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Posts tagged ‘Staffordshire Potteries’

Agincourt, Crown Clarence

Agincourt Design by Jon Anton, Crown Clarence, Staffordshire

The simple but catching design with its Celtic cross is stamped to the base “Agincourt”, Jon Anton. It is a design that pops up now and then, but doesn’t seem to have been produced in large numbers.

The crown on the backstamp of these pieces is the makers mark for “Crown Clarence”. Research tells me that this was one of the brands produced by “The Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd”, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. This maker produced a number of brands including “Windsor” and “Crown Clarence”.

This design is attributed to the 1960s, and came in a dark green and dark blue variation as well. It is slip cast stoneware pottery, and relatively light weight. As you can see the relief design of the stylised Celtic cross stands out more on some pieces better than others. Love the shape of the lidded sugar bowl. Read more

Hostess Tableware Designs, John Russell

Hostess Tableware Staffordshire Designs by John Russell

These designs are stunning. British design at its best. They were all created by top British ceramics designer John Russell c1970s for a company called Hostess Tableware Staffordshire.

He designed a number of patterns for this company, but these are the standouts I think.

The company was formed by the merger of Royal Stafford China and British Anchor Pottery c 1970, which as far as I can discover, closed in the 1990s.

John Russell is primarily known for his designs at Midwinter Pottery, where he created Midwinter “Riverside”and numerous other Midwinter designs in the 1960s. These however are far much more impressive, bold, clean and resolved designs to me, than any of his Midwinter designs.

Black Velvet Coffee Set - John Russell

Black Velvet Design – John Russell

Black Velvet Coffee Set - John Russell

Black Velvet Coffee Set – John Russell – Photo from “H is for Home” on Flickr

Black Velvet Design - John Russell

Black Velvet Design Backstamp – John Russell

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Homemaker – Enid Seeney – A 20th Century Classic

“Homemaker” A design by Enid Seeney (1931-2011) has become a 20th Century Design Classic.

Homemaker was designed in 1957 by Enid Seeny and Tom Arnold for Ridgway and was sold through Woolworth’s. It had a long production run and was still made as late as 1968 such was its popularity.

The following is an extract from the Obituary for Enid Seeney, written by Simon Moss in the Gaurdian, May 9th 2011.

From an early age Enid had wanted become a designer of surface decoration in the ceramic industry.  She attended Burslem School of Art in Stoke on Trent an  subsequently became the first woman to be trained in the Spode Copeland design studio, before joining a young team of artists at Booths and Colclough, part of the Ridgway group, in 1951. Headed by its director Tom Arnold, this new unit was producing some exciting designs, and Seeney’s Samoa and English Garden were both chosen for exhibition at the Design Centre in London.

Her early work was typified by stylised floral motifs, often executed in pen and ink, and this fine line technique was perfectly suited to the new movements in postwar design, typified by Alexander Calder’s mobiles and the spindly furniture Seeney saw in magazines.

In earlier decades, most plates had rims, but American-style coupe shape plates were coming into fashion, along with new manufacturing techniques, so when she was challenged by Arnold to produce an “all-over” pattern for a plate, Seeney created Furniture. The motifs depicted domestic items, some of which were far beyond the reach of the average family, including Robin Day’s reclining chair and a Sigvard Bernadotte sofa.

It is quite sad to read the rest of the Enid’s story, as she left the industry only 4 months after designing Homemaker, undertaking some mundane jobs never working as a designer again, and didn’t know until later that Homemaker had become such a hit – but she followed its popularity with pride and interest.

I have only ever had a few pieces of Homemaker, pictured below. To see a large variety of the forms and decorations in all their glory go to the V&A Collections website.

Homemaker Plate, Enid Seeney

Homemaker Plate, Enid Seeney

Homemaker Cake Plate, Enid Seeney

Homemaker Cake Plate, Enid Seeney

Homemaker, Cup & Saucer, Enid Seeney

Homemaker, Cup & Saucer, Enid Seeney

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Tuscan Fine China

Tuscan Fine China, England

Tuscan Fine China was founded 1878 Staffordshire, England by R. H. Plant. The Plant family were important potters back as far as 1775. They were a strong family business, well run by generations of family members, until 1967 when they were taken over by Wedgwood, who added the name “Royal” as a prefix.

Research and product development was very important to them like other successful English Potteries such as Denby. There were 2 major technical developments at Tuscan in the 20th Century. First was the discovery of a very fine body suitable for hotel ware named ‘Metallised Hotel China’. This ware was very tough and fracture-resistant (discovered by technician and Art Director J. B. Clarke). There was also a china body with a faint pink shade which they called ‘Peach Bloom’.

Tuscan Fine China Pastels

Tuscan Fine China Pastels

What I love about Tuscan China is their outstanding use of colour and also pattern over the decades – especially the use of Pastel colours in the photograph above of a design probably from the 1950s. The quality of Tuscan bone china is also as good as it gets – it is very hard, fine bone china which holds the glazes and decoration beautifully.

Below is one of the highest sellers and most popular designs by Tuscan in the 1950s. Commonly known as “Du Barry Rose” or “Sunshine 001”. Still very popular amongst collectors. The pale pink base glaze is such a soft and luxurious pink – and not harsh at all link many pink glazes can be. Many couples received this set as a wedding gift in the 1950s. Read more