Beautiful Robinsons Homes Design Collection
Floor to roof glass dividers surge the inside with mon sunshine and an inside patio gives the house a sun splashed gleam while coaxing up the winding
When you mention Carlton Ware to people, one of the first things they think about is Guinness toucan, first introduced in the 1950’s or foot cups, commonly known as ‘walking goods’, which first appeared in the 1970s. However, there is much more to Carlton Ware and their colorful ceramics are much sought after and highly rechargeable. Carlton Ware began in 1890 when James Frederick Wiltshaw and his brother JA and WH Robinson formed the Wiltshaw and Robinson company in Stoke-on-Trent and named it Carlton Works. There is great competition in the earthenware industry but Carlton Ware started off a good start with ‘Blush ware’, a series of flower patterns applied to colored pottery.
It was very successful and soon proved a serious competition for Fieldings Crown Devon, who was the market leader at the time. The disaster struck when James Wiltshaw, now a sole proprietor, was killed by a 1918 train. His young son Frederick Cuthbert Wiltshaw took over and allowed researchers to explore and introduce new sparkling glazes and exotic patterns inspired by people whose orient, . He saw the work of a young artist, Violet Elmer, at a local exhibition in the mid-1920s and offered him a job. He accepted and proved inspirational, this brought great success to the company. It is easy to identify Carlton Ware because it is well marked and easy to obtain due to the chronological timeline of pattern and list of well-documented pattern numbers; It is not easy to identify designers.
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In 1951 a fire at the factory destroyed most of the detailed history and it was gone forever. In 1921 Enoch Boulton, who first worked at the factory in 1908, became a senior design manager. The stylish and colorful design gave us many of Carlton Ware’s most popular lines where the two most prominent ones are ‘Chinaland’ and Tutankamun ware, which were introduced to celebrate Howard Carter’s discovery of the Tutan Kamun tomb. It’s much sought today and collectors will pay between £ 500 – £ 1,000 for a vase or bowl. The notes for the rare ‘Tomb’ jars were £ 6,000 sold at Christie’s in 2000. In the late 1920s Carlton Ware began experimenting with patterns such as ‘Paradise Bird and Tree’ and ‘Feathered Tail Bird’, this is a landscape with layers of decoration, rich plating and luxurious enamel applied on a sparkling base.
When Enoch Boulton left the company in 1930 Violet Elmer succeeded him. He introduced dramatic new designs and also helped develop the shapes they would display, such as tea cups, flower vases, plates, bowls and ginger jars. They often contain geometric shapes, abstract motifs, zigzags and blinks and can be seen on patterns such as ‘Scimitar’ and ‘Floral Comets’. One of the most valuable patterns of the time was ‘Mephistopheles’ and pushed Carlton Ware to the top. The elaborate designs are time-consuming and costly to produce that puts them into luxurious brackets and they are bought by today’s richest people to decorate their homes. When Violet Elmer left in the late 1930s to get married, her place was taken by Rene Pemberton who had been trained by Susie Cooper at Gray’s Pottery.
The pattern of ‘Spider’s Webb’, ‘Heron and Magical Tree’ and ‘Rabbits at Dusk’ is believed to be his. Currently Carlton Ware is not as popular as it is and prices peaked in the late 1990s and early 2000s when you had to pay between £ 2,000 – £ 5,000. Since prices are down a bit now it might be a good time to buy if you are interested in collecting Carlton Ware. You should be able to get a small bowl or vase for about £ 50, but top-end patterns like ‘Scimitar’ and ‘Mephistopheles’ will produce four numbers. While this is a lot of money, you are buying beautifully crafted items and may be a good investment.
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