I’ve never come across a dinnerware set quite like this one before – consisting of 2 very different styles and production techniques.
The maker is RIDGWAY (Staffordshire). The cups and bowls are hand thrown from a terracotta clay and glazed in a dark olive green matt glaze – A great shape too – they are wide at the bottom and narrower at the top.
They’re really quite chunky – and you would think they were handmade by a studio potter – except for the stamp on the bottom.
In almost complete contrast is the bone china plate-ware designed for this setting. It is bone china, with hand-painted greens and blues – but when its all together – the design simply works, with the green hues of the plate ware tying it all together. I think it is a fascinating experiment in tying together traditional plate ware design, with the developing “hand made” movement of the late 1960s.
The pattern is “ROMANY”. (not to be confused with Denby Romany and many other makers who used this name during the 1960’s)
The backstamp is from the 1960’s. Ridgway were quite a large group of Staffordshire Potteries produced many brands including – Colclough, Paladin, Portland, Adderley and Gainsborough potteries.
Of course Ridgway were also the producers of the now iconic “Homemaker” by Enid Seeney
Ridgway Romany back stamp
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 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 Design – John Russell
Black Velvet Coffee Set – John Russell – Photo from “H is for Home” on Flickr
Black Velvet Design Backstamp – John Russell
"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.
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
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