware brand called “Lambeth Stoneware” – it was tough, durable, detergent and dishwasher proof and had strong public appeal. Other than the name though, it had no connection to the original Lambeth stoneware which closed in 1956 (and which was very different in nature) 

The new series was well designed with rounded forms and a country style charm which was popular at the time. It is long lasting and as tough as nails like a lot of the stoneware dinnerware series of the time.

There were a large number of patterns released, but I have not been able to locate a list of them – and I continue to be surprised when I come across another charming pattern from the series I haven’t seen before.

Two of the most popular seem to be “Tangiers” and “Basque” (which I have written about previously)…and recently I came across this charming pattern called “Festival”, produced 1975-1979. It features fruits, leaves and berries in blues and violets outlined in navy blue. 

The forms of this series seem to work best when a white glaze is used with a strongly coloured pattern, as in this design. It gives them a more timeless, less dated appearance than ones such as “Basque” with its dark muted tones. 

Royal Doulton Lambeth Stoneware "Festival"

Royal Doulton Lambeth Stoneware “Festival” Milk Jug – Photo Ray Garrod

Royal Doulton Lambeth Stoneware "Festival" Cup and Saucer,

Royal Doulton Lambeth Stoneware “Festival” Cup and Saucer, Photo via “Vintageoak” on Etsy

Royal Doulton Lambeth Stoneware "Festival"

Royal Doulton Lambeth Stoneware “Festival” – Lidded Sugar Bowl, Photo Ray Garrod










Latvian Australian Folk Pottery

I have come across these folk style items of pottery here in Adelaide for decades.

Something about them captivates my interest. They appear to be made mid 20th Century, and have similar forms and patterns. Their maker continues to be a mystery however. 

They all appear to be by the same potter and I am pretty confident that the potter was Latvian or Baltic going by the designs and motifs, and from seeing other almost identical Latvian pieces on sites such as “The Baltic Shop”.

All pieces bear the same cypher/signature which you can see in the last image. They are all stoneware fired pieces, with glazes often used by Australian potters in the 1950s-1970s. 

General consensus now by collectors and from feedback over the years, is that they were made here in Australia/Adelaide by a Latvian potter, post WW2 – partly because it seems odd to find a whole group of pottery by the same potter imported all the way from Latvia, and partly due to the frequency with which the pieces appear in auctions and estate sales. 

There were so many Latvian and East European Artists & Potters who came to live in Australia after WW2, some of who became well known and documented, but many others yet still to be “discovered”. The output of this potter seems to have been quite large, so hopefully one day his or her identity comes to light. 

Australian Latvian Folk Pottery - Photo Ray Garrod

Australian Latvian Folk Pottery – Photo Ray Garrod

Australian Latvian Folk Pottery - Photo Ray Garrod

Australian Latvian Folk Pottery – Photo Ray Garrod

Mystery Cypher of Australian Latvian Folk Pottery - Photo Ray Garrod

Australian Latvian Folk Pottery – Photo Ray Garrod

If the potter was Latvian they were most probably from the Latgale region of eastern Latvia where there is a large studio pottery industry. There are many different styles of pottery within the region – including lustre ware, blackened pottery, unglazed pottery, and pieces like the ones I have here.  The YouTube below of the potters from the Latgale region is well worth a watch (apart from the voice over!). 

Here are some of the comments I have had regarding this pottery when this article was posted on the original incarnation of this blog:

“It is likely to be UL as W is not used in Latvian words. Though it could be a W name borrowed from another ethnicity/language, it’s pretty unlikely. There are not that many Latvian names which start with U either! Uldis and Ugis are two male names and Una is a female name”

“There are one big family of Latgale potters in Latvia Ushpelis (original Ušpelis) possible transcription Uspelis or Uspels”

“My parents had a Latvian gift shop in Melbourne on 5th floor of 306 Lt. Collins Street between 1954 – ca. 1984. We sold Latvian pottery. Most by a Mrs (Natalie?) Neiburgs The first photo on this page is like a small vase I have”