Carlton Ware Guinness Toucan Lamps
Carlton Ware Guinness Toucan Lamps were ceramic lamps produced as promotional items for the Guiness brewery.
History & Description
Guinness toucan lamps were manufactured by the British based pottery manufacturer Carlton Ware.
Carlton Ware was one of the most famous pottery manufacturers from Stoke-on-Trent and is best remembered for its often gaudy tableware and ceramic toucans it made for Guinness as promotional items.
The company was founded by James Frederick Wiltshaw, James Alcock Robinson and William Herbert Robinson in 1890 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Originally called Wiltshaw & Robinson, the company changed its name to Carlton Ware in the late 1890s.
During the 1950s, Carlton Ware began producing fun and novelty items as promotional wares for Guinness. While the advertising range included a number of small animals, over time the toucan products have emerged as the most collectible, particularly the toucan lamps.
Today, Carlton Ware continues to produce novelty products aimed at the collectors’ market.
Guide for collectors
Carlton Ware Guinness toucan lamps are occasionally sold at national auction houses. However, collectors are more likely to purchase these pieces on eBay.
Collectors should be aware that the market is awash with counterfeit reproductions of Carlton Ware Guinness toucan lamps. According to The Potteries website, at one time fake versions of the toucan lamps were seen more often in antique shops and online bidding sites than the originals.
While some forgeries are comparatively crude when placed next to the real thing, collectors are advised not to purchase anything that they may be suspicious about. Always try to attain as much information as possible from the seller, whether it is at auction or online.
A good source of information for collectors is the official Carlton Ware Collectors’ Club.
Notable auction sales
On February 26th 2004 at Bonhams in London, a Carlton Ware Guinness toucan lamp, circa 1950s, realised a price of £300.
On March 27th 2011 at Bonhams in London, a Carlton Ware Guinness toucan lamp, circa 1950s, realised a price of £228.
On April 25th 2006 at A. F. Brock & Company Ltd. in Stockport, Cheshire, a Carlton Ware Guinness toucan lamp, in poor condition, realised a price of £50.