Carlton Ware Pottery was established in Stoke-On-Trent in 1890, producing giftware and domestic pottery throughout much of its history until the eventual closure of the firm in the 1990s. Best known of all pieces perhaps were the ceramic toucans that made it into Guinness’ promotional marketing items.
Potteries Auctions can identify and provide valuations on a wide range of Carlton Ware tableware pieces.
Popular Carlton Ware Items at Auction
Sold March 2019
Sale Price £1,000
Sold November 2021
Sale Price £420
Sold March 2019
Sale Price £80
Sold July 2022
Sale Price £340
Sold November 2018
Sale Price £180
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Whether you are looking to buy or sell Carltonware chinoiserie or collectables, the team of experts at Potteries Auctions can help you find the piece you are looking for, or value your items for sale. Request a call back if you are looking for a valuation and are seeking to sell some Carlton Ware collector pieces at auction.
Carlton Ware Pottery Facts
- Early lustre wares were produced in a wide range of deep richly glazed colourful designs such as vases, bowls, pot pourri dishes and jars. Other early pieces were produced to compete with Goss China and carried a slightly different mark of ‘Carlton China’.
- Promotional wares for Guinness were produced in the fifties along with other fun ceramic pieces such as its salad ware range of bright red lobsters and tomatoes.
- The firm’s final success line was the Walking Ware range that was very popular until the ultimate decline of Carlton Ware in the late 20th century.
The History of Carlton Ware Pottery
One of the many iconic manufacturers within the locality of the Potteries, Carlton Ware – originally Wiltshaw & Robinsons – endured for many years. They produced a wide variety of popular ranges and patterns from the company’s inception in 1890.
Although Carlton Ware might be best known for its decorative and gift wares, such as the iconic Guinness Toucan, there were many other types of wares produced through the years. These comprised their own diversity of patterns, many examples of which are included in this collection. Many of the pieces we’ll be featuring are early examples, and so belong to ranges of earthenware that were produced from the very beginning of the company’s history.
One of the most prevalent ranges, Blush Ware, was introduced around 1890. It is easily recognisable for its combination of floral depictions – either printed or produced freehand – upon subtle pastel-shaded backgrounds. Pieces belonging to this range of earthenware encompass a huge diversity of shapes, as well as a plethora of individual patterns, with many displaying gilded decoration. As an appendage to Blush Ware, Blue & White used the same shapes and patterns to produce monochrome blue versions, which also often boasted gilt features.
As well as reproducing pre-existing patterns in their Blue & White pieces, other patterns were also introduced. Heavily reminiscent of the ubiquitous Willow Pattern and produced in two different shades of blue, the Nankin pattern featured widely on Wiltshaw & Robinson pieces.
Among the most popular ranges produced is Best Ware, with examples from this high-end range being particularly sought-after. Stylistically, Best Ware pieces boast colourful, elaborate patterns, using a variety of techniques, including underglaze painting, onglaze enamels and lustres, as well as raised enamelling and gold printing.
Achieving the high standard of finishes naturally required skilled work. For this, the company drew upon the expertise of designers such as Horace Wain and Violet Elmer. Wain was particularly known for his chinoiserie designs and ethnic patterns, while Elmer incorporated a notably Art Deco aspect into her designs. Both are considered leading designers of their age.
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