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the Virtual Museum of Poole Pottery

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Carter and Company
The 1950's
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Tony Morris at Poole 1999
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photo Roger Hopkins 

Carter & Company tube lined tile panel designed by Arthur Nickols, 1950's


There is no other pottery which has more consistently reflected the spirit of its age; from the art deco designs of the 1920's and 1930's to the clean modernist lines of the 1950's and the experimental work of the pop art era. And yet compared with other factories whose production was greater (and often mass produced) Poole Pottery is not widely collected. From a collectors point of view this is a good thing. Genuine rarities do not necessarily command high values and the enthusiastic collector can still turn up patterns and designs which have not previously been recorded. 


With thanks to Robert Hale of the Malvern Gazette - a recently uncovered tile panel in Malvern. Well done to the proprietors of "Rhubarb Home" for recognising and exposing this fine tile panel which graced the retail premises of 'Fishy Davies' in the early 1900's. 

Above - a recent and spectacular addition to the section on Carters Tiles. Commissions for private houses were rare. The frieze at North Hall, Barton, North Yorkshire was designed and painted by James Radley Young (who was Head of Design at Carters Tiles) in 1913.



Occasionally an email turns up in the inbox announcing a new discovery:

"Thought you might be interested in the old butchers panel at the Butcher's Hook in Bitterne Triangle. This is a new micro pub that is opening in the old Lankester and Crooks butcher unit. I have been doing some tile restoration there and had a small patch-up to do on the panel but it is intact, in good condition and most definitely Carters. I have photos which I am happy to send, if they might be desired for inclusion on the website. Best wishes and perhaps come for a pint and see for yourselves." 

Will do!  It is good to know that this rare and special tile panel is appreciated.  We know of 3 restaurants where even more spectacular examples are covered over by modern decor. 

Sanders' Fish Merchants in Budleigh Salterton has an attractive Carters' shop-front dating from 1932.

The 1930's



Above - Poole Pottery is probably best known for the colourful hand painted floral designs created by Truda Carter painted on to hand thrown pots made from the deep red clay found locally. The pots were slipped with a white clay on the outside and the decoration was painted on to a clear glaze giving the pots a unique depth and warmth of colour. Pots produced by this method became known as ‘traditional’within the Company.


The 1940's


The Pottery remained open during the War with a skeleton staff producing mostly undecorated utility ware. The showrooms were taken over as a customs office by Imperial Airways, whose flying boat service to America and the outer reaches of the Empire had been moved from Southampton to Poole Harbour by the Air Ministry.  The Empire Flying Boats carried 5 crew and 24 passengers, providing scheduled services from Poole Harbour from 1939 to 1948.



Above - detail from one of six 'ship plates' depicting the Short S23 C Class Empire Flying Boat 'Canopus' - from a drawing by Arthur Bradbury and painted by Ruth Pavely,1941.



The 1950's




Above - cabinet of freeform and contemporary designs from the 1950's




The 1960's 




Above - 16 inch studio plate by Tony Morris



The 1970's 



Above - a rare framed 'Delphis' tile panel by Carol Cutler dating from the early 1970's





Tympanum at the entrance of the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Beckenham, designed by Jessie Bayes and modelled by Carters (c1956). 




Above - tiled panel from the reredos of St Mary the Virgin, Hounslow, designed by J.W.Ledger and painted by Phyllis Butler at the Hamworthy Tileworks in 1954.




Below - an article from the Spring 1997 edition of the former Poole Pottery Collectors Club magazine.  The magazines are an excellent resource and most editions are still available. The fake cherubs which prompted the article turn up regularly on ebay and at auction houses.




All of the fake Poole Pottery that we have seen is of poor quality (or very obviously by another maker) and unlikely to pass as genuine. Some of the fake marks which turn up from time to time are shown below. The unlikely nature of the pieces on which they appear is probably the biggest clue that the marks themselves are not genuine.