Poole Pottery is a UK-based art pottery manufacturer, originally based in Poole – a large coastal town in the south east of England.
The company was founded in 1873. Initially situated on Poole quayside, Poole Pottery moved production in away from the quay in 1999.
Production ended in 2006.
The pottery recently restarted production at its new factory in Burslem, Staffordshire. The Poole Quay pottery studio and shop has also lately reopened.
Typical Poole designs boast bold colours and shapes. Many different types of wares were produced.
Poole Pottery began life as Carter’s Industrial Tile Manufactory. Art Deco pottery producers John and Truda Adams, designers Harold and Phobe Stabler and Jesse Carter of Carter’s Industrial Tile Maufactory pooled their resources to form Carter Stabler Adams.
Carter Stabler Adams’ output includes many of the ceramic tiles which now line London Underground’s curving, lamp lit tunnels. (Too see extant examples, visit Bethnal Green Tube Station.)
Carter Stabler Adams subsequently transformed into Poole Pottery. During and post world war two, Poole Pottery produced a wealth of wares, overseen by chief designer Truda Carter. At this time, the Twintone and Traditional lines were launched. Carter’s original designs were interpreted by a staff of paintresses, who added their own individual flourishes by hand.
At the 1950’s advent, Robert Jefferson joined the firm, alongside Leslie Elsden (creator of the Aegean line), Tony Morris (designer of the early Delphis Studio wares), Guy Sydenham (designer and thrower of the Atlantis line), and a number of painters and artists, inclusing Carol Cutler, Ann Godfrey, and the three Wills sisters, Laura, Julia and Carolyn – all of whom produced what would prove to be Poole’s most famous wares, the Delphis and Aegean lines.
From its inception, the artists working for Poole Pottery were influenced by outside artistic movements. Arts and Crafts, Art Deco and Abstract Impressionist designed are all evidenced in their wares.
Delphis wares feature a distinct, almost psychedelic pattern, inspired by artists such as Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollock.
Conceived by Guy Sydenham and Robert Jefferson, the Delphis design evolved in conjunction with Tony Morris. Every piece is a one off and each individual example has been hand-painted and customised by an individual Poole Pottery artist.
Poole’s Aegean wares feature a subtler pattern than its Aegean wares. Instantly recognisable “silhouette” designs were created using spray on glazes. Aegean wares were not as commercially successful as Delphis wares.
Carter Stabler Adams produced a range of Twintone dinnerwares from the 1930s onwards. Having ceased Twintone production during the second world war, they relaunched the range in late 1940s, officially naming it Twintone. Twintone was used on three different tableware forms.
Artists such as Truda Carter, Ruth Pavely and Phobe Stabler, who worked for Poole Pottery during the early 20th century, produced a number of designs for the company that are now considered highly collectible.
Highly stylised (and stylish) Art Deco designs, produced during the 1930s while the company was trading under the name Carter Stabler Adams, are among the most sought after wares manufactured by the pottery. Although comparable to the work of Clarice Cliff, Poole Art Deco lines, which feature more subtle colours, are thought to invoke the jazz age. Influenced by the geometric patterns and angular designs that were fashionable during the thirties, Poole adapted their animal and floral designs to fit in with the tastes of the era.
During the 1950s, Lucien Myers was appointed to the position of Poole’s creative director. Following an extended unproductive period during the second world war, Poole sought to return to its art pottery origins and began to develop new, modern-look ceramic lines. Alfred Read’s organic, simple, freeform designs epitomise Poole’s approach at this point and have come to typify design during the fifties.
In 1958, Poole established a semi-independent studio within its quayside factory in order to produce a variety of studio ware. From 1962, Poole produced a range of studio pottery upon which the famous Delphis range of the 1960s and 1970s was modelled. Poole also produced two other noted art pottery ranges in the 1970s: Atlantis and Aegean as well as some limited edition stoneware animal figures.
During its height, Poole Pottery was at the cutting edge of ceramic design and manufacture.
Prices can range from a few pounds to several thousand.
Collectible Poole Pottery lines and wares
Almost all of Poole Pottery’s creative output is considered collectible, however, while certain items can be worth a premium, other pieces fetch mere pounds at auction.
Among the highest grossing wares, early lustre wares, early Art Deco pieces, early Delphis wares, early 1960s Studio wares, Atlantis wares, some animal figures, ship plates, freeform wares, and items from the Beardsley collection are all generally considered rare.
More moderately prices lines include pieces featuring the 1920s Portuguese stripe pattern, mid-to-late Delphis pieces, and tablewares from any period. Tablewares were made in large numbers. The most collectible tablewares boast the contemporary designs of the 1950s.
A large, abstract Carter Stabler Adams vase, circa 1929-1934, inscribed with Margaret Holder’s artist’s monogram, sold for £2,350 at Sotheby’s in November 2002.
An abstract two-handled vase, circa 1930-1934, inscribed with Ann Hatchard’s artist’s mark sold for £2,350 at Sotheby’s in November 2002.
A Harold Stabler-modelled galleon, circa 1920-1930 sold for £1,762 at Sotheby’s in November 2002.
A Sugar for the Birds Poole charger sold for £764 at Sotheby’s in November 2002.
Three art pottery vases, circa 1950, sold for $650 at Doyle New York in September 2006.
The Poole Pottery collectors club: http://www.poolepotterycollectorsclub.net/
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